Hang clothes on the line the right way (2023)

Hanging clothes on the line the right way is a great way to dry your clothes with many benefits. Not only does it save energy and help the environment, it also keeps your clothes in good condition.

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In the hustle and bustle of modern life, the laundry often becomes the center of our daily tasks. In the constant cycle of washing, drying and folding, a nostalgic practice offers a simpler and more sustainable approach: hanging clothes on the line.

While it may seem like a step back in time, there are good reasons why this age-old method still holds its appeal. When you hang a load of laundry on the line, you reduce energy consumption and adopt a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.

The sun's rays become your natural ally, gently drying your clothes and infusing them with a freshness that a machine cannot reproduce.

Embrace sustainability by making your ownhomemade laundry detergentandDIY fragrance enhancerto improve the freshness and cleanliness of your clothes.

With these eco-friendly practices, you'll enjoy energy savings and fresh, clean, and great-smelling clothes.

Here are some basic techniques to remember to make sure you hang your clothes on the line correctly.

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Why you should hang clothes on the line

Line drying outdoors has many advantages and can be a great way to dry your clothes and linens. Here are some of the benefits of hanging clothes on a clothesline:

  1. Fresh smelling laundry detergent:Sunlight and fresh air can give your clothes a wonderful fragrance (fresh smell) that is difficult to reproduce with artificial fragrances.
  2. Natural disinfection and bleaching:Sunlight has natural disinfectant properties. Sunlight can act as a natural bleaching agent, helping to remove stains and brighten white fabrics.
  3. Versatility:Line drying is suitable for most washable items such as clothes, towels, sheets and more.
  4. Wrinkle reduction:You can often achieve a smooth finish by hanging your clothes carefully and giving them enough room to dry. This can reduce or even eliminate the need for ironing, saving time and effort.
  5. Energy and cost savings:Line drying is an environmentally friendly alternative to an electric dryer as it uses no electricity or gas. By relying on natural sunlight and wind, you can save energy and lower your utility bills.
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Choice of clothing line

When it comes to hanging clothes outside, there are many options.

  • Traditional clothes:A traditional clothesline consists of a strong rope or cord stretched between two supports such as poles or trees.
  • Collapsible Clothesline:A folding blanket offers convenience and flexibility. It usually has a retractable mechanism that allows you to extend and retract the line as needed. This is especially useful if you have limited space or prefer a neat look when not in use.
  • Umbrella Clothing:Oneumbrella spreadfeatures multiple lines radiating from a central pole, resembling an open umbrella. It provides significant hanging space and can be folded away when not in use, making it a popular choice for larger households.
  • Clothes drying rack:A garmentdrying rackis a self-contained unit with multiple tiers or rods to hang clothes on. It is portable and can be easily moved around your outdoor space. Drying racks are ideal for small items or when you want to dry clothes out of direct sunlight.
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What you need to hang clothes on the line

You will need a few essential items to hang clothes on the line. Here's what you'll need:

(Video) How To Hang Clothes On A Clothesline

Wire clothing:When you choose onewashing lineto hang clothes, prioritize durability by choosing materials such as nylon, polyester or cotton. Make sure the clothesline is sturdy enough to support the weight of the wet clothes.

Clinics:Theseheavy duty wooden pegswill keep your clothes securely in place on the line. Look for sturdy clothespins made of wood or plastic.

Peg container:A container orbag pegto store your clothespins will keep them easily accessible while hanging your clothes.

Clothesline Clips:Theseclip(plasticthewooden) help hang smaller items like socks or underwear. They prevent objects from falling off the line or being blown away by the wind.

Hangers (optional):Make sure there are enough hangers if you prefer to hang certain clothes on hangers. Plastic or wooden hangers work well for line drying.

Laundry basket:A laundry basket simplifies transporting your laundry to and from the line. You can find different types such asplasticthat outline on your hip, but I prefer classic and prettywicker laundry basket.

