Wet Washing


Although I have a tumble drier, I try to minimise the use of it.  My reasons are twofold – the electricity it consumes and also the wear and tear caused to our clothes.

We have a rotary clothesline in the backyard, however, that entails carrying a basket of wet washing down a flight of steps and around to the opposite side of the house from the laundry.  This is not terribly practical and for that reason I mostly use the clothesline which is under the verandah.  I can walk out of the laundry and wheel the basket of washing in the trolley to directly next to the line.

2013-06-27 01This was mounted and in place when we moved here.  It is an Extendaline and potentially could be longer but it is in the available space between the wall and the edge of the verandah (about 2 metres).  This means that I have 10 metres of line space and I can generally fit 1 – 1.5 loads of washing one here.  Each line is long enough to hold 3 business shirts.

Indoor clothes line

I have a variety of other options for hanging and drying clothes.  Here you can see my other rotary clothesline.  It is designed for camping and we bought it from Kathmandu.  It folds up completely, comes with its own carry bag and is very lightweight.  In the background you can see the mobile hanging rack which I use for ironed clothes but is also handy for finishing drying clothes in front of the fire.


This is much better than regular clothes airers as the lines are high enough to allow you to hang towels, jeans and even single bed sheets.

Jumpers on the line

These hangers are perfect for drying sweaters and cardigans as there are no peg marks.

Plastic bags

Here is a small clothes hanger with pegs attached.  I bought it in Japan several years ago but I believe you can buy them here in Australia now.  Apart from hanging rewashed plastic bags to dry, I use this for socks, handkerchiefs and underwear.

Finally, I have a clothes airer on castors which lives on the verandah and I often wheel it inside to dry things in front of the fire.

This post is for Kim who asked about my washing line under the verandah.  It is quite timely as the forecast here is for showers and rain for most of the next week.

What strategies do you have for getting washing dry in cold and/or rainy weather?

10 thoughts on “Wet Washing

  1. We have one of those retractable washing lines on the back decking that has 5 lines. Even in winter, if there is no rain in the air, my washing will dry there most days. But on foggy or damp days I hang everything on my double length clothes airer, sit it over the heating duct (if we have it on) or in front of the closed fire when it is lit. I place a double sheet over the top of the clothes on the airer when using the duct, as this keeps the heat underneath, and circulating the washing, making drying time very quick. I tend to keep sheets until I know we have a couple of dry days coming up, and they go on the outside lines.

    I do have a tumble dryer that is more than 20 yrs old and is never used anymore except in an emergency.

    • Hanging washing and other solitary tasks like ironing offer an opportunity to to use the time mindfully rather than simply regarding it as another chore that has o be done as quickly as possible.

      Fresh washing flapping in the breeze is a real joy. Lined-dried clothes have a fresh smell like no other.

      I know your climate is less conducive to line-drying than our but you really should give it a go.

  2. I love line dried clothes, but its a lot of work for me to get the clothes out of the basement, up the stairs and outside. So instead, we have some racks in the basement and a long piece of pipe that we’ve suspended from the ceiling to hang clothes on hangers to dry. It works well so far. This winter we will hook up our woodstove downstairs and the clothes will dry really fast. I can usually get about 5 loads of laundry hung out. I do still use the dryer for sheets and towels because of their bulk, but that is one load a week during off peak hours.

  3. Heidi

    You have 3 challenges that do not figure in my life – the climate you live in, your health and 2 growing girls.

    Your basement solution sounds perfect. It sounds like what works best for you and that is what life is all about.

  4. I have a couple of lines in the sunroom because our verandah was built into a sunroom.
    Also have one of those camping rotary lines which I can move around into sunny spots. Have a couple of those little hangers for socks. etc.
    For plastic bags I made a great gadget which goes in the spare shower when there are no visitors. Made the bag dryer from a pot with floral foam in and sticks (probably part of a tent or something) stuck in at angles. Found the sticks on the council kerbside clean up. The bags dry in a couple of days because the air can get inside. I have those green vege bags and ziplocks that get used for ages.

  5. Thanks for sharing photos of your Extendaline! I really like it, along with the indoor rotaring clothesline, and also those hangers you have for tops on the Extendaline that means no peg marks. I’ve never seen them before, ingenious!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s