Save Money & Extend The Life Of Your Clothes!

Saturday Aug 28, 2010

One of the most frugal things you can do is to USE YOUR DRYER AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE. Not only will it help you to save money on electricity, forgoing the dryer can extend the life of your clothes.  Let me explain:

Have you noticed that clothes today just don’t seem to last as long as they did when you were younger especially if your mother hung your clothes out to dry on a clothesline?  The majority of the people in the U.S. use their clothes dryers to dry 100% of their laundry.  To get your clothes dry, they are subjected in varying degrees of heat while tumbling around in the dryer.   This heat can break down materials found in your clothes like elastic and even buttons.   The heat can also make many materials “shrink”.

Another way that a dryer reduces the life of your clothes is by tossing the clothes around and wearing down the fibers.  Where do these fibers go?  Well, you know how you empty your lint trap in between loads of clothes – well, what you’re seeing in the lint trap is actually fibers from your clothing!  Did you ever wonder why towels or t-shirts became so thin when they are a little bit older?  It’s because slowly, washing and drying time after time, you’re treating your clothing very roughly (even more so than when you are wearing it) and those fibers that make up the fabric are breaking down into pieces that tear loose from the garment, tumble in the dryer, and then make their way to your lint filter.

So, what’s a person to do?  #1 thing to do is invest in some sort of clothes line!

The best place for a clothes line that is in a shaded part of your yard away from any animals that can do harm to your laundry (for example, dogs who would pull your clothes off the line to play with them LOL).  The reason that it is important to have the laundry in a shaded part of the yard is because some colored clothes will fade in direct sunlight.  It’s also important that if you have your clothes line under a shade tree, make sure the tree doesn’t seep sap!   The ultimate spot in my opinion, is a under a covered porch that still gets a good breeze.  Also, if possible, make sure the clothes line is outside near your back door for convenience – you don’t want to carry a hamper full of wet laundry all the way to the back of your property to hang it up.  If you had to do that a few times, you’d probably abandon your clothes line altogether.

What if the option of having a clothes line in your back yard or under your porch isn’t an option?  Well, I have some solutions for you.  You can invest in a folding clothes dryer that can bet set up and taken down in a matter of minutes.  It’s portable and easy to use too.  Usually they are not very expensive. Here’s a nice one that I found online:

This dryer rack will hold a good bit of wet laundry!  One thing that I do suggest is to place a small fan to blow in the direction of the dryer rack to help the clothes dry faster.  Place the fan so that the air blows through the side or middle of the dryer rack so that the laundry will dry more evenly and also faster.  Air circulation is very important especially when drying clothes inside.  Also, it’s a good idea to place the dryer rack on a waterproof surface (maybe on top of a large garbage bag) – this will help to protect your floor or carpet if the laundry drips.

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