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Line Drying Clothing Tips and Tricks

Primary Colored Shirts on Clothesline

One way to save money is to line dry your clothing rather than using a dryer. This page contains line drying clothing tips and tricks.


Solutions: Line Drying Clothing Tips and Tricks

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Tip: Chain Clothes Drying Line

I use lengths of painted, rustproof chain instead of cotton or nylon cord on my clothesline poles. Then I hang the clothing on hangers and put on the line. When they're dry, all I have to do is hang them in the closet! Towels can be hung the usual way, with clips.

By Beth from Danvile, OH

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Tip: Softer Line Dried Clothing

Do you line dry your laundry only to discover when it's dried out that it needs ironing? Try putting 1/3 cup of vinegar in the washer. Vinegar will take the soap residue out of the laundry and your laundry will be lots softer.

By Queen Bee from TN

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Tip: Dry Clothing on Hangers

Dry Clothing on Hangers

When drying your laundry outdoors, instead of using pegs, hang as much washing on clothes hangers as possible. Separate the hangers using pegs to stop them gravitating together.

Using hangers in this way has 4 advantages:

  1. Your clothes stay in good shape.

  2. You can fit far more on the washing line.

  3. You can bring your washing in much more quickly if it starts to rain.

  4. Once dry, anything that doesn't need ironing is immediately ready to hang straight in the wardrobe.

Also those peggy hangers that are meant for your smalls can also be used for larger items such as small towels and pillow cases. This also frees up space and helps to bring your washing in quickly

    Dry Clothing on Hangers

    By ShirleyE [30]

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    Tip: Use an Indoor Clothes Line

    I live in Tennessee where TVA, our electric supplier, has raised our electric bills 30% in one month. I have started really trying to be more frugal. I purchased a indoor clothes line and strung it up in my basement. I bought it off ebay for $25.00, and it will hold 2 loads of laundry. It usually dries in less than one day. With a family of five, I do at least 1 load per day, I know this will help with my electric bill.

    Not everyone has a basement, so why not use one in a room in your home where you don't actually live, like a spare bedroom. You could put the clothes line in the closet and retract the line when not in use. My retractable line is the diameter of a paper plate and maybe 5 inches wide. Very small.

    In one week I was able to hang 7 loads of laundry on my line. Some loads were jeans which would have required more than one run on the dryer. I never waited more than 14-16 hours of dry time. Also, I forgot to add, my basement isn't heated or cooled. Hope this helps someone.

    By Karen M. from Greeneville, TN

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    Tip: Line Dry Jeans Inside Out

    I love hanging our clothes outside to dry, but don't like stiff jeans. My late mother-in-law taught me to turn them inside out when I hung them on the clothes line. They end up soft and wrinkle free. It also helps to slow down the fading of the jeans.

      By Mary [2]

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      Tip: Hanging A Fitted Sheet to Dry

      Hanging laundry on a clothesline is one of the best green activities you can do. I used to struggle with my fitted sheets, though, trying to hang them straight when they have elastic all the way around.

      One day, while the sheet was still on the bed, I sewed a small colored dot to mark the center point of each long side just where the sheet folds over the edge of the mattress, (about 6 inches above the elastic). Now when I get to the clothesline, I just pick the sheet up by the dots and attach it to the line with the clothespin at that spot. No more fumbling around to hang it straight.

      When I take the sheet down, I bring the two dots together and anchor them with a clothespin. This folds the sheet into quarters instantly. I finish folding it the rest of the way when I bring it inside.

      By libadmin from Clovis, NM

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      Tip: Place Line Dried Clothes In The Dryer To Soften Up

      To save on utilities and clothes softener, I line dry many clothes in the house then put them in the dryer on air fluff. It's amazing how soft they become.

      By Maria Elena from Gwynedd Valley, PA

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      Tip: Using Hangers in Windy Weather

      Using Hangers in Windy Weather

      When line drying delicate clothing or when the line is exposed to the weather all the time and gets dirty, it's often convenient to use clothes hanger. If the weather is windy, however, the clothes hangers can easily get knocked off by wind, leaving your clean clothes on the ground.

