Solar powered clothes dryer

Solar powered clothes dryer aka the washing line

By Michael Smith (Veshengro)

washing-line I just knew something like a dryer, using gas or electricity to heat things, existed when I was a kid. My mother and grandmothers (yes, plural) never had one or used one. We always used a line or even putting clothes over bushes to dry. And to me line dried clothes still smell the best. I don't like the smell of fabric softener and such.

Line drying is not always easy in Britain, in this “land full of rainy skies and gales”, as Roger Whitaker referred to it in one of his songs. However, despite of that, I still use the line and, if that is not completely successful this is followed by a little time on the radiators and in the airing cupboard.

It is a sad state of affairs though that in some places – in many places in fact – in the United States it is actually against the law and especially local ordinances to have a washing line and to hang your clothes there to dry.

But then again there are also laws in “the land of the free and the home of the brave” that forbid the collection of rain water from your roofs, making rain barrels and their use a felony, in the same way that you cannot, in most places in America and Canada grow vegetables in the suburbs and especially not in your front yards.

Whatever happened to the land of liberty and all that?

There are folks that claim that you cannot get clothes soft using ordinary washing machine detergents though I would like to disagree with that. You can. You just ensure you buy a non-biological washing liquid (or powder). Alternatively you could use soap nut shells.

Don't just hang your clothes on the line. They could blow off or they get blown together and thus don't dry that well. Use clothespins to keep them in places and prevent them taking off.

You can buy clothespins, aka clothes pegs, and there is a great variety of them about or you could go and make your own, of the split peg variety. And, properly made, those home-made clothes pegs will last for decades.

Some people go to great lengths as to how to put shirts and other garments up on the line, such as using hangers with shirts but none of that is necessary. Hang shirts up by their tails and if you are worried of sleeves touching the ground pin them up too, or raise the line with props.

Now, go and power up that solar-powered clothes dryer...

© 2011