Clothes dryer: convenient, but not a necessity

While clothes dryers are super convenient they’re not a necessity. You can survive without one. The alternative? Air drying of course! Air drying your wash is good for your clothes, your wallet, and the earth.

dryer1 - I recommend this rack

Good for your clothes

Clothes hung on a line don’t have static electricity, shrinkage, or break down thread by thread. Ever wonder where all that dryer lint comes from? Your clothes!

Good for your wallet

Let’s figure the annual cost savings. Most dryers consume about 5000 watts (5 kilowatts) of energy – for the exact amount check your dryer manual. Now, we need to know the cost of your electricity. You can find this tidbit on your electric bill, but for this example we’ll use 13 cents per kilowatt hour. And finally, how much time per week is your dryer running. For this example, let’s use 5 hours per week.

5 (kilowatts) x $0.13 (kilowatt hour price) x 5 (hours) = $3.25 per week

Cost per year = $169

Good for the earth

And then there’s the earth. Each dryer annually consumes approximately 1,300 kilowatt hours of energy per household and something like 2000 pounds of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.


But wait, what about wrinkles? If you find that your clothes are wrinkly after air drying, pop your clothes in the dryer for 5 minutes. I haven’t had to do this, but then wrinkles are the norm in Seattle.

And finally, consider using an eco-friendly laundry detergent.

Everything you want to know about air drying
BreezeDryer – cool air drying products
Project laundry list
Life without a dryer for a family of 5


  1. I’ve been trying to use the dryer less, and your post has inspired me to try even harder. My dear husband is following my Compact (buy nothing new) pledge and is setting up a clothesline in the backyard, without my even asking! He’s going to make it portable so we can take it down when we have company and entertain in the backyard.

    Oh yeah- thanks for the tips on cooking beans as well, also something on my “to do” list…

    I like your blog- I read Non Consumer girl. I’m going to bookmark yours and check back in.


  2. During this year, I have been mostly drying my clothes on clothes lines. I do a load of laundry a day, so it is quite easy to air dry this amount daily without using the dryer.

    I like it when my clothes smell like “sunshine”!

  3. Hi Kate! :)

    I’ve created a lovely little habit of checking on your blog a few times a week. I stumbled across this post about clothes drying racks and I remembered my mother’s wise words saying I need one. I checked out the site you linked to – – and found some real nifty racks. Since the purchase is over $50, I’ll have to sleep on it a few nights and make sure I need it. You know, SimpleDollar style haha.

    Hope all’s well up there! Heard it’s pretty rainy :-P

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