This post is in response to the belief that hanging clothes to dry inside is too toxic and dangerous for humans to even contemplate it.
First, I think we need to look at why line drying your clothes inside is for some a necessity. For people who live off grid and produce their own power, it is not feasible to have an electric clothes dryer. Electric clothes dryers generally use over 3500 watts of power an hour and that would deplete most battery banks after three consecutive loads. Line drying is our only option. Unfortunately, line drying outside in our area during the winter is not a possibility. The clothes would freeze into stiff boards and be covered in snow and icicles. A cover is not possible for the clothes line outside because if the clothes can’t dry out, they would mold. The only feasible way when living off grid is to hang dry the clothes on a line inside the home during the winter and early spring months.
So, how do we do this? We decided to hang dry our clothes responsibly. I ran a clothes line through the center of our largest room on a taunt, adjustable and removable cable. The room is not blocked off, and the clothes have room to breathe and evaporate the water in them. For an extra measure, we put our clothes on an extra-long spin cycle to ring the clothes of excess water. Not much water is left in the clothes by the time we hang them.
We also have a wood stove which produces very dry heat. We live in a very arid climate with not too much humidity in the air. Many people put a kettle of water on the wood stove to moisten the air to prevent skin and lips from cracking and chapping. It also prevents nose bleeds during the winter. The hanging of the clothes on the line is no different than having a kettle of water on the wood stove; it adds a little humidity to the air, but not enough to cause mold or mildew to grow. We also have switched soap brands to a detergent that is very friendly to grey water systems, people, animals, and plants. The laundry soap we buy is from the organic section in our grocery store without the harmful chemicals that people should be concerned about.
Are there times that hang drying your clothes inside would not be a good idea and potentially hazardous to a person’s health? The answer of course is yes, but not in the case I described above. If a person would take the time to research the various living conditions or situations, they would realize a blanket ban or fear of hang drying clothes inside is ridiculous. The problem with fear is it shortens the insight of people to problem solve or learn different methods of doing things. What happens when a person is ruled by fear? People living in fear usually go into a fight or flight response; they either run away from or attack people or things that are contrary to their beliefs. My wife and I do not want to live in a world of fear or promote a world of fear to our son. We believe in safety first, but we also have history on our side. The settlers and pioneers of this great country of ours hang dried their clothes next to their rock and mortar fireplaces in the cabins they built without building codes. The problem with fear is we quickly forget where humanity has come from and how we lived without modern appliances these past millenniums. Now fear has motivated us to reject a natural world the human race has survived and thrived in for an artificial world of toxicity to our health.
The example provided in an article about never drying your clothes indoors uses a man with a lung infection who has dried his clothes on a radiator for years. Here is the real problem; the man was using a radiator which uses heated water to dry damp clothes. His radiator already adds to the humidity of his home or apartment and then he added wet clothing to be dried in this already humid environment; he unwittingly was creating his own problem. The next example is the hazards of drying clothes indoors on the Philippine Islands. Hello, this nation of islands is a place known for its high humidity or moisture content in the air. Drying clothes indoors with a highly humid environment is difficult and a problem that shouldn’t be attempted without a dehumidifier. But, this article doesn’t speak on this. When a person writes an article without looking at all the facts or ignores facts that contradict their view, it is known as a type of propaganda called framing. It is unclear if this article was written to save people from pulmonary aspergillus, a mold found everywhere according to the Mayo clinic, or sadly a gross overstating of the issue of hang drying clothes indoors.