Indignus Vernula

I remain another unworthy servant…

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From clotheslines to tumble dyers, and to clotheslines again?

Posted by Indignus Vernula on July 16, 2007

The old-fashioned rows of colorful clothing flapping in a sunny breeze are not a common sight anymore.  Tumble dryers have replaced this method.  I remembered my teacher who once said, “The mother of technology is laziness.”  Not at all.  Because another saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” which I believe is true.

Tumble dryers. A French guy named Poncho invented a 1799 version of a “dryer”. Then, on June 7, 1982, George T. Sampson received a US Patent for his version of an improved rack for holding wet clothes near a heat source.  Electric tumble dryers appeared in the 20th century.



However, energy and environment awareness grow and homeowners are getting “reacquainted” with the clothes line.  We can get many benefits from drying our clothes the “typical” way.  Clothing lasts longer because it’s not frequently banging around inside the dryer. There’s no static grip. Fresh air naturally enhances the clothing, towels, and linens so perfumes are not necessary anymore. Plus the sunshine naturally and gently bleaches and whitens.

Using free solar and wind energy instead of a dryer can prevent the emission of 1,500 pounds of greenhouse gases every year, some experts estimate, while saving a family of four up to $100 a year.

But some places are just too polluted to dry your clothes outside.  Installation of clotheslines in condos or townhouses may be banned by some cities.  Some cities only allow them only in back or side yards.  Clotheslines are easy to install.  You can also buy them at Sephora, home-improvement stores, or over the internet. 

Just some tips to remember for outdoor drying:
– Shake out the clothing before hanging to lessen wrinkles.
– Hang heaviest items at the end of the line to get the most support.
– Hang shirts and tops from the hem or tail so clothespin marks won’t show.
– Put your precious no-press clothing on hangers.
– Hang pants and skirts with their pockets pulled out.
– My mom also add vinegar to the rinsing process. She said that it removes soap residues that sometimes cause stiffness. She also told me that I don’t need to worry about the smell because the odor disappears as the clothing dries.  I never tried it yet…

And some facts to remember:
– Wind and sun’s heat can kill molds, so hang out those moldy items.
– It is perfect for drying rubber mats, rubber-backed rugs, king size linens, or your Welcome doormat.
– King Sun can bleach out some ghostly gray stains.
– It’s sunbathing at the same time.
– It leaves fresh smell on your clothes and linens.

So enjoy your next laundry, and be sure not to expose your signature clothing within your neighbors’ sight… you might not see it again. 🙂


One Response to “From clotheslines to tumble dyers, and to clotheslines again?”

  1. hellfried said

    thats the thing that i find missing from major cities in the so-called western world. here in the tropics, we do not shy away from hanging out our under things for the world to see!

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