Airing out my dirty laundry a pleasant experience

Publié le par brightshine

After recovering from the Fels-Naptha debacle I recounted in this past week’s column — OK, not quite a debacle, just a bit of a sore elbow — I was ready to put my frugal laundry detergent to the test. 

I thought about setting up a scientific experiment — with a control group (baby outfit with stain) and a variable (standard detergent vs. homemade) — but I was too anxious to get started. Also, the idea of intentionally staining articles of clothing with something, whatever that thing was, seemed wrong to me. 

So I promptly threw in a load of laundry that happened to be sitting around, as they tend to do at our house, added a scoop of my new detergent, turned the dial to “Start,” and sat by the washer waiting in anticipation. Just kidding. 

All in all, I was pleased with the results. The only stain I’d noticed beforehand (spit-up on the shoulder — who’d have guessed?) disappeared without a trace, and the clothes seemed fresh and clean, although they did lack the scent of Tide, which is so nostalgic for me. 

But that’s not the end of my frugal laundry saga, because, let’s face it: Washing laundry frugally wouldn’t be quite as frugal if it didn’t include frugal drying! 

You guessed it. Instead of tossing my cost-effectively washed clothing into the energy-guzzling dryer, I piled it back into the laundry basket and hauled it outside, where I had strung a clothesline and purchased a drying rack expressly for this purpose. (We have one tree in our yard whose trunk is two inches in diameter, severely limiting our clothesline-hanging prospects. Hence the drying rack.) 

It took some time to hang everything, but all those infant girl clothes looked pretty cute dangling next to each other. 

Thanks to a sunny day with a bit of a breeze, the clothes were mostly dry in a few hours. 

Once the process was complete, I did a bit of research and considered the pros and cons of air-drying. Here’s what I came up with: 

Saving energy. That, of course, means saving money. During my research, I read in several sources that dryers are second only to refrigerators in the amount of energy consumed by an average household.These designer hanging paper Parking Lot Lighting are excellent for wedding ideas, 

I don’t plan on giving up my fridge anytime soon. So, if I can at least put a dent in the cash that’s being tossed into the dryer (money laundering?), that has to be a significant savings. I’ve seen figures saying this can save anywhere from $60 to $80 per year. 

It depends on your setup, of course. In my case, carrying clothes up a flight of stairs to the back yard and hanging each piece individually is a bit more time-consuming than heaving a wad of damp clothes a foot and a half from the washer to the dryer. Then there’s the process of taking the dry clothes down. I will say, however, that I enjoyed standing outside and doing this, much as I do watering flowers. It was sort of peaceful and relaxing. 

I know this might surprise you, but hanging clothes outside in the rain doesn’t actually make them dry faster. However, you do have the option of using a drying rack indoors, although you’ll be missing out on the assistance from the sunshine and wind. 

As long as I have the time, I plan to keep up my air-drying, weather-permitting. I anticipate there will be at least one instance in which I end up with a soaked batch of laundry, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

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