Dry on your feet

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Last updated on July 16th, 2017 at 12:42 pm

Vermont is the latest US state to encourage the Right to Dry movement. We drying pioneers – known within our small activist community as “drioneers” – applaud this development.

Posted by Tim B. on 08/28/2007 at 10:43 AM
    1. “Clothesline activists”?  “Clothesline rights”?  “Classy enough”?

      All this for a technique that has existed for as long as people have worn clothes?

      Sheesh! Talk about your mountains and molehills…..although it is nice to see those silly “keep our neighborhood perfect” covenants getting pinked.

      As for the rope…….try the cotton rope down at the hardware store, $4.95 for 50 feet.  Replace as necessary.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2007 08 28 at 11:05 AM • permalink


    1. Those two women take their drying very seriously. I would not mock their dedication to drying if I were their husbands—any such men would likely find themselves sloshing around in very soggy clothing.

      Posted by surly on 2007 08 28 at 11:08 AM • permalink


    1. I prefer the less ecologically sensitive sobriquet of “tightarse” myself.
      Why waste the money? (not applyinh to Tasmanians or those other solar deprived types)
Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2007 08 28 at 11:08 AM • permalink


    1. Well, I say we’ve only got one fuckin’ planet… like a little blue turd floatin’ around in space.

      If we don’t take care of it, it’ll dry up like .. well, how you’d expect a little blue turd to dry up.

      We don’t hang our turds on the line to dry, do we?  Only clothes and fish belong on a clothesline.  But that’s what the dedrialists are doing – hanging our planet out to dry like a little blue turd on a clothesline.

      Posted by Jack from Montreal on 2007 08 28 at 11:09 AM • permalink


    1. Considered a career as a poet, Jack?

      Posted by surly on 2007 08 28 at 11:12 AM • permalink


    1. Vermont?  Yeah, that’ll have a big effect.  I believe there are, what, eleven days out of the year in Vermont where it’s actually warm enough to dry clothes on a line?  Twelve?

      Posted by Clubbeaux on 2007 08 28 at 11:15 AM • permalink


    1. As a kid we had a clothesline in the basement (the cement floor and drain helped).  We were all very excited when the house was finally wired for a dryer.

      Posted by tabitharuth on 2007 08 28 at 11:38 AM • permalink


    1. Vermont…hmmmm. Let’s see…Green Mountain Boys militia, 34,000 troops to battle in our Civil War, Cheese, (although we do have Wisconsin) maple syrup and Solzhenitsyn in exile.

      Then there was Howard Dean, now clothesline’s.

      My how far Vermont has fallen. Wonder how much Canada would give us for, Vermont?

      Posted by El Cid on 2007 08 28 at 11:42 AM • permalink


    1. As a Natural Drying enthusiast I applaud this action. I have two clotheslines, one in the sun (where it should be) and one under the carport (for those wintery days where it must be). Carport you say? Yes, a double carport. Where I park 2 cars. My third car is out in the weather. All very environmentally correct, no?

      Posted by Observer on 2007 08 28 at 11:49 AM • permalink


    1. Clothes hung outside to dry do tend to have a nice, fresh smell. Two words of caution, though: birds and blueberries. They’re a potent, and disgusting, combo, when it comes to clean white sheets.

      Posted by paco on 2007 08 28 at 11:50 AM • permalink


    1. This was all just cover for Senator Patrick “Leaky” of Vermont.

      Posted by yojimbo on 2007 08 28 at 11:52 AM • permalink


    1. Blueberries!?  And just how would…?

      Posted by yojimbo on 2007 08 28 at 11:57 AM • permalink


    1. Hmmm.

      Call me a troglodyte but I don’t even wash my own clothes.  At $0.75 per lb (dry weight) it’s not worth my time.

      So on the Universal Environment Scale of things I’m somewhere around Mammon.

      Posted by memomachine on 2007 08 28 at 11:58 AM • permalink


    1. As a child I slaved away in the broiling Florida sun hanging clothes outside on our clothesline (which was one of those spinning things kind of like a giant spiderweb on a pole). Clothes don’t so much dry as get blasted by radiation. We learned not to care so much about the color of our clothes, as everything faded after a few washes. Also, you didn’t need starch—everything came off the lines stiff as cardboard. Give me a dryer every time. I can buy “nice fresh smell” at Walmart.

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2007 08 28 at 12:13 PM • permalink


    1. My parents had both a dryer AND a clothesline.  My stepmother was a tightwad, though, and opted for the clothesline more often than not, especially since she had 4 kids supplying free labor.

      Of course, Dad had to build a huge clothesline (such was his nature); it has been a while, but I think it had 3 lines, and something like 30 or so feet long (we had a large yard).  He used wire rope, after cotton rope proved to be unsuitable for that span and typical load.

      Living on the beach, though, presented a major hazard to clean clothes: seagulls.  Lots and lots of seagulls.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2007 08 28 at 12:47 PM • permalink


    1. I’m with Andrea.  My dryer saves me time, and everything comes out nice and pliable.  The exception are shirts and delicates that get hung on plastic hangers on the shower curtain rod.  And besides, I live in one of those neighborhoods where clotheslines are frowned upon.

