Hang Out to Dry: A Guide to Selecting the Perfect Clothesline

Apr 18 2024
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I will never forget how my Grandma insisted on hanging her clothes out to dry years upon years AFTER getting an electric dryer. She would wash them, dry them and then still hang them outside on her clothes line. She insisted they just didn’t feel or smell right otherwise. Personally I can’t imagine going back to the days of having to hang clothes on the line but it is absolutely coming back as a great way to save money! And, goodness knows, the options when it comes to clothes lines have improved ALOT over the years.

I will never forget how my Grandma insisted on hanging her clothes out to dry years upon years AFTER getting an electric dryer. She would(This is a collaborative post, for more information about our compensation please read our disclosure policy)

We can consider ourselves lucky to live in a modern world with machines that make life a lot simpler and more effective. This is especially true when it comes to doing one of the most tedious home chores: laundry.

Having a clothes dryer indeed makes things more convenient, especially if you have a large family. With our busy lives, we don’t have much time to spend hanging up clothes on a clothesline. Having said that, there are a lot of great reasons why a washing line could be a great addition to your home.

One of them is energy conservation. Making the switch to a clothesline from a tumble dryer can help you save a lot of money on energy. It is projected that hanging laundry can reduce up to 20% of electricity expenditure in the average home. Preserving energy also contributes to environmental conservation. Clothes that air dry can reduce the annual carbon footprint of the typical family by 1,100 kg.

Line-drying clothes is also an effective way to eliminate odours naturally without relying on harsh laundry fresheners like fabric softeners and dryer sheets. This also has an antibacterial effect, as the harmful bacteria that cause odour and stains tend to be eliminated when exposed to the sun’s rays. The UV rays also help to brighten white clothes. And since there aren’t any high temperatures involved as in a dryer cycle, clothes also come out softer and less wrinkled after line drying.

If all these benefits convinced you that a clothesline is the right thing for your home, let’s find out how to choose the one that will suit your needs best. 

Fold-Downs Clothesline

This is the most straightforward and dependable kind of outdoor clothesline. It can be mounted on a wall or to the ground with the use of ground mounting kits. This flexible installation means you can install a fold-down clothesline anywhere you want without compromising your outdoor living space. When not in use, you can simply fold it and it’ll be like it wasn’t even there.

Fold-down clotheslines come with multiple lines and can generally support up to 35 kg of load, which might be sufficient for a family of four members. Lightweight and stylish designs are available and go well with modern homes. This allows you to dry your laundry without compromising the decor of your home.

Fixed Head-Rotary Clothesline

Instead of folding down, this type of clothesline has a head that rotates, hence its name. It’s the oldest type of clothesline, the reason why many homeowners have it in their houses.

A fixed head-rotary clothesline is also the strongest and most durable type available. If you often dry large loads of garments at one time, then this type of clothesline will be the best for you. In addition to turning, the clothesline’s head can be elevated, making it simple to add and remove laundry. However, to accommodate this type of clothesline, you’ll need a large outdoor space. 

Retractable Clotheslines

This type of clothesline is designed to be fixed to a wall and is made to resemble a cabinet. Usually, the cabinet has four or six retractable lines that may be extended and fastened to a book that is hung on the wall across from it. It can be used for both indoor and outdoor drying,

The length of the lines may be extended to a maximum of 50 meters, depending on the model you choose. Even though it’s a modern type of clothesline, it’s still reasonably priced. But be careful not to choose one with a plastic cabinet. While there will be plenty of space on the lines for clothing hanging, it is not advised to hang heavy loads.


Washlines are available in various sizes to meet the needs of different households. The size and design of the clothesline you choose will be determined by the amount of space available in your outside environment. Choose a design that will fit into the space without making it feel cluttered.

Models with 16m of hanging space are generally a good fit for couples. Small to medium-sized families will do well with 26m of hanging space while medium- to large-sized families should be looking for 31m of hanging space.


Clothesline poles are typically made of three popular metals or alloys: stainless steel, galvanized steel, and aluminium. The most commonly used is galvanised steel due to its affordability, followed by aluminium.

Aside from being reasonably priced, galvanized steel is also durable and widely available. However, its resistance to corrosion and rusting is significantly lower than that of stainless steel and aluminium. Still, don’t let that one item discourage you—galvanized steel may last for decades in the appropriate conditions!

Now, about the aluminium clothesline. In addition to being lightweight, this metal is also affordable and very durable. It’s easy to find, much like galvanized steel, and it’s corrosion-resistant, making it ideal for use in coastal homes or maritime applications. The main issue with aluminium is that, when it comes to density, it is not as hard as its steel siblings.

Because aluminium is a little softer than other materials, clothesline posts made of it may kink or bend in strong winds. However, this is typically due to improper thickness or grade of aluminium; therefore, consult your hardware store to determine the ideal thickness for a clothesline pole.

Stainless steel is the best metal for any type of climate. It can handle almost anything you throw at it because it is a cross between regular high-strength steel and aluminium’s ability to resist rust. Now, this is not to say that stainless steel doesn’t rust; it does, but mostly on the outside and can be sanded off without affecting the integrity of the material.

You’ll also want to consider the clothesline chord material. After doing laundry, the last thing you want to see is a drooping clothesline chord. Here, you’ll want to go for polycore. This material offers the cord exceptional strength and longevity. The cable won’t break or buckle under a sudden weight increase. Tightly wound between two robust poles, it will stay straight and firm.

I will never forget how my Grandma insisted on hanging her clothes out to dry years upon years AFTER getting an electric dryer. She would(This is a collaborative post, for more information about our compensation please read our disclosure policy)

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