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From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

Posted by sylvia55 (My Page) on
Sun, Nov 11, 07 at 16:29

Sorry from the title of my last posting this may have appeared to be a span.

From a puzzled Brit - I find if almost impossible to believe that some American people seem to have such a problem with hanging washing outside. This seems to spring from a bizarre mix of snobbishnes, prudery (shock at seeing someone's undies blowing in the breeze ???!!!) and what I must assume is sheer laziness (although find this hard to believe given the Americans I know). The use of a little fabric softener will prevent any stiffness of fabric & sunshine is a natural germ killer.Lifting washing out of a basket is a lot more fun than the boring gym on a lovely day and clothes air dryed last a lot longer. Come on you guys - get your act together on this matter. I cannot believe a cousin of ours living in sunny Georgia is actually BANNED from using a line in her development - this is ALMOST OBSCENE - friends in the UK really could not believe their ears when I told them - and I am lucky enough to live in the most affluent, attractive parts of our lovely country - so cut out the snobbery & cut the carbon the easy way. The Royal Family do - plus the Queen goes around Buck House turning off unnecessary lights.
Re Microwaves - leaving these on stand by CAN use as much electricity in a year as you use by actually cooking in the machine.....


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

You didn't need to repost. It was obvious after viewing that you had good intentions!


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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

Don't know why anyone's shocked. And as amazing as it appears, for the "priviledge" of living in an American suburban housing development (built between the early 70's and today) of Starter Castles, Beltway Baronials or more modest digs with an HOA (home owners association), you give up what to some are basic rights and/or simple pleasures... like being able to paint every other board on your house a different color, put up a 12' stockade fence and have the local graffitti artist do some trompe l'oeil, convert a school bus into an RV in the front yard, and, yes, hang laundry outdoors. Many developments are over the top in what they will and will not allow, but they feel they must legislate the overall common appearance of the neighborhood. After all, they say, it's for your own good and to maintain property values.

For the most part, if you want to be individual about things like laundry, you have to buy into an older, established neighborhhood that has no HOA or restricting covenants.

As far as being conservative and far less wasteful, little by little we're catching on and might eventually be as frugal as Her Majesty.


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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

It seems crazy to me too. I grew up with my mom and grandmothers hanging out our laundry and was shocked myself to find out some neighborhoods don't allow it. Luckily I don't have a home owners association so I can hang mine out. I also really enjoy it. I read somewhere, it may have been here, that banning clotheslines is actually illegal. At least here in Florida. Don't know if that is true.


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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

I' wasnt working on that car. I was just getting some grease off it to keep my tools from rusting.


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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

Most people in the UK have washing lines - there seems no connection whatsoever with hanging your washing outside (which is a no brainer in good weather, as long as you do not have allergies and/or live in a dusty area) and "trashing" property. Its akin to saying because you recyle your paper you are on a slippery slope to being a drug addict! Complete non sequitor.

In the UK we have planning laws (sometimes can be daft, I know) to prevent very unsightly development and Environmental health departments cover make a nuisance through unreasonable noise or being a risk to your neighbours health (eg piling up rubbish) - no one in their right mind would put washing lines under either of these catagories. Maybe people who think they do should live next to a power station which produces the energy wasted by unnecessary dryers (yes I do have a dryer myself which I use when weather not good - I do not dry clothes on radiators etc as this makes the heating system work harder, wasting energy)

By the way my cousin was born in the States.


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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

clturner3, I live in the south in the state next to Georgia and I hang my laundry outside. When I was living in the north I hung my clothes on lines in the basement. This was convenient during the harsh winter weather. It seems that newer housing developments tend to have covenants forbidding clotheslines among other things. Some people don't want others to see their underwear hanging on the line, while others don't want to look at the underwear of other people hanging on the line.


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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

First off, I have NEVER hung my underwear on the line. I always have hung them in the bath or spare room ever since I started doing my own laundry. I did hang my boys' undies out, but come on, who would be offended by that? I think that allowing clotheslines with restrictions in housing developments would be a good idea. Say, no lingerie or underwear allowed out. That way at least you could do your towels and sheets and regular clothes.

