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hang your laundry to dry outside in the winter

 
gardener
Posts: 1798
Location: Longbranch, WA Mild wet winter dry climate change now hot summer
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Stacy Witscher wrote:My big problem is that it isn't that cold here. Winter days are usually above freezing, and about half are overcast and/or raining. We dry in front of the woodstove, but the woodstove overheats the house. It is bothersome.


When front passes and the wind reverses direction and the sun comes out, I put out a load of laundry because it will usually dry.
 
Posts: 82
Location: KS/OK Line along the Arkansas (not the Ar Kan Saw) River
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My mother was stationed at Loring AFB ME  in 1969-71. Among the uphill both ways anecdotes (which included chasing moose off the runways to allow planes to land and tunnels dug through the snow drifts to allow them to go to work) are tales of handing laundry out to dry in the subzero winter.  Apparently (IIRC as I haven't heard that story in a couple decades) the freeze-dried uniforms ironed up better than the usual approach because the dampness wasn't superficial.  
 
gardener
Posts: 2947
Location: Western Slope Colorado.
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One of my clearest memories of first moving to Western Colorado desert as newly wed 27 year old, was hanging clothes out to dry on the line and it started to rain.
The clothes dried anyway.   I was astonished to say the least.

It wasn’t a downpour by any means, more like a drizzle.  And it didn’t rain long, and hadn’t been raining for days…. I think the air was dry and the world around us dry, canyon walls and roads and roofs and tree leaves… everything desiccated, and a bit of a breeze was blowing, and I guess the rate of evaporation from the clothes exceeded the rate the rain was wetting them.

And they DID smell wonderful.
 
Posts: 13
Location: Outside Barstow, California in Mojave Desert
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Here in southeast California, Mojave Desert, winter has many sunny days. I just check the weather forecast before washing clothes in my electric washing machine. Then I hang them outside on the clothes lines like I do all year. They won't dry overnight as in summer, so they have to be on the line before noon.
If it's cloudy, rainy or too windy in the winter, I can always hang a small batch of laundry on the two 15 foot lines in my nice dry basement.
We don't all live in humid or snowy areas.
 
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We have not had a dryer since we built our house - 15 years, family of 4.  The trick is to find the spot in the house with the most air flow and set up a permanent rack there - we use one of those wire shelf racks and just put everything on hangers.  Yes we line dry too but the rack is right above the washer so convenient and everything dries overnight.  The air flow is from the draw of our HRV unit nearby + our drafty front door may be helping out too!  
 
Posts: 34
Location: Zone 3b/4a Temperate Humid, rocky thin topsoil on Cdn Shield Haliburton, Ontario, Canada
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paul wheaton wrote:I was listening to a book on CD and they said that the word "pulley" comes from something to get your laundry up to the ceiling.



This charming video shows how one of these pulley airers work/are installed
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCJjeZVqMCU

Her specific pulley clothes airer can be found at https://www.pulleymaid.com/ but there are several other brands available online.

I grew up (in Canada) with my mother using the clothesline year round. I have memories from the early1970's of clothes and sheets coming in hard as a board from the clothesline in winter. Any comments about it being "weird" to dry clothes outside at -20' would have Mom (a physicist by training) give a short chemistry lecture of the phase change process of "sublimation" (transition of a substance directly from the solid to the gas state). Mom's secret weapon for efficiently getting things on and off the line in the cold weather was her special clothespins. Mom would pre-pin everything inside, carefully placing the laundry in her basket with all the clothespin pointing in 1 direction & then she only had to quickly clip the laundry onto the line to hang it. I still have 12 of her old clothespins (which I guard jealously). I wish I knew where I could get at least 100 more.
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gardener
Posts: 3527
Location: South of Capricorn
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those are fabulous! I'd buy a load of them too, it would make my winter clothes drying a lot less miserable (it's not the yukon out here, but old hands with reynaud's disease are awfully grumpy even when it's only 45F out there)
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Looks like an income opportunity for someone!  
I think the spring clothespins are still commercially available, but those handy metal helpers, i have never seen before.

I think I could put some to good use!

Could you show the backside, please, so I can see how they are attached to the wooden pin?  glue? rivet? screw?

Thanks😊
 
Posts: 24
Location: SE Ohio
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Looks like I'm a little late to the party...
Been drying clothes outside in warmer weather and in a heated room on a clothes rack in cold weather, however, after reading some of the drying-outside-in-cold weather posts methinks there's some merit to the idea. For one, it's usually low humidity outside in winter so that should promote quicker drying, although drying them inside during winter has merit too, as the drying-moisture is beneficially added to the indoor 'atmosphere'

For clothes drying racks, be sure to check out Lehman's here - https://www.lehmans.com/category/dryers_and_drying_accessories#/perpage:500
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Two things about line drying:  the clothes are “stiffer”.  I have found that if I hang them over the line so that the two halves rub against each other, and turn them at some point, they get softened.

The other:  the lint never gets filtered out or blown away, nor the dog and cat hair.

I used to run them 10 minutes without heat, but in my current homeless state I have been doing laundry here and there, and am finding that many new and modern dryers don’t even HAVE an ‘air only’ setting!

Anyone have any suggestions how to clear the lint from time to time?  The best I can figure so far is when I take dry clothes off the line is to shake them, if possible producing a snap, as in shaking a rug…
 
master steward
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I use my dryer as a storage unit for sheets.  No folding is necessary.

