I Ditched My Dryer

Down the Line

My husband and I went to Prague in the spring to visit friends, and it changed my life: I haven’t used my dryer since. Okay, minor change. But let me tell you why I like line-drying.

We have a perfectly-sized patio that I don’t spend enough time on. So aside from enjoying one of our little-used spaces more often, here are the reasons I like taking the time to line-dry (and some drawbacks, to be fair).


  • Time to myself. I’m guilty of always being in a hurry, even when I’m not. Hanging laundry gives me time to slow down and think. Plus, I find it to be a bit nostalgic, you know? The way things used to be.
  • Fresh smell. Line-dried sheets are one of life’s little pleasures. My mom says they smell like sunshine. I had to try to it figure out what she meant. And it’s lovely.
  • Energy savings. My first job was at a video store, and my co-workers used to make fun of me for making scrap paper out of the out-dated video sleeves. Though line-drying probably only saves me $25-50/year, it just makes me feel responsible. And my old co-workers can… well, keep using their dryers.


  • Wrinkles. I do own an iron, but I try use it as little as possible. So I will toss shirts and linens in the dryer just to tumble out the wrinkles.
  • Stiffness. Jeans and towels are less than Downy-soft from line-drying, so I also toss them in the dryer when they’re still a bit damp.
  • Fading. The sun can do a number on jeans pretty quick, so I turn anything I don’t want to fade inside-out, and try not to leave things outside too long.

As for the technicalities, I just used hooks and a rope I dug out of our camping supplies. Then my mom gave me a retractable clothes line, which I love because it doesn’t get dirty in the elements, and there’s no threat of decapitation from not seeing it as you walk across the patio. If you don’t have a lot of outdoor space, use a collapsable rack and maybe one of these hilarious little numbers. “What about when it rains?” you ask. Just dry inside. Your house will smell like clean laundry!

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  1. Momma says:

    I love my retractable clothesline, too! I’m going to get a couple of eye hooks and a regular hook and install them on the wall of my sun room so I can line dry indoors when the weather is damp or cold. This can be done in a basement or even the garage. Adding some humidity into the air during the winter is a good thing, too.

  2. Kristina says:

    Amy, Up until a few months ago when my hubby bought me a new high efficiency washer/dryer I line dried all my clothes-Nothing beats a line dried sheet. You have a way better set up then I had My laundry went all the way from the back fence to the back of the house. I loved it! Even now I will dry some of my items on a hanger hanging from my outdoor patio umbrellas ( I have 4 lol) Kudo’s too you for taking the green approach and making it trendy! btw! You never bore me…… love you. K