Wash in cold water, and air dry your laundry

May's Task:  Wash clothes in cold water; air dry your laundry in summer

Of the major appliances in the typical American household, the electric clothes dryer uses the most electricity.  -Mr. Electricity

Tips for doing without a dryer:

  • Install a clothesline.
  • Plan to do laundry on sunny, breezy days whenever possible.  Wash and hang clothes in the morning. 
  • Using the dryer for just a few minutes can help  “fluff them up”  so they dry without wrinkles.  This is especially helpful with front-loader washers, which spin so fast that clothing is often pressed tightly together.
  • Hang shirts on plastic hangers to dry.  The hangers can be hung on your clothesline outside, on a shower bar, or on a closet rod installed in your laundry room.
  • Use folding racks to dry things indoors.  These are especially useful in winter, but can be used any time of year.
  • A retractable clothesline installed in the basement adds drying space when needed, but is easily moved out of sight when not in use.
  • Clothes last longer when not subjected to dryer heat.
  • If your laundry smells of mildew, it is probably not drying fast enough.  Hang it as soon as the wash cycle is done, and make sure there is sufficient air circulation around each item.  Also try adding a small amount of vinegar to the rinse cycle.
  • Some home owners’ associations have rules against outdoor clotheslines.  However, in many places these rules are not enforced.

*Remember to report your completed tasks to your congregation's Task of the Month program team!!*

Advanced Task

If you already air dry clothes in summer, do so in the winter, too!  Air drying indoors will help add humidity to your home in winter months. 

Reduce your laundry volume by wearing some clothing more than once.
If you need a new washing machine, consider a front-loading model.  While more expensive, they use far less water than top-loading models; they also spin faster, extracting more water, so less energy is required for drying.

Did you know?

In the USA, clothes dryers are not energy star rated because all models use similar amounts of energy.

However, the U.S Department of Energy recommends that if you are looking to purchase a new dryer, buy one with a moisture sensor. It will automatically stop when your clothes are dry. This saves energy and also helps save your clothes as it prevents over-drying.

Renters' Task

If you live in an apartment without a clothes line, consider indoor options. Folding clothes racks can be used anywhere, and tucked away in a closet when not in use. Hang shirts (even t-shirts!) on plastic-coated hangers on the shower rod or towel racks. (Added bonus: your shirts will be less wrinkled!)

Look online for images of creative ways to air-dry laundry.
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