Washing machines have become much more energy efficient in the last 10 years, but dryer technology has barely evolved. In fact, the biggest efficiency gain in drying has come from washing machines – specifically the new front-loading ones, which spin faster and extract more water so clothes are drier when they go into the dryer. The only energy-efficient clothes dryer is a clothesline.
And I really like this Lehigh Retractable Clothesline I’ve been using for 3 years now. It stays tucked out of sight til you need it, then whips right out 8, 20 or 40 feet. Even if you just use a clothesline some of the time, you’ll save a lot on your gas or electric bill, especially if you use it for the heavier things, like towels and jeans, which also happen to be the easiest to hang. And speaking of easy – don’t forget my mom’s trick of keeping your clothespins on a ribbon you can hang over your neck. That makes it super easy to grab the clothespins as you're hanging the clothes, and easy to stow them when you take the clothes down. Another important tip if you've never used a clothesline before: bend the edge of big or heavy items over the clothesline, and pin over the two layers of fabric surrounding the clothesline. That will help keep them from slipping off in the wind.