Someday I would love to live out of the city where we could line dry our laundry. There’s just something about the crisp, cool, freshness of line-dried laundry that is indescribable. Blasting blankets and shirts dry in a dryer may be faster, but it is harder on clothing and comes out lacking the crispness of a day’s drying on the line. In the above photo, taken in a Kansas Amish settlement, you can see that they have a free dryer there. It’s called wind!:) And it’s constant, so even denim dries fast.
Some Amish homemakers have those high lines that can be cranked up in elevation to fit more clothing and to take advantage of winds aloft to make for quicker drying. Above are two such examples, one in Wolcotville, Indiana and the other in the Conewango Valley of New York..
Some Amish buggies can occasionally be seen outside of laundromats if the weather is especially bad or, I suppose, if they are in a hurry and have a ton of laundry. But for the most part line-dried laundry is a staple of Amish culture. So much so that Mondays are often set aside as “laundry day” for the average Amish homemaker.
Laundry soap is often Borax or homemade formulations among the more conservative Amish, with the more progressive ones gravitating towards store-bought brands. Below are some laundry scenes for typical line-drying in Amish country. The clothing colors vary from settlement to settlement, you can often tell what kind of community you are in by just observing the laundry lines. The first photo below was taken in Adams County, Indiana. You can see heavy blankets weighing down the lines. And the bottom photo is just a typical porch line for a few dresses in Holmes County, Ohio. The home probably belongs to an elderly couple so they don’t have to go far to fetch their freshly dried clothing.