I had a clothesline...the umbrella type...until I got tired of ironing (I hate ironing). Then I let a vine grow on it, then a hurricane knocked that down, so now I have nothing. I do hang some things up inside, since I have uniforms I have to wash on an every-other-day basis. It's cheaper and easier just to wash by hand and hang to dry.


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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

I live in Long Island NY and I've always had and used a clothesline. I live in a 1950's Levitt house, our neighborhood has no homeowners assoc. So no problem with clotheslines. I love the smell of air-dried sheets. My friend at work said she built a deck on the back of her house and was very annoyed that neignbors hung their laundry outdoors. It spolied her view from her deck. I think "spoiled" is the right word for my friend.


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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

Among other things, in some areas around here (FL) you cannot have a basketball hoop, a shed, a pick-up truck on your driveway, a boat in your driveway (why move to coastal FL then?), and of course, no clotheslines! One city passed a law that you could not park a vehicle longer than 17' in your driveway. Then someone found out that the mayor's Lincoln was 17'6"! I say- if you want to live in a deed-restricted community, go ahead. But when it is a city-wide ban, what are you supposed to do- move?


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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

You can have normal home clothes lines anywhere in florida. New state law forbidding banning of it, and some other things too energy wise for homeowners anyhow.
You can sue the city or home owners association if they ban it and they will have to pay your legal bills & if you're lucy you might even win some revenge dollars.


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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

I would put one up anyhow, but it's good to know that there's a new law that makes some sense! I was just ranting about restrictions in general. That's why we're moving to rural SC to an UNzoned patch of woods!


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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

Still puzzled about the objections to underwear on washing lines - do some people in the States not go to beaches or swimming pools in case they see a real life person in trucks or bikinis??? Perhaps with global warming we will all be going around in our undies as the world heats up!

Have just been to a meeting of the Jane Austen Society at the University of London - told some friends about this blog - they all agreed they would tie people up with their washing line & put the clothes pegs somewhere painful if anyone tried to stop them hanging out their laundry in the garden on a nice day.


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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

The thing that irks me most about HOAs- you PAY them to tell you what you can and cannot do to your own home!

But I guess that was just one of the first freedoms we Americans were willing to give up. Now we gladly pay taxes for our own government to spy on us!

Sylvia, I'll never be able to explain this country. Good thing I love it, or at least what it should be. Someday, I hope America does really become Home of the Free again. I miss it.


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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

"Someday, I hope America does really become Home of the Free again."


A statement like that wouldnt even be allowed in many other couties. You shouldnt take your freedom for granted.


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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

Hey guys are we still talking about washing lines or what??
You should see some of our satire programme on TV - we take the p*** about anything & everything from the Royals to PM to celebrities - almost a civic duty if you are a Brit - but perhaps we have more to moan about!


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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

Hi sylvia55! I live near Seattle, Washington and I always pictured that England would be as rainy as my area. How do the English do this year round? I was doing it in the summer, but eventually just gave up.


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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

That bright sun does fade clothes and not everyone has the time to hang out clothes before work. I could have a line if I wanted one and grew up hanging out clothes everyday and don't miss it one tiny bit.
Everything goes in the dryer, then to my laundry basket station, and when those 6 baskets are filled, I fold and put the clothes away, about once a week.
Having to worry about afternoon showers, bugs, and fading clothes...for a bit of nostalgia (which doesn't exist in my line hanging days) nope. I'd rather garden., take a walk , read a book...


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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

Hi cuddlepoo - here in the south east of the UK where most of the population lives (and the east of the country generally) we do not get that much rain. In fact the Summer of 06 was a drought & we were threatened with stand pipes - hose pipes were banned & we only flushed when brown (yellow was left to mellow).Yet another myth debunked!!

Of course when it does rain/snow/too cold to dry good old British common sense prevails and we USE DRYERS - doh!

Interesting article in the UK Times (very prestigious, conservative paper) - someone wrote in asking what to do about an "annoying" neighbour who hung laundry out in the front of their house.

