With on average more than 300 sunny days per year in Portugal, it makes sense for us to utilise the sun in more ways than just catching a tan! We have found that one of the best and most environmentally friendly ways to do this is to air-dry our laundry. We also constantly get asked by our guests which products we use for laundry washing, but more than that, in our opinion, we have the sun to thank for that.
The elements of nature are truly amazing because they provide us with effortless reasons to love and appreciate them everyday. Even though dryers have become increasingly eco-friendly and energy saving through the years, nothing beats air drying your laundry, the old-fashioned way. The wind and sun of Baleal work together to create the ultimate all-natural dryer for freshly cleaned laundry, and provide us with freshly air-dried clothes, complete with a bright, sunny smell. Line drying is an activity that is chosen less often than using a commercial clothes dryer, mainly because of the extra effort and time that takes to complete it. However, we should be taking advantage of this technique, since it's a safer and greener option. Here are 5 reasons on why we decided to line dry our bedding and towels in the open air:
1. It's environmentally friendly
First and foremost, line drying saves on energy! The dryer is the second most energy consuming device in a home, after the refrigerator. According to The Waterline Global using a tumble dryer for one year emits more carbon than a tree can absorb in 50. Over the course of its lifetime (approx. 100 years), a tree will absorb on average 500kg of CO2. According to The Waterline Global, with the average household using their tumble dryer 20 times a month, it’s shocking to find that the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from just one tumble dryer a year (432kg) is more than a tree can absorb over the course of the first 50 years of its life. Given how frequently we wash our linen and towels as a hospitality bussiness, our footprint could be significantly higher if we chose this option.
2. It extends the lifetime of our linens and towels
The lint that is scraped off of a dryer’s lint trap after each load is visible evidence of the dryer shortening the life of your clothes. Especially if you’re unsure about the drying cycles you should use. Line drying will prevent your clothes from withering or shrinking each time it’s sent to get dried, and it will also save you the cost of re-purchasing them over time.
3. The sun is a natural stain remover
The sun-s UV rays can be used to disinfect water and damp laundry. When hung dry on a clothesline, it even helps to remove lingering stains. For stain removal, we mix a little lemon juice and salt and smear it on the stain, then put the item in the sun and in an hour or two, the stains are gone. Then we rewash the item and it's snowy white again. Even without the treatment, the sun naturally whitens the stains and disinfects our linen & towels. Chemical bleaches may be useful in removing stains, however they are harmful to the environment, can be bad for your skin, and can ruin your clothes if you aren’t careful. Fortunately, there is a safer, more natural and more cost effective way to bleach your items – sun bleaching. The ultraviolet light, says waterandhealth.org, from the sun also has disinfectant properties and can help kill bacteria. According to Washington Post sunlight’s ultraviolet wavelengths have strengths in disinfecting against the coronavirus.
4. It reduces wrinkles
Since the linen are weighed down by the water, they naturally stretch to their original form, thus removing any wrinkles that may appear from drying in a crumbled position. This works best when it’s windy out, and we are lucky enough to have perfect conditions for this. This also saves us the process of ironing our bedding and towels, which is yet another way to reduce our carbon footprint. In case you didn't know, irons - despite not using them every day - consume a significant amount of electricity. According to Mark Gersava, every person emits 190 kg of CO2 equivalent in greenhouse gases each year by ironing clothes.
5. Fresh smell
There’s a reason why there are so many laundry products with fragrance names like “Fresh Air.” Even dryer softening sheets called “Clean Laundry” have a picture on the box of sparkling white sheets flapping in the breeze on a clothesline. But no artificial fragrance can come close to the heady scent of clothes dried in the fresh air and sunshine.