Hanging Clothing to Dry on Laundry Lines

Laundry-facilities-in-Nerja-Spain2
The laundry facilities at the campground in Nerja, Spain. Our laundry was dry in no time!

Now that you know why I’m a lazy laundress and why I hang the clean laundry inside my home rather than outside and you know how to install an inside laundry line in your very own home, here’s how I use the laundry line.

Once the washing machine is done, I place everything in the dryer for 10 minutes. Well, unmentionables and workout gear with elastic doesn’t go into the dryer at all. It’s easier on the clothing if it goes right to the indoor laundry lines. Once the timer goes off after 10 minutes, I take out almost everything.

After the next load of laundry gets done, what remained in the dryer goes again for another 10 minutes, and so on. Small items, like socks, usually stay in the dryer. Once items have been in the dryer for about 10 minutes, most of the moisture is gone and so are the wrinkles. Here’s how I handle the remaining items.

Hanging Clothing to Dry on Laundry Lines

T-shirts and sweatshirts get hung at the waist area. This ensures no clothes pin lumps up around the shoulders.

Hanging clothing upside down
Hang shirts upside down to avoid creases or bumps near the shoulders.

Sheets get hung straight along one side and then the other end flipped up to the line parallel to it. My lines are long and allow for several loads of wash or 2-sets of sheets to be hung.

Our ceilings are exposed and not finished so we are careful with the wiring and pipes that are in the laundry area. The joys of old homes!!

Laundry lines are long

I usually hang anything with a waistband by the belt loops. Pants and jeans tend to be too heavy for my lines and make them saggy so plastic hangers with the extra tabs work well here. I also have extra hooks around where I can put hangers like this so my lines can be devoted to using the clothes pins.

Inside laundry line
Anything with belt loops gets hung on the tabs of the hangers.

Elastic waistband pants or shorts are best hung upside down. The many layers of fabric at a waistband dry quicker when they’re not underneath a clothes pin.

I keep different types of hangers handy in my laundry area. They’re organized on an old towel rack that we mounted to the underside of a beam in our basement.

Towel rack organization
An upside down towel rack mounted to the bottom of a beam in our basement makes for a good spot to organize different types of hangers.

I have several wooden drying racks that smaller items go on. These are large, wooden drying racks that I picked up for free when neighbors were purging. After a good wipe down, the wood still left marks on our wet clothing so I covered the wood dowel parts (where our wet clothing gets laid) with clear contact paper. It really helps keep our clothes from being stained from the wood.

Indoor laundry area

Our heater is located in the laundry area, which helps dry our laundry in the winter and colder months of the year. We also have a door to the outside in our basement, which I open to get fresh air. It’s almost like our laundry is outside.

And since we don’t go to the gym but we still workout, here’s our home gym components, stored in the laundry area, along with tennis rackets. What do you think is happening when my laundry is in the dryer for 10 minutes?

Laundry area with home gym
Hand weights are good to use while I’m waiting for the 10 minutes in the dryer to end.

Here’s a long view of the laundry line area.

Indoor laundry lines in basement

My laundry area is not fancy but it is spacious and I’m glad to have the room for the inside laundry lines and space for drying racks.

What are your tips for hanging laundry to dry? How do you simplify the process?

Go Gingham related links:

Ottoman slipcover hides shoes, socks and whatever else my kids stuff under there!
Once-a-month garbage collection in a very small can
Green and frugal living – the sweet spot where green and frugal meet
Why I use an inside laundry line and not an outside laundry line
How to install an inside your home laundry line my son helped me install ours

Sara

Sara, creator of Go Gingham, is passionate about cooking and feeding her family healthy, real food. She's a green enthusiast, too, who loves to grow food organically. Sara loves to travel - especially by trading houses. An avid runner, she can also be found chasing after her chickens in the backyard.

16 Comments


  1. Most of the laundry, I put in the dryer, but there are some things I hang to dry. It’s so arid here, things dry very quickly. However, the things I do hang to dry, I don’t want to hang outside. I bought a laundry rack recently, so my husband won’t have to puzzle over what to do with all my things hanging over the shower.
    Ginger Kay recently posted..How to win anything but a Vespa.


    1. Good plan, Ginger Kay! Best to not confuse husbands when it comes to laundry – especially that which should not go into the dryer or what to do when items are strewn in the bathroom 😉
      The first load of wash my husband did for me years ago involved getting a pair of my tights wound around the center of the washer. They never fit quite the same BUT I did introduce him to the little mesh unmentionable bag! That’s where undergarments and tights go.
      Thanks for the comment.


  2. Okay – for me, the best part of this post was hearing that you use the weights and exercise for the 10 minutes you are waiting for the dryer!!! I think I may have to incorporate that into my routine. Usually, I try to exercise a little when I get up in the morning, but doing 10 minutes of dryer time exercise is a great way to get in more (or get it in if I flaked in the morning!). Great idea!!!! Thanks!!!!!!
    Annie Kip recently posted..Nothingness


    1. Really, just finding those little bits of time are all that’s needed for exercise. Well, consistency helps, too. Just keep doing it! Yes, incorporate away with that little snippet of time.
      Thanks, Annie!


    1. Thanks, Rita! I do feel very lucky with the amount of space I have. My dream laundry room exists in magazines with finished floors and cupboards but then I probably wouldn’t have exposed beams and laundry lines all around.
      I think a bathroom is a great spot for the laundry room. All those dirty clothes coming off kids, etc.
      Thanks for leaving a comment, Rita!


