Last Updated on
Using a washing line to get your clothes dry is becoming increasingly popular, and it is easy to see why. It has so many environmental and financial benefits, and it can be done throughout the year.
You might be reading this and thinking that you cannot line dry your clothes in winter, but you actually can. It’s all about watching the weather and ensuring your clothes get enough time to drain all the excess moisture. Here are some of our top tricks and tips for line drying your clothes outside.
How to Hang Your Laundry on the Line
You should always hang your shirts by the hemline and not the shoulders. This is because if you hang them by the shoulders, you often end up with bunching, which can be really difficult to get out. Hem hanging is the best way to avoid this and keep things smooth.
If you have suit trousers or other smart pairs, you should hang them by the cuff at the end of the leg (essentially, upside down) so that they dry with no crease in the leg and completely straight. For jeans and shorts, however, you can hang them by the waistband as it won’t have any effect. Never turn the pockets out either, or they won’t go back in smoothly.
You should always hang skirts from the hem, and ensure that they have the freedom to blow around in the breeze so that they dry evenly and without losing their natural bounce. It will also stop them from wrinkling – another little tip to save you from using the best ironing board.
For leggings, tights, and underwear, just hang them by the waistband on the line. They won’t crease or anything. Socks should be hung from the toes for the most effective results. For clothes and towels, hang them by the short edge for an even dry, and do the same for bedsheets.
The Best Way to Line Dry Your Clothes
Even when using pegs, don’t fold your laundry over the line as it will take a lot longer to dry. Instead, clip it straight to the line with the clothes peg to get it dry faster while also keeping it secure. Folding it over the retractable clothesline can also result in some weird fold lines in the clothes afterwards.
Shake your clothes before you hang them, as this will remove any debris or lint that has been caught in the wash. It also tends to mean that there are fewer creases and lines left once it is dry, so your ironing pile ends up being reduced.
Keep your line nice and spacious as this will help the clothes to dry faster. Make sure your line is not overcrowded also means that you won’t weigh your washing line down, lessening the risk of collapse while your clothes are drying (and getting your laundry dirty again).
If someone in your home has allergies, however, you should strongly consider throwing the load in the dryer for no more than five minutes after to ensure that all pollen is removed.
What Not to Line Dry
Everything can be dried on a great clothesline, but there are some items that you should be warier of. The sunlight is great for disinfecting white clothing and keeping it a good colour, but if dark clothes are left out too long, they can get sun bleached, fading the colour and leaving them looking less than ideal.
No matter the season, always keep an eye on your dark clothes and don’t leave them out too long. Sometimes, clothes can be left stiff and hard when they are on the line, and this is not great for things like scarves and delicate items.
You can opt to leave them off the line to prevent this, or add half a cup of white vinegar to the load before its last cycle. This helps to soften the fabric when drying, and all without leaving a nasty vinegar odour.
Why Should You Line Dry Clothes?
There are a number of reasons why you should be considering using a washing line to dry your clothes, and we have gathered the top ones here for you to go through:
Taking the time each day to line dry your clothes can be such a peaceful activity, and it makes a difference in so many different areas that it is worth trying a few times.
Hopefully, this has given you a good idea about the different ways you can dry your clothes on the line, and the right way to hang each type of clothing so that it dries effectively and without creases.
There is so much you can learn about hanging laundry, and it can seem quite incredible to find so many different techniques, but you should definitely take the time to try them out and see which ones work best for you.
Gemma Tyler is a freelance journalist with 15 years of experience writing for consumer publications. She has tested and reviewed a wide range of household items from vacuum cleaners to washing machines and dehumidifiers to steam irons. Her attention to detail and exhaustive testing certainly makes her an expert in her field.