The Non-Consumer Patent-Pending Solar Clothes Dryer

by Katy on April 7, 2009 · 15 comments



Portland, Oregon has been experiencing a number of sunny warm weather days, which means:

It’s time to start line drying our laundry!

Yes, I have an indoor line, but it takes a couple days for a load to dry, so I can only hang-dry about a third of our laundry.

It hit 76 degrees in Portland today, and unfortunately I had to work. It wasn’t the lost gardening or exercise opportunities that bothered me. It was the breezy sun taunting me through the hermitically sealed windows of the hospital.

Katy, think how good your sheets would smell if they could spend a few hours flapping on the line in the beautiful sunshine!

Luckily the weather forecast tomorrow is for another gorgeous sunny day.

And I’ve already got a load of laundry spinning in the basement, ready for the morning’s bright rays.

You too can enjoy your own Non-Consumer Patent-Pending Solar Clothes Dryer. All it takes is a cotton line and a packet of clips.

Click here to check out Project Laundry List’s terrific website.

Are you putting up a clothesline for the first time this year, or are you a lifelong clothesline enthusiast? Please share your laundry stories in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

mari April 7, 2009 at 7:02 am

I have a drying rack for indoor use, or I would put it out on the back deck. I am hoping to get a umbrella type clothes line to put in my back yard this year. My husband still thinks I put his clothes in the dryer, but I will hang them out, then fluff them in the dryer for 10 minutes. He can’t tell the difference. But the power bill shows it.


Dan W. April 7, 2009 at 7:34 am

Our dryer conked out some time last Summer or Fall, and we decided to go ahead and NOT fix it! It was amazing how easy it was to get through an rainy spells with indoor clothes drying and, when the sun broke through, outdoors. We had to keep a close eye on the weather report though when they were hanging outside during the rainy season…


Angela April 7, 2009 at 11:51 am

I have to brag on my husband a little bit, because since I joined The Compact this year, he’s been very supportive, even though he’s not taken the “pledge.” He’s much more careful with his spending, and wasting less food.

In that spirit, he offered to put up a clothesline in our backyard- without my even asking! It’s in the works now…

I’ll be able to feel less guilty when we (we both do laundry) stop using what looks to be a 70’s era dryer that came with the house. I know it’s an energy suck!


GLM April 7, 2009 at 12:04 pm

I live in a condo, so I don’t really have the option of laying out a clothesline. I do, however, hang up clothing in my 2nd bedroom, and I have a fan blow on it to speed drying. That way, I use the dryer much less, just for towels, sheets and PJs.

I wonder, though – if you have allergies, won’t hanging clothes outside to dry exacerbate your condition?


Jen April 7, 2009 at 12:27 pm

I don’t dry sheets and pillowcases outside for allergy reasons. Other than the unmentionables, everything else goes on the line.


Kristen@The Frugal Girl April 7, 2009 at 1:03 pm

Oh man! 76?? I’m so jealous!


Jeanne April 7, 2009 at 9:40 pm

I’m with you Katy! I live in Oregon City so I’ve been basking in the same great weather as you and my first thought on Saturday was “time to put up the clothes line!” I have a stacked umbrella style one and I love the time I spend hanging clothes, folding them as I take them down, listening to the birds and the breeze and my wandering thoughts…nirvana.


Jeanine April 8, 2009 at 8:15 am

It’s hitting 70 this afternoon on the Gulf Coast, and 80s by the weekend!

Katy, what’s your take on washing things in cold water and killing bacteria? I’m concerned about not getting rid of germs.

I hang up about 1/2 of our laundry, uniform shirts and dresses, linens, and things like that.

I do not hang up jeans. That’s just a crime in my book.

I live in a duplex, but there are a couple of dead trees in the backyard that the landlord won’t have removed, so I strung up two lines and there you go!

I can’t wait for it to get hot so I can hang out sheets!


The Frugalista Files April 10, 2009 at 2:10 am

I air dry my fine clothing. My complex won’t let me line dry. Towels are in the dryer.


pam wesson April 11, 2009 at 10:30 am

As an American living in Paris with an Irish husband, I think laundry behavior is partly cultural. Dryers are a tough sell in Paris because they can fry or shrink your clothes, take up space, burn energy and are more expensive to buy than in the US. People here are used to hanging their laundry indoors (it’s not permitted to hang it on balconies in the city). But being American, I do miss the fluffy towels of my youth. Padraig loves his stick-straight, skin-abrading, thinned-down towels and I insist on haunting the white sales in NY when I visit to haul back luxurious pile–that takes two days to dry over the bathtub.


Nancy Norton April 11, 2009 at 11:32 am

Sun Washed

I want my wash to smell of sunshine and the wind.
Why did we become convinced that
some lab-concocted combination
of hydrophobic long chain molecules
is better?
could even come close?
Because we were missing a
half-remembered fragrance from home?
Because clothes from the dryer have no smell?
Or worse, smell sour
having sat in the washer too long?
Because by using a dryer we don’t have
to lift wash
to carry it to the yard
to shake out each piece
to pin it with wood to the line
in the sun
in the breeze
to catch sight of a bluejay in the redwood
to sigh at the beauty of the clouds against the sky.
Nancy Norton


Eve April 11, 2009 at 7:27 pm

Jen (and others), all you need for allergy reasons is 10 mins in the dryer, so do line dry your sheets, then finish them up in the dryer. I find that sheets really don’t dry as well in the dryer anyway, they get all tangled up and bunched…


ericasullivan April 11, 2009 at 10:38 pm

I live in a 4th-floor Boston apartment, so no clotheslines for me, unfortunately. (My mom has a bunch and I am jealous.)

But I air-dry all of my and my boyfriend’s laundry, including sheets and towels and jeans. We have a wooden drying rack in our sunny bathroom, pants hang on the dresser knobs, and sheets go over the doors in the office. Everything dries in about 24 hours, since our apartment is south-facing (yay!).

My other roommates probably think I’m crazy… but I’m not the one paying $1.50 for a dryer cycle.

Someday soon, I hope to move somewhere with a yard, so my clothespins can go outside for the first time! 🙂


sandraraven June 30, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.


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