The Hungarian title of this post is “Hülye Amerikainak Tök Izgi a Teregetés,” or “Hanging Laundry is Totally Exciting to a Dumb American.” I set up my new umbrella-style clothesline on a sunny day this month, and it seemed really odd that I had such an emotional reaction to the act of hanging laundry in the sun. But it felt like a pretty monumental and important change in my way of life.
It was just that I had never used a clothesline before, and that seemed so absolutely ridiculous. I’ve hung laundry indoors and sometimes bathing suits and things outside. But taking a whole load out to the lawn in a basket and hanging it on a clothesline while birds chirped around me and my kid dug in his sandbox seemed so beautiful, and it made me sad that I had gone 36 years without trying this kind of basic human activity. I had been using dryers because they were there, and clotheslines were not there, and I had never invested the energy to change that. The little racks I bought at home-goods stores never held a full load. So I had given up.
It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out how to live a greener lifestyle, and I’m embarrassed to be posting about such patently obvious steps that so many people have already taken. But the truth is that I have rarely see laundry hanging outside anywhere in the US, so I think it is useful to “air out” our dryer addictions and show how easy it is to go back to the way our parents and grandparents did things.
Clothesline Product Review
I bought this fancy Novaplus 500 umbrella-style clothesline, which sounds like some fake product name that Click and Clack want you to sent to CarTalk Plaza, right? I’m rather embarrassed to have wasted money on it instead of hanging or building my own clothesline. If I ever get around to building something cool and functional (grape arbor with a clothesline under it?), I’ll give away this one. But at least I got a quick fix which we can use this summer. The cost should be recovered through energy savings from not using our electric dryer, but a DIY solution would have saved even more.
I’m not being compensated to review this product either in cash or in kind, but here’s my opinion anyway. Basically, I love it. It is great for short people like me who don’t want to stand on tiptoes while hanging sheets. It holds a ton of clothes – two big loads at least – and they dry quickly with plenty of air circulation and sunshine outside. It was easy enough to twist into the ground to install – if I can do it, almost anyone can! And the vinyl lines and other materials seem like they will withstand the elements really well, even if I fail to bring it in during a rainy week.
The last time I posted about laundry, a bunch of you wrote back with product recommendations and tips. I’ve started a Pinterest board for laundry to gather these bits of inspiration – please post pics of your own green laundry solutions if you get a chance. Thanks!