Lessons in Line Drying

My parents both love to iron clothes. Especially my dad. He loves ironing so much that when I was in middle school, I always went gym class with perfect creases in my t-shirt sleeves. On my dad's first visit to Israel, he couldn't believe we didn't have an iron. Then we washed and line dried a load of clothes for him.

"Man. I know why you don't have an iron!" He chuckled as he pulled his super stiff shirt off the line.

And its true! Line drying keeps your clothes wrinkle free. That's one of the great benefits of this highly ecological practice, but sometimes maybe our clothes are too wrinkle free. Items come off the line as if they were soaked in buckets and buckets of starch. Besides that, towels are not downy soft, and though whites may get whiter, colors can fade and blacks turn an icky browngreenygray. Ewww.

Line drying is not part of my life as a green living novelty. I don't do it for the nostalgia, or to be green-chic. Line drying is part Israeli culture. Its what we do in the everyday experience of this place. All of our buildings either have clothes lines directly outside of the windows or on the merepesset (sukkah balcony). We have a dryer (thanks Mom!), but we still line dry most of our clothes and linens because of the astronomical cost of electricity. It is simply part of life here.

In my ventures to become an efficient Titus 2 woman, one who is busy at home, it occurred to me that if I'm going to be line drying clothes as part of my normal household responsibility, then I should become an expert line dryer.

No more stiff towels and sheets.

No more clean clothes hanging in the rain.

No more sun bleached line through the middle of my favorite dress.


I'm experimenting, researching, and taking notes; and here's a few things I'm learning:


1. Check the weather! In the summer this is not such a problem because of the dry season, but in the winter rainy season... I need to know when its going to pour and plan my laundry efforts around the forecast.

2. Hang colors and darks, inside out, in the morning or evening to avoid the midday sun. This helps with the bleaching problem. This also means that I need to know how long all of my wash cycles are, so I can plan out my mornings!

3. Shirts should go upside down to avoid marks from the clothes pins. Nothing worse than getting all dressed up and realizing your shoulders have little clothes pin imprints.

4. Denim drys better waste up.

5. Socks dry better ankles down.

6. Don't wash more clothes than I have clothes pins for! Thank goodness for indoor drying wracks when I forget and fill up the washer to maximum capacity!


I'm still working on fabric softening, but I'll let you know when I find a fix!


My clothes lines... They are accessible through our bedroom windows.


Resource:
A Women After God's Own Heart

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