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Line Drying Clothing Tips and Tricks

Category Laundry
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.
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Tips

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By 9 found this helpful
March 2, 2009

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.

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By Karen M. from Greeneville, TN

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By 11 found this helpful
July 8, 2015

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

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June 28, 2010

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.

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By Maria Elena from Gwynedd Valley, PA

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By 22 found this helpful
February 15, 2011

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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February 23, 20094 found this helpful

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.

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By 2 found this helpful
August 19, 2013

One day, I forgot to bring the clothespin 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.

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By 4 found this helpful
June 24, 2010

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.

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By 3 found this helpful
October 6, 2015

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.

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They end up soft and wrinkle free. It also helps to slow down the fading of the jeans.

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By 3 found this helpful
April 9, 2009

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.

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By 5 found this helpful
October 6, 2010

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.

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August 19, 2017

Using a clothesline outside or a drying rack inside can help save in more than one way. It saves on the electric bill because you aren't using the dryer as much or adding heat to the A/C load by using the dryer. It also saves your clothes because it won't shrink them or wear them out as fast.

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By 4 found this helpful
September 1, 2013

When line drying, it's often convenient to use clothes hangers. If the weather is windy, the hangers can easily get knocked off by wind.

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May 15, 2007

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.

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By 3 found this helpful
November 15, 2010

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

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By 1 found this helpful
September 27, 2010

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.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 30, 2010

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.

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It might depend on what part of the country you live in whether or not they don't smell from the dew.

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By 1 found this helpful
March 11, 2010

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.

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By 2 found this helpful
November 1, 2012

I occasionally hang my clothes to dry inside during winter months to counteract the lack of humidity from using electric heat.

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August 24, 2017

I went outside to get my clothes after they dried outside. I found this little creature taking advantage of the soft fabric. I was about to put them on after I finished shaking it. I must not have shaken the shorts enough because this creature was still hanging on.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 28, 2005

Today I ran out of clothespins as I was hanging my laundry out to dry. We recently purchased a house, and the previous owners left behind, among other things, a lifetime supply of coat hangers in the closets. I looked through them for the kind with clips to use as clothespins.

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February 5, 20100 found this helpful

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 bag...

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January 30, 2014

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.

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Solutions

Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

March 26, 20170 found this helpful

Here's a tip that can save you time drying your clothes. This is a guide about chain clothes drying line.

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October 16, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about installing a breezecatcher rotary clothesline. Making a sturdy foundation for your clothes line will give you years of energy saving when taking advantage of the sun and breeze to dry laundry.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
May 13, 2010

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 finklea

Answers

July 23, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

My mom always hung them by the toes. During hot weather she hung them in pairs.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 21, 2006

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

Answers

By (Guest Post)
March 22, 20060 found this helpful

This may be too simple of a suggestion, but if there is no breeze on the day you hang them out, they'll stay wrinkled and sometimes stiffer.

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March 22, 20060 found this helpful

Maybe you could try using the slowest spin speed on your washer. This way it doesn't press the clothes too tightly together when spinning. It may take a little longer to dry them but I don't think they will be as wrinkled. Also, I'm sure you probably do this but shake each item before hanging on the line. Hope this helps.

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March 22, 20060 found this helpful

Linen & cotton tend to hold wrinkles. Aside from shaking my laundry, I also rub (smooth) the wrinkles out with my hands while wet & you'd be surprised how this helps. Also give them another good shaking after they are dry.

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June 28, 20100 found this helpful

Hanging your wash outside saves big bucks, but can also leave your clothes stiff. I started putting my clothes in the dryer for about 5 minutes to let them soften up. A couple of times, I've forgotten and left it in there the entire cycle. This defeats the whole purpose of hanging the clothes out to begin with. I started leaving a timer next to the dryer and setting it for 5 minutes. The sound of the timer reminds me about the clothes. (The dial on my dryer won't set for such a short amount of time)

By Deanna from Cedar Park, TX

Answers:

Place Line Dried Clothes In The Dryer To Soften Up

I am assuming you put them in the dryer BEFORE you hang them out? (09/26/2007)

By Elaine

Place Line Dried Clothes In The Dryer To Soften Up

I put my clothes on the spin cycle of the washer a few times. Not only will the clothes dry faster on the line, they also come out soft and not hard.

(09/26/2007)

By Ziggee

Place Line Dried Clothes In The Dryer To Soften Up

Good idea! I use liquid softener but clothing (esp. 100% cotton) is still a bit stiff. Your idea may work just as well on a no-heat cycle. For towels, to avoid that "wrinkled" look, I fluff them in the dryer on no heat for a few min. before hanging outside. They look much nicer and also not as stiff. Kudos to all us line-dryers! (09/26/2007)

By Christine

Place Line Dried Clothes In The Dryer To Soften Up

Actually it works better to put them in the dryer FIRST for 5 minutes, then hang on the line. Try it! (09/26/2007)

By kayrayriggs

Place Line Dried Clothes In The Dryer To Soften Up

One thing I've learned about those made-from-cardboard clothes. Use home made laundry detergent! I noticed that new clothes that I'd never washed in store-bought detergent don't get stiff at all. I harbor a secret suspicion that manufacturers put something in to make clothes nasty-sandpapery-stiff just so they can sell fabric softeners (just look at who owns what companies!) Clothes that I'd been washing in other detergent for a while take many washes to start softening up, but whatever they've gotten full of does wash out--eventually. Towels are the toughest, but even they come around in the end. I have found an extra rinse cycle to be beneficial with very dirty or stiff clothes, and as someone else posted, a nice windy day helps too. And I also whack the clothes hard against my leg when I take them off the line, though mostly to remove any moths or other bugs that have decided to set up camp on my laundry before they end up setting up camp in the house.

Final verdict from Mama Gina's Laundry Room: avoid store-bought detergent like the plague! (Anybody ever wonder why there are so many detergents that irritate your skin? I've heard of things like ground glass used as an abrasive. Nifty) (09/27/2007)

Mama Gina

Place Line Dried Clothes In The Dryer To Soften Up

I found many years ago that hanging clothes out in the early morning or early evening works best. Also, you MUST bring them in AS SOON AS they are dry. The first couple of loads, you'll be checking several times to catch them just as they dry. After a little practice, you'll know just how long each fabric takes. I have done this for a long time and do not have trouble with stiff clothes ( I do not use liquid softener)
(09/27/2007)

By Judi

Place Line Dried Clothes In The Dryer To Soften Up

I run my bluejeans through the dryer for a few minutes before I hang them up to dry. They don't have wrinkles or dry as stiff. (01/29/2008)

By Chris

Place Line Dried Clothes In The Dryer To Soften Up

A half cup of white vinegar in the rinse water helps to remove the detergent that has built up on the clothes. It acts as a natural fabric softener. And no, the clothes do not smell like vinegar at all. (07/01/2008)

By Jeanne

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