The Cleaning Lady

Outdoor clothes line

One way to save money this summer and to help the environment is to invest in an outdoor clothesline.  You can buy all sorts, from one string to the many-stringed umbrella style, and they make them retractable these days.  It may seem old fashioned to dry your clothes this way, but you save money on your electric bill and your grocery bill as there is no need for dryer sheets, obviously.  Who needs dryer sheets when you can get the real thing-there is nothing like that fresh air smell flowing through your sheets.

If you like this idea but feel you need the dryer sheets to soften things up, add fabric softener or baking soda to the rinse cycle.

Here are some clotheslines you can buy through the internet:

The Clothesline Shop 


40 Responses to “Outdoor clothes line”

  1. Penney says:

    With the rising cost of clothing I do not put it pass people to steal your innocent clothing while hanging on the line.

  2. Penney says:

    People are desparate enough to steal clothing today with the high prices of clothing.

  3. elizabeth says:

    what about bug and bird poop?

  4. Paula Garcia says:

    I have been hanging my clothes on the line for years. Two things I do are: 1…Add a little Fabulosa to the wash water for better smelling clothes. 2….High lint items and towels I put in the dryer for 15 minutes just to fluff and remove line.
    My husband loves the smell of clothes off the line and my electric bill reflects using the line.

  5. Susan says:

    I would just hang the clothes when I would be home. You really wouldn’t want them hanging out while you are gone in case of a storm. The neighbors might find your innocent clothes all over their yard!

  6. Sheree says:

    I am an Aussie and when I came to the US last year I brought my clothes line with me. The majority of people in OZ use a clothes line. If you have the bad luck of bird poop wash the clothing again, it doesn’t happen that often. I have never had any clothing stolen though I have heard of it. It usually happen to more expensive clothing so I tend to hang these items inside. I also tend to hang delicate clothes inside as well.

  7. Kay says:

    I’ve always hung my washing outside to dry, and never lost any to thieves or high winds. Mind you,it could be that I peg it on the line really well or maybe my laundry isn’t worth nicking.

  8. Jo-Anne says:

    I live in South Africa, and we only use our tumble driers when absolutely necessary in winter?? I think that most people are too lazy to hang their washing out.

  9. Maria in CT says:

    I have been hanging my laundry outside on clotheslines for 23 years. I have 3 in my backyard that run almost the length of the yard and it’s still not enough sometimes. I’ve also had the same dryer for 23 years as I only use it when it’s too cold in the winter and the clothes would freeze or if we have a run of bad weather and I have to wash some clothes. I can’t afford to use the dryer, nor do I like the fact that it shrinks all my shirts.

    It’s very rare that a bird messes up something and we have many trees in our backyard. Yes, it’s a pain when it happens, but you just rub it out under the water and I swear by Spray & Wash Stain Stick. Rub some on and wash it the next time you do laundry. Bugs, well that doesn’t happen too much either, but I always shake out each item before I fold it in the laundry basket.

    Unfortunately some towns, neighborhoods don’t allow you to have a clothesline. Thank goodness I haven’t had that problem, but I am the only one on my street of about 10 homes that hangs the laundry. I guess the others have money to burn. The cost of electricity here has almost doubled in the past few years and a dryer uses a ton of energy.

    I’ve never heard of clothes being stolen, but I guess it depends on where you live. I highly recommend hanging your clothes out and wish more people would do so.

  10. pat says:

    my husband says or did say that it looks tackie to see cloths hanging in our neiborhood. only seen in city streets not neiborhoods? what do you think i think that it is ok if it saves money! i am handicapped so i do not think i can hang without falling down.

  11. pat says:

    how much money do you save if you have 6- 7 loads of laundry? has anyone ever checked it out.

  12. Maria in CT says:

    I don’t know much you save, but just imagine 6-7 loads of laundry a week, multiply that by 52 weeks and just think of how much energy you would be saving in a year. Our electric bill is outrageously high and I can’t stand it when someone uses the dryer and it keeps going and going even when the clothes are dry. Then they just sit there and they get all wrinkled.

    It seems to be a very personal thing to some people I guess.

  13. Lydia says:

    I have been hanging clothes for the past 3 years right next to a bird feeder and have never had a bird poop problem. I noticed about a $30 decrease in electric and that was 3 years ago. I never had a problem with theft. I love that our clothes last much longer.

  14. RJR says:

    Nothing is beeter than to lay down in a bed when the sheets have hung out on the line to dry for the day.

  15. America says:

    I moved from Texas to California and I miss being able to hang my clothes on an outdoor line. I live in an apartment and my “out door line” is now any door way, chair or hook I can find.

  16. Have you heard of the TIBBE-LINES, hangers are used instead of clothespins, you can hang 21 articles of clothing in the space of 39″ and you don’t have to worry about your clothes flying away in the wind.

