Monthly Archives: September 2012

Tips on Using a Laundry Line Effectively

If you are considering drying your clothes the eco friendly way, there are a few tips you should consider. Drying clothes is one of the oldest routines we people have done, and our ancestors done it without using electrical help like we do now. We at Urban Clotheslines can help solve your laundry problems with are plethora of affordable laundry lines such as drying racks, rotary clotheslines and dozes of laundry accessories. Here’s how to dry your clothing effectively without wasting your energy on a dryer.

Hang Large Items First

Sheets, throws, and garments such as long dresses will need to be spread out on the clothesline or drying rack. Your laundry line should have enough space to section off your items. Try to double up any articles of clothing since this will only make the drying time longer. If your laundry line is outdoors, use more clothespins in case there are strong gusts of wind. If you have a small space, hang your clothes side by side and pin the corners to create more room.

Avoid Hanging Dark Colored Pieces in the Sun

Blacks, burgundies, and navy blues will fade from direct sunlight. It might be best to hang these up during alight or heavy overcast. You can always choose to purchase an indoor laundry line as well to avoid bright and sunny days. Clothing racks are small and simple and can fit in the corner of your laundry room with ease.

Do Not Hanging Clothes Outside if You Suffer from Allergies

If you have bad allergies, it’s a good idea to use an indoor laundry line. Pollen from flowers and trees can absorb into the fabric, not to mention any smoke from someone’s barbecue pit. This can especially happen on a windy day, so if you love drying clothes outside, avoid picking a day where there will be a breeze.

For more tips on using a laundry line, contact us. We’ll give you the lowdown of our products and tell you which type of line is best for your lifestyle.

Posted by Bob Newell September 27, 2012 at 3:28 PM under Clotheslines and Laundry
The Romance of An Outdoor Clothesline

Although many people still remember when their parents or grandparents had an outdoor clothes line in their back yard, most modern families rely on a standard electric clothes dryer to provide household residents with dry clothing and linens. The aroma of sun dried cotton sheets is a memory cherished by many adults, but most children these days have never known the pleasure of sleeping on them. Some strict homeowners associations even have policies against the use of back yard clothes lines.

As worldwide political and economic conditions become increasingly uncertain, more people are choosing to remain closer to home rathr than indulging in adventure and travel as leisure pursuits. Interest in lost home arts has revivied among people of all backgrounds. Soap-making, candle-making, spinning and creating home cleaning products from scratch are all routinely practiced in many modern households. Every now and then, you’ll even see a back yards full of freshly washed sheets billowing in the wind, and if you’ve ever slept on sheets like that, you’ll remember just how deep and restful that kind of sleep is, particularly on warm starry summer nights.

The people most likely to use a clothes linethese days are probably trying to cut energy costs and lessen their carbon footprints. It’s really no great sacrifice to have incredible smelling linens in clothing in return for using a few clothes pins on an outdoor drying line. Detergent companies have been trying for decades to create laundry soap and fabric softener that emulates the scent of sun dried clothing, but they’ve never come close to replicating it.

Modern humans are discovering that there are times when the old ways are still the best and that convenience is often not worth the sacrifice of quality of life. Those who are interested in adding the romance of freshly dried clothes and linens to their lives should contact us for more information about living an elegantly simple lifestyle.

Posted by Rob Steward September 25, 2012 at 9:27 AM under Clotheslines and Laundry
Natural Ways to Clean Those Hard to Treat Stains

Whether you’re trying to go green by using more environmentally friendly products, or you’re trying to save money by not wasting cash on bottle after bottle of pricey stain remover from the grocery store, you’ll appreciate these natural ways to clean stains.

  • Rubbing alcohol is great for pen ink stains and markers.  You’ll want to blot or rub some on the item and let it sit for about 30 minutes to allow the alcohol to break down the fibers.  Then toss in the washer.
  • Mixing vinegar and baking soda (just like that homemade volcano you might have made in the third grade) will break down grease and oily stains.  It will work well on arm pit stains and the ring around the neckline of a dress shirt as well.  Mix them together and scrub onto the stain.  Rinse and repeat until the stain is out, then toss in the washer for a normal cleaning.
  • Hydrogen peroxide will work fantastically for pet stains, coffee, and tea and general stains.  Simply put some in a spray bottle and spray when it’s needed.  Blot with a cloth (preferably a micro fiber cloth), rinse and repeat until the stain is gone.  Wash as usual.
  • Ice cubes will work perfectly to remove gum and wax from clothes.  The ice will harden the gum or ice, allowing you to simply pick them from the clothing.  Once the hardened pieces are off, you can then use vinegar and baking soda as described above to remove any residual stains.
  • Clotheslines in the sun are a great stain remover as well.  The sun acts as a natural whitener, so putting your clothes out to the sun will keep your whites white and remove any small stains you may have.

