For some people, that fresh laundry smell is associated with the type of detergent used. For me, it will always be the smell of summer—warm sun and fresh air. Growing up, we spent our summers in Connecticut, in a house without heat, and without a clothes dryer. My mother did copious loads of laundry, and hung it all on a clothesline that ran from the back of the garage to a tall t-post erected for this purpose.
When Cherisse and I moved into our house in Foster, there was an old Sears washer and dryer. Eventually the washing machine died, and so we purchased a high-efficiency front loading washer, but kept the dryer since it still worked. The washer and dryer are in a bump-out in the back of our house, which must have been built around the machines because they don’t fit through the door. To get the old washer out (and new one in), Cherisse had to remove (and later replace) the door, its casing and the jamb.
Eventually the dryer, too, died. Only this time we didn’t buy a new one. Instead, the clothesline we had strung between two trees became our primary dryer—year-round. We discovered that in the wintertime the dryness of the air nearly compensates for the diminished sunlight. If there are too many rainy (or snowy) days, we use a wooden drying rack. (We just bought a fantastic new one at the Common Ground Fair—it is beautifully made and has much greater capacity than our old one.)
I love to see our clothes blowing on the clothesline in our backyard. We save money, help the environment (by reducing energy use), and enjoy laundry that smells wonderful.