As all good DIY, this is pretty simple: dry your clothes on a line.
Up sides: save on electricity to run your dryer; dryer lasts longer due to less frequent use; clothes last longer due to less frequent application of heat
Down sides: it takes extra time to hang them on the line
We got a 5 line, retractable clothes line with some gift money and hung it over our back porch. I can fit 2 regular loads on it, although it does stretch further than the width of my porch. It’s outside it the heat but not in the sun so there’s no risk of sun damage. I know people who line dry indoors to avoid getting any outside dirt on their clothing. We don’t really have a place to hang the line inside, but I’m also just not worried about the dust floating around in my back yard. I’m pretty sure it all gets tracked in anyway. 😉
It is faster to throw your clothes in the dryer. Normally I wouldn’t dream of a diy that meant extra time spent, but I enjoy hanging the clothes. I only wash about one load/week, no more than 2 pretty much ever, so I can manage 20 extra minutes to hang the clothes and I find the activity really relaxing. There are very few times in my day where I do something simple, positive and family-oriented like this. It’s meditative for me and I really appreciate the time to be peaceful.
What you need to know: you’ve got to use an in-washer fabric softener. I made my own from the diy Natural website. If you put 1/2 a cup (1 cup for large loads) of white vinegar in the rinse cycle, voila! Fabric softener! White vinegar is SO CHEAP, guys.
Now I don’t know about you, but knowing when the rinse cycle happens and actually adding something to the load at that time is beyond me, so I put the white vinegar in my Downey fabric softener ball instead. I’m pretty sure this gives you that late release if you don’t have a special place in your washer to load fabric softener (if it doesn’t, somebody let me know, please).
I also added a drop of essential oils – lavender – which made my clothes smell amazing and make hanging them a pleasure. I didn’t buy this, I already own it, but you do need to know essential oils can be a bit pricey so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it unless money is not an option or you are just really gun-ho about your laundry smelling nice. Do know that if you leave your clothes outside for a long time in really intense heat, the smell will bake out of them.
And nothing beats seeing your kids’ sweet little clothes hanging outside your window.