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I have vivid memories of the monsoon afternoons when my mom used to SHOUT from inside the kitchen while serving lunch to “Just go out & take the clothes off the rope. Hurry!” Not being a very doting daughter then, I’d only have my signature rebellious stare at mom, as if to blurt an adage-like sentence. That was, “You know it’s going to rain every single day. And still you don’t use the machine dry, huh?” And then I would trot up the stairs to do get the laundry off the line, sometimes with my dad.

Well, in my country, India, we guys are simply used to racing up to the terrace or the balcony to pull out clothes from the clothesline every time there’s going to be a shower or even a drizzle. And this a common sight for at least 4 odd months of the year.

But I was glad to realize that my mom wasn’t crazy to put the clothes for drying outdoors even when the clouds could get jealous any damn time. While my native Goa has no dearth of occasional brisk sunlight even during the monsoons, that may not be the case with everyone. Especially if you live in colder countries which see very scanty sun or where the climate is perennially wet.

So it seems to be a good solution to just tumble-dry your laundry that probably gets accumulated over 5-6 days, or I know, even a week. Doesn’t it? Specially when you don’t own a penthouse, an independent terrace or a spacious balcony.

Why machine dry is UNHEALTHY

“Man, why do I even have a washing machine then?” Now that’s a very valid question, which once used to be my rebuttal to mom too!

By the way, hold on. I’m not here to advocate regression in terms of laundry practices. Period.

Here’s why I want to plunge into the discussion of the ‘Sundry Vs Machine Dry’. And why it’s GOOD to let your washed clothes dry OUTDOORS, whether on a clothesline or a clothes stand.

Sun-drying is the CHEAPEST laundry process

Machine dry Vs Sundry

Putting your clothes out to dry in the sun is way inexpensive than the electricity spent on spin drying them.

Sun is a natural germ-killer

Sundrying benefits

Free sunlight is a natural disinfectant when it comes to killing germs with its abundant Ultraviolet rays.

The process is devoid of ‘LINT’

Machine dry creates LINT

Lint is a substance that the agitated rinsing & drying actions of your washing machine generates from the clothes. The fine lint often gets trapped in & around the surfaces of your machine dryer, or remains stuck over that of the ready-to-dry clothes.

Another way lint could be dangerous is because when it remains trapped on the surface of the fabric you wear regularly, you tend to inhale the fine hair-like structures of lint. This could be very harmful for your lungs or the entire respiratory system on a regular basis. The thing could get worse if you’re somebody who suffers from Asthma or Sinusitis.

If you don’t believe it, do check out your washing machine filter & try cleaning it with a toothbrush. Well, I do that sometimes by wearing a mask.

Machine Dry is not that great for your health

Why machine dry is unhealthy for you

Sadly, machine dry &, even tumble-dry, doesn’t rid your clothes from the chances of catching mould. Moreover when you line your freshly done laundry indoors either on a stingy rope in a corner or a clothes stand/rack indoors, you make enough room for fungus to form on the clothes. We all know that dampness about any surface leads to the formation of fungus, or simply mould.

Pheena Kenny of The Asthma Society of Ireland says, “If you aren’t sensitive to mould, you may never even experience a reaction. But for some people with asthma who are sensitive to mould spores, it can act as a trigger, causing asthma symptoms to get worse.”

I personally remember my sinusitis getting aggravated during the days when I was habitual of putting my towel to dry indoors on the stand as I rushed out for college in hurry. Incidences of getting sinus irritations was very frequent until then. Well, how I finally got rid of sinusitis for good with Yoga is another story altogether.

No need for fabric conditioner

Fabric conditioner

Clothes dried completely under the sun smell naturally great & are softer to feel than the ones from machine dry. Machine dry often fails to eliminate the weird smell of sweaty patches covered in the overindulgent fragrance of deodorants. Hence, we resort to fabric conditioners which not only leave the clothes out smelling nice but also let them feel soft.

Nevertheless, for people, specially babies & small children with sensitive skin, such artificial laundry agents may turn out to trigger certain skin allergies. So, when you can well afford the sun, why this artificial fragrance anymore?

“But I have a washing machine. So, should I stop using it?”


I totally understand that the hassle of letting the clothes dry outside when most of your time is spent away from home. But anyways, you could do a few of the following to make the laundry session a bit more healthier:

  • I’d really be more happy for you, if you already have a semi-automatic washing machine, which gives you the freedom to wash automatically but skip the machine dry step totally to dry them under the sun. If you could do something of that sort, it’d be awesome!
  • Let your clothes (though completely machine/tumble dried) get the maximum sun exposure. So what you could do is plan your laundry for the weekend. Just rinse the dump in the machine tub, dry it (manually or automatically), but line them up outside for a couple of hours. If you particularly live in regions closely associated with monsoons, this would work great just like it does for me!
  • Should the sunlight be short-timed, no worries. You could quickly rub your iron over the clothes that still seem to be damp.Laundry - Ironing to kill germs
  • Avoid hanging your clothes either on the stand or a rope inside your bedroom. Apart from being a terribly unhygienic habit, it leaves absolutely no room for ventilation or decent fragrance in the house.
  • Maybe delegate a domestic help to do the laundry for you. You don’t have to take it all on you. Do you? This decision, however, would heavily depend upon the electricity tariff in your place. You could decide which one is cheaper. The house help or the (machine+sun) framework.

So, how are you going to make your laundry style cooler & safer? 🙂

Let me know in the comments.

Linking this to Write Tribe Festival of Words – June 2018 #writebravely

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