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Clothes, solar drying, related solar  RSS feed

 
Ian Martin
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paul wheaton wrote:Dry our clothes with a drying rack. It saves an incredible amount of energy and your clothes last about 10 times longer.


Hm. You're not the first person I've seen say this about the clothes lasting much longer yet I'm having the exact opposite experience. My dryer broke several years ago and it was low on the priority list of the million and one things I need to do/fix and once I saw that my natural gas bill was $25-$30 less each month and it wasn't that difficult to hang the clothes up to dry I decided to not bother with fixing it or getting a new one.

But over these years I've noticed my clothes wear out a lot quicker and I have to buy new clothes far more often. I think the heat from the dryer would tighten up the fibers and line drying just can't match that unless it happens to be a very dry, hot, windy day in the summer and we don't get many of those where I live. So the fibers in my clothes stay stretched out and get holes in them far faster than when I was using the dryer. Most of my clothes are 100% cotton, I specifically bought natural fibers because I couldn't stand using any kind of dryer crap (aka "fabric softener") to keep them from being clingy or static. Natural fibers won't get that problem in the dryer and they need no "softening" chemicals added.

Anyway, what do you do that makes them last so much longer with line drying? I'm guessing that possibly natural/synthetic blends might last longer? Seems the few clothes I have that are blends do last longer, is that the trick here? Another annoying thing is that my bath towels (also cotton, wouldn't want a blend with those) wear out faster and they are so stiff and rough from line drying. I don't think I'm going to be going back to dryer drying any time soon, if at all, but would like to know if there are ways to make these problems/annoyances better.
 
Deb Rebel
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Best way to boil water is aim your solar cooker and put a blackjar inside with your water. You need a little patience is all.

The issue with the clothes is the cloth is lighter-less in the threads used to make the cloth and more cheaply constructed. If you weighed ten meters of cotton cloth of a certain kind (say sheeting) from 1970 and now, you'd find it has cheapened out and gotten lighter. That fraction means huge profit PLUS things wear out faster. Forced obsolescence.

IF you are lucky enough to have a balcony with a southern exposure, at least you can run a small solar cooker...

As for a regular clothes dryer, wash a load of white teeshirts and clean out the lint trap. That just came off all your clothes, wearing them out further. At least if you hang/line dry or use a clothes rack, you boost your interior humidity in the winter, and you don't shed all that off your clothes. Line dried stuff doesn't lint.
 
Ian Martin
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Deb Rebel wrote:As for a regular clothes dryer, wash a load of white teeshirts and clean out the lint trap. That just came off all your clothes, wearing them out further. At least if you hang/line dry or use a clothes rack, you boost your interior humidity in the winter, and you don't shed all that off your clothes. Line dried stuff doesn't lint.


My line dried stuff has the same amount of lint, only instead of it being in a lint trap, it's all over my clothes and I either just don't care and wear with lint all over them or I use a lint brush on them, so I think it's a myth that the dryer creates the lint. My clothes definitely get thin and holey much faster by line drying. I don't know why others are having a different experience :/
 
Tyler Ludens
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Do you line dry them in the sun?  Extended exposure to UV could be damaging the fabric.  My clothes also get lint in the washer, if it's any consolation, you aren't alone.
 
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