  3. One of the biggest cultural differences I find reading blogs seems to be washing (though you Sara are closer to Australians than Americans in my wide survey of blogs!) It SHOCKS me that people put everything in the dryer! I would never! (I don’t own one to start, seeing I live near a few laundromats!). But even in my childhood home, the dryer is for super rainy days, when the essentials are needed. No way wet washing would go from washer to dryer, usually! And mostly people who are fro-dryer are for softness – it’s weird, I don’t find much ‘un-soft’ but I take ‘crispy’ as clean! Too soft and I’d wonder if it was clean! I wonder if it’s a product of climate, marketing (I mean, most aussies have an outside line, or at least used to!)… hmm


    1. Sarah, it’s all in what you get used to, isn’t it? I would agree that most Americans just toss everything in the dryer and don’t even think about another routine. The same could be said for our garbage disposals! That’s another post 🙂
      To be honest with you, there are communities where hanging your laundry on lines outside of your home is not allowed. It seems crazy, I know! That is the thing with traveling and seeing other parts of the world – experiencing how other people live. I can’t imagine NOT hanging our clothes to dry now.


  4. Sara – you already know why I do the smaller items in their own load LOL Everything else basically gets a few mins in the dryer then onto the drying racks. I’d love to hang outside on the line but our allergies do no permit this. Its not worth it for us.
    Helen recently posted..Food Waste Friday (10/12/12)


    1. Helen, my husband read your comment and we had a good ol’ laugh about it! It’s so funny to picture it happening!
      I know what you mean about allergies…we have those issues here, too.
      Thanks, Helen!


  5. We used to hang our clothes outside but found a dryer to be more practical time- and labor-wise. You must be extremely lucky not to have mold in your basement. We used to hang clothes to dry in the basement and it took days for things to dry. Mold is a problem in our basement — that is not fun.

    When we hung t-shirts we hung them at the armpits to eliminate the stretched out shoulders and bottom corners.


    1. Sue, that sounds like a good tip – the armpits! Nobody likes stretchy marks on their clothes.
      With our heater in our laundry area, it seems to keep the air moving and helps with the drying in the winter. We used to have a wood burning stove in our laundry area – now that really got the clothes to dry quickly – but the chimney had to be removed. The joys of old homes! Thanks, Sue.


  6. We started drying our clothes in the basement many years ago as an alternative to outdoors during wet and cold weather, and ended up using the basement all the time :-). One of the best benefits we noticed was how much longer our clothes last – so that’s even MORE savings. The sun and wind are brutal on fabrics and elastic, just as dryers are. Here are a few helpful hints we’ve discovered over the years…. I say “we” because hubby and I do the laundry together in the evening while we watch TV (Tuesday night and Saturday night). We fold it on the folding table in the drying room the next morning after we exercise in the basement. “Many hands make light work.”

    -Our lines are attached to the studs in the small unfinished room and we installed a ceiling fan over the 6 lines (enough for 2 loads of laundry) to aid with faster drying. There is also a dehumidifier running in the basement 6-months out of the year to help drying time.

    -To save space on the lines we installed a 6-foot clothes rod on one wall where we hang everything we normally hang on a hanger, so the clothes on hangers go from the basement to the closet. We did this on our outdoor line as well.

    -A plastic TIDE hanger is a great addition, and well worth the investment, for heavier shirts/sweaters because the shoulder space is wide and vented for better drying and the shoulders remain smooth. Before I found TIDE hangers I would put an old shoulder pad between the hanger and the garment to keep the shoulder from pulling/sagging and getting “bunny ears” from the hanger. We put a large oscillating fan on the hang-up clothes to speed drying. Air movement also helps remove wrinkles. To keep the hangers from sliding to one end from the fan blowing, we covered the 6′ rod with a foam pipe insulator and now the hangers stay put.

    -I don’t use the fast (1,000 rpm) spin cycle on the washer because it sets wrinkles and is designed for use with a dryer to reduce drying time. In fact, my 11-year old Fisher & Paykel washer has a special “Spin Hold” setting for hand washables or to line dry so you don’t get as many wrinkles. You may find reducing the spin speed to medium or low will help reduce wrinkles. Having your clothing a little damper is actually a plus when you line-dry. Gravity pulling on the wet clothes will help to pull wrinkles out.

    -Pants are pinned from the cuff, one leg on one line and the other leg on the next line (our lines are about 15-1/2″ apart). The pants crotch is exposed to the breeze from the ceiling fan and dries much faster than when we hang pants from the waist. The pant legs will also have a nice crease in them because the heaviest part of the pants is pulling down.

    I really enjoyed reading your blog and all the nice folks who shared comments. ~Karen G.


    1. Karen,
      Wow! What good information!
      I will have to see if I have an adjustable setting on my washing machine for the spin cycle. That is true about the spin cycle adding to the wrinkles. Honestly, that’s why I put them in the dryer – to get rid of those wrinkles!
      I love that you and your husband do the work together. It sounds like a romantic routine.
      What is a TIDE hanger? I’m curious about that although with hanging shirts upside down (at the waste), it seems to not leave too big of a mark – at least not at the shoulders.
      I’m so glad you find my blog and you’re one of those nice folks sharing comments 😉
      Thank you for your information.


  7. ok, do tell, what is happening when your clothes are in the dryer for just 10 min? or did I miss the answer? I need to know if I should be doing the same. I find myself hanging clothes more and more in my basement to dry; saves energy plus my clothes are wearing out as fast. It all started with my daughter purchasing a higher priced pair of jeans with some purchased worn spots (that is the fashion with the teens, who knows why:o)


    1. Mandy! Too funny – I’m working out with those hand weights! Sometimes those little bits of time are all I can find to fit those things into my day.
      It is so true that not using a dryer really saves on the wear and tear of your clothing – and sheets.
      Thanks for leaving a comment, Mandy.

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