We have been hanging all our laundry - personal and house - since we moved in (unless it rains for days on end, which is pretty rare). We have a LOT of laundry - eleven people are living in our house and we have a busy kitchen that serves well over 150 people a week with cloth napkins, bread basket liners, tablecloths, etc. Add to that bath towels, bed linens, children/baby messes, and a sometimes weak-stomached dog and, like I said, we have a LOT of laundry. Here's how we manage:
- We use a front-loading washer that spins the heck out of everything. Some things come out of that sweet washer almost dry.
- We have a five-line, retractable clothesline that's extended close to its full length of 34'.
- We keep it going all day. It only takes 3-4 hours at most for things to dry. During long summer days we can hang and dry three consecutive "batches" (a batch is what fits on the clothesline at one time - usually two loads, sometimes three.
- We're thoughtful about how we hang things up - avoiding folding things over the line if possible, hanging things vertically if they're short enough so they don't take up too much space. We even designed our new cloth napkins with this in mind. They're as long, but half as wide, so they take up less space on the clothesline.
It's so simple once you get the "hang" of it, and the time outside at the clothesline can be an island of quiet during pretty busy days. Stuff comes off the line practically ironed (if you hung it right) and smelling fresh.
Solar energy without the expensive solar panels! So simple.