Woman looking out open window

My grandma’s favorite month was June. Her rose bushes were in full bloom and the strawberries were juicy and sweet. Plus, the days were long and warm but not oppressively hot like July and August. It was the perfect time of year to take full advantage of the sunshine and fresh air.

But she wasn’t just enjoying the health benefits of sunshine and fresh air. Those long June days were perfect for hanging her white clothes and house linens on the clothesline to bleach in the bright sun, no Chlorox needed! My mother-in-law, too, was a big fan of using sunlight to bleach and freshen white clothes and to keep linens from becoming musty.

As I am sensitive to the harsh smell of commercial bleach, I have my own version of this old trick. I hang white clothes and sheets, comforters, and pillows on my giant clothes rack; I place it by a window where the sunshine keeps them fresh and bright.

But that’s not all. I keep the curtains open on the south-facing window in my bathroom to let the sun do the work of keeping the room mold- and mildew-free. Even my empty wicker laundry basket gets treated to hours of sunlight for that same reason. And the cool breeze coming through the window makes everything smell fresher.

Recently, I read an article that talked about using the sun to bleach out stains from cloth baby diapers. What a great way for parents to avoid potentially toxic products on items that come in contact with their babies. Using the power of the sun to dry and bleach baby clothes and diapers seems to be an ideal solution for nontoxic stain treatment.

Especially this time of year when we have more hours of sunlight, I’ll be taking advantage of the sunshine and fresh air to keep linens bright and freshen my home. And a bonus: Air drying my laundry reduces my energy consumption!

This post was originally published on June 10, 2020.

By Joanna Lacey

Joanna Lacey lives in New York and has collected thousands of ideas from the frugal habits of her mother and grandmother. You can find her on Facebook at Joanna the Green Maven.