Wind Powered. Now With Added Rubbery Farts.

At long last… we have a clothesline!

After a few years of asking to get a clothesline, and mostly not having the money to buy one or the time to put it up properly… we finally put one up last night. And I was very excited to rush out and try it today (before the thunderstorms roll in).

So now that I am no longer a slave to my dryer, I need to learn how to make drying clothes on a line work better for us. It has been almost 20 years since I have used a clothesline with any regularity — the last time I had a clothesline I lived in Japan, and there really wasn’t any choice in how things got done. No dryer, no fabric softener (or at least, none that I could read Japanese well enough to use). and my clothes usually ended up discoloured from the intensity of the sun and the pollution.

Needless to say, things are quite different now.

So, what I ask of you is this: What advice or tips or recommendations can you give to a novice with a clothesline?

I bought some laundry soap with fabric softener in it to use today. I didn’t go cheap — I bought Tide, with Springtime Fresh Downy fabric softener added in. But I must be honest, what I found was this: my clothes are neither soft nor springtime fresh, as the label indicates they will be. They are, in fact, crunchy and rough. Now, they’re mostly towels which, I know, most people put in the dryer anyway. But I thought, surely people put towels on the line too, don’t they?

Another problem: after handling the clothes to bring them in, I also notice my hands now stink of some sort of rubbery scent. Well, rubber mixed with farts, actually. Not a pleasant smell. So what is up with that, Tide with Downy in it? Does springtime freshness actually smell like RUBBERY FARTS? Because I tell you this, I remember springtime smelling a lot better than this.

So you see, I need help. Please, friends, help a clothesline newbie out. Otherwise, there will be a family walking around smelling raunchy and vaguely rubberized, and nobody wants that.

11 thoughts on “Wind Powered. Now With Added Rubbery Farts.

  1. So, I don’t know if this is just a coincidence or what, but we use a really gentle detergent with no scent or unnecessary chemical crap, and our line-dryed clothes are almost never crunchy. I do remember that feeling from childhood, when my grandmother washed in Tide and dried on the line. My guess is that maybe a simpler detergent might help. Another thought is to use white vinegar in your rinse, which will act as a softener. Let me know how it goes! I’m a huge fan of the clothes line!

  2. This post made me laugh so hard that I almost peed my pants. TMI, I know, but I thought you might like to know. I’d like to second the whole white vinegar rinse, which I’ve never tried but have heard works wonders. I must admit, though, that I grew up near the lovely Chemical Valley of Ontario, so springtime sometimes did smell like rubbery farts. Actually, it smelled like that most of the year.

  3. I love me a clothesline. Love it! I just use normal tide he and I adore the smell when it comes off the line. Hope you find something you like!

    Sheets I love on the line. Towels, nooo, smell good but feel like sandpaper on the buttox.

  4. We tried the vinegar rinse twice. The first time there was no noticeable difference in softness. The second time we used much more vinegar. They weren’t soft enough to overcome my dislike of vinegar scented towels.
    My Mom used to add a small amount of very diluted fabric softener to the rinse water, but mostly towels were dried on good drying days – lots of wind to snap them and make them rub slightly against each other.
    Have you tried wiping the actual line down? If it’s coated in a plastic, or made of a plastic, that will off gas and could cause the nasty smell.

  5. If you put the towels in the dryer for 10 minutes on air fluff then on the line they will dry fluffy and soft. The amount of wind you get will help fluff the towels as well. If there is no wind they will not fluff up on the line. I have never used the softener in the Tide product. My mother didn’t have any of these fabric softeners or dryer so she hand fluffed by really snapping the towels etc three or four times to hand fluff them. this is also good exercise for the arms. Good luck.

  6. I have very allergic skin and lived for quite a while in Oz with no dryer. I used a hypoallergenic/no scent detergent and a no scent fabric softener in the rinse load and as long as i remembered the softener, all was well, soft! Me ma never used fabric softener and I would spend all Saturday in the summer hanging clothes….and taking them down, etc. We just lived with stiff clothes then…..

  7. Hey Cinn, I use my clothes line constantly and used to use a cheap store-brand fabric softener with the expected stiff results. This time, I picked up a new product from Purex wtih a very noticable difference. The clothes are much softer and I usually do what Mom says, 10 minutes in the dryer first then on the line, but I didn’t have to this time with the Purex. Works like a dream. there is nothing better than having a nice shower or bath then climbing into freshly laundered sheets off the line. MMMmmmm, a little bit of heaven.

  8. Thanks for your ideas, everyone! We’ll try some of your great suggestions and see what works.

    In the meantime… just to let you know I am not (entirely) mental… BDH got in the shower this morning, and grabbed a facecloth to use that had been out on the line yesterday. And from in the shower I heard, “You’re RIGHT! It DOES smell rubbery! Like RUBBERY FARTS!!”

    New Tide – with Rubbery Fart Downy!

  9. Could it be that the folks next door, who are not wearing clothes, might be the answer to the rubbery farts? I’m just thinking that the farts do not get to be filtered through their clothes and thus just whiff through the air and settle on your clothes? Hmmmmm. Could it be?
    I’m sorry ,but I am just trying to come up with an answer. I think that I have said enough on that subject and should settle down for the evening with a bottle of wine and give it some more thought. Then again, maybe not.
    I am finding this very funny. You should hear me laughing. BDH will see the humor in it.
    Dad is just thinking we are all out to lunch.

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