I had to do a ton of laundry yesterday. Much of the time right now I’ve been having to do a load a day. Pretty standard routine when you have a child who isn’t quite perfect about not wetting the bed. It’s easy to make up a full load when you have bed sheets to start it off and young children who love to play with dirt.
We had been just drying the sheets and mattress protector outside, but Iâ€™ve found that if I try I can fit a whole load on there, even with the sheets taking a lot of room, so thatâ€™s what weâ€™re doing now.
Itâ€™s really not that hard to do, even if the weather out is 90+ degrees still. A little time consuming, but Iâ€™ve already warned my husband that I probably want a second line hung soon.
But eventually the time comes that you have to do ALL the laundry. The bed stays dry for several nights and things just pile up.
When you have just one clothesline and the day is warm and windy but not hot, you can’t count on clothes drying fast enough for each load. So what I did was to put on the clothesline what would fit of each load, let it dry in the sun and wind as the next load washed, then move it to the dryer.
This worked pretty well.
You really don’t want to fully dry denim or towels on a clothesline; they tend to end up really crunchy feeling. But a half hour on the line cut their time in the dryer about in half, and they came out quite nicely.
The challenge is that this is a full extra step in the laundry. I’ve been trying to cut our power bill, so I really don’t mind that much, but I could definitely see that it was adding to the time the task took.
On the plus side, it’s a bit of exercise for the arms.
The weather has continued here so warm, and my energy level has been picking up some again. Add in the nightly bed wetting phase my son is going through right now, and my clothesline is really getting some use at last.
We had been just drying the sheets and mattress protector outside, but I’ve found that if I try I can fit a whole load on there, even with the sheets taking a lot of room, so that’s what we’re doing now.
It’s really not that hard to do, even if the weather out is 90+ degrees still. A little time consuming, but I’ve already warned my husband that I probably want a second line hung soon. It’s southern California, after all, which means the weather is perfect for drying clothes outside much of the time.
I also figure this will help to ensure that smells have a hard time building up. Washing does quite well, but I trust the sun quite a bit.
I had to smile when my daughter asked me when I’d gotten the laundry basket. It’s been sitting unused in the garage since we moved in here, a relic of when my husband and I lived in an apartment and had to carry loads to the laundry room. I don’t bother with one when I can just pick up anything I drop.
Going outside makes the laundry basket make sense again. Don’t want my clean clothes on those dratted wood chips. Bad enough getting splinters in my feet. Don’t need them elsewhere.
My husband has been teasing me that I could just start using the bathtub and the antique wash board we got from my grandma. He knows I have no interest in adding that much labor to the job, although I gather it’s quite the arm workout. Still not going to happen. Fun to not take everything seriously in life.
While it’s summer around here and the clothesline is getting some good use, I do still use the dryer some. Being pregnant has left me a little low on energy sometimes for hanging a full load out to dry, especially on really hot days.
I’m good about cleaning the lint trap out each and every load. My husband not so much. How well do you do?
Cleaning out your lint trap saves a lot of energy that your dryer would otherwise use. The dryer vent should be checked regularly too. Excessive lint build up can cause a fire.
Especially if you use dryer sheets (I don’t and my clothes feel and smell fine, thanks), you will want to scrub your lint trap’s screen periodically. Dryer sheets cause buildup on the screen, which make your dryer less efficient.
Goodness I do a lot of laundry. That’s how it goes with small children, especially with one still wetting the bed despite diapers.
We’ve been washing our clothes in cold water for years. That’s almost always sufficient, and I’ve never even tried a “cold water detergent.” The regular stuff works just fine.
You can get some great laundry tips on the U.S. Department of Energy’s site. I’m not surprised to see that they neglect to mention line drying clothes at this point, but the rest of the advice is good.
Almost everything I wash comes out fine, as I said, with a cold water wash. Those things that don’t I try a couple things.
Dawn Dish Soap
Great for removing grease related stains. It may take an hour or two, but for tough stains I’ve left it on overnight. Clothes that otherwise appeared ruined come clean.
Baking Soda and White Vinegar
Rub baking soda into the stain. Spray or pour white vinegar. It will bubble up and work on the stain. This works well on carpet stains too.
Not every stain is going to come out. I think that’s one of the big lessons of motherhood. Kids are really good at ruining the appearance of their clothes, sometimes in a single wearing. To me that just means you maintain a playtime wardrobe. Children really don’t care, as a rule, if their clothes are stained or torn if they’re comfortable and allowed to have fun.