Line Drying

Posted on June 15th, 2011 by Tonia 5 Comments

I may have mentioned before that laundry is my most despised house chore.

But that was before I had a clothesline outside. Mike set this baby up yesterday, and now I can stand out in the sunshine and watch the hummingbirds fight over the feeder while I hang clothes up to dry.

Ok, this ain’t so bad.

Are you line-drying your clothes this summer? It’s such an easy and wonderful way to reduce your energy use, by not running the dryer. And it’s downright pleasant.

If you don’t already have a clothes-line, you can head to your hardware store and pick up two pulleys and a length of good nylon rope {make sure to get double the length you need for it to reach from one end to the other of wherever you’re hanging it}. The total cost will probably be around $40, but it depends on how much rope you get {I got 50′ for a 25′ line}.

Fasten the pulleys to a tree, the side of the house, or any other sturdy object at either end of the line. Loop the rope through the pulleys and tie the ends together with a knot that allows you to release it and tighten it later on, because over time the rope will stretch from the weight of the clothes. We used a figure-eight-knot, but there might be better ones {I had to rack the old rock-climber brain, but didn’t really come up with anything.} You want the rope-loop to be taught, not hanging loose, but not so tight that it won’t give when you hang clothes on it {or you’ll risk busting the pulleys!}

Start hanging your clothes on the line with the knot right next to the pulley closest to you, and push the line away from you as you go. When the knot reaches the other pulley, you’re done. I got a whole load on my 25′ line. It was sunny out, so they dried in just a couple hours!

Extra awesome bonus of line-drying clothes: they smell great after they’re dry, like fresh air and sunshine.


  1. Lynne says:

    I have never had a clothes drier in my life. All my washing gets dried either outside on a clothes line or inside on a clothes maid. I think there is no nicer sight than a line of washing blowing in the breeze. It always gave me such a buzz when my daughter was little to see all her white cloth diapers hung out.

  2. Tonia says:

    @Lynne: I don’t even know why dryers were even invented. Line-drying way is so much better!! Easier on your clothes, too. My clothes always came out of the dryer looking dry, fuzzy, and a little mangled. :\

  3. clothespin says:

    I have a blog all about clotheslines and vintage recipes… In it, I have a weekly clothesline profile. I would love to have you and your line featured! Please let me know if you’re interested – and welcome to the line drying world!

    And, being down here in Texas, line drying also means not heating the house up in the middle of the day, too. It’s already hot enough without a dryer adding to it!

  4. Rachel says:

    Dryers aren’t that common here in NZ. I’d say probably only about half of homes own one. We are lucky enough to have nice long summers so line drying has always been the best method. I own a dryer now for the first time in my life, a little by accident (it came with the house we purchased because the previous owners were going overseas and ran out of room in their shipping container). But even now I own one I only use it about once a week/fortnight in winter only to dry towels and sheets which take so long to dry in winter. I’m always so scared that dryers can shrink or ruin clothes.

  5. K says:

    I rarely use a dryer for shirts, jeans, undershirts. I have clothes I would be embarrassed to tell you how old they are and still look like new. The dryer is so hard on clothes. The lint is proof positive it destroys clothes.
    I tell people every wonder why your grandmother had the same towels forever? It was because she line dried them.

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