It’s important to remember to not dry the clothing until you have removed the stain.  Drying will set the stain into the fibers of the fabric, making future stain removal extremely difficult, if not impossible.  If you’re out in public and spill on your shirt, but don’t have these items handy, simply use any type of soap you can find (hand soap from the bathroom is fine), dab it on the stain and let it be.  Don’t rub the stain as you might be rubbing it further into the fabric.

For more information about clotheslines, please contact us today!

Posted by Tobin Dimmitt September 20, 2012 at 4:47 PM under Home Living Tips
Thrift Shopping is Good for Your Wallet and the Environment

Shopping at thrift stores or consignment shops is a great way to save money and contribute to saving the environment at the same time. By purchasing second-hand clothing, you are recycling, thereby reducing the amount of waste in our landfills.

Thrift stores usually get their clothing from donations, which is why they can sell these second-hand items at dirt cheap prices. When you buy from thrift stores you can save up to 70% or more on the retail purchase price of popular name brands.

Many people who have never shopped at thrift stores may think that they are filled with a bunch of junk nobody else wants. However, that is far from the truth. In fact, you can find many brand name items in excellent condition. This is especially true for young children’s clothing: because they grow out of them so fast, some items barely get used.

A few things to keep in mind

There are some things that one should take into account when shopping for clothing at the thrift store. Remember to check garment labels for care instructions. If you know you don’t go to the dry cleaners much, stay away from clothes that need this type of care.

Also check clothing for damage and stains. Some damage can be fixed like minor rips along seams, missing buttons and certain stains. In the case of more glaring problems, you should just leave it on the rack and move on.

Realize that, because of the selection of clothing from a wide range of decades and an extensive choice of designers, sizes can vary significantly. Generally, items made today run larger than their vintage counterparts.

Cleaning and Sanitizing Clothing

Follow these instructions for cleaning and disinfecting washables the  first time around:  Wash, in hottest water suitable for fabric, with your favorite detergent. During the rinse cycle add one quarter to a half cup of vinegar to assist with disinfecting (this will also aid in removing soap residue).

Drying clothes

To dry, hang your items out on a hot sunny day, on an outdoor clothes line. The sun is a natural disinfectant and the fresh air will leave a clean scent to you newly purchased treasures.

Contact us for more information and great ideas on caring for your laundry.

Posted by Tobin Dimmitt September 18, 2012 at 8:40 AM under Environment
Can your HOA forbid you from using a clothesline to dry your laundry?

hillsextenda6_2That depends on where you live, as this blog post explains. Some communities have regulations that prohibit homeowners or renters from using clotheslines. But people are fighting back against these rules:

A “right-to-dry” movement has sprung up and won laws in six states––Florida, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, and Vermont—to render these bans void and unenforceable.

In another 13 states, solar access laws protect solar drying. For instance, an Oregon law states that any restrictions on “solar radiation as a source for heating, cooling or electrical energy” are “void and unenforceable.” Since clotheslines rely on solar energy, their use is protected in those states where laws provide blanket allowances for the use of solar radiation.

Yet in all 19 states where they are technically illegal, these bans still remain in effect. Right-to-dry activist Alexander Lee estimates that more than half of all HOAs restrict or ban the use of clotheslines. Many residents simply don’t realize they legally have the right to use clotheslines.

The blog post gives more specifics on where some of these illegal bans persist, and even includes a map of clothesline bans.

Household Essentials Gullwing Air Drying RackOne rather ironic example is the Forest Heights neighborhood in Oregon. The community claims to be dedicated to environmental stewardship, with plenty of common green space, walking trails and even an “EcoShuttle” service. The HOA website promotes a “Go Green” campaign. Yet at the same time, the regulations limit placement of clotheslines to “service yards” that are “completely screened so that the elements screened are not visible at any time from the street or any adjoining property.” Because of the way homes are situated in proximity to each other, it would be basically impossible to completely conceal a clothesline. So essentially, this amounts to a clothesline ban, which is illegal under Oregon’s aforementioned solar access law.

If your HOA covenants prohibit the use of clotheslines, don’t despair. If you live in one of the 19 states where these bans are illegal, you have the law on your side, so you can go ahead and hang your clothesline without fear. If not, you can always become an activist yourself and fight for your right to dry. Until your state’s laws change, though, there are plenty of indoor clotheslines available. Contact us to learn more about the vast and varied ways to dry your clothes naturally and to peruse our wide selection of indoor and outdoor clotheslines.

Posted by Donald Schmit September 14, 2012 at 9:43 AM under Clotheslines and Laundry
Indoor Drying Racks For Laundry Can Naturally Humidify Your Home This Winter

With winter just around the corner, you may be thinking about an alternative to the outdoor clothesline that you have used all summer. Because I no longer have a clothes dryer, I can either choose to visit my neighborhood laundromat or consider other arrangements.