      However, you can use a simple rubber band to lock the hanger in place. Just wrap it a few times around the hook, and then lock it in place as shown in the pictures.

        Using Hangers in Windy WeatherUsing Hangers in Windy WeatherUsing Hangers in Windy Weather

        By rabexc [1]

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        Tip: Hang Dry Your Clothes

        Hanging clothes on the line not only helps to keep down the electric costs, but makes clothes smell so wonderful!. I have not dried my towels, which take so much time to dry, in a dryer for the past 3 years. The towels will be soft if you take them off as soon as they dry. Do not leave clothes more than the drying time. Bring them in as soon as they are dry.

        By iruiz27 from S. TX

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        Tip: Use Child's Wagon to Haul Laundry Outside

        Carrying laundry baskets has become a major problem for me as well as the bending and hanging laundry due to fibromyalgia and back problems. But running a dryer isn't economical. So, I load two round baskets instead of using one large basket with my laundry to make them lighter and carry them out the door and put them in a children's wagon. The wagon holds both baskets. I attached a bungee cord to the handle to keep it upright when I am not hanging on to it. I then pull the wagon to the clothes line and hang up my laundry. No bending and minimal carrying.

        By Jackie from Nunda, NY

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        Tip: Boil Clothesline in Salt Water

        If you use a cotton clothes line, try boiling the next replacement rope in salt water for a half hour before you but it up. This will take out all the tangles and prevent wet articles of wash from freezing to the line in cold weather.

        By Monica from Cortez, CO

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        Tip: Tips for Hang Drying Clothing

        Enjoy many benefits from using your clothes dryer less. You'll save energy and money by running it less. In colder, dryer climates and seasons you'll put moisture back into the air by hanging your clothes to dry; therefore, running a humidifier less if you use one. When you hang your clothes to dry, your house smells good like clean laundry. Or if you line dry outside, you're clothes smell so good when you bring them in.

        It's already been mentioned here that if you don't like the rough feel of your hang-dried clothes to put them in the dryer for about five minutes. If you can deal with rough towels, though, they make for great skin exfoliators after a shower or bath and soften up after the first time using them.

        By Britt Y. from Boston, MA

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        Tip: Leaving Clothespins on Laundry Line

        We recently moved to mid Tennessee and have only a washer. I have completely enjoyed hanging clothes out on the line to dry. Who knew?

        Anyway, I remember my great aunt, who NEVER used a dryer, always had this nifty little cloth bag that she carried around while hanging her clothes out. Take the pin out of the bag, put it back in....over and over. I started out using a similar bag. Now, here is where it gets simple! One day, I forgot to bring the bag out with me when taking the clothes down from the line, so I just put the pin back on the line. The next load that went up, was soooo much easier to hang out - took less than half the time.

        Since we tend to wear the same items over and over, the spaces between the pins pretty much stay the same on the line. Easy!

          By April R. [4]

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          Tip: Hang Dry Clothes Inside During Winter Months

          I occasionally hang my clothes to dry inside during winter months to counteract the lack of humidity from using electric heat. It helps prevent static shock and adds a pleasant smell of fresh clean laundry to the air. Large items such as sheets can be draped across the couch and are dry by morning. If you must have the fluffiness of machine dried clothes toss them in for a few minutes before you hang or after they are dry. This will save a ton on electricity by not using the dryer as much and the added warmth from the more humid air will keep the heat pump from switching on as often.

            By EChante B [3]

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            Tip: Dryer Sheet to Freshen Line Dried Clothes

            If you line dry your clothes, you can still use dryer sheets to freshen your clothes or towels. Remove them from the line and place them and a dryer sheet in a large bag or basket with a lid. I cut one sheet into 3 pieces and layer the clothes between the pieces. Can't leave them long enough to wrinkle, but it works great with towels.

