The clothesline is probably the oldest method of drying clothes. It is also the cheapest and most ecological. Considering there is currently no electric clothes dryers on sale that meets the Energy Star requirement, it also means that using one will save you a lot of money.
Just to put things into perspective, the average electric clothes dryer needs 4kw/hour to run. If you run the dryer on a daily basis for 1 hour a day, depending on the cost of electricity, you will be throwing out close to 30$ a month just to dry your favorite shirts! That's well over 300$ a year. And just imagine when you dry bed sheets often and baby clothes almost daily.
Since according to scientists (IntelIntel), generating 1 Kilowatt Hour of power also generates 1.64 lbs of carbon dioxide, a clothesline is cheap way to help the planet. (One hour of clothes drying generates about 6.56 lbs of carbon.)
But whether or not you believe the planet is warming abnormally is beyond the point. Saving your hard earned money is reason enough to put up a clothesline.
But first, you must decide where to put your clothesline. Locate it at a place that's easy to reach. Take into account that you will drop a few pieces of clothing over the years. So make sure you can go and pick them up. Clothes also dry a lot faster in a sunny location. The photons that the sun emits actually give energy to the water molecules so they get "kicked out". So sunny locations are preferable. If you can't do that, choose a place that is either windy or very dry. Clothes can also dry in the basement during the Winter when the house is dry. As an added bonus, drying clothes inside a dry house raises the humidity level.
Selecting the right clothespins is also important. Some have very weak springs and will surely have a hard time holding your clothes. Spending a bit more on good pins is a good investment.
Step 1: Required Materials
So here are the materials required to put up a clothesline:
2 large hooks
1 length of plastic covered clothesline wire
1 line tension adjustment spool
metal anchoring slugs (if you have masonry or brick walls)
1 Electric drill
1 large screwdriver (helps in screwing the large hooks)
1 hammer (to drive the anchors in)
1 wire cutter
I was lucky that most of the work was done when I bought the house. As you can see, I have a more sophisticated setup than the one I described. But it still does the same thing.
I'm sorry I don't have a set of "work in progress" pictures.
Step 2: Installing the Clothesline
Drill holes where the hooks will be attached. If you are attaching the hooks to a masonry wall, you will need to drill the holes slightly bigger than the hook's thread. You will need to use anchoring slugs so the drill size will need to be adapted to those. If you are attaching the hooks to a brick wall, you will need to drill in the mortar between the bricks. If you don't, you run the risk of splitting a brick which is something you don't want to do. Use the hammer to drive the anchor in the wall and screw in the hook. Using a large screwdriver that you simply slip in the hook makes it a lot easier.
If you are attaching to a wood wall, try and screw the hook in a stud in order to make it a lot stronger.
For most people, the other end of the clothesline will be attached to a power pole. If you do so, keep in mind two things:
-Usually, it is illegal to use power poles to attach clotheslines but the utility companies tolerate such usage.
-Power lines carry many times the voltage required to kill you. Be careful when setting up your ladder and don't put the line too close to the power lines. As a rule of thumb, the higher the lines, the higher the voltage. We want you to keep on visiting the Instructables site so work safely.
Now that the hooks are attached, put on the pulleys (they just slip over the hooks) and start threading the line. Once the line is through the pulleys, attach the tension device and start cranking. When the tension is adequate, just leave it like that. Cut the excess wire.
Step 3: Well Used Clothesline
You are now ready to hang your favorite socks to dry. Enjoy!