The reply - the complainee was the anti-social neighbour who should think more about global warming and saving enery.

Bunblebeez - I do not find my clothes fade in the sun - if you are worried about this you can always dry in the centre of an umbrella types dryers. It is nothing to the damage done by dryers - just look at the lint produced & risk of shrinkages.

Happy New Year!!!!


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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

If you think the home owners association rules are ridicules, try this! I once camped in a Michigan State park where you could not even hang a wet swimming suit or towel to dry.

Here is a link that might be useful: Home Improvement


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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

I use my clothesline whenever possible (which is a lot). I don't know if it's funny or sad when people complain about seeing clothes hung out to dry. Think about it - you see clothes everywhere on bodies, in store windows, in advertisements...you see underwear peeping out of jeans and above low slung guys' jean, bra straps, etc. But when these same clothes are hung on a string or wire they suddenly become repulsive? What on earth is wrong with these people????


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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

Ontario has just passed a law making it illegal to tell anyone they can't have a clothesline. It overrules all municipal bylaws and owner associations, apartment/condo rules, etc. etc. Now Anyone in Ontario who wants clothesline can have one and no one can tell them they can't. It's part of the ongoing attempt to reduce greenhouse gases and power usage.


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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

Boy am I in the minority here.

I cannot imagine even wanting to hang out laundry. When I wash my clothes, I do so to get them CLEAN. Of course, I live in a NE suburb, and if I were to hang my laundry outside on a line, it would come in dirtier than when I hung it (smog, pollution, bird droppings, pollen). And with my allergies, I cannot use fabric softeners--I don't care for board-stiff towels, sheets and T-shirts at all. And I have to say, I really don't want my view and air blocked by someone else's laundry.

There's certainly no ban on hanging wash where I live--but there must be a lot of people who feel as I do, because I've been in this house for 35 years, and NEVER seen anyone with laundry flapping in their back yards, thank goodness.

I know I'm out of step on this one, but I posted so some of you might get a little insight into why others choose not to hang laundry out.

Now, I've got to run--have a load in the dryer that I have to get and fold (that's true.)


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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

Well in my local little town newspaper this is such a flap going on about clotheslines and bans and such. I live in a new area where there are few clotheslines in evidence but I have a copy of the subdivision bylaws and have found no ban on said clotheslines. I have not read the city bylaws however so don't know the official stand. I use a clothesline and hang out my laundry, undies and all. If someone wants to stare at my washing I figure go ahead....I've got better things to do than watch other peoples wet garments blowing in the wind. Live and let live. When I get someone banging on my door and giving me a ticket I will then not hang my laundry out but you can bet the next step will be going to my local counsel and making my opinion known. Budster


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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

I'm new to this discussion and mostly frequent other forums on GTW, but I wanted to let azzalea know that I agree! I find nothing wrong with seeing laundry out (even undies - oh my), but have absolutely no interest in putting mine out. I don't have to worry about smog where I am, but tree stuff (pollen, hangy things, birds, etc.) would be on my "clean" laundry and doesn't that defeat the purpose? Also, even with laundry softener, those sheets and towels don't dry the same on the line as in the dryer.

Now, those things I mentioned are all from nature which is one of the reasons I love living where I do. But my laundry comes out of my dryer clean - not so from my line.

And I assure you, Sylvia, none of my feelings about this, or those of anyone I know, have anything to do with being a snob, a prude, or lazy, as you have somehow concluded we Americans must be about this issue. It's personal preference.


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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

I guess I must live right because in 20 years, I have never had a problem with trees, pollen or birds on my laundry. And I personally love the smell of fresh sheets on the bed -- you can not get the smell with scented dryer sheets.

Now -- I live in the country, on a gravel road, surrounded by corn fields/ soybean fields and I operate an organic flower farm. I'm betting I have as much pollen, dust and birds as anyone out there. I have no smog, thank you! And I will hang my laundry out to dry any day I can!