            By Kelli from Sentani, Indonesia

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            Tip: Portable Clothes Line on Veranda

            I got myself a portable clothes line. I stand it out on my front veranda to dry clothes. It's great, saves power and is protected from weather. It can be set up in a garage or carport.

            By shellmax from Boddington, WA

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            Tip: Sock Tip For Line Drying

            As I remove clothes from the washing machine to hang outside, I put socks together so that I can hang pairs side-by-side. I pin the socks on the clothes line at the toe--not at the opening. When the clothes are dry, I fold the sock cuffs together before unpinning them from the clothes line. This way, the socks are already mated when I fold the clothes to put them away. (I do my husband's socks this way--my socks are just taken down and folded over so that they are together in the basket.) This saves time since I'm not hunting for mates when I fold clothes!

            By Glowgirl from Watertown

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            Tip: Freshen Clothing on Clothesline

            This is a tip if you have a garment which isn't soiled or sweaty but has been worn, and which you want to freshen. Just hang it on the clothes line in light rain, and simply leave it there until dry.

              By Verity Pink [39]

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              Tip: Don't Leave Clothes Outside Overnight

              I have found that leaving your clothes on the line over night causes them to smell funny. I think it's because of the dew. It might depend on what part of the country you live in whether or not they don't smell from the dew.

              By daisym0m from Atlanta, GA

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              Tip: Use A Net Bag For Clothes Pins

              A lot of us still hang our clothes out to dry during the nice days on clothes lines that require you to use clothes pins. A lot of us leave the clothes pin bag hanging on the lines to use the next time and end up with dirty nasty looking bags with dirty clothes pins inside. Well I have found a solution to that problem and have had my clothes pin bag hanging on my line for 5 years and it's still very usable.

              I use one of those white net bags people use for their delicate fabrics in the washers. It has a zipper, the clothes pins won't fall out any which way. They get washed every time it rains, and they are not warped.

              Oh yeah, did I mention? I live in the northern Michigan woods where squirrels, chipmunks and raccoons are always looking for something to play with or eat. This way they can't get to your clothes pins either.

              Source: I thought of it myself when I wanted a clothes pin bag. It was in the laundry dept at the store. I looked at a clothes pin bag and the net bag, and I bought the net bag.

              by Luann D. from Luther, MI

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              Here are questions related to Line Drying Clothing Tips and Tricks.

              Question: Clothes Wrinkled After Washing and Line Drying

              Why are my clothes wrinkled after washing? I use homemade laundry soap, use vinegar during rinse, shake my clothes before placing them on clothes line; but still wrinkled.

              G from from AZ

              AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No


              Most Recent Answer

              By Denise C. 2 7 11/12/2011

              Spray clothes with water and pull on the clothing to straighten out the wrinkles.

              ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

              Question: Hanging Socks on Clothesline to Dry Without Stretching

              When you hang out socks on the clothesline, which is the best way to do it so the tops don't stretch out?

              By Darlene

              AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No


              Most Recent Answer

              By shoe 2 40 05/14/2010

              Instead of hanging them on the line, hang them on a folding clothes drying rack. I also use my rack for hanging underwear and washcloths. Since I don't have a gas/electric dryer, everything has to be hung up. I don't know what I'd do without my folding dryer. --sarsi

              ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No


              Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.

              Archive: Hang Dry Clothing

              When the weather is warm, dry your clothes outside. You save both water and energy by hang drying your clothing. It also decreases the wear that dryers inflict on your clothing. You can even hang some clothing inside when the weather is bad if you set up drying rack in your laundry room.

              Archive: Tips for Hang Drying Clothing

              When the weather is warm, dry your clothes outside. You save both water and energy by hang drying your clothing.


              Archive: Softer Line Dried Clothing

              I love to hang clothes on the line but hate the sandpaper, stiff feeling. How do I get them to feel like they came out of the dryer and not so hard after coming off the clothes line?


