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Hanging Clothes 101

The Martha Stewart Show, April 2007

Did you know that the tumble dryer consumes the most energy of all of your household appliances? To cut back on energy usage, you can easily hang your clothes to dry instead, and use the dryer as a last resort. Drying outside will make them smell fresher, and the added humidity is great for your plants, skin, and hair. Cutting your tumble dryer use reduces your home's CO2 emissions, and there's strong evidence that human emissions, such as CO2, are changing the world's climate. If you have to use the dryer, keep the filter lint-free and run loads back to back while the drum is still hot. And to save energy with your washing machine, reserve hot water for very dirty loads, and always rinse in cold water.

When choosing detergents, go with phosphate-free detergents. Phosphates go through the sewage system and can cause problems in the waterways. Algae feeds on phosphates, and high levels can use up the oxygen in the water, suffocating plant and animal life. So next time your clothes need drying, try the healthy alternative.

Comments (2)

  • timdebthomas 1 Aug, 2008

    I would love a segment on how to properly hang clothes to line dry!

  • momathon 6 Jun, 2008

    I hope you continue to advocate for open-air clothes drying. Could you include a segment on the proper way to hang, e.g., shirts (from top or bottom?) and other clothing items that are oddly shaped. Also, to reduce washing clothing, you can "air out" items sometimes rather than wash them as often. This is done in Europe and other places and works well for some clothing items.