"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.

You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
Dr. Adrian Rogers 1931-2005

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Utilizing the Solar Dryer

Solar dryers used to be very common in the United States. I remember visiting my grandparents and not only did they have a solar dryer, but they also had a two hole outhouse. For the record this was not in the hills of a southern state but just south of Toledo, Ohio. Their farm house was built by my grandmother's father around the 1880's. Mamaw used her clothesline all of her life.

A solar dryer(clothesline) is one of the first things I had set up once we moved to the farm. After putting up a clothesline your expenses to run it are almost nothing. After three and a half years of living on the farm I had to make a new clothespin bag and it cost me nothing but a few minutes of construction as I had all the materials on hand.

Using a clothesline is very easy. Wash the clothing in your standard washing machine or hand wash. I like to sort like minded items to make hanging go faster. I use the pins with the metal hinge piece and they cost about $3 for 100. They snap back together very quickly if they come apart.


I overlay my clothes to use less clothespins. This is possible for me in the desert southwest because of the climate. In some regions, one may need to space the clothing and use 2 pins per item and not double up the clothing to allow for the clothing to dry completely. In New Mexico, I can start hanging clothing and by the time I am finished I can take down the cotton items as they have dried in minutes. Denim takes about 30 minutes to dry.

I hang dress shirts upside down and pants/jeans right side up. This allows for the shirt not to have clothespin pinches on the top of a shirt. For the pants the waist is an easy place to hang the pants up and once again you will not have wrinkles or bends where you pinned the item. I use 1 cup of white vinegar in my laundry to reduce wrinkles and add softness. The vinegar smell does not remain on the clothing. Even if you use your indoor dryer, you should add vinegar to the laundry as it is a less expensive fabric softener and the vinegar is a natural odor remover.


Every clothesline needs a place to set the laundry basket while hanging the clothes. I had the boys bring me a stump down one year when we cut wood because I wanted the stump to be my outdoor laundry table. When I take the clothes down I fold them and place them back into the basket to carry inside. It is so nice to fold the clothes as they come down.

This is my new clothespin bag. My daughter outgrew her denim jacket so I cut off the sleeves as well as cutting a hole in the back. Simple trim around the hole(which I made from the sleeves which were red) and here is the new front to the former back of the jacket.

Here is the back side of the jacket. I did not sew the front aside from the bottom and where the sleeves were. I used a metal clothes hanger and bent the top so it will rest on the rope and slide as I hang the clothes. I bring the clothespin bag in when I am done and the bag awaits its next load of laundry hanging on the wall in the laundry room.

Living a simple life affords a housewife an opportunity to get natural vitamin D while completing a task for the home. As a frugal person I love being able to do more than one thing at a time. Isn't it amazing that something so inexpensive as a clothesline not only saves energy, but provides for the general health of a person?


Have a lovely weekend!
Jennifer

8 comments:

HossBoss said...

I loved using my 'solar clothes dryer' when we lived in Grand Junction, CO. The climate was hot and dry in the summer and the clothes dried very quickly. The hot muggy climate we're in now is less than ideal and my long hours away from home during the week are less than ideal too. I love sheets dried on a clothesline.

Susan said...

You have convicted me, dear friend. I had Mickey put up a clothes line for me a couple of years ago. I must admit, once Suzette became ill and time with her was THE most important thing I began using my drier again. It's time to get back to hanging up those clothes!!! Must be early in the morning though because our days have all been 100-105 degrees with humidity so thick you can slice it but still.

Another blog friend talked about all her walking she began doing and that also convicted me and I began walking 3 days ago. Just about 1/2 a mile, twice a day, but it's a start.

I love how we in blogland prompt, convict and encourage one another :o) Yes, indeed "Iron sharpeneth iron." One of my favorite scriptures :o)

Susan said...

Me again! Do you use cider or white vinegar or does it matter?

Glenn B said...

My wife uses the clothesline fairly often in the warmer months. Of course, at other times we have the gas dryer in the basement. I just folded a load this afternoon. I don't mind helping out but have to say that folding wash is one of my least favorite activities around the home.

All the best,
GB

LKK said...

I enjoy reading your blog. I'm a city girl, but find helpful info from your posts. Just wondering when do you add the vinegar to the wash. By the way, I live in Toledo, Ohio. Thanks. LKK

Anonymous said...

I live in Northern NM and have used fabric softener mainly because of the static electricity I have without it. Does vinegar also eliminate static electricity? I haven't hardly hung out clothes this year because of the drought, dust, and smoke around here. I normally always hang out clothes in the summer, but not this year.
We also have for the first time chicks and a duck. My sons thought I would like to have some fresh eggs so they bought me 7 chicks on Easter. They bought the mallard because it was cute. They didn't quite think ahead of the work the it would evolve to. But, for the most part, I am enjoying the flock. They are quite entertaining. I let them roam late in the afternoon until they roost in the evening. Lately they have gotten braver and go in areas they shouldn't, such as my flower garden and vegetable gardens. Other than putting up fences, I am not certain what to do. They don't really eat most of the flowers, just sometimes trample them. I am looking forward to seeing eggs next month.

Pat Mathews said...

Thanks for the tip about the vinegar! I scored a folding clothes rack - I think on Freecycle - and have deployed it all summer, and the stiffness of the clothes was the only problem I ever had with it. [There's only one of me, and I wash 3 different kinds of loads, all small, so the rack has been sufficient so far.]

Will try in the very next wash, except the one containing delicates that I air-dry indoors.

Thanks again!

Ma said...

Love the clothespin bag! I'll have to take a picture of my method, too:) I never thought of putting the clothes on a stump, I just do a bunch of bending. And I totally agree about the Vitamin D!