Who has a clothesline?

momo7August 14, 2012

If you do, can you show/tell me how it attaches to your house, if it does. I know what I don't want (what we used to have) but not what I do want. There seems to be a surprisingly lack of online information.

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What I can remember from my childhood, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and before the age of remote control TVs, is that most of them were strung from end to end, on a T-shape metal pole in the yard. The ones I remember seeing that were attached to houses, were tied to eye bolts that had been screwed into the house. (Google it then click on 'Images' in the left sidebar of results)

I'm not surprised you can't find much info on clotheslines. Hardly anyone uses them anymore. Almost all subdivisions have rules against them (like ours). With increasing asthma and pollen allergies in the general population, that might be another reason they're in decline.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 7:01AM
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My MIL puts a clothesline in every house she has lived in. FIL was Air Force, so that's a lot of moves and a lot of houses. :-)

The one they have now is tied into the house with a cup hook, that was just drilled into the stucco. It wraps around the columns of their covered patio, and the attaches back to the house via another hook. It is a big U shape.

I love visiting and doing laundry there. They live in Vegas, so the clothes dry in no time flat in that heat. The sun brightens the whites, and you can't beat that line dried smell.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 12:18PM
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Or you can use pulleys too.

At our house back in the day there were two poles the lines hung from.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 3:13PM
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I do, but mine is the umbrella stand alone kind. It works really well.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 4:58PM
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Thanks everybody!

Cavimum - I should be able to remember what we had in the house I grew up in, I hung enough laundry up there. My mother believed in hanging out at least some laundry all year round, this was in Quebec! There might have been a metal pole at one end but I think it was attached to a post that was part of the porch, maybe.

We used to have an eyebolt, I guess, but it came out, the pole tipped...It was attached to the edge of the roof in our old house.

We're building out in the middle of nowhere so no subdivision rules to worry about and so far no allergies.

drybean - that's a nice thing to leave behind - a trail of clotheslines :-)

Mmm, we're putting up vinyl siding but maybe if they mark where ther's wood underneath, we could drill it in there. Is their patio raised? Our decks will be and I'm not sure if it will be awkward to lean over the railing to hang laundry out.

I LOVE hanging out laundry for exactly those reasons and it's a bonus not to use any power.

Ldrmoflndryrm - do you mean two poles on the ground and just walk down from the deck to hang out clothes. That would probably be the simplest solution.

hlg222 - I must admit I'm not very fond of that type. I think they are ideal if you don't have a lot of space/don't do a lot of laundry but I do a LOT of laundry. If I'm going to be completely honest, I also just like the look of a laundry line full of clothes blowing in the wind.

Thanks again everybody, you've given me a lot to think about.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 11:32PM
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I don't have one now :( I had an umbrella style one at my last and first house. I only have a small yard now and its shaded by a very large walnut tree. The squeals spend a lot of time chewing the shells off and letting them fall where ever so most of the summer I couldn't put stuff out with out it getting that junk on them so I just use the dryer and some lines in the basement.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 4:38PM
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The simplest method is to use an eye screw:

Just make sure it's long enough to get into the structure of the house. The sheathing on most homes isn't very thick so it doesn't have much holding power. Get a stainless steel eye screw so it doesn't rust. A little bead of silicone caulk around the base of the screw keeps out water.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 11:20AM
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i think the last clothes line I remember in the family was some time in the 1960's...

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 9:21PM
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I would never consider NOT having one. Several friends who live in restrictive subdivisions have asked me numerous times if they can hang their sleeping bags and other assorted camping gear to freshen for an afternoon.

To echo drybean, my whites look better than they otherwise would if they were only machine dried, and there is no product made that can replicate that freshly dried outside smell. Plus, who doesn't like to save money and energy?

Mine are the T type strung with 4 lines. Back when all my kids were home, my husband placed them further apart so I could get more laundry on them. Now with half the kids gone I have more space than I need, but even when it's just him and me, I will still use them regularly.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 5:25PM
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A clothes dryer is a horrible waste of energy. It's not only the energy the dryer uses, but even more so, it's the energy that is wasted by using inside conditioned air to dry clothes that is then exhausted outside. You have to pay money to reheat of recool all the air exhausted by your dryer.

Outside of North America, dryers are not that common and you still see clothes lines. I've seen them all over densely packed Tokyo, though the Japanese have several portable clothes hangers that allow you to dry a load of laundry in a very small space.

I still like to use a clothes line to dry clothes and fortunately my house as the laundry room right by the back door. Unfortunately my neighborhood does not allow permanent lines, so I've got some hooks installed where I can put one up in a couple of minutes. I've also got a couple of the previously mentioned Japanese hangers.

