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Ditching your dryer for the clothes line

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In this day and age, most people don’t think twice about the way they do their laundry. But the experts at Consumer Reports say there are plenty of reasons to go old-school by giving up your clothes dryer and line-drying your clothes instead.

There are some very modern reasons to ditch your dryer. Like the fact that it’s one of the top seven energy users in your home. It uses a ton, about 4% of most household electricity. And it breaks down the fibers in your clothes over time because of the high heat of a cycle.

Ready to give line-drying a shot? Start by hanging a clothesline in a sunny spot away from the birds, and get some durable clothespins that open easily.

When you’re ready to hang, shake items out first to lessen wrinkles. Hang shirts from the bottom, and pants and skirts from the waistband, to help clothespin marks be less obvious. It’s also a good idea to fold knits right over the line to help avoid puckering or stretching.

On top of the fresh scent, line-drying provides another bonus. The sun is actually pretty powerful; it can fight stains and even bleach your whites to make them brighter. That also means you should turn things like dark jeans inside out to reduce fading.

Consumer Reports reminds us that it’s equally important to know what NOT to line-dry. Like down jackets and sleeping bags. They actually fluff up best when you put them in a dryer with a sneaker or tennis ball. In addition, think twice about line-drying at all if your family has allergies, because pollen can collect in laundry when you hang it outside.

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