The clothesline would be shown a lot more love and appreciate if we knew some simple tips and tricks. I can admit, now, that there was a time when I thought hanging clothes out was tacky. I didn’t want to waste the time and I didn’t see the point. I believe that was BEFORE I was paying bills, feeding kids and concerned about sustainability.
What’s not to love? My laundry line is saving me money! Did you know that clothes dryers are some of the biggest users of energy in your house (electric & gas)? Not to mention that hanging clothes, bedding and towels outside will not only give them a fresh smell, it will help them last longer (dryers put a lot of wear and tear on fabric). Now you’re totally green – you are reducing your carbon footprint my friends! I also find the whole process very relaxing – being outside, often with my headphones on and soaking in that vitamin D!
With a few tips and tricks you’ll love your clothesline too!
Tip #1 – Start with the right clothesline
Decide where you want your line and measure that space. What type of line do you need?
I currently have a line across my porch that I cut from vinyl clothesline. It works, but it is up with a few nails and it sags under the weight of towels and blankets; I’m ready for an upgrade!
Better choices might be:
Make sure to hang your line high for blankets, sheets and such – you don’t want them in the dirt.
Tip #2 – Get Good Clothespins for Your Clothesline
I purchased the dollar store pins and they break easily, weather quickly and in the long run cost me more in replacing them. I use a set of plastic pins right now and they’ve held up quite nicely. But I have to say I have to say I prefer an untreated wood pin with a good spring clip. There are all sorts of different designs on the market so try a few out and see what you like. I HIGHLY recommend Kevin’s Clothespins, I’ve had my set for years and they are still going strong!
Tip # 3 Clothesline Hanging Know How
- Keep you clothespins right next to you (I like to put mine in my pocket).
- Don’t leave those pins on the line when you’re done – it is unsightly and the sun will wear them out quicker.
- Consider a rolling clothes basket to make it easier to go down the line.
- Give the clothes a firm shake before hanging to help release wrinkles.
- Hang pants from the cuff and not the waist.
- Dress shirts can be hung on a hanger to keep form (then just put them right in the closet).
- Hang socks by toes instead of tops and try to avoid folding them over the line; they dry faster if they are just hanging from the clip.
- Hang t-shirts from the bottom hem and not the top.
- Dry undies and bras on a rack indoors if you don’t want to share them with your neighbors.
- Sheets and blankets can be hung by putting half of it on each side of the line.
- If you find towels too stiff after line drying, pop them in the dryer for a couple minutes to soften.
Tip #4 Clothesline Haters – Dealing with Neighbors
If you think your neighbors are going to have a problem, try hanging only during the weekdays when most people aren’t hanging out in their backyards.
Is hanging laundry outside banned by your HOA or Complex? You might be surprised to know that 19 states have adopted “Right to Dry” laws that void such restrictions! Those states are: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! If your state doesn’t have such a law, contact your representatives, get involved with your HOA and plead your case.
Tip #5 Clothesline in the Cold – Winter drying!
You can still line dry in the winter. Here in Phoenix we still have highs in the 60s so I can still dry outside, it just takes longer. But you can also purchase indoor drying racks that fold away when you aren’t using them. I employ these during the winter as well. If you’re running your heat try putting it near a vent or by your fireplace (not to close to the fireplace!).
I hope these tips convince you to start “hanging out” with me!
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