I prefer bed linens that have been dried in the sun.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 9:30AM
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I recently paid to have a custom clothesline made.
It's constructed of chain link poles on the ends, using
heavy coated wire and set in pvc fittings set in concrete.
It's constructed so that it can be dismantled at any given time. BBQ's etc... there are caps to cover the open ends that hold the poles.
It's so nice and holds two sets of king sheet sets.
Hope this helps!!!!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 11:47AM
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items dried in a dryer are more fluffy. I don't care AT ALL about the minimal cost to run my gas drier. Are you people championing clothesline drying BECAUSE OF THE COST, all out of work?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 1:01PM
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heck no!
I love the smell of line dried clothing!!
I'm on propane so there is certainly a cost factor but
I have wind daily and get laundry done fairly fast!!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 7:11PM
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OP, I think clotheslines are wonderful. When my husband was in the military, I had one at almost every location. Not only did they save us LOTS of money on utility bills, but I learned how to hang clothes so that they came off the line looking as though they'd been ironed (a good breeze helps with this), and the SCENT, especially in bed linens, cannot be matched.

Don't let anyone discourage you if you really want one. This is a totally valid and very 'green' way to dry laundry. In other countries, it's considered the smart way to dry laundry. That was true in the USA for years.

I like the clotheslines that are retractable because they are out of the way when you're doing something else in the yard, and this also keeps them out of bad weather. The ones I've seen like this are sold by Sears.

The end from which the clothesline retracts (which usually has three or four lines) can be attached to the side of the house or any other solid object. Then the clothesline is pulled out to hook to another object. Hardware is included.

If you google "retractable clotheslines", I would think you could see what I'm talking about. Hopefully, Sears still sells them.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 4:53AM
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Me!! I LOVE my clothesline and use it whenever I do laundry. I bought a dryer 4 years ago and probably have only used it a couple of dozen times and that was during rainy weather or an emergency. Where do you think all that lint comes from in the dryer? Mara like you, nothing can compare to dried line bed sheets. The smell and the feel of clothes dried on the line is good therapy. I also like my low monthly electric bill. BTW, I have the T clothesline with 4 lines. A beautiful sight when all 4 lines are used and clothes gently swaying in the breeze.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 10:38AM
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The amount of lint varies based on fabric type and quality of fabric, renee. AAMOF, I PREFER to use a dryer because it removes some of the particles from especially dirty loads, that will never come off when the fabrics are wet and being washed. Once they come out of the dryer, all the little specks of "whatever" are gone. Dryers FTW.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 1:21PM
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an example of stuff that won't ever come off unless I place things in the dryer, Renee, are clothing I've worn while cleaning my poodle. No way will just washing remove all the tiny bits of poodle fur. the dryer gets more than 98% of all those little telltale bits of black fur out of my tee-shirts, socks, etc. (and the towels I use to dry her with)

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 1:24PM
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In other words, you "greenies" are missing the boat when it comes to what process REALLY is the most effective at cleaning your clothes. :) Draping your unmoving clothes on a clothesline does nothing to remove the things that get trapped by the fabrics, as I've mentioned in my previous post. Open your minds a bit and stop being so politically correct. Are you going to go to the poorhouse for the cost of running a gas dryer? I guarantee you all that my towels are softer (and smell fine) than those you set out on a clothesline. Plus I don't have to worry about birds crapping on them. Or run outside to save a load of clothes from a sudden downpour.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 1:29PM
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dave, dave, dave, where to begin...

For someone who last remembers clotheslines from the 60's, you sure have an opinion with no experience. You DO know what people think of those kinds of opinions, don't you?

You claim your dryer stuff is more fluffy. When I put on clean clothes, fluffy is not exactly the look I am going for, but to each their own. Maybe if you just leave the poodle hair in place, you can have all the fluff you want. For most of us, that is a non-issue.

One thing you may want to reflect on...these forums are meant to be helpful to those who ask for advice or opinions. You seem to have a need to be derogatory and defensive. Go back and read some of your comments yourself. You remind me of a 7 year old with a pout on the playground, "My dad's tougher than your dad, my dog's smarter than your dog."

Maybe you're too new to the forums to get it, or maybe you're just a troll. Go ahead and blast away, I know you're the type who must always be right or have the last word. Enjoy yourself, because I'll tell you right now, I won't bother to respond.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 6:36PM
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Dave, LOL You do need to do some major research before posting a comment. First of all, clothes were invented around 100 to 500 thousand years ago and I'm sure they were hung out to dry way back then. And since the electric dryer first appeared around 1915, almost a hundred years ago, you very well can't call us "greenies" Actually, my whites get their whitest on the line by natural sunlight. As for going to the poorhouse for running a dryer, LOL!! I'm actually getting richer by not running my dryer and giving my hard earned money to the electric company. I enjoy hanging my clothes out, been doing it for most of my life. I even have an elderly friend living in the nursing home, and I take her sheets home to wash and hang out on the line. I take them back to her and make up her bed and she swears she sleeps so much better afterwards. She says the smell and feel of them remind her of happier times in her childhood.
Suska... Loved your comment!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 8:32PM
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As for removing whatever little thingies Dave's talking about, lol, and for fluffing up towels, that can be done by putting the line-dried items in the dryer for a few minutes on Low heat -- even no heat. This costs a tiny fraction as compared to drying wet laundry in a dryer.