      However, I’ve hung many a sheet and pair of jeans outdoors in my day.  Plastic-sheathed wire is a better choice than cotton rope, because it can be cleaned with a damp rag (rope inevitably turns black and icky in the open air).

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2007 08 28 at 01:28 PM • permalink


    1. #12 Yojimbo;

      Blueberries!?  And just how would…?

      Birds like to eat them. And for the birds, it’s like drinking beer is for people.

      As, you don’t buy it, you just rent it for a while.

      Posted by steveH on 2007 08 28 at 01:46 PM • permalink


    1. Amen, Sister Andrea.  Especially since I was the only girl and my brother wouldn’t do it as it was “women’s work.”

      I, however, have gotten the last laugh as he married a woman who doesn’t cook, doesn’t clean, and doesn’t wash clothes.

      Imperial Keeper

      Posted by Elizabeth Imperial Keeper on 2007 08 28 at 01:52 PM • permalink


    1. I wonder how much Canada would give us for Vermont

      Given the numbers of them around this summer, the deal may already have been done.

      And besides, I live in one of those neighborhoods where clotheslines are frowned upon.

      Exactly their point. Every once in a while the warmenists do something perfectly sensible, and this is one. As long as they don’t get carried away and send around inspectors to make sure that everybody is using the clothesline.

      Vermont has a LOT of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan taking into account our low population. The Green Mountain Boys are not a faded memory here.

      Too bad about all of the stinking superannuated hippies in Burlington though.

      Posted by moptop on 2007 08 28 at 01:58 PM • permalink


    1. We in the White Trash Community aprove and will install clotheslines as soon as we take the wheels off the house.

      Posted by Gary from Jersey on 2007 08 28 at 02:30 PM • permalink


    1. Another problem with outdoor drying is those sudden cold snaps, particularly if accompanied by precipitation. When I was just a “Paquito”, I remember Ma Paco once leaving the clothes on the line overnight, and the next morning, I had to help her bring in sheets that had turned into planks, and underwear that was easy to carry because you could stack it like plates.

      Posted by paco on 2007 08 28 at 02:38 PM • permalink


    1. #10
      Here it’s mulberries.I am too tight to use the dryer all the time (just use it to finish and fluff-up the towels)… and the clothes smell better line-dried.

      Posted by kae on 2007 08 28 at 03:28 PM • permalink


    1. #14
      The spider web thingy on a post is a Hills Hoist.
      An Aussie invention.

      Posted by kae on 2007 08 28 at 03:31 PM • permalink


    1. Clothes-lines are banned in parts of the the US? That sounds ridiculous. Would they let you hang the clothes in a tree perhaps, or is it that clothes are only to be displayed on bodies outside the privacy of your own home. I used to respect the USA, but not now. I’ve just done my washing and will be hanging them out to dry in FULL View of the neighbours and then I’m heading off to work. Rack-off you anti-clothes-line fascists.

      Posted by mad doc on 2007 08 28 at 05:00 PM • permalink


    1. mad doc, it has to do with “neighborhood esthetics”.  The Esthetics Nazis (either in the form of a home owners association, or a community planning commission) decree how homes should look for the maximum property value.  Think of it as socialism applied to lawn care.

      These “standards” are enforced by committee, through covenants on the deeds, or by ordinance.  And they get prety stupid at times.

      It’s one thing to keep people from parking 6 junked cars on their front lawn, but it’s another thing entirely to tell a home owner he can’t park his pick up on the street.

      Or fly the American Flag.  Donald Trump mixed it with his neighborhood association because he flew a flag that was too large for their tastes.  (How large?  Hey, it’s Donald Trump…..)

      Or have the city mow his lawn because it’s a shade too long….and add the costs to the water bill.

      Or decide that everyone needs a tree in front of their house, and plant them accordingly…..and add the cost to the water bill.  Without asking.

      Anything deemed unsuitable might be restricted.  Including practical items, like hurricane storm shutters…..and clothes line.  Like I said earlier, it’s nice to see the Esthetics Nazis go up against environmental activists.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2007 08 28 at 05:20 PM • permalink


    1. mad doc, it has to do with “neighborhood esthetics”.  The Esthetics Nazis (either in the form of a home owners association, or a community planning commission) decree how homes should look for the maximum property value.  Think of it as socialism applied to lawn care.

      See also Martha’s Vineyard/Windmills

      Vermont = Howard Dean, Pat Leahy, Bernie Sanders. The hippies won. Nuff said.

      Posted by Furry Lewis on 2007 08 28 at 05:38 PM • permalink


    1. #21: Paco, years back my newly-married sister, whose Army husband had just gone to Korea, followed him over and lived in Seoul in a Korean apartment house for almost a year.  All washing, as I heard it, was done by hand in a basin, all drying done on a line; in cold weather you just waited til everything froze on the line, then went out with a an aluminum bat and beat the ice out of it, then you gathered it up and brought it back in.  Good times, according to her.

