Save Money on Laundry – 8 Reasons You Should Line Dry Your Clothes

Did you know that your clothes dryer is the single most expensive appliance that you own? It’s true and unfortunately these days, most people don’t even consider that there is an alternative. Line drying your clothes is a great way to save money when you’re trying to cut your household expenses, but for some people it can seem like an out-dated struggle that isn’t worth the trouble. Even without the cost of using your dryer, laundry is expensive so if you’re looking to save money on your laundry costs, line drying is something you’ll definitely want to take a look at doing.

Save money on laundry? Yes! It's possible! Let me show you 8 reasons that you should be line drying your clothes!

Still not convinced? Yeah, don’t worry. I wouldn’t be either. I’m a bit stubborn though and for things that require physical labor (at least physical labor that I don’t enjoy like laundry), I usually have to be convinced. Line drying your clothing though is a great idea for a lot of reasons though and I think even the most stubborn person will admit it after seeing these 8 reasons. Okay, maybe not, but I’m sure going to try and convince you.

Save Money on Laundry – 8 Reasons You Should Line Dry Your Clothes

When you think about a clothesline, you probably think about what most people do: two big metal poles and an industrial clothesline in the backyard. While having that type of clothesline would be amazing for line drying, it isn’t needed. You can line dry your clothes with nothing more than a sturdy piece of clothesline and your back porch support beams, between two trees and so on. If you live in an apartment and don’t have a back yard, you can buy an indoor clothes drying rack that sits in your bathroom or spare room (be sure to put something below it to protect carpet or flooring if you don’t use it in the tub). Heck, you could even hang your wet laundry on hangers and use the shower rod if you needed.

Line dry your clothes to save money on laundry – 

Did you really think that I wouldn’t point this out separately? As I said earlier, your dryer is the single most expensive appliance that you own. Line drying has been calculated to save around $1.08 per load. Now that doesn’t seem like much money, but do the math. At only 2 loads per week (and please introduce yourself if you have kids and only do 2 loads a week), that is $2.16 per week saved, $8.64 per month and $112.32 per year saved just by line drying your clothes. For a family that does 5 loads per week, the savings would be around $280/year.

Next, you have to figure in the fact that you no longer need to pay for expensive fabric softeners. I know that where I live, a box of 40 dryer sheets is $1.87. At 5 loads each week that is 260 loads per year. Assuming you use a dryer sheet for each one, that is 6.5 boxes of 40 or another $12.16 saved. Now take into account the wear and tear on your dryer or the fact that you could totally skip even owning one if you chose to. $300-600 saved depending on your lifestyle and personal decisions.

In short? Small savings add up and line drying is one small savings that really does add up.

Line drying your clothes makes you more aware of waste – 

Waste is a great way to watch your money go away and having a no-waste home is more important than you might think. For us, we started with figuring out how to have a no-waste kitchen and then moving onto the other rooms in our home. With the laundry room, there is more waste than you think. Washing clothing too often, using too much detergent, using too much fabric softener and of course, the waste in power that your dryer uses. With line drying, you eliminate the need for fabric softener (use vinegar in your wash cycle) and the power that is wasted making yourself one step closer to a no-waste home.

Line drying your clothing can be a family affair – 

Families used to be and act like families, but these days, it seems as if more and more are not. Between iPhones, tablets, working two jobs and more, we’ve lost something as a society that used to help hold us together. It might seem silly, but line drying your clothes can actually help your family become closer. Have your kids help and talk with them while you’re hanging. Have your spouse or partner help and talk. It is only going to be a few minutes per day, but sometimes a few minutes can make a huge difference.

Line drying your clothes is “free” –

We’ve already established that line drying can save you hundreds per year, but do you realize that once you get things started, it’s totally free? Even the time is free. How? You can generally get 2-3 loads per line. You would be spending that time loading the dryer anyhow. Once you purchase your clothesline and clothes pins, your cost is totally free to dry. In other words? Sit back, let the sun and wind do their jobs and keep more of your money in your wallet.

Line drying your clothing keeps them looking better longer – 

It is amazing at how quickly a dryer can ruin your clothing. Think about what your dryer is really doing to them. Day after day, you twirl those clothes around in the dryer shrinking and ruining the fabric from the heat, causing them to have loose threads that end up piled across the front and so on. When you line dry your clothes, they are able to dry in a natural state which is less wear and tear on them. They’ll stay looking amazing for much longer than they would in a clothes dryer.

Line drying your clothing avoids the risk of fire –

You would be surprised as to how many dryers start fires. In 2010 alone there were 16,800. Of that number, 51 people died, 380 were inured and $236 million dollars in damage was done. (source) That is a whole lot of risk. A lot of the time it is caused by either a faulty wire, a motor that gets too hot or a clogged lint trap. Line drying your clothes completely eliminates that risk since you aren’t running your dryer at all. Even line drying half and using your dryer for the other half significantly lowers the fire risk.

Line drying eliminates dryer background noise – 

There is nothing more annoying than a coin caught in a dryer or hearing a pair of sneakers tumble around in there! Don’t get me started on jeans that have large buttons either! One major reason to line dry your clothes is because your house is so much more quiet. Clotheslines don’t make noise.

Line drying your clothing can be fun – 


I know it sounds strange, but hear me out. When you’re spending time with family, spending time outdoors and everything that can go with it can be fun. Line drying is reminiscent of days that are long gone which means you can take the time to talk with your family about how things have changed, use the opportunity to teach your children and more. Plus? There’s just something about clothes drying in the wind that can be fun to watch.


There’s my 8 reasons you should line dry your clothes to save money on laundry. Do you line dry? I’d love to hear why (or why not)!

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Stacy Barr
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Stacy Barr

Stacy Barr is the face and brain behind the frugal living and lifestyle blog Six Dollar Family . By the age of 30, she had overcome an alcohol addiction, a drug addiction, divorce, survived domestic violence and had built a life for herself and her daughter after spending 10 months in a homeless shelter. Her book, also called Six Dollar Family, has sold more than 7,000 copies since its release.

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  1. I’ll never forget the day my boyfriend forgot to empty his pockets before putting the clothes in the basket. As a way to help me save time, his task was to make sure all pockets were empty before putting them in the basket. Well they weren’t and in one pocket was a piece of gum. If you’ve never put gum in a dryer, trust me on this, it’s the worst thing in the entire world! There was gum on nearly every piece of clothing that went through the cycle and it was caked all over our dryer.

    As a result, we were forced against our will to line dry our clothes till we could sit down and really clean that dryer. While it wasn’t the most efficient method (since we had almost no space in our old place) it got the job done! I think sometimes we get so used to relying on appliances and tools to do the job for us that we forget about our own two hands and the resources around us! Sure it takes a little longer to dry, but heck, half the time we don’t need them right away anyway!

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