Air/ line drying clothes
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  1. #1
    Registered User Mamaw's Avatar
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    Default Can you get the laundry soft?

    When I hang laundry on the line to dry, it comes out stiff and scratchy. I use liquid fabric softner in the final rinse but it does not seem to help much.

    Anyone have any recommendations on how to get the laundry to be softer? My small goal is to drop the electric bill by 10 per month and I was hoping hanging the wash out to dry would help a bit. Also be aware there is no way I have the time or inclination to iron everything so that would not solve my problem.

    Hints?????

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    Registered User many houseapes's Avatar
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    I always hang our laundry out to dry (weather permitting), and funny thing that i have noticed...the times when I have had to use the dryer, I still had to iron dh's office clothes...there still was not a difference in that area. I've never used softener in the wash, but I have noticed that on windier days, there are less wrinkles and the laundry is softer. I wish that I had some helpful ideas.

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    Registered User Early Bird's Avatar
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    For really stiff scratchy laundry -- like towels. Bring 'em in dry & give 'em 10 minutes tumbling in the dryer.

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    The stiffness mostly comes from 2 things. Soap residue and hard water.

    Baking soda will soften the water.

    Vinegar will take out the extra soap but you can not use them together!

    I prefer the baking soda myself although I haven't settled on exactly how much I want to use.

    Also, try using a little less soap.

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    I give mine a good shake when folding them. It seems to help a little.

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    I use vinegar in the final rinse and I shake the clothes before I hang them on the line. It kind of fluffs up the pile on some things.

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    Registered User baxjul's Avatar
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    I use liquid softner in the final rinse, with my really stiff clothes, like blue jeans etc. I give them 5 minutes in the dryer after I bring them in, that seems to help alot. I also, don't use alot of detergent, so this makes them softer.

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    Registered User YankeeMom's Avatar
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    We have a water softener, it helps IMMENSELY with the hard water.

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    Hang them outside on windy days. You won't find them any softer than doing that.

    We have extremely hard water. I don't put anything in my rinse. There are times when we don't get wind and the towels and jeans aren't as soft as I'd like. We've just gotten use to it.

    However, I love it when its windy. I know then my clothes will be "downey" soft even when I don't use any Downey.

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    Just curious. Why can't vinegar be used with baking soda?

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    Originally posted by Bayside Bunny~
    Just curious. Why can't vinegar be used with baking soda?
    Oh!! The homeschool mom knows! They bubble and foam up and generally resemble an eruption of goo. In fact, homeschool moms use them together to simulate volcanic eruption. My nephews also use them together in a film canister to make a 'rocket' that shoots 20ft into the air. It can be great fun, but probably not what you want in your washer or in your plumbing!

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    Registered User pita1213's Avatar
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    if you have a downy ball, you can put your vinegar in that and it will open in the rinse cycle. and you can still add the baking sodato the wash water at teh start. it will soften the water for the wash cycle and since it goes down the drain before the ball opens during the spin cycle, you won't get the lovely volcano foam.

    for towels, i usually tried to get out to the line while they were drying to give them a good shake and then give them another when i folded them. when we were in the other house that had a line, i hung everything out to dry except dh's work clothes, he didn't like them line dried, but as long as he didn't complain about everything else being dried outside, his got dried inside. and that amounted to 1 load a week in teh dryer.

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    Valerie in Wa., that reminds me of a Brady Bunch segment. Wasn't Peter doing that with a tabletop volcano?

    Pita1213, I have a downy ball that I never use. Looks like I will be now!

    Thanks, girls.

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    Between you all and my MIL (who, BTW, lives in a desert), I may even be convinced to try line-drying here in the rainforest! LOL! The only thing that really bothers me is MIL's towels, but then after the first use, they are okay, and I usually use a towel for 3-4 days. Hmmm...what do those umbrella thingys cost?...

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    I hang all my clothes to dry on a drying rack. If its raining I dry them inside, but most of the time they are drying outside in the HOT sun. After I wash the items I let them run in the dryer for about 10 minutes. I do that with everything except delicates. It has gotten out all the stiffness. And, since they dry on the rack, I hardly have to iron anymore.

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