  17. jass says:

    I hang most of the laundry. I have gone from dorm living to an apartment.I bought a good line and once every three or four weeks turn the house into the “chinese-laundry-effect” per a dorm mate from china who said my room looked like home. I string line from solid object to object and have two wood drying wracks. I know I save one dollar per dry and it takes two trips for some load so eight loads of wash equals eight dollars to sixteen to dry.

  18. Amy says:

    As a Newfoundlander, hanging clothes out to dry is very common, and done in small communitys as well as large citys. Not only does the fresh air preserve the integrity of your clothing, but the smell is so nice, and your whites always get whiter in the sun :)

  19. sheila says:

    I have done without a dryer for more than 10 years now (and I live in Alberta!), although I used a clothesline in the summer for many years before that. It was costing about $.75 per load for power before the prices went up. There’s only 2 of us now (we’re empty nesters), so I only do about 3 loads a week. In winter, I have an antique wooden clothes rack that I call my automatic dryer. I hang things on it and they automatically dry! I put shirts on hangers on the shower curtain rod, and sheets, jeans and towels on the doors. No, it’s not convenient, but not a big bother, either. It’s all in your mindset as to what is ‘normal’. For me, normal is fresh smelling clothes that last a lot longer. And I’ve never lost any clothes to theft in more than 30 years of using a clothesline.

  20. Hey,

    We purchased a new high effiency washer and dryer and let me tell you that it is a million times better than hanging our clothes out to dry, and we save money, water, and soap. Let me tell you how!

    A regular top loading washer takes about 40+ gal. of water for one load, by getting the high effiency washer you can save 25+ gal. on every wash. They only take about 15 gal. of water. And you use a lot less soap! There is no agitator in the center of the washer and the clothes don’t get pounded around and they last longer too, which will save more money, by buying less clothes!
    And the dryers are great too. You can get dryers that sense when the clothes are dry and the dryer will turn off and not run on and on! A clothesline may be great, but the sun bleaches the colors out of the material too much and it take a lot of time! The clothes are a lot more wrinkled too! You can’t beat the new dryers.

    We actually bought a LG high effiency washer and dryer three months ago and they are fun to use too.

    You can look at the best ones for you by going to and you can find all the major brands with all of the specs.. and saving tips.

    Go to the website. It is a secure and 100% guaranteed site. again go to

  21. Keith says:


    Sorry, but your husband is a snob. If he has an issue, let HIM do the wash once in a while, especially since you are handicapped. Shame on him!

  22. Camille says:

    We have too much pollen/cottonwood here in Dallas and hubby and I have really bad allergies so we won’t dare to hang up clothes outdoors. I do have a drying rack I use indoors.

  23. Maria in CT says:

    Something I forgot to mention is that I hang the clothes inside out and that helps prevent the colors from fading.

    I have heard about the new washers and dryers, but for some of us, the cost is prohibitive. These days some people are happy just not losing their house or vehicle. To me, those new appliances are luxury items – I understand they save you money in the long run, but sometimes you have to do what you have to to survive the here and now.

  24. Holly says:

    THis is one of the first summer honey-do list items for hubby! We have a large enough yard and want to cut down on our bills.

    People who think it’s tacky, etc have lost their perspective on what’s important and how to live simply. No one would have told your grandmother that! It was simply the way it was.

    As far as bugs, birds and pollen I haven’t had to many issues with it and have found in the past that the pollen actually helps in the long run — just like shots.

    Can’t wait, even in humid KS. In AZ they dry quick as a wink!

  25. Kathy says:

    I loved hanging my laundry on the clothes line…but had a bad experience…. hung my new fitted sheets out on the line one morning before going to work so they could soak in the sun all day …I returned home at 4:00 pm.and they had been stollen .I live in a housing development out in the country and my clothes line can’t be seen from the road…Haven’t hung out any more laundry but just might have to take a chance again!!!!

  26. Martha says:

    Tibbe line money saving tip: Don’t waste money on the Tibbe Line. It looks like you put your clothes on hangers then hang in the holes of the tibbe line, which is $15 + shipping for three. Put your hangers directly on the line and put a clothes pin or two in between each hanger to space them! (Go to the Dollar Store for the clothes pins!) Isn’t the bottom line of this discussion about saving money??

  27. Jamie says:

    I have been hanging clothes on the line ever since I started doing laundry. Since I live in town and my clothesline is visible from the street, we don’t hang our undies out there, we simply just flip them over the laundry basket and keep them in front of the fan in the bedroom. I have never had a problem with bugs or bird poop. In the winter I was without a dryer for a few months and just hung the clothes on hangers around the house. So, if you are worried about your stuff being stolen, keep it in the house. As for stiff towels, toss them in the dryer for just a few minutes.

