If you need to lower your dryer's energy bill (if you have one, of course), you can start hanging out your clothes outside, in the open air. Sunlight is a natural disinfectant and bleaching agent; also, using clotheslines and other accessories makes the parts in better condition. Finally, the sweet smell of naturally freshly dried clothes is very good!
Part 1 of 5: Arranging a Space to Hang Out Clothes
Step 1. Find out more about local laws
In some places, it is prohibited to hang clothes on balconies and the like, as the items end up leaving the "ugly" environment, which affects their possible value in the real estate market. First of all, find out if there is something like that in the place where you live (although this hardly happens in Brazil, for example).
If the place where you live prohibits the practice, do your best to avoid it and not create problems
Step 2. Install a clothesline
The process is simple and you can even make something yourself with a nylon rope and two wooden posts. There are also retractable, swivel and ceiling clotheslines, which make everything easier.
- The clothesline can be made of different materials, such as paracord, plastic rope or even something made of cotton.
- Be careful when choosing material for clothesline posts; certain plants release sap and attract pigeons and other birds.
Step 3. Clean the clothesline from time to time
Otherwise, it will accumulate dirt, sap and other debris over time - these substances end up sticking to "clean" clothes naturally. Therefore, to avoid accidents, wipe the accessory with a sponge with a little detergent and water once a month and allow it to dry before using.
Clean the fasteners regularly as they can get dirty or even build up residue. Throw away the broken pieces and fill your inventory so you never get stuck
Step 4. Buy a floor clothesline
Today, there are several retractable options, made of strong and suitable materials, that don't spoil the clothes. You can also use a table to lay out pieces that need to be laid out neatly as they dry.
You can use a folding table to dry blouses. Simply remove the top and place a nylon liner (or some similar waterproof surface) in place. The best part of this process is being able to fold the accessory when you're done using it
Step 5. Buy a clothesline
You can use this accessory to hang delicate or light clothing somewhere outside, such as on a porch (with a waterproof surface, of course). In addition, you can even leave the structure in the sun if space is limited.
- If you have children, use a clothesline that is at a suitable height to avoid accidents.
- The biggest advantage of the clothesline is its portability; thus, you can increase or decrease its size according to the position of the sun.
Part 2 of 5: Choosing Clothespins
Step 1. Use metal fasteners for parts that are not elastic
Stainless steel accessories are ideal for sheets, towels, leisure wear and other items that don't lose their shape easily. Furthermore, they hold the parts tightly and carefully, without rusting or spoiling.
Stainless steel fasteners are the most durable
Step 2. Use wooden fasteners for sturdier material parts
These options are ideal for sheets, blankets, pillowcases and other items of the type, such as jeans; on the other hand, you cannot use them with delicate or lacy items, with beads or the like, as they can get stuck and tear. Wood fasteners will also mold if they are kept damp.
Step 3. Use plastic fasteners for cotton garments and other elastic materials
These options are ideal for underwear, t-shirts, knitted goods and stretchy garments. They don't stain or cling to clothing, and lighter items are very safe.
Step 4. Store fasteners indoors
Weather can deteriorate these parts in a short time. Leave them to dry after each use; collect everything in a plastic container; finally, store it indoors, such as a laundry room.
Part 3 of 5: Rolling Out the Clothes
Step 1. If possible, put the clothes in one more cycle in the washing machine
This will help to remove excess water from the piece and save a lot of time. Otherwise, just wash everything normally. Then take the clothes out of the machine and take them to the clothesline in a bucket or basket. If you're not in such a hurry, you can leave them out longer to cut down on electricity.
Step 2. Use plastic hangers to hang delicate items
Attach the accessory to the clothesline to prevent it from moving too much in the wind. Also, be careful on busy days, as the hanger can fly and drop the piece.
Attach the piece to the hanger very carefully and only use plastic accessories to avoid stains
Step 3. Roll out the towels
Shake them well to make them softer and loosen the fibers - until you hear a snap. Then fold them over the clothesline and secure at the ends. Repeat the movement at curfew.
- Towels that dry in less time on the clothesline can be softer, such as on hot, windy days.
- You can leave the towels in the dryer for five minutes before hanging them out or after picking them up.
- If desired, add vinegar to the machine's rinse cycle as well to soften the towels even more.
Step 4. Lay out the sheets
Fold them by the hems, securing one to the clothesline and the other at the ends of the first, a few inches inwards. Leave them facing downwind - like the sails of a boat - and run your hands along the edges to see if they're all level.
- The best way to spread items such as sheets and tablecloths is horizontally, on the wider side, as they take up less space on the clothesline and don't generate as much tension.
- If necessary, spread sheets and other heavy items on two or more clotheslines.