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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

Hi clink - I'm happy that you are able to do as you wish with your laundry and don't have the potential issues that I mentioned. Wonderful that you are happy with your own way. I am fine with what works for me. Ain't life grand?

I sort of envy you operating an organic flower farm, therefore "working from home" and being able to be there, in that lovely area, all day long. I would imagine that the "chore" (if one is to call it that) of hanging and taking down laundry is one that you enjoy as a leisurely activity. Unfortunately for me, I'm not able to look at laundry as a leisurely activity given my work schedule, commute, and other life obligations outside of my home.

If you're surrounded by corn fields and soybean fields, that sounds to me as though there are more fields than trees around your clothesline. Is that true or am I misreading? I'm completely surrounded by trees, birdfeeders, birdhouses, bushes, etc. No place for a clothesline that's not right in the middle of all of this. Sounds like you have a lot of acreage - how lucky! I've only an acre (again, all treed with just a little area for a shaded patio). Someday I hope to graduate/move up to what you have described your home/land to be.

Weighing all things, hanging laundry outside or smelling sheets in the nano-second before I go to sleep isn't at the top of my important-things list (heck - it's not even on the list). Even if I had more time, I still don't think I'd care. I'm willing to indulge in the convenience of a dryer (I know you and many would not consider that an indulgence, because you love the air-dried laundry). And, perhaps you'll allege that I don't live right, because I do get bird droppings, pollen, and other such natural stuff on anything outside. Regarding economics, which is the nature of this forum, I am frugal in many, many areas and watch my behavior. I also try to be "green". I decided long ago that I can't do it all, but I can do what I can, and frankly, that's quite a bit.

Now, my neighbor across the street hangs her laundry quite often. She's home herself quite often, and has a good spot for her line. I actually like to see it, as it reminds me of my mom's clothesline when I was a kid. Kind of "country". But I also see that sometimes the same laundry is on the line for a few days because we've had a shower on the day she put it out and before it was fully dry, so it had to re-dry, then another shower, re-dry, etc. I don't care from looks-viewpoint, but what a hassle for her! I do know that she often ends up just taking down wet or damp laundry and putting it in the dryer. She also told me that sometimes she just puts it back into the washing machine to wash again because it started to smell musty.

Sounds to me like you're doing much more than I am - my hat's off to you.


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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

"I guess I must live right because in 20 years, I have never had a problem with trees, pollen or birds on my laundry."

Hmmm... so you are saying that I am living wrong because I DO have a problem with trees, pollen and birds ????

I have a heavily treed lot (which we love) with plenty of wild life and organic debris.

Hanging out is NOT an option...
and I do live right, thankyouverymuch!


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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

I didn't mean to offend anyone, but seriously, I have never had a problem with debris or birds. I am surrounded by open farm fields and maybe the Midwest is different than other parts of the country for pollen etc.

We have lots of trees on our property included an orchard and shrub borders. We encourage birds on the property but I have never had any of the cardinal, sparrows, robins, blue jays, goldfinch, thrushes, blackbirds, starlings, turkey vulgers, or bald eagles mistake my laundry for the top of my car!!! THAT seems to be the target!!!

And "living right" is an old farm saying from this part of the country.................it means "lucky"


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RE: From a confused Brit re Washing lines ban

HI - seems my post got some people a bit hot under the (tumble dryed) collar!

I too have lots of trees surroundng my garden and a bird feeder about 3 yards from my umbrella type dryer.

However I can hand on heart say I really cannot remember ever having pollen, bird poo or any other mess on my laundry. I can see that pollution is another matter & understand folks not wanting to hang out then. But the air must be really bad for this to affect your laundry - you have my sympathy. But isn't air is sucked into the dryer as well.

Sorry if my post sounded a little "high handed" - however hanging out laundry is so much the norm over here and I believe all over the world - except the USA - that I guess I was in a state of shock about hearing that it is actually banned in some developments.

I am a very busy person but really enjoy hanging out my laundry - it beats just about ever other chore at any rate.

Ladies - tell your other halves how much cash you would save on the electricy bill - perhaps that would be an incentive for them to help out as well - apologies to guys who already do!!


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