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Laundry can be a pain to deal with, especially for those with a large family who have many loads to do. For some people, laundry is even their least favorite household chore! But for those who wish to find a better way of taking care of their clothes – and help save the earth at the same time – then National Hanging Out Day has got you covered.

National Hanging Out Day encourages everyone to use a drying rack or clothes line instead of an electric or gas tumble dryer as a way to help the environment. The day also strives to bring awareness to the benefits of air-drying clothes.

So get ready to learn a little bit about laundry drying practices and how to celebrate National Hanging Out Day!

History of National Hanging Out Day

National Hanging Out Day was founded in 1998, when Project Laundry List was still in development. While former director Alexander Lee was attending Green Corps’ undergraduate Environmental Organizing Semester, at a similar time, Senator Dick McCormack of Vermont introduced the Right to Dry bill in hopes of passing it for the state.

The first National Hanging Out Day was established during this time, encouraging hundreds of people to get into the habit of using clotheslines or drying rack for drying laundry instead of using an electric or gas tumble dryer, for energy conservation purposes.

Project Laundry List continues to work towards encouraging others to use line drying as a better way of drying clothes for environmental reasons. Now, each year, Project Laundry List works with hundreds of other organizations to sponsor National Hanging Out Day.

Sponsored by and as an active member of The CLEAN, a national coalition of environmental organizations, National Hanging Out Day encourages communities to learn about the benefits of clotheslines as an alternative drying method.

Line drying clothes can help families and individuals to save money, get less lint to occur on their clothes, help prevent problems like fires, and also can help save energy in the process. Everyone wins with National Hanging Out Day!

Line drying has many benefits in comparison to drying with a machine, and through National Hanging Out Day. This day is meant to raise awareness so that people can become more aware of the problems that using an electric or gas tumble dryer can have on the environment.

National Hanging Out Day Timeline


Hand cranked clothes dryer appears 

Using a metal drum and placing holes in it, M. Pochon rotates his drum over a fire until the clothes are dry.[1]


Clothespins are patented

This is the beginning of more than 30 years of the US Patent office issuing over 140 separate patents for different styles of clothespins.[2]


First electric clothes dryer is invented 

Henry W. Altorfer invents what is believed to have been the first electric clothes dryer.[3]


National Hanging Out Day begins 

Founded by Alexander Lee, this is part of Project Laundry List in an effort to protect the environment.[4]


“Right to Dry” law passes in Vermont 

Promoting the saving of the environment, Vermont makes it illegal for condominiums or housing complexes to ban the use of clotheslines.[5]

How to Celebrate National Hanging Out Day

Wondering about ideas for celebrating National Hanging Out Day? Try out some of these tips or create some other clever ways to support the day:

Hang the Laundry Out to Dry

The first and most obvious way to get involved is by taking the time to try out air drying that laundry. For those who have the space, it’s not difficult to set up a line in the backyard and test out what air drying can do for those clothes. Those who don’t have room for an entire clothes line might consider a round version of a clothes drying rack that can be installed in the ground but doesn’t take up a lot of space.

Learn About the Benefits of Hanging Out Laundry

Getting into the habit of air drying clothes is a simple way to help save the planet by reducing electricity or gas consumption and even preventing the possibility of fires. Plus,it has other benefits as well! Check out these reasons why it’s a great idea to celebrate National Hanging Out Day for more than just one day:

  • Prevents Static Cling. Static is created in the dryer, so avoiding the dryer means avoiding static! Clothes come off the line completely static free.
  • Extend Clothing Life. Tumble drying has a tendency to cause wear and tear on clothing. Torn threads, small rips and holes can tend to grow in the dryer. Buttons can fall off and garments can become thinner more quickly than when hung on the line.
  • Disinfect Laundry. The sun has ultraviolet rays that provide an additional layer of cleaning and disinfecting clothing when it is hung outside. This can be particularly beneficial for whites, such as sheets, towels, t-shirts and cloth diapers.
  • Get Outdoors. Hanging out laundry is a great way to be assured of spending a little bit of time outside in the sunshine and fresh weather. It’s great for mental and physical health!

Raise Awareness for Hanging Out Day

Show support for the day by posting the benefits of air drying on social media, or just add a pic on Instagram or Facebook of those clothes being happily dried in the sunshine!

Another idea might be to post flyers at a local community center or give flyers out to various schools or workplaces to educate people about the benefits of air drying.

One way is simple to start a conversation with friends and neighbors. Talk to friends and family about the idea and help others get their clothing lines set up so they can dry their clothes in the sunlight.

Volunteer to Help with Project Laundry List

One way to celebrate National Hanging Out Day might be to sign up to volunteer at Project Laundry List to see what opportunities the organization can have if you care about the environment. Roles could vary, from helping people in the community to hang up their own laundry clotheslines to raising awareness by encouraging others to join in on the fun and freshness of hanging out laundry.

National Hanging Out Day FAQs

What is National Hanging Out Day?

National Hanging Out Day was created to focus on the ways people can change their habits to better the environment.[1]

Why hang clothes outside?

Hanging clothes outside is better for the clothing, better for the environment and better for the electricity bill![2]

How much money do you save by hang drying clothes?

With differences in the amount of laundry done or the cost of electricity, many people can save $100 per year or more by not using a clothes dryer.[3]

Can you hang laundry out in winter?

Sure! Laundry can be hung outside in the winter weather in many places around the world, as long as it is not wet cold enough to freeze.[4]

Does hanging laundry out kill bacteria?

Direct sunlight does help to naturally bleach and disinfect clothing when it hangs out to dry.[5]

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