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Prepare the clothesline for clothes

Make sure the line and pegs are clean to prepare the clothesline for efficient drying. If there is dirt, bird droppings or dirt, wash them using ordinary detergent or household cleaner, then rinse well.

Allow the line to dry completely before use. Additionally, wipe down the pegs or clips to remove any dirt or debris that may be present before hanging the clothes on the line.

Next, check the firmness and strength of the clothesline. The fishing line must be taut and firmly attached to its supports. A loose or loose line can cause clothes to drag on the ground.

If you have a long clothesline, you may need abracket or tensionerto support the line and keep it taut. This helps prevent sagging and ensures efficient drying.

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How to hang clothes on a clothesline

Hanging clothes on the line is a time-honored tradition that lends a charm to drying clothes the old-fashioned way.

Here's how to hang clothes to dry outside, focusing on different types of clothing.

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(Video) Hanging clothes on the line the right way with "Riles"

Shirts and blouses

Start by shaking out the shirt or blouse to remove any wrinkles. Take the garment by the tail and fold it over the clothesline, leaving the fronts to open at the sides.

Use pins to secure the placket edges (the part of your shirt where the buttonholes are located) and side seams, ensuring that the garment stays in place while it dries.

Another method is to take the garment by the tail and fold it over the clothesline, but this time fold the fronts inwards

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For straight dresses without a full or gathered skirt, hang the dress on the rope from the shoulders.

For dresses with a full or gathered skirt. Turn the dress inside out and hang it by the hem on the clothesline, with the shoulders hanging down.

Dresses generally dry with fewer wrinkles and hold their shape better if you hang them on hangers.


For straight skirts, fold the belt over the line and secure with pins at both ends.

For skirts with a gathered or full design, it is best to hang them from the hem.

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Pants and Shorts

Fold the waistband of the pants or shorts over the clothesline. Use clothespins to secure both ends of the belt to the line for a secure hold.

Tops and bottoms

By folding the bottom hem of the T-shirt a few inches above the clothesline. Use bobby pins to pin both ends of the folded hem.

Underwear or underwear

When hanging underwear or underwear, fold the waist over the line and thread them through the belt with pegs.

However, adrying rackthey are a great alternative if you prefer not to hang them on the fishing line. It provides a convenient and discreet way to hang your underwear, keeping it separate from other laundry items.


One method is to attach clothespins to bras from the end of the hook. Another option isclothes clipdesigned to hang delicate clothes such as bras.

(Video) elaundry How to Hang Clothes on the Line Drying Tips


Use clothespins and secure the socks by pinning the toe to the line. You can useclothes clipdesigned to hang socks.


Start by folding the sheet in half lengthwise, bringing one hem to meet the other hem. Fold one of the folded hems over the tablecloth, leaving a three- to four-inch overhang.

Using clothespins, secure the folded hem at both ends to the fabric. Take the corners of the opposite hem and fold them a few centimeters inside the first two corners.

When hanging the sheet, make sure it opens in the direction of the wind. This allows the wind to catch the sheet like a sail, promoting better airflow and more efficient drying.


Take one side of the pillowcase opening and fold it over the clothesline. Using clothespins, attach the folded side of the pillowcase at both corners to the tablecloth.

Leave the opposite side of the pillowcase opening unbuttoned. This allows it to unfold, creating a sail-like effect when caught in the wind.

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Before putting the towels on the line, give them a good shake. This action helps to relax the fibers resulting in softer and fluffier towels.

Then, snap the towels to enhance their softness even more. give them a quick flick or flick with your wrist to loosen the fibers and create a lighter texture.

To hang towels on the line, fold one end of the towel over the clothesline, leaving a three- to four-inch crease. Secure the folded edge by pinning it at both corners.

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What not to hang on the clothesline

When choosing items to line dry, some fabrics and items are unsuitable for hanging outside. Here's a list of what not to hang on the rope:

Fabrics that will stretch when wet

Avoid hanging fabrics such as woolens and loose knits on the clothesline. These materials tend to stretch when wet, which can lead to unwanted distortion and warping.

