Drip Dry Your Laundry & Water Your Garden

This one’s simple.

Dry your laundry and water your plants at the same time.

Dry your laundry and water your plants at the same time.

1) String a laundry line over your tomato plants (or basil or really anything you’re growing that needs watering.) We tend to water our tomato plants and tomatillos as they don’t need much water and our grape vine digs it, too.

2) Wash your clothes but don’t do a spin cycle. It saves about 10-15 minutes’-worth of laundry-time hence it saves electricity.

3) Carry your wet clothes out to the line and hang them up.

4) Let them drip over your plants until they’re dry. (Oh, and it makes sense to use an eco-friendly laundry soap. We have lots of ideas in our app or your could make your own.)

Drying laundry = happy tomato plants.

Drying laundry = happy tomato & tomatillo plants.

5) No need to water your plants. We use this drip-irrigation system all summer long.

I learned this trick from friends in Nepal who hung our laundry over their garden. Saved lots of water and here at home it saves electricity, too.

Symbiosis between your laundry and your garden.

Symbiosis between your laundry and your garden.

If you’re looking for some more frugal or sustainable laundry tips, try our Trash Backwards app:

Click Through For Eco-Friendly Laundry Ideas at Trash Backwards

Click Through For Eco-Friendly Laundry Ideas at Trash Backwards

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Categories: DIY, Plastic-Free Living, Reduce Your Use, Think About It


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11 Comments on “Drip Dry Your Laundry & Water Your Garden”

  1. July 9, 2013 at 3:09 am #

    A very practical and logical approach to water our garden.Thanks!

  2. July 9, 2013 at 4:28 am #

    I reuse water from my dehumidifier to water my plants! Does that count? 😉

  3. July 9, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    Great idea for those summers that are dry. This year any extra water in the garden is unwanted as it won’t stop raining here.

  4. July 9, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    Sorry to hear about the rain! We get a lot of rain too, so I only try this trick during our dry summer season. However, I’m humbled by a woman who contacted me saying she lived in Japan in a wet part of the country for years and didn’t have a dryer (like all our friends in Nepal) and she still managed to dry her clothes on a line, albeit not over her garden! My hats off to those who try to keep clothes, etc. dry in a monsoonal climate. I do hope yours changes soon.

  5. Christopher de Vidal
    July 10, 2013 at 8:20 am #

    Good idea! And for those of us who are hesitant to step all over the garden and compact the soil, an old fashioned pulley clothesline can be used instead.

    • July 10, 2013 at 9:30 am #

      Hi Christopher. Thanks for the great reminder. I have a fixed line but do all my “loading up” of the clothes on the line while standing in the side yard with a slightly slack line. Then, I take a long stick with a Y at the end and push the line over the tomatoes and prop the stick up at an angle against the fence. Super easy! I can include a picture if anyone wants to see.

  6. Lori Zinn
    November 20, 2016 at 4:46 pm #

    Drip dry your clothes and on a warm day without any wind and you finish up with clothes stiff like boards and wrinkled. Better to hang the the clothes after wringing them out or spinning them, meanwhile save the water from the washing and bucket that onto the garden. Hanging out dripping wet clothes (and even worse dripping wet large towels and sheets) is heavy work, with a good chance of getting yourself wet and uncomfortable in the process. Guess it could save you having a shower afterwards. Oh yes, and you need far stronger clothes lines in case they break or stretch under the extra weight, risk; if you drop a wet, wet piece of clothing it gets muddy and you have to re-wash it, and you may have to iron clothes after they dry, instead of bringing them in and folding crease-free clothes to put straight away. Sorry, but having to live a very frugal life without the comforts most people take for granted I know what it is like to do everything the hard way, and how they turn out. Hanging out dripping wet clothes is not a good one.

    • November 20, 2016 at 5:01 pm #

      I hear you, Lori. But I guess this is a situation where we each have our own opinions on the matter. I love hanging my big towels up to drip dry over the vegetables and blueberries. That’s just me, and maybe it’s not for everyone.


  1. Life Less Laundry | Trash Backwards - July 9, 2013

    […] First, water has to be collected and carried to your fire to be heated, if you’re going to be a purist. Otherwise, a nearby stream will suffice. Secondly, you have to hang it up to dry and inevitably those clothes get full of wind-blown dirt and dust as they drip dry. Then, I learned an amazing lesson about laundry while living 6 weeks in Kathmandu. I noticed people don’t waste energy wringing out the wet clothes and linens to hasten drying. The water must be put to use! Laundry is often hung right over the vegetable garden to drip-irrigate precious veggies. So, come summer, our family hangs our dripping-wet laundry (no spin cycle used) over our tomato plants and we never need to water them. […]

  2. Go Green Today With These Simple Home Solutions - Green Energy - July 19, 2013

    […] Let laundry stack up another day or two in order to maximize savings and efficiency. Also consider drying clothes outdoors on a clothesline if allowed in your area. The fresh outdoorsy scent can’t be beat, […]

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