When I was a kid, my mom used to hang our laundry out to dry and I always loved the fresh-air smell it took on. As I’ve worked towards becoming more “green” I’ve realized that using a clothesline is actually a win-win situation…better for the environment, and great for the old sniffer!
So, recently I bought myself a 50s style clothesline, and plunked it down in my lawn. Boy was I excited! But when I brought in my first load of fresh dried booty, I was heartbroken. It was nothing but a pile of stiff and scratchy towels. I tried to look on the positive side, thinking, well at least now I get a free loofah scrub with every towel dry, but a nagging feeling remained. One of the reasons I think some people resist going green is because they fear they’ll need to compromise the way they lead their busy lives. When I saw those crunchy towels, I just knew that point had been proven. But there had to be a solution.
I went online and tried to find information about how to naturally soften air-dried items. The majority of greenies out there suggested adding vinegar. It helped a little on my next load of towels, but not enough for me to recommend it to you whole-heartedly (by the way, if you try this don’t worry…the vinegar smell does not remain after the articles are dry). I also read that if you dry your towels for 5 or 10 minutes before hanging or after hanging, it would help greatly. But it didn’t. Again, it helped a little, but not enough. I’m going to continue trying other options for hanging towels to dry, but in the mean time, the solution I came up with is to hang shirts and pants, but use my dryer on towels and intimates. I have found that shirts and pants don’t get that super stiff feeling like the towels did…and adding vinegar to the wash helps this even more.
That’s the thing about going green…small changes make a big difference. I certainly have times when I wonder if doing little things like not using a plastic straw, making my own bread, or hanging clothes to dry, really has any effect. But doing these things also sets a great example, and spreading the message to others is what creates that wonderful cumulative effect.