Personally I have found hang drying clothes to be very efficient and kinda relaxing honestly. I will take more time with my laundry when I hang dry it too. I shake them out, smooth it, fix collars and hems, etc. It just makes me pause and for some reason I don't mind doing laundry. I just don't like putting it away.
So here's how I do my laundry:
- I wash my clothes in cold. I know it seems pretty common knowledge by I can attest that it works really! And I don't use some fancy "for cold only" type of laundry soap.
- I use whatever non-phosphate type laundry soaps. Liquids or powder doesn't really matter to me and I've noticed no difference between them. Although I will say I think you get more bang for you buck on powders because you tend to not spill as much as you do with liquids. But maybe thats just me.
- I also will throw in about a 1/2 cup of baking soda in with the soap to make the clothes smell fresher.
- I use Vinegar as a softener. Just like you would add fabric softener you add vinegar instead and I swear it works. I was very skeptical at first about it as well, but really it works. And no syrupy-flower smell like some fabric softeners. For me though it doesn't really do much for static cling, but maybe I'm doing something wrong?
- I will wash my clothes on the 10 min wash cycle one my front loading HE washer. I can go down to 5 min, but 10 seems to be best for us. We don't really get our clothes dirty and to me it seems silly to have it wash for 16-20 min just on the wash cycle when I maybe wore the clothes once. Depending on your washer this might vary or the time might be chosen for you.
- Once its done washing I take them out as fast as I can after it stops. This helps with wrinkles and drying. Then I start line drying them.
- I have a rod above my washer to hang things on a hanger and the rest get hung on the drying racks. Hang drying them on hangers works the fastest in my opinion, but I don't like to hang everything because it makes things stretch out if they are really heavy. So some stuff will be layed out to dry.
- Yes I dry my socks and undies on the rack. My washable pads too. Socks and undies dry incredibly fast so they won't be "hanging out" for very long. Its not something I will showcase in my house. Laundry is dried behind doors out of sight!!!
- I will dry my towels in the dryer because I just can't do the scratchy towel feeling after getting out of the shower. But I will make sure I have a full load of towels to wash at once so its just a load of towels.
- Hanging the laundry on a warm or sunny day I will take outside and dry on the racks outside. Sometimes it can be SO hot that it dries faster then my dryer. Other times it honestly does take longer but if you time the drying time with when you need clothes you'll be fine. It might take almost 2 days for those jeans to dry when its cold outside so work within reason! But that is usually really heavy stuff like jeans. Those take longer to dry.
- I will also hang comforters and sheets off my deck to dry those out or I hang them off my super gigantic drying rack. I can't live without those drying racks I tell ya! They are priceless and so easy to use! I'm hoping to get a clothes line this spring as I've been shopping, comparing and saving up for one! Then I won't have to use my deck anymore.
So yes, my house looks a little weird with all these clothes in our spare room, but it really does pay off in the end. I got this last electric and gas bill and I saved a ton this last billing cycle. My dryer is an electric one so it adds up really fast.
I really do love the way everything smells so fresh and clean. Its such a domesticated way to do it, but I love it! Yes sometimes things feel a little stiff, but you get over it and since I started using vinegar it has really helped soften things and avoids that "crunchy" feeling hang dried clothes can get. Sure you might have to use an iron here and there, but honestly I never do because hanging it to dry on a hanger helps a lot.
Give it a try. The savings you can get by line drying is huge! Trust me you'll like it and its easy!!