The BEST Clothesline Ideas for Outdoors

The BEST Clothesline Ideas for Outdoors

The outdoor clothesline is one of the world’s oldest of inventions, and yet, clotheslines are just as useful today as they were during ancient times! 

So simple….a line and a pole.

So dependable….the sun comes up everyday.

So effective….I mean air always dries your clothes!

No wonder it’s been used for thousands of years by so many civilizations! 

Until the 1950’s, everyone used “solar dryers”(aka outdoors clothesline!) but even when electric dryers hit the market in the 1950’s, the cost prohibitive at $200! 

That equates out to $2,046.03 in today’s dollars!  

Many families stuck with the “tried and true” clothesline!

Not only that, the humble outdoor clothesline comes in many forms to suite your needs, whether you live in the country, suburb or city. 

How to Purchase a Clothesline

When buying a clothesline, it’s important to give consideration to your living arrangement.

Regardless of where you live, whether in an apartment, suburb, HOA or rurally, there is a clothesline suited for you.

Word to the wise:  Don’t skimp and buy a cheap clotheline.  They’re unreliable and make the job of hanging laundry a real drag. Get a good one and enjoy it for years!

Types of Outdoor Clotheslines

lehmans tpost clothesline

The T-Post:  This is the most common outdoors clothesline, by far. 

A T-post clothesline can be purchased or made and installed in your backyard. 

Two T-Posts need to be spaced at least 6 feet apart, but much further is suggested, if you have the room! 

You will need clothesline and clothes pins as well.

lehmans spinning clothesline

Satellite design: This Satellite style clothesline is one of the BEST ranked outdoor clothes dryers!

The great thing about this design is that you get 196 ft of drying space in a small area! 

Special Features

-It holds 3-4 loads of laundry

-Doesn’t need concrete to be installed, just a shovel

-Made in the USA!

The Satellite clothesline can be dropped down (like an umbrella) when not in use.

 

The PulleyPulley clotheslines can be used from structure to structure (house to detached garage, for example).  This Super Heavy Duty Clothesline Kit has everything you need to get a clothesline up and going this weekend!

Indoor Drying Racks

I prefer to use a drying rack for our “privy” items, as well as for sweaters that need to be laid out flat.

fence clothesline

More Reasons to Start Drying Your Clothing Outdoors

It Saves Your Clothes

You realize that all that lint in your dryer’s trap is really your clothing, right? 

Dryers are very hard on clothes and since we try to buy better quality clothing, and less clothing overall, I want these items to last!  You could make the argument that the sun fades clothing, however, with normal drying time I haven’t had a problem.

You Get Outside

Anytime you can get outside to do a little exercise, that’s a good thing!  I love the few minutes it takes to hang a load of laundry out, the sun hits my face and fresh air fills my lungs.  It’s a gentle form of exercise that most can do, as long as you don’t overload your basket.

The Clothes Smell Fabulous

To be honest, if hanging clothes out actually cost money, I would pay to do it.  Why?  The smell of laundry that has been hung on an outside clothesline to dry is unmatched.  No other smell like it!  I sleep like a baby on sheets that have that outdoor smell!

 Save Big on Electricity

If you are trying to bring your electric bill under control, minimizing use of a heat-producing appliance will certainly help!  You should see a significant reduction on your energy bill by using an outdoor clothesline regularly!

54 Ways to Be More Sustainable

window clothesline

Be More Sustainable

Taking advantage of natural resources that provide sun and air to complete a task for me, for FREE, is just the most awesome thing.  I mean, why not???

It’s Just a Beautiful Thing to See

If you ever drive through an Amish community, you’ll see outdoor clotheslines in every yard!  It’s just a beautiful site, so natural, so nostalgic.  Doesn’t it just make you feel warm inside?

If you’re married to someone who is handy, or are handy yourself, you can certainly build an outdoor clothesline from scratch.  But if that’s not the case, or you can’t find the time, purchasing “solar clothes dryer” will certainly be worth the investment on many levels.

Interested in making your own detergent and pre-treat for just pennies compared to what’s at the store?  Check it out here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Carol L

    What I have concerns about is when clotheslines were popular in the 50’s and before, there weren’t so many cars operating constantly. I live on a relatively busy country road with tons of DUST! I worry that the dust will be ‘blown’ into the fabric and that I’ll have issues with ‘dirty’ clothes after washing them! I use a well, so re-washing after drying isn’t practical nor do I want to do that. Sure, shaking the clothing out after drying is an idea, but what if the dust actually gets INTO the wet clothing? There is really nowhere on my property that doesn’t get dust as I live on a corner. How do you suggest I get past this issue?
    Thank you for the article! I keep reading posts about clotheslines, hoping I can get past the dust thing and actually do it!
    FYI: I’m an older reader, and the VERY tiny italic font plus the very light gray makes it really hard to read what I wrote….suggest you make a few minor changes for those older people reading here. Thanks!

    1. Kelly

      Hi Carol! I’ve heard about other people with the same “dust” problem and to be honest, I’m not sure what can be done about that. Sadly, none of us can do everything we would like to do. Unless you have one side of the house that gets less dust, but still, probably not going to be worth the extra work and water consumption.

      You might think about an indoor line, I’ve got some links up there to check out.

      Thank you for pointing out about the font. This is a template, some things can be changed and others can’t, but I’ll check with my web gal and see what can be done!

      Thanks so much for reading, Carol!

    2. Jill

      I grew up on a farm on a gravel road near Amish. You put your clothesline in the back yard and in a location that os blocked by the house, garage, maybe a barn. Trees in the front yard, also stop help stop gravel dust.

  2. There is nothing like the smell of clothes dried on the line! Thanks for sharing this with us at the Homestead Blog Hop! On a side note, our soon to be daughter in law was out to see us a few months ago and was telling us that her subdivision had just passed an ordinance prohibiting clotheslines, even in the backyard. What a shame!

    1. Kelly

      Hi Ann! Yes, I love the smell of laundry on the line! It’s true that many HOA’s are banning clotheslines, but you never know if enough people complain about it, maybe something would change!

      1. Rhonda

        If you wanna be ornery, set up a tent frame or lean a ladder against the house (or something similar) and use THAT as your clothesline. Since it’s not technically a “clothesline”, it can’t be illegal, right?

        1. Kelly

          Rhonda, that’s very inventive!

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