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The Value of Clotheslines
Article by KarensVariety.com

People are realizing that clotheslines are necessary due to rising energy costs and our attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Dryers are the largest energy consuming appliance after your fridge and stove.

Subdivisions are being pressured to change their rules to allow people to use clotheslines once again. Many communities including my home province of Ontario has lifted this ban to encourage people to stop using their dryers. Communities and electric companies are offering free clotheslines as an encouragement.

So why do we resist? Some say they are unpleasant to look at and destroy your view. Yet we litter our roadways with billboards and hydro wires. Tall buildings and fences block our view. Factories and smoke stacks are unpleasant to look at yet we tolerate all these things and more.

There are many different types of clotheslines. The easiest, of course, is to attach a pulley system clothesline from the house to a tree or post. There are also umbrella stands, drying racks for indoors or outdoors.

There are very few disadvantages to using a clothesline besides what your neighbours might think. Consider talking to them and showing them the amount of money you have saved on your hydro bill. You might find them hanging a clothesline! Do they devalue property? I expect they did in the past but that is changing. A good clothesline will most likely be a standard feature in homes of the future.

The advantages on the other hands, are many and profound!

* Of course, you not only help the environment but you also save a lot of money. Keep your hydro bills and compare.

* Save on fabric wear and tear. Remember the lint you remove from your dryer? That is coming from your clothes. Your clothes will last longer when hung out to dry.

* No need for fabric softener to prevent static cling, there is none.

* Dryers are notorious for shrinking clothes. Cotton clothes are in but my, they do shrink. Hang them outside and don't cross your fingers when you put them on, they will be the same size.

* Ultraviolet light from the sun acts as a disinfectant. That is why clothes from the clothesline smell so wonderful.

* Hanging your whites out in the winter will bleach them. Remember to take in your coloured clothes as soon as they are dry on very sunny days for the same reason.

* The chlorophyll in grass is also a great bleacher. Lay wet whites on the grass on a very sunny day.

* Cut down on those lost socks!

A Few Tips

Check your clothesline as you use it for spots where the plastic has worn leaving wire showing. This can cause rust stains on your clothes. Repair with liquid plastic.

* Clean the clothesline from time to time to prevent stains.

* If clothes are wrinkled, place them in the dryer for a few minutes on Fluff. I have done this even when I used the dryer, place the dry wrinkled piece of clothing in with a damp cloth for a couple of minutes to remove the wrinkles.

* Clothes hung on a line can get stiff. This is especially true for heavy clothes like jeans. The simple solution to this is to toss them in the dryer for five minutes with a softener sheet for five minutes or so to soften them up.

* Hang shirts on plastic hangers and pants by the cuffs to help prevent wrinkling.

* If you wash nylons in a net bag, hang the net bag directly on the line.

* Keep heavy clothes at the ends of the line. If you place them in the middle, your clothesline will sag.

* Use plastic clothespins as they last longer and buy bright colours that can easily be found if you drop one. Look for non rusting type.

So now that you have decided to try a clothesline, here is a simple idea for a clothespin bag. Cut out the shape of a shirt on a double piece of sturdy material and sew up the sides and shoulders. Cut a square piece of material double the width of the shirt, fold in half and sew up the sides. Sew the top to the bottom leaving the shirt front open. Bind the shirt front edges with binder tape or fold and sew. Place on a child's hanger and you have a very cute clothespin bag holder.

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