Drying Clothes - Eco-Friendly Laundry Room Part 2

April 6, 2011 View all articles in Home

Washing Clothes - Eco-Friendly Laundry Room Part 1 tells you how to wash your laundry the eco-friendly way, but what about drying it all? The US Department of Energy lists the dryer as one of the top energy hogging household appliances, second only to the refrigerator that runs 24/7. In fact, it's estimated that dryers cost the average household more than $70 in energy each year. With upwards of 88 million dryers in the US, each emitting 2,224 pounds of carbon dioxide annually, we couldn't possibly resist also telling you about all the green ways you could be drying your laundry.

GREEN CLOTHES DRYING TIPS

Air-Dry Your Laundry : It's simple, affordable, can save you as much as $200 a year in energy costs, helps your clothes last longer, and creates no global warming gases or air pollution. Visit some of the websites below to get started.

Vermont Clothesline Company offers three different clothesline styles.

Rawganique sells organic hemp rope that you can use to string up between two poles or two trees.

Abundant Earth makes both indoor and outdoor drying racks.

Breeze Dryer features a wide range of products including rotary, retractable, folding frame, portable, and indoor clotheslines, as well as drying stands and other accessories.

Urban Clothesline offers a range of indoor clotheslines that attach to your ceiling and utilize your home's natural warmth to dry laundry.

Some local municipalities and homeowners associations prohibit the use of outdoor clotheslines due to aesthetic and property value concerns. If you think your neighbors might object to seeing your day-of-the-week boxer shorts or that itty bitty bikini drying in the breeze, visit the Project Laundry List website or sign the Right2Dry petition.

Use the Moisture-Sensor Option on Your dryer: This function reduces the amount of energy your clothes dryer uses by automatically shutting off the machine when the clothes are dry. Since Energy Star doesn't rate dryers, a good moisture sensor is the best thing to look for if you're shopping for a new dryer. If your dryer doesn't have a moisture-sensor option, set your dryer on its lowest setting.

Set the Timer: Don't automatically turn the dial to 60 minutes; your clothes can often dry in much less time. Start with 30 or 40 minutes and remove your clothes before they're burn-your-hands hot. And because synthetics really shouldn't even go in the dryer, they'll often dry in about 10 minutes.

Clean the Lint Trap: Doing so frequently will not only shorten drying time, it will increase your dryer's efficiency, since clogs can increase energy use by about a third. It will also reduce the chances of your house burning down because of a clogged lint screen. And finally, cleaning your lint filter could save you up to $40 a year in energy costs.

Toss your Dryer Sheets: They contain chemicals like chloroform, a probable human carcinogen, and benzyl acetate, a suspected kidney, liver, and respiratory toxicant. Dryer sheets also aren't recyclable, no matter what the box may indicate. Even using dryer sheets to begin with will void warranties on many new dryers because they clog lint traps and vents. If you're a dryer-sheet junky and can't shift your ways, consider a more natural product like Seventh Generation Natural Fabric Softener Sheets.

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