- Find a good spot for your clothesline. You want it to be in direct sun for most of the day, so try to keep it out of the way of trees. We have ours on the south facing side of our house.
- Fold as little of the garment as possible over the clothesline when attaching your clothespins. You want most of the clothing to being hanging down and blowing in the breeze. You don’t want lots of layers bunched together. For example, when hanging socks, pin them by the tip of the toe. Don’t fold it over the line. Socks often take the longest to dry anyway. You want to limit the amount of layers you have folded over the line as much as possible.
- Hang pants upside down by pinning the bottom of the legs to the line. Not only is it easier to grip with your clothespins, but it helps get them dry quicker. The waist is usually the thickest part of a pair of pants, meaning more layers of material.
- Turn garments inside out before pinning them to the clothesline. This will help keep your colors true. Even though I say this, you will see my family running around with some pretty faded t-shirts. We spend so much time outside that our clothes get faded just by wearing them. However, I do make sure to turn things inside out when I really care about a garment (clothes that we wear when going to town)!
- Hang white things right side out and in the direct sum as much as possible. It can brighten your whites. It will not take out all your stains, but it can help with keeping things bright without bleach.
- T-shirts have been difficult for me. I have a hard time with the necks getting stretched out. My clothes wringer is partly to blame, but I’ve found that hanging on the line stretches them out too. The picture to the right shows how I hang them now (after trying several different ways). I fold the shoulders over the line and use four clothespins, being careful not to stretch the neck.
- Be careful when pinning garments with elastic or stretchy materials. Never stretch the garment and pin it in a stretched position. Make sure the clothing has no stretch and then attach it to the line. This will ensure that your stretchy garments stay in good shape.
- Sweaters can also be stretched out very easily, depending on the fiber content. When hanging on the line, they are best hung on padded hangers and pinned in place to the hanger with clothespins. Then hang the hanger from the end of your clothesline (not the line).
- If you’ve done your best and at the end of the day, some of your clothes are still not completely dry, there is no shame in bringing them inside to dry. Maybe the weather didn’t really cooperate. Maybe you got the clothes on the line too late in the day. You could stick them in the dryer, but if you’re like me, I just hang them around the house. I use the shower rod a lot for this. I have also left my laundry on the line to try again the next day. This happens a lot in the winter when clothes get frozen to the line. There is no point in bringing them inside because I figure that they will be there waiting to get dry as soon as the sun comes up!
Do you hang your clothes on a clothesline? It excites me when I hear about women choosing to line dry over the convenience of their dryer. I have met so many who are making this change!