Saturday, 18 June 2011

Line drying in the winter (what's the big deal?)

by Eilleen

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all well. I can't help but smile at recent posts lately about summer. I think its wonderful that we have so many writers here from all over the world and I get to enjoy their excitement of a warmer season.

As I sit here in the middle of the day, its currently 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Farenheit). Yep its winter here at my nation's capital. :) I don't mind winter. I actually prefer it to heat but winter does have its challenges - exercise being one of them. Its so tempting to just curl up under a warm blanket with a good book rather than go outside for a bike ride or run.

But I digress...

I thought I'd use this post to add to Chiot Run's post and Sadge's post (below)about line drying. I'm lucky enough to live in a place where line drying is still quite common. While most people do have dryers, it is rare to find someone who doesn't at some point during the year, line dry their laundry. And this goes for winter.

Line drying in the winter is something I have taken for granted - something that you just *do*. In the winter, I tend to dry the clothes on drying racks. If its sunny (like today), I put it outside during the day, under my porch, where it is cold but the sun and wind can get to it, then bring it in at night. If its totally miserable outside, I just place the rack inside the house. It only takes about 24 hours for clothes to dry.

Today's laundry under my porch

I am lucky enough that its not unusual here for people to see each other's laundry drying in racks or on a clothes line. I didn't even realise it was such a big no no until I visited my relatives in the United States and I realised there was some sort of stigma over seeing each other's clothes drying on a line. I'm not exactly sure why there is that stigma. After all, we do see those clothes on their person, so why the shyness with it on a line?? As for underwear - well again, everyone wears them and its not like we're seeing dirty underwear. But, for those who can't quite get their head around others potentially seeing their underwear on a line, my mother has always hung hers in the middle of the line or middle of the drying rack so you can't see the underwear (unless if one is sorting through one's line, in which case, they must be a close enough friend or family to do so!).

The other thing I have been asked by those living overseas is: "What about mold?" Well, in the 20 odd years of line drying in the winter, I've never had that problem. From my understanding, mold needs two things to grow - damp and warmth. Here in Australia's capital, winter is definitely not warm! For those who are really worried, you can presoak in cold water and vinegar then wash clothes on hot, with another vinegar rinse as a fabric softener before line drying. That apparently protect clothes against mold.

Actually the only time I got mold in my clothes was in the tropics - and that was for clothes just hanging in the wardrobe! The high humidity and warmth got to the clothes....hmm....maybe I should try the vinegar/cold water trick then!

Anyway, I'm off to cook a roast lamb now in the slow cooker (love winter food!) then curl up under a blanket and read a good book.

I wish you all a good weekend!