I love the way the sheets smell when dried outside on the line.

I sort of fold the sheets long ways as I take them off the line then in half when I put them in the dryer storage unit.

I have wooden clothes pins though I have never seen any with a clip on them like Al posted.  Those clothes pins are really neat.
 
pollinator
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:Two things about line drying:  the clothes are “stiffer”.  I have found that if I hang them over the line so that the two halves rub against each other, and turn them at some point, they get softened.

The other:  the lint never gets filtered out or blown away, nor the dog and cat hair.

I used to run them 10 minutes without heat, but in my current homeless state I have been doing laundry here and there, and am finding that many new and modern dryers don’t even HAVE an ‘air only’ setting!

Anyone have any suggestions how to clear the lint from time to time?  The best I can figure so far is when I take dry clothes off the line is to shake them, if possible producing a snap, as in shaking a rug…


I don't have a dryer. For a few years I had one (second-second-hand) and from that time I remember everything (clothes, towels, bed sheets) was softer. because during my life I had many more years without a dryer than with one I am used to laundry being 'stiff'. And I am used to the needed shaking (before hanging and afterwards when it's dry) of every item. Yes, with a 'snap'.

Hanging outside in winter here doesn't work (I think I wrote that before). Our winters are too wet (rainy, cloudy, foggy, etc.) and not so freezing. Indoor drying racks are not unusual here. In this neighbourhood with cheap housing not everybody has a dryer. Luckily I have a kind of mud-room, there's my indoor laundry-line.
 
Tereza Okava
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:

Thekla McDaniels wrote:
Anyone have any suggestions how to clear the lint from time to time?  The best I can figure so far is when I take dry clothes off the line is to shake them, if possible producing a snap, as in shaking a rug…


And I am used to the needed shaking (before hanging and afterwards when it's dry) of every item. Yes, with a 'snap'.


that double snap there is the thing!
I try to wait to wash the dog beds/blankets/towels and my homeade swiffer type pads and cleaning rags, all of which are covered in dog hair thanks to my two hairy brats, until we have a windy day. This helps to get more hair off, but still, I'm shaking the heck out of everything. If it's a blanket, I'll go take a broom and whack it around a bit as it's still pinned up on the line (make sure your line is secure before you try this, or you may find yourself up on a ladder later trying to feed your line back through the pulley and cursing prolifically. Ask me how I know.)
 
Posts: 252
Location: Iqaluit, Nunavut zone 0 / Mont Sainte-Marie, QC zone 4a
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paul wheaton wrote:

I've been using a clothes drying rack



my son has one and we use in his apartment in Iqaluit. The air is really dry so they dry quickly and the clothes last a lot longer.

When we lived in Thompson Manitoba and he was eight, we used two: one dripping in the bath tub (used to hand wash because we were on foot and no laundry in the building) and one in his bedroom for once they had dripped dry. (I slept in the living room -- it was luxury: triple glazing)

So the laundry idea stuck: there is a very cheap coin laundry and we use the washer but not the dryer.

Back at the homestead it is cardboard freeze drying on occasion, or prewash that way (say if the dog vomits on something it gets pre soaked in used dishwater and freeze dried) but we have lines all over the basement near the woodstove as well.

I actually really like the whole cardboard clothing thing. It never fails to amaze me!
 
Al Marlin
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:Could you show the backside, please, so I can see how they are attached to the wooden pin?  glue? rivet? screw?


Sorry I didn't answer. I've been without a computer for 2 wks.

These clothespins use no glue, rivets or screws just slots in the wood. One narrow slot midway down the inside to hold a small tab of metal  to prevent the clip from pulling up and then a deeper vertical slot at the top to prevent the clip from slipping off the peg sideways.

FYI I TOTALLY agree this clothespin would be a $$ opportunity for someone to manufacture. Maybe even Permies.com??? It's soooo in the permies wheelhouse. I'd certainly pay to have lots more of them.
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Posts: 37
Location: Rocky Mountains
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Tereza Okava wrote:those are fabulous! I'd buy a load of them too, it would make my winter clothes drying a lot less miserable (it's not the yukon out here, but old hands with reynaud's disease are awfully grumpy even when it's only 45F out there)



In googling "clothespin with hook", there appear to be various types, although not the same as the classic clip from Al.  The "Sea Snap" looked like a potential alternative: https://www.bernardengraving.com/giftshop/product/sea-snap/  Just an idea...
 
pollinator
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I found this article with 26 different styles of laundry lines, both for indoors and out, some with found materials.  Most people who are somewhat skilled with making things could likely riff on some of these ideas.

https://morningchores.com/clothesline-ideas/

I love the bench idea.  I do have a piece of garbage I picked up, some triangle plastic shelving? piece, that I use to set the laundry basket on.  Comes in handy to spare your back from bending over, AND from keeping it off the ground, out of free-ranging chicken and duck manure, mud, etc.

Also, here is a related post on more natural laundry line, with more options/factors to consider:
https://permies.com/t/226262/natural-laundry-line
 
I don't always make ads but when I do they're tiny
rocket mass heater risers: materials and design eBook
https://permies.com/wiki/188812/rocket-mass-heater-risers-materials
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