Line Dry Clothes

What is one of the simplest way to reduce energy use?  Harness the power of the sun and wind to dry your clothes!  Line drying saves money and extends the life of your clothes.  Plus, there’s nothing like the fresh smell of line dried clothes.

Households: 1 completed, 1 committed
Points ?
Annual Savings
$20 - $60
Upfront Cost
These are estimates

Energy and water savings

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kWh Electricity
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Therms Natural Gas
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Gallons Gas
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Gallons Water
  • Save energy and money
  • Prolong the life of your clothes
  • Reduce carbon emissions and air pollution
  • Get a bit of exercise and enjoy the fresh air & sunshine

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The Action
We will line dry our clothes some or all of the time.
Is this action for me?
Yes! This action is for everyone.
When and Who?
This action can be done any time, by anyone.
How long will it take?
Quick - just a few minutes to set up a line and start hanging!
What is the cost?
Around $20-60 for a basic set up, more if you want to upgrade.


  • Save energy and money

  • Prolong the life of your clothes

  • Reduce carbon emissions and air pollution

  • Get a bit of exercise and enjoy the fresh air & sunshine

The Basics

Line drying your clothes is easy and has many benefits. Follow a few simple tips on how to line dry your clothes to save energy and money. You will also extend the life of your clothes by reducing heat damage, shrinking, and wear and tear. Better yet - enjoy a few moments outside in the sunshine!


Set up a clothes line
Hang it right
Soften up
Go inside when it rains

Try it out

Did you know line drying your clothes is now “in”?  More and more people are discovering the benefits of line drying.  In fact California passed a law making it a “right to dry” state, meaning that apartment owners and homeowners associations cannot restrict residents from line drying.  Curious?  Just try it out.  You can purchase a clothesline and some clothespins for $20 or less to get started.  Start off with a few loads and see how it goes.

falseSet up your clothes line

Although stringing some rope across the yard might seem sufficient, spending a few dollars to invest in a clothesline is well worth it.  For outdoors, consider starting off with a retractable line.  Indoors, a retractable line or foldable clothes rack can make good use of small spaces. The average load of laundry uses about 35 feet of line, so look for something close to this capacity.  The same holds for clothes pins: invest in a good sturdy set and they will last.  It is best to store them inside when not in use.  It is best to install your clothesline in a location with some sun exposure, some shade and good airflow.  Stay away from trees that can drop sap or leaves on your clean clothes.

Hang it right

To keep your clothes smooth and wrinkle free, follow this rule of thumb:  if you wear it on top, hang it from the bottom; if you wear it on bottom, hang it from the top.  Before you hang up your clothes, shake them and then hand smooth out wrinkles.  Hang whites and lights in the sun to brighten and hang darks in the shade to prevent fading.  If you don’t have a shady spot, try turning dark clothes inside out.  Use clothes pins!  It might be tempting to just toss your clothes over the line; however, they will take longer to dry and come out with fold lines in weird places.

Stay soft

To avoid stiff or scratchy clothes, you can add a half to three-quarters of a cup of white vinegar per washload, just before the rinse cycle starts.  This will keep your clothing soft (and the vinegar odor disappears as the clothes dry).  Also, don’t leave clothes out for too long.  If they are still not soft enough, you can use a good quality fabric softener or throw your clothes in the dryer for a few minutes on fluff when you bring them in.

Rain or shine

If it’s rainy outside or you just don’t have the space to hang your clothes up on outdoor clothesline, use a drying rack or drying rod indoors instead.