Also, using line-dried towels virtually eliminates any need for a loofah. 'Nuff said. ;)

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 2:57PM
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renee--I didn't say one would go to the poorhouse by using a dryer,. I was asking if some folks are AFRAID that running a dryer is too expensive. :)

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 6:23PM
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In my experience, cutting down on usage of 220v appliances does produce a big savings on utility bills. When I dried virtually everything on a clothesline (air-dried delicates indoors), this resulted in a BIG savings. We've had similar results by cutting down on usage of other 220v appliances. This has made no small difference in our utility bills.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 4:10PM
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I loved the way my clothes smelled by being line hung by my mom when I was growing up. I have given it a try myself over the years, but things ended up being stiff, crunchy and not fresh smelling at all. I would love to do this again ... what is the secret?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 6:51PM
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I love the idea of a retractable clothesline. I is a quick search at sears and found the one linked below. They have several with different price ranges; imnot entirely sure what the differences are.

I'm trying to figure out where I can put one in our new house.

I agree that there is definitely a way to hang things so that they look ironed. MIL is a pro-I am most definitely not. I need lessons.

Here is a link that might be useful: Retractable clothesline

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 7:21PM
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I have two clotheslines - one indoors and one outdoors.

The indoors lines are in my laundry/utility room and are mainly used in the winter. They crisscross the room. The room isn't that large, but I can get a good sized load hung up on them. My updraft furnace is also in the laundry room, and its chimney makes it pretty warm in there when the furnace runs.

My outdoor lines are strung up under the ceiling of a screened-in porch. It can get breezy out there so things dry quickly even though they're not directly in the sun.

I have a dryer, but it only gets used about once every month or two. It's pretty old but maybe with such light use it will last a long time. It's already outlived two washers.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 11:16PM
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I could not put my CL outside (HOA restriction) so I just bought the line and hooks from Lowes and put into my garage and leave the garage door open. I think it cost me 10 bucks. It saves me money on the electric bill and almost zero use of the dryer. No regrets and I'm teaching my two children this is a good idea for them too when that day arrives in their lives.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 7:50PM
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I love a clothesline. My neighbor has one and I love just seeing her stuff out there flapping in the fresh air.

I plan to have one put out soon. I have been known to lay things over my step rails to dry. Here in Az it can take a very short time to dry things. I have also noticed how much whiter things are when dried in the sun.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 2:13AM
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ME and I have had one ever since we moved out of the city 32 years ago. Through two apartments (in old houses with yards) and now this house.

I used to hang wash from a 5 person family all winter, outside, but since my oldest daughter moved out I have hung 2 lines the length of her bedroom & we now hang clothes on hangers on these, in winter. The lines are easily removed when the room is needed for people! They run from the window trim to the closet trim.

I hang everything except our cotton undies & boxers (don't want the neighbors to have to look at them) and towels, on the lines outside in good weather. All year round.

OP, we have a big eyebolt in the corner posts of the wood frame house, at the house end of the lines, and the other ends of the lines are tied snugly around the trunks of two hemlock trees. There are two lines outside running from the house to the trees. They take 2 full loads of laundry. They are nylon clotheslines. They do eventually fray from the sun exposure but only after some years and they are inexpensive to replace.

As to saving money, Dave--we bought this house in 1984 and the dryer in the kitchen, which we moved to the basement, was probably around 10-15 years old (based on the avocado green) -- it is a Westinghouse. It has had a couple of belt replacements but only last month did it begin to have trouble with the heating element. 2013 - 1970-74 = 39 to 44 years out of that machine. I think we got our money's worth.

How many dryers have you bought in 40 years, Dave, and what did you pay for them all? And how much electricity have you been buying to run them?

My electric bill runs around $100/month for an 8 room house.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 11:38AM
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Is there any retractable clothesline that can be mounted so that it is at an angle like the hypotenuse of a right angled triangle? I am thinking that the mounting hardware should have the flexibility to move right or left. We have a courtyard in the back that would be a great sunny place for a clothes line. The kitchen and the family room make two sides of a L and I would like to mount a clothesline that is retractable that goes from one end to the other.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 1:45PM
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Put your towels or whatever in the dryer for a few minutes first and then hang them out they won't be as stiff.
Also for a small amt of clothes, use two shepherd plant pole hooks and if you get the ones with two hooks, you get double the line. Put cording/rope between them and for example at the lake that works great. Just pull out of ground if you don't need them up.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 2:03AM
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