Deciding between a clothesline and dryer

For those of us with the money (and the space), a clothes dryer can be a paragon of convenience, being both quicker and easier than hanging your clothes out to dry. However, the dryer does come with a few drawbacks of its own so consumers should be careful to consider both methods in the context of their home before deciding whether or not to fork out for a clothes dryer.

Clothesline drying

Woman hanging clotheslineWhile using a clothesline will set you back by zero dollars, there are a few problems that can come with leaving your clothes to dry outside.

Clotheslines are favoured spots for spiders, which can make their way into your clothes without you noticing. Clotheslines are also exposed to undesirable falling matter, such as bird droppings and plant matter from any overhanging trees – fresh sheets on your bed are lovely until you notice all the tiny leaves caught up in your linen!

While many of these can be combated by using a moveable clothes horse that you can put undercover rather than a traditional clothesline, there are a few things that simply can’t be avoided when using a clothesline of any sort. For one, your clothesline ceases to be useful as soon as it starts to rain, leaving you with no way to dry clothes that you may require urgently.

On top of this, even if it isn’t raining, a cool or humid day will also see your clothes struggling to dry out.

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Machine drying

Using a clothes dryer presents a number of pros that a clothes line doesn’t have: it’s reliable, fast and much less effort. But consider the following cons before you decide that a dryer is in your future. First and foremost, a clothes dryer isn’t cheap.

Per Canstar Blue’s data on clothes dryers, the average drying appliance will cost you $621; that’s not an amount to spend lightly. Add on the fact that running your dryer once a week for a year will cost you approximately $62.50, and you’re looking at roughly $1,000 over the first six years.

But the drawbacks to owning a dryer aren’t just financial. Dryers are nothing if not two things: noisy and hot. If you’re living in a small space like an apartment, a dryer can knock up the temperature by a good few degrees in a matter of minutes. On top of that, dryers can be noisy, and that noise can be a serious bother to you (and potentially neighbours if you live in an apartment complex).


What all of the above boils down to are two main factors: money and location. If you’ve got the money, you can consider purchasing a clothes dryer. However, if you live in a small flat or apartment, you might need to consider your neighbours before making that decision. Likewise, if your house is surrounded by trees or doesn’t get much sun, a clothesline is probably not suitable as a sole option either.

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