I just realized – upon reading yet another blog about going dryer-free for a year – that it’s been at least eight years since I last used a dryer. Yes, that’s eight full years of total year-round air-drying. Or maybe even more, I really can’t remember it’s been so long. And this is in Seattle, where we log at least 9 months of cold, damp, rainy weather per year.
I really thought this air-drying business would be entirely temporary once my dryer up and died. I can remember being a bit panic stricken in those early days, trying to figure out the mechanics of clotheslines and drying racks. There really wasn’t much information out there at the time, so I had to learn completely through trial and error. This involved learning that you don’t leave your laundry on the clothesline overnight (it rained heavily and everything was soaked), keeping a good eye on the sky and weather reports, and finding the most efficient laundry racks for indoor drying.
Gradually I learned good clothesline techniques, and to appreciate the slow, gentle, and quiet way that my laundry now dried. I became used to having my clothes dry crisp and practically wrinkle-free. Having clothes out on the line, or on a drying rack in the kitchen has become a totally familiar sight to me, if not to my visitors. “Your laundry is out drying?!” is an oft-heard refrain. I have learned to laugh it off, since most people are incredulous about the fact that you can dry laundry in this manner and can’t imagine doing it themselves. C’est la vie. That’s life.
I noticed a significant drop in my electric bill after I started air-drying. But it has been so long since I’ve used a dryer that I don’t know what the current savings would be. A lot, I am sure.
I’ve come to the point where using a dryer would be totally bizarre to me – all that noise, heat, and clothes thrashing about. I much prefer silence, and drying my laundry for free.
“Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood carry, water.” – Zen Proverb