Woolen fabrics and knitted sweaters are best suited for drying on a flat surface (mesh shelf) instead of hanging. When drying clothes flat, it is important to place them away from direct heat sources, as excessive heat can cause the fabric to shrink.

Comforters or Sleeping Bags

It is not recommended to place comforters, quilts or sleeping bags on the bedspread. The stuffing in these items tends to fall towards the ends, creating clumps that are difficult to dry well.

(Video) Ditch the dryer, hang clothes outside

The best weather to hang clothes on the clothesline

The ideal weather for line drying is a warm, dry and sunny day accompanied by a gentle breeze.

These conditions facilitate the quick and efficient drying of your clothes. However, it is important to avoid extremely windy days, as the constant flapping of clothes can cause wear and tear and clothes can come off.

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Tips for drying clothes on the clothesline

When hanging clothes on the line, a few tips can help you achieve the best results. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

  1. Check the weather:Before you hang your clothes, check the weather reports. Choose a sunny day with warm weather that is dry for optimal drying.
  2. Sort your clothes correctly:Separate your clothes into categories such as whites, colours, delicates and heavy fabrics. This will help prevent color bleeding.
  3. Prevent fading:To prevent fading of dark colored clothes, it is recommended to turn them inside out before hanging them on the line. This helps protect the vibrant colors from direct sunlight, extending their appearance and longevity.
  4. Shake and clip towels:When you take the towels off the line, give them a good shake to fluff them up. Next, clip the towels by holding them firmly by one end and flicking them. This action helps restore their softness and fluffiness.
  5. Fold the clothes immediately:Once your clean clothes are dry, immediately remove them from the line and fold them well. Folding dry clothes immediately helps prevent wrinkles and keeps clothes fresh.
  6. Bring the pegs in:Exposure to the elements such as rain, humidity and direct sunlight can cause the pegs to wear down over time. Taking them indoors helps protect them from unnecessary wear and tear, allowing them to last longer.
  7. Let the Sun Bleach Light Fabrics:Take advantage of the bleaching power of the sun if you have light colored fabrics or white clothing that could benefit from a natural brightening effect. Sunlight can help lighten blemishes, giving them a naturally fresh and revitalized look.
  8. Do not dry dark fabrics in direct sunlight:While sunlight can benefit light fabrics, it can cause fading and discoloration in light and dark colored items. Choose shaded or indoor drying areas to minimize sun exposure, and consider turning dark-colored clothes inside out before hanging them on the line.
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Frequent questions

How long does it take clothes to dry outside?

On average, clothes can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day to dry completely. Drying time for clothes outdoors can vary depending on various factors such as weather conditions, humidity levels, fabric thickness and air flow.

Clothes dry faster in warm and sunny conditions with a gentle breeze. However, they may take longer to dry on cloudy or humid days.

Thicker fabrics such as jeans or towels also require more time than lighter fabrics such as t-shirts or thin dresses.

It is important to note that hanging clothes properly, ensuring good air flow and placing them outside on the clothesline can help encourage a quick drying process.

How to keep clothes soft when air drying

Vinegar rinse:Add a cup of white vinegar (or fabric softener) to the rinse cycle. Vinegar is a natural fabric softener that can help remove any soap residue, leaving your clothes soft and fresh.

Shake Out and Fluff:Before hanging your clothes to dry, give them a good shake to loosen the fibers. This will help them not become hard and crunchy.

More natural clothing care posts

  • Homemade laundry detergent
  • Homemade aroma enhancer
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Remember, the laundry room is not just a place for functional chores. it's an opportunity to embrace simplicity, sustainability and a connection to a bygone era.

By hanging your clothes on the line, you not only reduce your environmental impact, but also infuse your everyday life with a touch of nostalgia and authenticity.

So the next time you're faced with a pile of laundry, consider embracing the traditional tradition of hanging clothes on the line—the simple act that brings us closer to nature and our roots.

