Line Drying Wash

Posted on 2023-07-20

Line drying clothing is a part of life for me. I do it every day. We do not use a dryer (it has been broken for years). The process is very straight forward, but I hope to give you a few tips that may be useful.

In the warm, non-rainy weather it takes less planning. I have a 40’; retractable clothesline outside (that rarely gets retracted). I can fit one full load on it. Heavy items hung on the outside edges where there is more support and does not sag the line. When it is really hot, I can get two loads done in one day. We get very gusty wind starting at 3pm almost every day, so the load needs to be out early and taken down before the wind starts. If you want your children to help, make sure the line is hung at a height that they can reach.

When it is cold, I have an accordion wooden clothes rack that is about 5’; tall 3’x1’;
It has 15 wooden rungs. I can fit a medium-large load on it. I have learned to judge
how full I can make the load. When drying indoors I plan for only one load a day
and for it to take 24 hours to dry. When the woodstove is going, that can be a little
faster. You can also buy foldable aluminum clothes racks at place like Costco, that
are also good. People have been known to line dry clothes outside even in the
winter…but frozen clothes never made sense to me. If that is your only option, it
can be done.

For large sheets, I only do them one at a time mixed with the normal load and
hang that over the shower to dry. When you are drying outside you can also make
use of patio tables, chairs and benches for drying larger items. Even ladders can
be used indoors or out for additional drying surfaces.

Another approach I have adopted is that we use Turkish towels (I will put a link
next). They are lightweight and dry quickly. They are made of cotton and can be
washed with the normal clothes load, so I never have a big heavy towel load to
dry somewhere. We all have ‘dirty clothes’; we wear outside from 2 days to a week.
They come off when entering the house and reused. That cuts down on the number of loads. This process works if you do a load every day excepting Sunday and you don’t try to wash your clothes the night before you need them. Every 2-3 days the load is of cloth diapers.

The kids have just learned if they wet the bed, they won’t get their favorite blanket back for 24 hours. It’s a tough life around here.

These are the Turkish towels we use every day. I did not pay this much for them.
Turkish towels >

These Turkish towels are less expensive and I bought an extra set, but have not used them yet. Less expensive Turkish towels >

Materials List:

  • Rope, parachute cord, or retractable clothesline
  • Two attachment points (buildings, trees, posts)
  • Heavy duty clothes pins (Don’t go cheap here or they will not last/work)
  • Foldable drying racks
  • Laundry basket for carrying clothes to line, keep it clean


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