I recently read an article about how drying your clothes indoors can actually add to the comfort of your home.  We are all aware of how dry the air can be in winter, remember all the static in your hair?  This seemed like a great idea so I began my search for the perfect drying implement.  I had no idea there were so many choices.

Your selections range from retractable clotheslines you can hang in the bathroom to a drying rack that once fully loaded with clothes will raise up to the ceiling on a pulley system, saving tons of space.  There are folding racks, racks on wheels and even umbrella tripod styles.  The choice is yours based on the space you have and the amount of laundry you will need to dry.

Find the driest area of your home to set up your drying rack or clothesline.  If your home is feeling uncomfortably dry, usually when the humidity level drops below 40%, drying your clothes indoors can make a real difference.  Because of the increased moisture in the air, you may not need to use your central heating as much since people feel warmer in a humid environment.  

If your home has a moisture “problem”, consider setting up your drying space in a garage or enclosed porch that can be ventilated.  If there is not an indoor option, you can still dry clothes outside in winter.  Even if they freeze, the moisture will eventually dissipate in the dry winter air.

If you need guidance to prepare your home for winter clothes drying or advice on choosing a drying rack, please contact us so we can find the perfect solution for you.

Posted by Tobin Dimmitt September 10, 2012 at 9:16 PM under Clotheslines and Laundry
Reasons to Buy a Wall Mounted Drying Rack

uclbrWall%20Mounted%20Rotary%20WallFixIf you feel a tad cluttered and disorganized and would like a drying rack that doesn’t take up room, why not invest in a wall wall mounted drying rack? Your laundry room will look spacious and clean just by hanging up the rack against the wall. Here are some more reasons why this handy type of rack will do you some good.

Eco Friendly

Clothes racks in general are incredibly eco friendly since you aren’t wasting energy by turning on an electric dryer. Since your clothing will be naturally dried, they will be unharmed by chemical ridden dryer sheets. You’ll always save quite a bit of money on your energy bill which is a big plus.

Compact and Organized

If you have a small laundry room you’re going to want to conserve as much space as you can. If you mount a drying rack on the wall, your laundry room won’t look messy and you’ll have more space to walk or add additional furniture. Getting a rack that matches the color scheme of the room will flatter it tremendously and might even garner compliments from guests. Convenience is the main reason why a mounted clothes rack is a great idea since it combats clutter and takes up minimal space.

Wall mounted racks also have enough space to hang up loads of clothes and are sturdy enough to even hold wet jeans and other heavy materials. Wood clothes racks are incredibly eco friendly, but plastic variants will hold up better and last even longer. Whichever you decide, contact us, and we’ll give you more ideas on what you can do with a mounted rack.

Posted by Tobin Dimmitt September 06, 2012 at 2:02 PM under Clotheslines and Laundry
A Drying Rack After My Own Heart

When I was a freshman in college, one load of laundry cost $4-$5, and most of it was because of the dryer. I like having clean clothes, but I was not about to pay that much just to dry them. My roommate and I bought a drying rack, and every weekend we would have wet clothes all over the house to dry. We were young and inexperienced, and there are much better alternatives today that have the same financial benefits.

But first, we should address the stereotypes of living without a dryer.

MYTH 1: It’s rural. Wasn’t it on the prairie that people used clotheslines? This is the 21st century! What about science!

TRUTH: Science says that drying clothes is actually bad for the fibers, and can fade out the colors faster. This is even worse if you use fabric softener. Switching to using a drying rack or clothes line can make your clothes last longer and for free.

MYTH 2: My clothes will be stiff and scratchy without a dryer.

TRUTH: Not necessarily. If you use the right soap and make sure your clothes are well ventilated, your clothes will be nice and soft. Just make sure you get your clothes drying right away. It’s an added bonus if you live somewhere with good clean air; then your clothes will smell fresh too.

Household Essentials Portable Umbrella Dryer with Tripod

It’s an umbrella dryer with feet! No yard needed.

MYTH 3: I don’t live in an area with good air; in fact, I don’t even have a backyard to put up a clothesline.

TRUTH: You can hang up a clothesline indoors, or use a wide range of drying products that dry your clothes quickly and are subtle. You don’t need to have an apartment that looked like mine as a freshman; you can be sophisticated and money-wise. Urban Clotheslines has products especially made for those of us in the big or not as big cities, with limited space and no yards.

For me, it was all about savings. Dryers cost a lot of money upfront and a lot of energy down the road. In total, that can be as much as an extra $150 – $200 a month. Going to a laundromat is not much better, and you never know if you will get your clothes back in one piece. If using a sleek retractable rack means that I save money, but also cut back on fossil fuel use and heat pollution, then that just makes the whole deal a bit sweeter. Come and see what Urban Clothes Lines has to offer, or contact us if you have more questions about finally leaving that dryer in the dust where it belongs.

Posted by Tobin Dimmitt September 03, 2012 at 1:49 PM under Clotheslines and Laundry