(Video) The Best Way to Hang a Sweater So It Doesn’t Get Stretched Out


Hang clothes on the line the right way? ›

If possible, align the direction of the clothesline so that your clothes will receive the greatest amount of sunlight by running the line north to south. Your clothes will dry faster this way.

Which direction should a clothesline be? ›

If possible, align the direction of the clothesline so that your clothes will receive the greatest amount of sunlight by running the line north to south. Your clothes will dry faster this way.

Do you hang clothes on top or bottom of clothesline? ›

Hang shirts from a clothesline by pinning the bottom hem to the line. Pin pants to a clothesline by the bottom leg seams to help them dry properly. Smaller items like socks and underwear can be pined at the corners so they dry evenly.

Should hangers face left or right? ›

All clothing must be hung on hangers. Hangers must face left, make sure they look like question marks. Pants should be hung by either pants clips or pinned to the TOP of the hanger. They should not be folded over the hanger.

Why do I need to space out the clothes evenly on the line? ›

To get the most effective use of space on the clothesline, spread out your items evenly and neatly so that they can dry properly and without wrinkles, which can be caused by bunching up items together.

Will clothes dry on the line? ›

A good rule of thumb is: if the ground is dry, then your clothes should get dry too. If it is breezy then your clothes will get surprisingly dry even on a grey day. On overcast days, hang your clothes out as early as possible so that they get the maximum amount of time on the line.

How should jeans be hung on a washing line? ›

Jeans and Pants

Hang jeans or pants by the legs. Then the water will wick down to the heaviest part of the jean (the waistband). The weight of that water and the waistband combined will pull on the pant legs, pulling out the wrinkles.

How do wet clothes hanging on a clothesline dry? ›

Wet clothes placed on a clothes line dry in sunlight after some time because the water present in wet clothes gets converted into water vapour and is released into the atmosphere due to evaporation which leaves them dry.

Should you leave pegs on the line? ›

It's important because otherwise they'll get dirty, collect dust and debris and that will transfer onto your clothes,” the expert said on the Mrs Hinch Cleaning Tips page. “People don't realise how much dirt pegs can gather when you leave them on the line for days, weeks, months.

Where do you hang clothes to dry? ›

Hang by size

If you're drying your clothes indoors, do so in a spot that mimics an outdoor environment as much as possible. “When drying your clothes indoors, place your rack somewhere with ample ventilation,” says Love.

Should I put my T-shirts on hangers? ›

"T-shirts can be hung, folded, or stacked," says DeMorrow. "There's no doubt that hanging them reduces the chance for wrinkles.

What clothes should not go on hangers? ›

Avoid hanging thick, fitted clothing or tops with padded shoulders on plastic hangers (use sturdier wooden hangers instead). Lingerie, silk & delicate fabrics, items prone to snagging. Avoid heavy items, as they tend to fall off this type of hanger.

How do you arrange hangers? ›

Keep your hangers separated by material as you stack them. To stack your hangers, lay them on a flat surface and stack them neatly on top of each other so they're all facing in the same direction. Don't add more than 10 hangers to a stack.

Why we should not dry clothes at night? ›

It is said in Vastu Shastra that negative energy is at its peak at night. In such a situation, if we wash clothes at night, then this negative energy enters our clothes as well and when we wear these clothes, this negative energy enters our body through clothes. Which is not good for us in any sense.

Do clothes dry better in warm or cold air? ›

Warm, dry air is best for drying clothes, because warm air can hold more moisture than cold air. This is why we often get rain wen a cold front sweeps in. When drying clothes, a breeze is useful, but not essential.

Do clothes dry faster in hot or cold? ›

The higher the temperature of the liquid water, the more molecules there are on the high end of the distribution with enough energy to evaporate. Therefore, the hotter an object, the quicker it dries, even if its temperature is below the boiling point of water.

Do clotheslines save money? ›

Line-drying prolongs the life of your clothing.

Line drying is more gentle to fibers. You'll lower your gas or electric bill. Project Laundry List estimates the average household could save 10 to 20 percent percent on utility bills by hanging the wash!

