Hanging Out the Laundry - Tips!




Introduction: Hanging Out the Laundry - Tips!

It's so satisfying to hang the laundry out on the line in the summer!

It smells great! uses free renewable energy, dries fast, and in my case, gives me an opportunity to daydream... The other day while hanging out a load of laundry, I thought about some of the things that I do out of habit to solve little problems that have come up over time. These are not earth shattering, but they are useful! and I thought others hanging out their clothes, just might like to know about them too!

Step 1: Materials and Equipment:

  • a pile of clean wet laundry
  • a good supply of clothespegs
  • access to a clothesline
  • clothesline spreader (optional)

Step 2: Crisp Up the Collars

When hanging up a shirt that has a collar, especially a button down one, begin by pegging the shirt on the line from the bottom hem. To crisp up the collar and make it look like it was actually ironed!, fold the collar up along the collar seam (photo 2) and peg it in place in a few spots around the collar. This will add some weight and help it dry in place (photo 3).

Step 3: Keep the Spreader Wheel Clear

My clothesline stretches across the backyard, and when I hang up a full load of laundry, the lower line will inevitably sag down with the weight of the wet clothes. To counteract that, I use a clothesline spreader which I place on the line, about half way through the load.

Occasionally in the past, usually when the wind picked up, clothing on either side of the spreader would get caught in the wheel... After damaging a particularly precious piece of clothing that was caught in the wheel, while trying to get the rest of the clothes off the line, I was determined to make sure it didn't happen again.

Now, as a habit I place a clothes peg, that has a strong grip, a few inches in front of the wheel and another one a few inches after it (photos 3 & 4). This stops anything from getting caught in the wheel!

Since I also use the 'good' grippy pegs when I'm hanging up heavier items, I have marked them with a permanent marker (photo 2) so that I can find them more easily when I need them.

Step 4: Cool Down

This was a recent, happy discovery. The other day while hanging up a big load of laundry, it felt like the sun was just baking the back of my neck. I grabbed a wet t-shirt form the basket and threw it over my shoulders and neck and it felt awesome! Handy, cool, and by the time I was done hanging the rest of the load and adding the t-shirt, it was almost dry enough to fold up and put away!

Step 5: Pack It In!

This is my last tip, and really only applies to those who have really full loads! I usually save the little stuff; socks and underwear to the last and once the lower line is completely full, I peg the small stuff on the top line as far as i can reach, to pack the line for maximum capacity. The clothes that are pegged on the top line will of course need to be removed first, before you will be able to haul the clothes in from the lower line.

Happy laundry day!



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    10 Discussions

    Yes, with my shirts as I hang them upside down by ea. Corner only use "pegs" sheets, all towels & wash rags.

    Yes, but only for small light linens like cloth napkins and tea towels that dry quickly and never for thick things like hand towels and wash clothes!

    I'm an overlapper, especially with towels, sheets etc :D


    2 years ago

    Nice tip on the shirt collar, I didn't know that one. DH hangs pants by the top back only, says his mother taught him they dried faster but I think they pull out of shape too much and I always re-pin them. Also, does anyone hang their darker stuff inside out to prevent sun fade? I was told to do that some 40 years ago by a neighboring grandma but wonder if modern dyes mean that isn't necessary any more. I particularly love to use my grandmas old wood telescoping clothesline props when I hang large or heavy stuff, they can still be had in metal and plastic but those old well worn wood ones are special.

    2 replies

    That's what my mom used to do when I was growing up. It would be a plank of wood at least 6×3 and had a nail at the top bent to where the line would fit so the pole could prop the clothes higher!! You just made me tear up, miss my mommy?

    Not sure that there is a hard and fast rule around fading, as it does depend on the fabric, light exposure and the light fastness of the dye. I do know that it's a good idea to dry most naturally dyed fabric out of the sun for that reason. I'm curious about the old wood telescoping props - It would be great if you could post a photo!

    I keep a small cloth or old sock in my peg bucket to wipe the line as they can get quite grimy


    2 years ago

    And don't forget the towels. Use three pegs - one at each side and one in the middle so that they keep their shape. Also I hang underpants by the crotch and bras over the line and peg in the middle, I was told that they keep their shape better

    1 reply

    This is also my preferred method for hanging bath towels :)