  28. Karilyn says:

    I love it when I hang my clothes out on the line. I only hang my out usually when I am home.
    I can wash between 6 to 10 loads a week. I am saving $40 to $50 a month in electricity just by not using my dryer. Sometimes there are bugs on them, but only usually if I don’t get off the line till 8:00 at night when most of them come out. I have never had a bird poop on my clothes or anybody steal my clothes and I got 3 kids. I hate using the dryer since I can’t usually wash as many loads of laundry. I can wash between 4 to 5 loads in a day versus dryer about 2. I also get them folded and put away a lot faster too since I don’t forget there in the basement. The towels I do fluff dry for about 10 min so they aren’t as stiff. Everybody loves how it smells and kids get excited when they know I am washing there beds. The kids are 6, 4, and 1 and all like to help hang it up and even fold it too. If worried about people seeing personal items put them in the middle line between other pieces of clothing. Sometimes we let our life get to carried away and we just need to slow down a little to enjoy it instead of passing through it. I always watch the weather so I know when I can wash clothes and when I can’t. Hope this

  29. Connie says:

    I have never had a drier. I’ve been using a clothesline for almost 40 years and love it. The clothes smell so nice. It’s very rare that I get bird poop on my clothes.

  30. Henrietta says:

    If you want the benefit of natural drying and want to avoid the ‘outdoor’ smell associated with clothesline drying, put a drop or two of your favorite perfume / cologne in the rinse cycle and your clothes will ‘smell like you’ and not the great outdoors.

  31. Cindy Rasmussen says:

    I have so missed my clotheslines. Sheets especially smell so nice coming in and being immediately put on the bed to sleep in. But I still hang the t-shirts with any kind of logo over a rack to dry. The heat of the dryer ruins the artwork of special t-shirts so those and sometimes jeans go over the rack when they are only half dry. The heat of the dryer wears out clothing almost as fast as we do wearing them. I didn’t know that until working in a laundry myself and having to be responsible for turning the dryers off and emptying them in a timely manner at work. Now I take extra care to make sure that my clothes get out of the dryer right when they are dry and don’t spend any extra time in there. Anyone who has the space for an outdoor clothesline should really consider having one. My mother and I used to wax our wire clothes lines each time before using them, but they were strong and sturdy and were workhorses. I could hang about any thing I wanted on them and never worry about the weight. I was so happy when my Dad made me clothes lines just like my Mom’s in the first home that we bought. I just wish that I still had them. Too many moves ago.

  32. Nyreen says:

    I hang my husbands clothes outside all the time. We both grew up with the clothes being hung up outside. My parents taught me at a early age to take care of the laundry. I have went for a few years without a dryer, when we moved to our last place I got my dryer back. I have had it over 18 years and no problems, because I don’t use it that often. I live out in the country and no one has taken any of our clothes. All you see on most of the country home here, are clothes hanging up outside any time of the year.

  33. DORIS BATDORF says:


  34. Amanda Paybody says:

    In the UK it’s usual to use a washing line to dry clothes, if you can. It doesn’t look good to see a nicely designed block of apartments with the balconies draped in washing, but I suppose everyone does what they have to! I’ve just done my daughter’s family’s washing for her and it’s hanging everywhere – on a line in the back garden, over the hot water tank, and on a pull-up rack in the utility room. At least I’m not using electricity, and it’s all drying while I’m sitting at work. Never had anything stolen, and I’m doing my bit for the planet.

  35. Barb says:

    The Tibbe line – I laughed when I saw it – here I thought I was the only one with this bright idea! – I saved even more money than the clothes line tipper who suggested using clothes pins as spacers – I put loops into my clothes line by tying them – spaced about 2-3″ apart and use my regular plastic hangers

  36. Kathy says:

    Sorry no clothes line for my clothes. My allergeries are bad enough as it is without all the pollen and air pollutants settling into my clothes. The cost of using a dryer out weight’s the cost of seeing my allergy Dr.

  37. Karen says:

    I have always hung my cloths out and have not had too many problems with the wind or birds. If that happens I just wash them again. My mom had always hung cloths out. I even hang them down in our basement in the winter time. I hang our underwear and towels up stairs on a towel rack. I hang them up stairs as to moisture in the air as we heat with a wood stove.

  38. Danielle says:

    I love having all my clothes dry on the clothes line especially my bedding. It’s wonderful. The feel the smell after being outside to dry. That’s one of the many reason’s I love summer time and the electric bill looks wonderful as well

  39. Heather says:

    I grew up in the midwest where every yard included a 4-line sturdy wire permanent clothesline. When not used for laundry, it makes a great playhouse/fort for kids (a re-use for old blankets). Now that I live on a poof-dirt gravel road in the dusty southwest, our clothesline is in our kitchen breezeway, and we’ve found that hanging shirts on hangers from the top of the doorways works well too!

  40. Dawn says:

    I use a clothesline. Have for years. Just moved to the country and the birds love the free perch. Please help, how can I keep them off the line. Whites expecially have to be done a couple of times before I am missed by the poop parade. Any suggestions. I realize some people have the charmed life and no poop falls on them. Me, not so lucky. I have a real poop problem.

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