Tips for making my clothesline more efficient - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 06-02-2010, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Heh. Not energy efficient, just Laohaire-efficient.

We just installed my very first clothesline last weekend, and it's great. But I'm wondering if there are tips that I don't know about, since I'm applying no more than common sense and no experience. My mother never line-dried.

First, I'm kind of surprised that I can only get about 1 plus 1/4 load onto 50 feet of line. Maybe I'm expecting way too much though. We installed 100 feet of clothesline on a rotary system, so it's 50 actual usuable feet (minus a couple feet). I figured that would be a LOT of clothesline, since we could only even find 1 line that was 100 feet. The store sold 25 feet and 50 feet. So are people using 25 feet of line and able to keep up with the laundry? Or are they maybe only using it for certain items, like towels and bedding?

I'm drying EVERYTHING so maybe that's where the disconnect is.

Since I do 2 loads of laundry per wash day, I've been putting everything on the line and the leftover 3/4 onto a drying rack that I've put in the back yard. The drying rack isn't as good as the line, though, because air circulation and sun exposure isn't nearly as good/even. So I'm finding myself putting everything I can on the line, putting the rest on the rack, and going back out and taking some stuff down as it dries and putting the rack stuff on the line. That is just taking more time than I had hoped.

I put everything close together, so there isn't space between items. But I do pull out an item - like a shirt I will stretch out rather than letting it hang with some folds. Is that wrong? I figured it would dry better. But maybe a little hang wouldn't be bad and would free up more line space.

I hang towels vertically of course.

Maybe part of the problem is that I've got a bit of family cloth - little things that nonetheless take up some line space. But I have already learned to put them in my 2nd wash load and place them on the rack instead of the line.

Anyway, a reality check would be great. If you tell me "Laohaire, welcome to the world of line drying, what you have described is reality, you're lucky you can even fit a whole load on the line" that will work for me.

Oh, part of the issue I guess is that our property abuts mountain forest (so the forest is not only right there, but it's 25 feet higher than us, so it blocks out a lot of sun). I notice things dry really quickly in the sun, 30 minutes or less, but it can take all day if there's no sun. So part of my line is dry and part is still wet, but I have it attached to a really high-up tree so I can only really work with the line in one location. I can't take down stuff from the far end unless I take it all down.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#2 of 3 Old 06-02-2010, 05:05 PM
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I have a different setup (1-3 retractable 25ft lines), but a few tips should transfer. With the large stuff in the first load, go ahead and let the t-shirts droop to fit more on the line. They are going to be dry well before the second load, even if they don't dry *as fast* as they could have.

Use a single clothespin to hang two items; for example, use one pin to hang one side of a shirt, then with the second pin hang the other side of the shirt and the towel or whatever you are hanging next.

For all family cloth stuff and baby wipes, I only put on a rack. It takes too long to pin each one up, but if you do pin, you can pin two squares together with a single pin. It will still dry.

Can you add a second line right next to the first?

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#3 of 3 Old 06-02-2010, 06:21 PM
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For small items, get a few of those circle dryer things.

Check your local international grocery for them if you can't find them elsewhere.

Ooo, and here's how to make one

But I'd probably stick with the plastic so that it's lighter on your line, survives weather better, and you don't care if it breaks.

For rags and such, I'd also just drape them over the edges of the laundry basket.
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