Green Tip of the Week #9: Drying laundry – don’t overdo it

“Do not over-dry laundry. An electric dryer operating an extra 15 minutes a load can cost you up to $34 a year in wasted energy; a gas dryer, $21 a year. If your dryer has a moisture sensor that turns the machine off automatically when clothes are dry, use it.”*

We don’t have a moisture sensor on our gosh, nearly 10-year-old dryer, so I usually just set it on “very dry” and walk away. After reading about over-drying, however, I experimented with our dryer and put it on one line less than “very dry,” translating into using slightly less drying time. Guess what? The clothes came out just as dry. I plan to keep fiddling with it until I find the lowest amount of time it takes to dry the clothes.

Of course, even better than using a dryer is to air-dry your laundry – something I haven’t jumped on board with just yet. The Natural Mommy has a great post about hanging drying racks** right in your laundry area. I might have to see if the hubby will install one of those for me. If nothing else, it’d be great for the cloth diapers.

*This tip brought to you by: Women Co.’s Green Guide
**This tip brought to you by: The Natural Mommy

Have any green tips you’ve recently learned? Please email them to me and I may include your tip with a link to your site or blog in a future post. :)

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5 thoughts on “Green Tip of the Week #9: Drying laundry – don’t overdo it

  1. Ooooo having hanging drying racks right in the laundry room is so a GREAT idea. Oh how I hope that our future house has a clothes line.

  2. I only use my drier in winter and only when it’s too rainy to get anything dry. Normally everything gets hung on the line outside or on the clothes horse. I think most folks round here have an outside line – is this uncommon in the States?

    Nothing compares to the smell of cotton sheets that have been dried by the sun in the fresh air! :)

  3. I have heard that overdrying laundry also shortens the life of the fabric, thus adding to expense and carbon footprint etc. Definitely the shortest possible cycle is the way to go.

  4. Excellent tip. I’m a “very dry” setting person, myself. I’ll have to do a little experimenting with our dryer. I hand my clothes outside as soon as the weather will allow. Usually early spring to late fall and work around the weather, doing my laundry only on the days that show less than a 50% chance of rain. I love the solitude of the backyard chore on a nice day and it feels good to know I’m saving some energy.

  5. Very nice to see this green information, and a shout-out to WomenCo! We’ll be sure to reference this blog in upcoming articles, too.

    ~Kylie

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