Does not using the dryer save money? ›

Air and sunlight are free, and any time you don't have to turn on the dryer, you save some money. But the benefits are much more than just cost savings. Air drying can be “gentler on your clothes and may help them last longer [than using a dryer],” Dang shares.

Will clothes dry on the line at night? ›

Is it okay to leave laundry on the line overnight, or is it frowned upon? You can leave washing out overnight, but it may not dry as effectively without the sun's rays. Laundry left out overnight may further dampen due to mist, dew or unexpected rain.

Is it better to hang or fold jeans? ›

Synthetic fabrics don't hold up well on hangers and should be folded. Jeans. While it's okay to hang jeans, unless you're short on drawer space, fold them.

Should denim be hung or folded? ›

Answer: Jeans can be folded or hung. However, if you are conscious about preserving the wear pattern of your jeans, it is preferable to hang with a clipped belt hanger by the waistband or, in a hurry, by a belt loop.

Where should bottom of jeans sit? ›

Your jeans should sit at your natural waistline, usually around the belly button. They'll sag if they're too low; if they're too high, they'll cut into your waist and be uncomfortable.

How do you avoid wrinkles when hang drying? ›

Keep garments separated to allow air circulation and faster drying. Place clothes near a fan or a heat vent to air-dry more quickly. Lay sweaters and other stretchy garments flat on a drying rack to help retain their shapes. Turn them at least once to allow them to dry evenly.

Does hanging clothes get rid of wrinkles? ›

Hang Clothes in the Bathroom While Showering

Just hang the garment on a hanger or over the top of the door and let the steam do its work, either while you take a shower, or just turn the hot water on while you're out of it. The heat and steam help the fabric fibers relax, making wrinkles much easier to remove.

How long does it take for clothes to dry on a clothesline? ›

While it's hard to generalize about how long it will take your laundry to air-dry—fabric type, air temperature, and presence or absence of wind all play a part—expect it to take 2 to 4 hours for most types of fabric on a pleasantly warm day with a light breeze.

Are wooden or plastic pegs better? ›

Traditional wooden pegs are a better option than plastic, but still have their issues. They are either made of birch, beech or maple because these hardwoods are durable, have a uniform light-colored grain, and do not bleed tannin stains onto clothing.

What are the best pegs that don't leave marks? ›

Marine grade 316 stainless steel pegs offer durability and added corrosion resistance. They hold on in windy conditions yet they don't leave marks on clothes.

What does put you down a peg or two? ›

To 'take (or pull, or bring) down a peg (or two)' is to lower someone's high opinion of themselves.

How do you hang socks on a clothesline? ›

Added another: “I also hang socks from the toe, so they dry quicker. The 'tops from the bottom and bottoms from the top' is something my mum taught me and it's the best.” Said a third: “Always follow this method. Bottoms from the top, tops from the bottoms every time.”

What is the best way to hang bed sheets? ›

Keep the top of the sheet flat and straight against the clothesline, which is an effective measure to stop wrinkles. You should ideally do this with every item of laundry, whether you hang shirts or sheets. For these smaller sheets, it's a good idea to stretch them out the entire length of the line, so they do not sag.

What is the best way to dry clothes indoors? ›

Tips to dry clothes indoors
  1. Get rid of excess water. ...
  2. Consider where you hang your clothes. ...
  3. Place fan in front of laundry. ...
  4. Dry clothes in well ventilated room. ...
  5. Heated airers could make a world of difference. ...
  6. Use coat hangers. ...
  7. Rotate the clothes. ...
  8. Dehumidifier to remove moisture.
Feb 9, 2023

What is the best time of the day to hang clothes to dry? ›

The late morning to early afternoon hours, between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., is the best time of day to hang your clothes out to dry. During this part of the day, the sunshine will adequately dry and disinfect your clothes. The sun's powerful ultraviolet rays (UV) are their strongest in this timeframe.

