Drying Your Clothes without Paying the Earth

I don’t know what I’d do without my tumble dryer. I have two kids who are mucky pups, and the washing machine is going pretty much 24/7 just to keep up with the demand for clean, fresh clothes. The tumble dryer, it stands to reason, does more than its fair share of work to match. And yet I’m not crazy about using it all the time, because… Well, to put it simply; I don’t really want to pay through the nose when my electricity bill comes around. And I’m sure you don’t, either, right?

I don’t have a garden, however. And if you plan to take advantage of the summer sun for dryer your clothes, a garden is indispensable. Correct? Nope. Wrong! You can make it work if you’re willing to be a bit creative. Do you have a yard or patio? String clothesline across it in a few places and use that to hang your laundry from. You’ll find that even the smallest yard offers some space for laundry if you think around the corners.

Or do you have only a front garden or yard, with people walking by whose eyes don’t need to go near your unmentionables? Remember the old custom; hang your underwear on the inside and your towels, T-shirts and other acceptable items on the outside. If you’re working with a line rather than a carousel, hang the unmentionables closest to the house and, if you feel a need, save a couple of towels to hang nearest the sides so people coming up your path or standing in the neighbours’ yard don’t get treated to the sight of your granny pants.

Are you worried about summer showers? That’s certainly a legitimate concern in this country, but you can easily bypass it without constantly pinning everything down and back up. Buy a clotheshorse for a few quid at ASDA or a discount shop like Wilkinson’s, B&M or Home Bargains. Arrange your laundry on it and take the whole thing in if it starts dripping. This also allows you to follow the sun around a large garden or to make the most of a small balcony if you live in a flat.

At a stretch, if you live in a flat with no balcony, you can move your clotheshorse around the flat to catch the sun wherever it comes in through the windows. In the winter, of course, this is harder – but the fact that your heaters will be working means you can take added advantage of this for drying your clothes. In a pinch, let your dryer do the last little bit and avoid the line-dried stiffness cottons are prone to within a few minutes’ time.

The difference in your energy bill will be amazing if you give your dryer a rest every once in a while. Don’t overload it, but keep looking for places to dry it naturally and you will find yourself a lot more able to afford the power you use.

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