Stop Banning Outdoor Clothes Drying

Target: Washington State Congressman Jim McDermott

Goal: Prohibit the banning of clothesline use by homeowner associations in Washington State

According to a recent report in the Seattle Times by Nancy Bartley, a major Washington State homeowner association is banning the use of clotheslines to dry laundry. The organization’s labeling the use of clotheslines as unsightly and “dangerous” is obtuse and goes against the norm for homeowner associations – which usually strive for saving energy. During a time when ‘going-green’ is a goal for every business, institution, and even individual (or so they proclaim), why is such an obvious and reasonable path one can take to be ‘green’ so easily ignored and prohibited?

Already there are nineteen states in the U.S. that prohibit the banning of outdoor laundry drying, and for good reason. Based on data from the  United States Energy Information Administration, a normal U.S. household could reduce their carbon dioxide footprint by an estimated 1,500 pounds annually. Producing less carbon dioxide is always great in the long run, but for more noticeable, short-term advantages, depending on the person or family, you could save on the upwards of $100 to $300 dollars a year, simply by avoiding the electric or gas dryer in your home. A common household can save so much by changing one habit without any occurring side-effects. Those who want to ban clothesline use simply claim it as an eyesore, even though an average person washes their clothes only once a week, meaning in a typical month you would only see your neighbor’s laundry hanging outside maybe four times, that is if you insist on staring at it in the first place. There is no real argument to defend this outrageous banning.

By signing the petition below, you will help stop the prohibition of clothesline use from continuing in new developments, apartments, and condominiums across Washington State. In an age where global warming and other environmental issues continue to cause many problems, we need to encourage everyone to take any step they can in order to help preserve our world.


Dear Jim McDermott,

I am writing to you today in regard to the reoccurring banning of drying laundry outdoors for residencies a part of a homeowner association. This prohibition of using clotheslines as an alternative to a electric or gas dryer is absurd and needs to end. We live in a  time when we should encourage using less energy and saving more money. The typical U.S. household can reduce their carbon dioxide footprint by an estimated 1,500 pounds, and save anywhere between $100-$300 dollars annually, according to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council and United States Energy Information Administration.

The only arguments many homeowner associations use to defend the ban is that of not wanting to see their neighbor’s laundry flapping in the wind. This is an outrageous argument that doesn’t have any backing whatsoever. The amount of good that can come from changing a households clothes-drying habits completely outweighs any ‘unsightly’ claim. I urge you and your colleagues to sponsor a bill that will prohibit any banning of this effective, energy saving method.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: chasingthenuns via Flickr

Sign the Petition

  • Only your name will be displayed. By signing, you accept our terms and may receive updates on this and related causes.
FacebookCare2 NewsTwitterEmailShare


  1. J Davidson says:

    The fumes from laundry dryers are major contributors to air pollution, disease and climate change. High efficiency detergents, fabric softeners,dryer strips and fragrances are loaded with volatile organic compounds and petroleum distillates that are not biodegradable. Where is everybody on this issue and why is there no awareness of the damage to us and our environment? Furthermore, we live in a free country where we should have the right to do our laundry the way we want to. Corporations want to sell dryers and toxic products, while one load of someone’s laundry perfumes my whole neighborhood.

  2. What we need is a ban on those dryer sheets that contain such a stench (known to some as perfume). Yes, one dryer sheet vented outdoors CAN pollute a whole neighborhood. Who cares? The large segment of the population allergic to perfumes, that’s who. People whose ability to breathe is threatened by these artificial scents (among other reactions to such allergens). I hang my laundry out spring, summer and fall. We live in sick times when a legislator is trying to ban drying clothes outdoors. Sick sick sick.

    While we’re at it, BAN CONGRESSMAN McDERMOTT.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Facebook Comments


440 Signatures

  • Lynn Juozilaitis
  • Sharon brink
  • Ann Blank
  • Ann Blank
  • Richard Ohlendorf
  • tam O
  • Mary-Carol Gales
  • Ana Maria Mainhardt Carpes
  • Carole Mathews
1 of 44123...44
Skip to toolbar