Save Energy and Save Money by Line Drying Your Clothing

Clotheslines Can Save You Money

If hearing the word retractable clothesline makes you have visions of June Cleaver dashing outside with a wicker basket full of Beaver’s jeans to hang out to dry, think again. Clotheslines may seem outdated, but they are really environmentally friendly and a great means for saving money. A clothes drier is one of the highest cost to use appliances in your home, but the sun and wind are free. Whether you choose to dry all your clothing or just dry the sheets, every time you chose not to use a clothes drier, you are pocketing savings.

Clothesline Saves Money and Energy

You save money on energy, but you also save money on the wear and tear on your clothing. Clothes last longer line dried than exposed to the high heat and friction of the drier. You will no longer need to purchase fabric softener either, as the sun and wind naturally soften clothes, give them a fresh clean scent and leaves them static free. Leaving whites in the sun for a day will naturally whiten them and help lighten set in stains.

Types of Clotheslines

There are three basic clothesline designs: the t-post, the umbrella and the retractable clothesline:

T-Post Clotheslines – T-posts are traditional two t-post secured permanently into the ground with two lines strung between them.

Umbrella Clothslines – The umbrella looks like its name, a single pole holds up a frame with a square rack that contains several compact lines for drying clothes. The umbrella turns and folds down for compact storage.

Retractable Clotheslines – Retractable lines attach to a post or a wall and pull out to hook on a post. Like the umbrella, the retractable are designed to be removed and stored out of sight. The retractable line automatically rolls back into a long cylinder shaped unit. The poles used can be removed from the ground for storage. This works with the use of a sleeve that is permanently placed into the ground that holds the post, but allows the home owner to easily lift the poles out of the ground, covering the sleeve with a cap.

You will want to select a clothesline that fits the space you have, and be in the sun at least part of the day. You will need a supply of clothes pins, look for wooden spring styled, and a clothes pin holding bag to store them in.

Know Your Community Rules

Before you invest in an outdoor clothesline, make sure you can place a clothesline on your property. Some home owner associations may have restrictions regarding what can and cannot be in your area. A removable clothesline may be allowed, while a permanent line is not. Make sure you know the rules, if any, before you make a purchase. If outdoor dying is not allowed, the second option would be drying inside. Wouldn’t want to tick off Mr. Wilson.

Using Folding Racks for Inside Drying

You can dry clothing inside on folding racks, which come in a variety of sizes and styles. Folding racks are usually wooden dowel rods that hold one to two loads of clothing. There are also retractable clotheslines designed to fit in bathrooms and hallways. Shirts and dresses can be placed on hangers and hung on shower curtain rods for easy inside drying.

Regardless of how you choose to line dry your clothing, or the amount of clothing you dry, not using the drier will save you money in more ways than one. Factor in the savings and you will soon see line drying isn’t old fashioned; it’s a modern means for stretching your budgets dollars.

I did a quick search online and a nice retractable indoor/outdoor clothesline can be had for about $25 from

This article is by a guest contributor. Photo by alessandraelle

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Last Edited: May 8, 2014 @ 2:35 pm