              RE: Soft Line Dried Clothing

              This probably sounds silly, but I used to dry things on the line then run them through the dryer for about 5 minutes or so to soften them up. You'd never know they'd not been completely dried in a dryer. Think of the electricity saved cutting down drying time. (05/18/2005)

              By Sharon from KY

              RE: Softer Line Dried Clothing

              Shake them hard both before and after hanging to dry. This really helps. I like the slightly harder finish, but if you don't there are fabric softeners that go in the washer, try using less to find how much you actually need. Also stretch side seams, that helps keep stuff wrinkle free.

              Smell the clothes. The wonderful smell of sundried laundry is worth the slight stiffness. (05/19/2005)

              By Jeneene

              RE: Softer Line Dried Clothing

              My slacks and tops are placed in the dryer briefly to dewrinkle them. Then I place them on hangers and hang outside to finish drying. Most times they do not even need to be pressed. I always use fabric softener in my last rinse. (05/19/2005)

              By Elizabeth

              RE: Softer Line Dried Clothing

              One thing I do is save laundry I want to turn out soft for a sunny, but windy day. The combination of sun and wind, along with a little fabric softener, will do as well as a dryer. For example, I can hang out bed linens anytime because the stiffness helps avoid wrinkles. I save sweaters, towels, corduroy, denim, and t-shirts for windy/sunny days. (05/19/2005)

              By lulugirl765

              RE: Softer Line Dried Clothing

              Here's a tip, add vinegar to the rinse to soften them, or use less detergent. (03/09/2007)

              By Gaab Family

              Archive: Softer Line Dried Clothing

              I like the feel of linen shirts that have dried in a clothes dryer with fabric softener. But to save money, I dry them on an outdoor clothes line. Unfortunately, line drying leaves them stiff, with wrinkles. What can I do to get them soft again?

              By AmnesiaWes from Hawaii

              RE: Softer Line Dried Clothing

              Use liquid fabric softener when you wash them and pop them in the dryer for 4 or 5 minutes after taking them off the line. (04/19/2009)

              By Anonymous

              RE: Softer Line Dried Clothing

              Fabric softener when you wash, and I used to put all shirts on clotheshangers and then hang them on the line. Much less wrinkles. (04/19/2009)

              By vguy

              RE: Softer Line Dried Clothing

              I put everything in the dryer for a few minutes before I hang them outside. Clothes that shrink, I put on the no heat cycle. I try and dry all my clothes without using my dryer in the winter using wooden dryers and a cloths line in my basement. If you need the clothes the next day, a small fan on the lowest setting works wonders, and uses less electricity then the dryer. (04/23/2009)

              By dduff

              RE: Softer Line Dried Clothing

              I use fabric softener in the last rinse, hang things on hangers after shaping/stretching them and then hang the hangers on the line. After they sun-dry I toss them on "Air-fluff" in the dryer for about a minute. Works very well for me. Even with towels! (04/23/2009)

              By Cathy S

              RE: Softer Line Dried Clothing

              I know this can not always be done, but if you can hang your clothes out on windy days or when the wind is blowing your clothes will be softer. The more wind the less wrinkles. In the hot summer and on days with no wind, my clothes are stiff. Fabric softener helps. I do not like to use it, because it's bad for pipes and septic system. Also double rinsing clothes helps. The soap still in the clothes after one rinse makes them stiff, and clothes last longer and look better getting the soap out. (04/24/2009)

              By Cindy in Texas

              Archive: Softer Line Dried Clothing

              If your clothes are stiff when line dried try this. Hang your clothes out in the late evening and leave over night. Bring them in as soon as they are dry in the morning. They will be so soft.

              By grannygirl from Lexington, NC

              RE: Softer Line Dried Clothing

              Baking soda in the rinse water, it softens water so why not your clothes. I think that would work. What do you think? (06/16/2009)

              By bird watcher

              RE: Softer Line Dried Clothing

              I put vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser. Fabric softener is not good for things like towels. (02/28/2010)

              By TXBetty

              Archive: Save Electricity: Hang Dry Your Clothes

              To save on your electricity try hanging your clothes outside. Most permanent slacks come out really well if you hang them outside.


              Archive: Softer Line Dried Clothing

              How can I soften wind dried laundry?