      And, the what-line-to-use controversy is authentic:  nylon stretches like crazy, sagging under the weight of wet laundry; dry cotton line can be pulled pretty taut, but when it gets wet, it also sags, and it gets really dirty really fast.  Spectra or a similar, non-stretch climbing rope would be a good high-tech approach, but a mite on the pricey side.

      Posted by Celaeno on 2007 08 28 at 06:17 PM • permalink


    1. #24, mad doc, alas, there are such neighborhoods in the US.  My neighborhood, on the other hand, merely frown disapprovingly.  They also don’t like chain link fences, but that didn’t stop us from putting one up, as I’m sure there would have been even bigger complaints had we let our dogs roam the neighborhood unchecked.  Dogs have passed on, but chain link remains, at least until it gets so rusty we get sick of looking at it.  Neighbors on both sides of us put up fences only on three sides, as our fence completes their enclosures, so that takes care of that argument.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2007 08 28 at 07:23 PM • permalink


    1. #17, SteveH

      Oh good.  For a minute I thought it might have something to do with the daily “ponding” on the blueberry migratory flyway.  My bad.

      Posted by yojimbo on 2007 08 28 at 08:02 PM • permalink


    1. Drying clothes outside in Vermont. Mmmm.

      It’s below freezing for a large part of the year there.

      My enduring memory of the winter of 1963 in the UK, when temperatures were below freezing for 2 or 3 months is my mother hanging out clothes to dry in the morning and bringing them in, in the evening stiff as boards, i.e. frozen solid.

      Posted by phil_b on 2007 08 28 at 08:04 PM • permalink


    1. You would think that there would be a growing movement by the ecofascists out there to FORCE you out of the dryer.  Here in Arizona some of the stuff doesn’t even have to go outside.  It just looks at the thermometer and dries instantly.  No color degredation thingy there.

      Posted by yojimbo on 2007 08 28 at 08:10 PM • permalink


    1. Mad doc (#24): I am reasonably certain that there are no states or cities in the US that ban drying clothes on lines.

      However, most residential developments built after, oh, around 1985 or so, are part of a homeowner association (HOA) and HOA’s enact massive (100+) page rules and regulations known as covenants, codes & restrictions (CC&R’s) that regulate how your house looks for purpose of keeping up property values. Some HOA’s are like little dictatorships, where individuals who offend the board of directors get ordered to repaint their house because it painted in “sandstone white” while the CC&Rs; require “eggshell white”, that sort of thing.

      And by the way, that example wasn’t a joke—that actually happened in a development in Orange County California.

      Posted by SeanP on 2007 08 28 at 08:51 PM • permalink


    1. Only the poor unwashed masses wear the same clothes more than once.

      Furthermore, as washing clothes is women’s work I have no opinion on the subject.

      Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2007 08 29 at 01:02 AM • permalink


    1. #33, so Infidel,

      I take that to mean you still live at home with mummy? ;0

      Posted by Pogria on 2007 08 29 at 02:35 AM • permalink


    1. #34 – Nah, I wear a lot of filthy, unironed clothes!

      Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2007 08 29 at 03:09 AM • permalink


    1. Tim, there was a MSM story a week ago saying Hills Hoist exports to the US of A are booming. An ex USAF exchange officer apparently lead the charge.

      Posted by Astonished on 2007 08 29 at 04:14 AM • permalink


    1. I use my clothesline for most of the year, excluding Mizerable Summer, which is July thru mid-September, at least. A cup of white vinegar in the rinse keeps my towels soft even when line-dried, except at this time of year when everything mildews in moments.

      When I was a kid, we often got jean-sicles & such off the line – southern Alberta & northern Montana have rather chilly winters. Getting a dryer into that tiny teacherage was a challenge…but it made mum’s life a bit easier!

      I wouldn’t live in any neighborhood that banned clotheslines. I don’t care if you use the line or a dryer, y’understand, I just gotta have one myself – and 2 is even better (one sheltered from the rain in the CARPORT!) though I don’t have the second one yet.

      Posted by KC on 2007 08 29 at 05:23 AM • permalink


    1. #37, KC,

      you’ve said it all!!

      Although we have a different outlook on clotheslines here in Oz, I couldn’t bear to live in one of those ridiculous housing estates where you have NO choice. Developers are trying to go that way here, but are not having much success. Fortunately!!!.

      Posted by Pogria on 2007 08 29 at 06:22 AM • permalink


    1. Used to use clothes lines in Glasgow on the one day of summer then rested them.

      Posted by watty on 2007 08 29 at 08:34 AM • permalink


    1. Link SNAFU.

      RebeccaH, to speed the process, you could have air-dried heavy bedclothes on your chain link. After two weeks of that, our neighbors whipped up a magnificent wooden fence at their expense.

      Posted by Rittenhouse on 2007 08 29 at 10:53 AM • permalink


  1. The Pigeon-Poop Sniper’s motto:  “Don’t try to keep your hanging laundry clean.  You’ll only dry tired…”

    Posted by richard mcenroe on 2007 08 29 at 03:29 PM • permalink