How to line dry like a boss! Ok, I’ll admit, I laughed hysterically when I wrote that title; clearly I haven’t had enough coffee. But let’s talk about how to line dry and really like it. I love my clothesline and living in Phoenix I use it, pretty much, all year long. I enjoy the quiet time hanging my laundry out on the line, except on the days it is over 110 degrees.
Line drying not only saves us money on our electric bill each month, it also helps fabrics to last longer. So clothes, towels, sheets, etc. will not fade and wear as quickly as they would if you were drying them in the dryer regularly. You might be interested to know that laundry dryers are some of the largest consumers of energy in your home? And if you use dryer sheets in your dryer you are creating a more toxic environment in your home (check out Toxic Dryer for more information on that).
Here are my 5 best tips for drying with a clothesline…and loving it!
How to Line Dry Like a Boss
Tip 1 – The Clothesline
The right clothes will really help making line drying easier and more enjoyable. Think about your space and where a line would best fit, this will help you in choosing the type of line that you want. I started with a simple vinyl clothesline that I wrapped around the pillars on my porch and nailed to secure. It worked by I was constantly having to tighten it up.
- Retractable Clothesline – This is what I use now and it is great for the space I have. And I love that when it isn’t in use, the line doesn’t need to be up. A lot sturdier than the vinyl line! These are perfect for spaces that you don’t always want to have your line visible. I recommend this one.
- Pulley Clothesline – a pulley clothes makes hanging lots of clothes out at one time a lot easier. You and your basket of clothes stay put and you pull for new line as your hung items move along. These are great if you have a long space to hang them in between. I have seen them long two trees, between a house and garage or poles that were installed especially for the line. I recommend this one.
- Umbrella Clothesline – The umbrella clothesline is great for heavy or large loads of clothes. Some umbrella clothes lines can hold several loads of laundry at once. This clothesline is your workhorse. You do need to have the space to put one of these bad boys up but most will fold down when not in use. I like the rotary styles, like the pulley you can stand in one spot with your basket and spin the clothesline when you need more space. Win! I recommend this one.
Tip 2 – The Pins
If you’re going to line dry like a boss then you need to get serious about your clothes pins. I’ve purchased cheap, low end pins and regretted it. Cheap plastic breaks down quickly in the sun, heat and rain and I was replacing them more often. My favorite pin, hands down are Kevin’s Clothespins. They are handmade, longer and stronger than any other wood or plastic pins I’ve tried. I can’t say enough good things about them; after years with the same set they have more than paid for themselves.
Tip 3 – How Hang Like a Boss
- Keep your clothes pins on your or in a bag on the line. Having them easily accessible makes hanging much faster.
- Always put away your pins when you’re items are done drying. You don’t want to leave them in the sun and/or weather to wear them out faster.
- You may want a rolling clothes basket if you don’t have a pulley or rotating umbrella system.
- Before you hang anything on the line give it a good firm shake. This will help release some of the wrinkles and any excess water.
- Hang your pants from the cuff, not the waist.
- Put your dress shirts and blouses on a hanger and that from the line…then pop ’em in the closet.
- It is best to hang socks from the toes vs the tops – and they will dry faster pinned than folding them over the line.
- T-shirts and polos should also be hung by the hem instead of the tops.
- You may want to put your unmentionables on a indoor drying rack, unless you want your neighbors gawking at your undies. 😉
- Sheets and blankets will dryer faster if you hang each half on one side of the clothesline vs just folding it over.
- If you find that towels and bedding are too stiff after line drying you can throw them in the dryer with some dryer balls for about 5 mins to soften them up.
Tip 4 – How to Line Dry, Indoor Options
How to line dry like a boss INSIDE! For one reason or another you may want to have an indoor option for line drying.
- Tension Bar – I have a simple tension shower bar over my washer and dryer and will hang clothes on a hanger and leave them there to dry.
- Drying Rack – Like I mentioned before, an indoor drying rack can be very helpful for items that cannot be hung or you do not want them out of the world to see. I have used these on my porch too so they aren’t as visible but I am getting the power of that Arizona heat to dry them.
- Indoor Retractable System – If you have the space there are retractable systems made for indoor line drying.
- Cold Weather Tips – If you’re bringing in your line drying because of the weather I recommend placing your hanging clothes near the heat vents if possible. If you want to put them near a stove or fireplace make sure that the are far enough away that they won’t catch fire.
Tip 5 – Dealing with Line Dry Haters
For some reason there are people that associate line drying with the lower class and they don’t want to see your clothesline full of clothes. If you think your neighbors are going to give you a hard time I have a few tips to avoid a showdown.
- Lower your line so it is out of their direct vision.
- If you can hang clothes on the weekdays when people are less likely to be hanging outside.
- Know your rights (see below)!
If line drying outside is banned by your HOA or neighborhood or your nosy neighbor just keeps complaining… You should know that 19 states in the US have Right to Dry laws on the books that void restrictions and quiet complainers. Right to Dry States: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.
If your state doesn’t have a law like this in place maybe you should champion the way to getting one!
If you like this article be sure to check out these too!