Are thin hangers bad for clothes? ›

Though cheap, these hangers are the most dangerous when it comes to preserving clothing. Their thin, flimsy forms can create unsightly creases in your garments and are susceptible to rusting, causing further issues. Additionally, poorly made models may have sharp ends that can tear into fabric.

What is the lifespan of a shirt? ›

It is hard to say how long a shirt will last due to variations in how often a shirt is worn. A better measure is how many washings a shirt will withstand and still look good. The Dry Cleaning and Laundry Institute says says that industry experience indicates that a shirt should have a wear life of 35 to 50 washings.

How deep should clothes be on a hanger? ›

The standard closet depth is 24-inches or two feet. You can't go any less than this because the hanger itself is around 20-inches for an adult hanger.

Which is the right type of hangers? ›

Aside from plastic and wire hangers, velvet hangers are an additional option that have their own benefits. But when it comes to hanging storage for your clothing, premium wood hangers are your best choice. Here's why: they're much sturdier and won't bend, which keeps your garment structure intact.

Should I organize my closet by color or style? ›

Some people prefer to arrange their clothes by style while others sort their clothes according to season. Organizational experts will tell you that one of the best ways to coordinate your closet is by color.

Should all my hangers be the same? ›

Plastic hangers are prone to breaking and the shape of tube hangers can leave those unsightly bubbles in the shoulders of your shirts. Don't be afraid to mix and match. I know, I know, I just said that we like to switch out hangers to all match but there are exceptions to this rule.

What is the best line for an outdoor clothesline? ›

PVC is a great all-weather clothesline option, and it can be wiped down ready for use in the sun.

What is the proper height for a clothesline? ›

Most clotheslines are around 6 feet. They are typically placed around head height, or within a few inches, of the person hanging the clothes.

Is a clothesline better than a dryer? ›

Line Drying Clothes Enhances Freshness and Helps Remove Strong Odors. Line dried clothes and sheets smell much fresher than clothes that are tumble dried without the use of additional chemical laundry fresheners like dryer sheets and fabric softener.

How long to dry clothes on line outside? ›

The best days to line dry are sunny with a slight breeze that will blow out any wrinkles. On hot summer days, it can take as little as 20 minutes to dry an entire load! But just because it's cold outside doesn't mean you can't line-dry — your clothes will still dry, they'll just take longer.

What are the benefits of outdoor clothesline? ›

Not only does line-drying reduce your electricity bill, but it also reduces wear and tear on clothes because they are not exposed to the harsh temperatures of indoor dryers. Backyard clotheslines are certainly worth considering as an eco-friendly way to dry your laundry effectively.

Can you attach a clothesline to a fence? ›

Clothesline installation to a Concrete Fence is recommended as its a strong solid surface suitable for taking the weight of any fold down or wall mounted clothesline plus washing.

How long is too long for a clothesline? ›

The average load of wash uses about 35 feet of line; your clothesline should accommodate at least that. Unless the height of a pulley-style line is significant, the clothesline shouldn't be a lot longer than that, as the sag factor increases with length.

What is the most efficient way to hang clothes to dry? ›

For faster drying, hang clothes separately with room between them and fully stretched out, using as many clothespins as needed to prevent sagging. If drying time isn't an issue and line space is, you can pin the outside corners of two pieces of clothing together with one clothespin.

How do you keep line dried clothes from getting stiff? ›

One of the easiest ways to keep your line dried clothes from getting stiff is to use white vinegar as a natural fabric softener. Just add about half a cup of it in the final rinse cycle instead of your normal fabric softener.


1. Washing Day | Hanging Clothes on the line
(Pinay Prenny in South Australia)
2. How To: Laundry and Hanging Laundry Outside on the Line
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3. How to hang a retractable clothes line by yourself | The Busy Bee
(The Busy Bee)
4. Secrets to Hanging the Wash Correctly (Wisdom of the Ancients)
5. Hang your clothes on the line with Teacher Guida
(Amazing Kids)
6. How to Properly Hang Clothes on a Hanger- How to Avoid Shoulder Nipples/Hanger Marks
(Logan Rye The Tie Guy)


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