Thinking of ditching the dryer? Try line-drying clothes instead!

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- In this day and age, most people don't think twice about the way they do their laundry. But experts at Consumer Reports say there are plenty of reasons to go old-school by giving up your clothes dryer and line-drying your clothes, instead.

Gail Wind considers herself a fairly progressive woman, except when it comes to laundry. She has been line-drying her laundry for nearly 40 years, which has made her somewhat of a neighborhood meteorologist.

"My neighbor, across the street one morning, she goes, 'I always check to see if you have laundry out, because then i know it's going to be a nice day,'" she said.

A bit old-fashioned? Maybe. But laundry experts at Consumer Reports say there are some very modern reasons to ditch your dryer. Like the fact that it's one of the top seven energy users in your home. "They use a ton of electricity, about 4 percent of most household electricity is used in a dryer," said Paul Hope, Consumer Reports Home Editor. "But they also break down the fibers in your clothes over time, from the high heat of the cycle," he said.

Ready to give line-drying a shot? Start by hanging a clothesline in a sunny spot, away from the birds. And get some durable clothes pins that open easily.

When you're ready to hang, shake items out first to lessen wrinkles.

Hang shirts from the bottom and pants and skirts from the waistband to help make clothespin marks less obvious.

It's also a good idea to fold knits right over the line, to help avoid puckering or stretching.

Plus, on top of the fresh scent, line-drying provides another bonus. "The sun is actually pretty powerful. It can fight stains, it can even bleach your whites and make them brighter," said Hope.

Which also means you should turn things like dark jeans inside out, to reduce fading, one of the many tricks Gail Wind already knows.

Consumer Reports reminds us it's also equally important to know what not to line-dry. Like down jackets and sleeping bags. They actually fluff up best when you put them in a dryer with a sneaker or a tennis ball.

And you should think twice about line-drying at all if your family has allergies, pollen can collect in your laundry when you hang it outside.

Click here for a look at more stories by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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