It's August 1st and our first month long challenge begins today. For the month of August we will be choosing not to use our dryer at all. Are you planning to join us?
I love using my laundry line, but as a mom of a large-ish family, I do regularly depend on my dryer. On sunny days I often put the first load of laundry on the clothesline and the second in the dryer. This month will definitely require some extra care and planning on my part.
From comments and emails I've received since announcing no dryer month I've discovered that dependence on a dryer is really a North American thing. Many people around the world don't even own dryers, and if they do, they consider it ridiculous to use it in the middle of summer. Many of these people live in rainier climates than I do and don't have a backyard. This was convicting. Here I am taking on this big challenge and it turns out that many people in developed countries all over the world have never even seen a dryer!
I promised last week that I would share with you how to avoid crunchy towels when you're not using your dryer. Line drying leaves clothing a little more crisp than the dryer does, but sometimes clothing can end up undesirably crunchy.
Excessive crunchy-ness is caused by laundry detergent left behind in the clothing. The conventional advice is to add some vinegar to your rinse cycle, which is very useful. It helps strip clothing of any extra soap residue, and your items don't come out smelling like vinegar, I promise. But the truth is, I often forget to add vinegar. My washing machine doesn't beep or anything when it gets to the rinse cycle, and it's not like I'm just standing there waiting for it, so I often miss the vinegar rinse. But that's okay, because the ABSOLUTE BEST WAY to avoid too crunchy towels is this: use less detergent.
You really don't need as much detergent as the detergent company wants you to believe. Experiment with less and find the amount that still gets your clothing clean but doesn't leave any residue. For my detergent, that is a little more than half the recommended amount. Not only does it prevent too crunchy towels, it saves money too!
By the way, I've shared my green laundry routine before, on my other blog.
I know some of you have other questions about line drying, and I am definitely not an expert on the subject, so if you have a question please ask in the comments below, and if you are an avid line-dryer please take a second to answer some of those question if you can!
Are you taking the challenge? You can get a banner to share on your blog or facebook here.
We are doing one small thing every day for a year to create a simpler, quieter, more intentional life. Take a moment to read all About Us, check out The Rules of our year long project and sign up for our RSS feed or "like" us on facebook so that you can follow our journey to radical simplicity!