80% of all American households own a clothes dryer, using it for between 6 and 9 loads of laundry every week.1 Even more people use clothes dryers at laundromats or other communal laundry facilities. Our clothes dryers have become a ubiquitous part of this basic household chore, but it isn’t necessary. There’s another option. An almost entirely free one that few people use. That option is line drying clothes. If you’ve never considered trying it before, here are 5 benefits to line-drying your clothing.
It will reduce your carbon footprint
According to The Guardian, the average household can save up to 2,400 pounds of carbon from entering the atmosphere simply by hanging laundry out to dry. Although we couldn’t find any studies to back this up, we were able to find an average amount of kwh used by a dryer here, and estimate the carbon footprint using the estimate for how much carbon is burned using different types of energy here.
Using these estimates we found the average carbon footprint would be 2,117.4 pounds of carbon for the dirtiest types of energy.
Electric dryers are one of the biggest energy hogs in your house, responsible for 4% of household energy use all on its own.2 When you air-dry your clothing, you’re cutting the emissions of that one area of your life down to 0. When it’s so easy, why not?
As an added benefit, it will make your cloth reusables even more earth friendly. Here’s how.
It will save you money
It’s costing Americans collectively $9 billion a year to dry their clothing.3 You could be saving over $100 a year for your own part of those billions.4 Even if you can’t think of a way you can spend $100 besides burning it up on your clothing, I’m sure your kids can.
It will save your clothing
All that lint you’re pulling out of the dryer filter? The stuff that causes 2,900 house fires a year?5 That’s not put there by magic faeries. It’s shreds of your clothing. How long do you think your favorite t-shirt will last if you’re pulling it out of your lint trap by the handful?
It will disinfect your clothing
The sun’s UV rays are a natural disinfectant, once again available for absolutely free.6 Although it won’t kill all bacteria (after all, if it did there would be no bacterial life on Earth) it will help keep your clothing fresh and sanitary.
It will help reduce static and wrinkles
If you find yourself tossing dryer sheets in the dryer by the handful to try and get a baby blanket that doesn’t shock your baby on contact, line drying is definitely the way to go.
There are many different benefits to line drying your clothing, and not much reason why you can’t hang up your laundry some of the time. Even if you live in an area where it rains every day, you can still hang your clothing on a drying rack in the home for a few minutes to save money and the planet.