- Always lay pillowcases and the like with the open side facing down.
Step 5. Roll out pants and shorts
These pieces can also go on the clothesline. Fasten them around the waist to make them less wrinkled.
Step 6. Roll out the shirts
Most of these pieces can go on the clothesline. Fold them slightly in the hem area over the line of the accessory and put fasteners on each end.
When laying out 100% cotton items, do not pull or stretch what is wet, or you could damage them altogether
Step 7. Roll out dresses and skirts
Most of these pieces can go on the clothesline, although you can also use a hanger to reduce the wrinkling. In the case of dresses, extend them over the shoulders (if they are smooth) or the hem (if there is a more detailed skirt).
With smooth skirts, turn them inside out and pin each side to extend; for more detailed and elaborate skirts, fasten them by the hem
Step 8. Roll out the underwear
Secure the socks by the fingers; the bras by the hooks; fold the panties and underwear over the clothesline and fasten them by the sides. Finally, for handkerchiefs, fold them in half over the clothesline and attach two pegs.
Step 9. Roll out colored pieces in the shade and white pieces in the sun
To prevent colored items from fading, lay them out in shaded places. White clothes, on the other hand, can stay in the sun, as natural light has bleaching properties. Finally, you can also extend colored pieces inside out to preserve the ink.
Step 10. Place fasteners in discrete locations on the parts
This can prevent marks and stains on clothing. If you're careful, you'll end up with smooth pieces, no signs of crumpling, and you'll save time that you'd spend ironing everything over.
To conserve the fasteners, overlap different pieces and use the same accessory for the ends of items that come in sequence. This also helps save time, as long as you don't overdo it - to the point of disrupting the process. Finally, keep an eye on the ink on colored articles
Step 11. Rotate the clothes
Different pieces and fabrics dry at their own pace. If you need to free up space, you can see what state the extended clothes are in and replace them with new items. Do this especially with roomy items such as sheets.
Step 12. Fold the clothes as soon as you take them off the clothesline
This saves transit time and also makes it easier to store everything. As you take off your clothes, shake them to fit their shape - and be careful to do everything correctly. If you want to iron the items, remove them from the clothesline a little damp and turn on the iron immediately.
- Do not store clothes that are wet or damp, or they may become moldy.
- If you throw the clothes in the hamper anyway, your items will be very wrinkled. This is not only frustrating, it's counterproductive - after all, you've spent hours extending everything!
Part 4 of 5: Laying the pieces out on smooth surfaces to dry
Step 1. Put knitting and wool pieces on straight surfaces
These items end up "stretching" when wet, so it's best not to stretch them. The straight surface can still be in an open place such as a clean table or the like.
Step 2. Put textured materials on straight surfaces
Some items lose their original appearance after being laid out on the clothesline, such as certain types of flannels, terry and terry cloths and chenille. You can even do a test run, as most materials dry well.
If the label says that you cannot lay the part in direct sunlight, lay it out on the clothesline in a shaded location or indoors
Step 3. Place quilted items on straight surfaces
Sleeping bags and comforters do not always dry so well on the clothesline, as their feathers can accumulate on one side. To avoid this, hang the piece on several clotheslines at the same time, as if you were going to place a tablecloth on a table. This way you will distribute the weight evenly.
Part 5 of 5: Choosing the right climate to hang out clothes
Step 1. Choose warm, sunny days
These are the best weather conditions for hanging clothes. Also, light breezes can speed up the process.
- A light breeze is more important than direct sunlight.
- Sunlight can fade parts; don't leave them out too long! To alleviate this problem, turn them inside out on the clothesline, only put them in shaded places and collect everything as soon as possible.
- Pollen residues and other products can end up adhering to parts; keep an eye on the environment, especially if you have any allergies. If necessary, use the dryer.
Step 2. Avoid hanging clothes on windy days
Light breezes are ideal, as they end up "uncreasing" the pieces and speeding up the process. However, strong wind blasts can rip them off the clothesline and carry them away. Finally, clothes can even tear or get caught in electrical lines, plants, and so on.
Angle the fasteners on the clothesline to increase its strength
Step 3. Do not hang clothes outside if the weather is closing
If the forecast is not good (and rain comes around), do not put the pieces on the clothesline. Wait for the next day or use the dryer.
You can use a rotary dryer to speed up the process. It is installed on rotating clotheslines and facilitates the process even during rain. In addition, you can also cover the equipment with a polyethylene cloth (or an old bathroom curtain, for example) to protect the parts
Step 4. Do not hang clothes outside if temperatures are too low
Besides the cold, the pieces will take much longer to dry. Everyone knows that water expands in freezing conditions; the same will happen with the fibers in the clothes - and they may never return to normal.