Q: What clothesline works best for me?
A: Practically anyone in most any situation can use a clothesline to naturally dry their clothes. The best clothesline is one that works for you and your situation. Whether it’s used inside your home, conveniently using your home’s heat and naturally dehumidifying your home at the same time, or basking in the power of the sun and wind outside your home, they both offer immense benefits.
Clothes tend to dry faster on an outdoor clothesline on sunny days with a nice breeze then they would in a powered clothes dryer. Quite often, the load on the clothesline will dry before the next wash load is ready for hanging, but the time it will take your clothes to dry will depend upon several factors including weather. The following factors should be taken into consideration:
1) One of the first things to consider is where your going to use your clothesline the most and where you can derive the most benefit. Clotheslines are used year round in the USA and throughout the world in all types of weather conditions including cold weather. Keep in mind, that if you’re going to dry your clothes in harsh weather, you’ll want to prepare by using a strong and durable clothesline that can withstand the harsh weather conditions. For instance, our pulley clotheslines are great for those in cold weather climates and can be used year round without even leaving your home.
Clotheslines can dry clothes in freezing temperatures through the process of sublimation where the water evaporates directly from the frozen state without passing through a liquid phase although not the most desired of drying conditions. We recommend installing your outdoor clothesline in an open area away from trees, if possible. This will help maximize your drying since the sun will shine directly on your clothesline and the wind will be unobstructed.
2) Next, you'll want to decide how much drying space you need which will depend on how much laundry you plan on hanging to dry at once. Also, you'll want to take into account the width, length, and weight of the items you plan to hang dry especially if you plan on drying heavy larger items such as sheets. This will help ensure the clotheslines dimensions and weight capacity meet your drying needs. This will also help gauge how many clothespins you’ll need to accomplish the task.
3) Look for the type of clotheslines that will suit your situation best with the best selection of retractable, umbrella, pulley, clothesline poles, and lots of clothes drying racks. Each type of clothesline has certain features it's known for so if you’d like adjustable height or weather protected lines, check out the retractable or umbrella clotheslines. Most clothes drying racks are portable which offers mobility and makes it easy to move clothes around, indoors or outdoors. Many of our clotheslines are as well including most the retractable and umbrella clotheslines which leave a covered ground socket flush with the ground. The all-time favorite permanent clothesline are the clothesline poles because of there consistency to quickly dry clothes in the sun and wind.
Q: How to naturally soften my clothes?
A: Ah ha! At last, the old school secret to keeping your clothes soft and snugly without toxic chemicals. It's time to say goodbye to those expensive detergents that do more harm than good. You can enjoy truly soft and wrinkle free clothes, if hung properly. Simply adding one cup of apple cider vinegar to your wash load during the rinse cycle will help avoid stiff clothing. This mostly happens with jeans and towels, but can be used whenever you would like to soften your clothes. Any vinegar odors will dissipate as the clothes dry, but you can add a few drops of lavender or lemongrass essential oils in the vinegar to enjoy a natural pleasant aroma.
Be sure to use only 100% natural essential oils to ensure no spotting occurs. If you want to increase the natural pleasant aroma from the essential oils, you can dilute the essential oils with water in a spray bottle and spritz your clothes while their hanging on the line. Vinegar is known to reduce fading and brighten colors.
Washers work differently between makes and models so adding vinegar during the rinse cycle will vary, but in most cases adding vinegar to the fabric softener bin will release the vinegar during the rinse cycle. Using vinegar is completely safe and works perfectly using all natural ingredients so you won't be putting the health of your family at risk and there's no need to wait around to fill the bin.
Vinegar can work wonders without any harmful effects to your washing machine and it does not cause rust. Vinegar works during the rinse cycle to help remove the excess detergent still remaining in your clothes. Store bought fabric softeners are designed to reduce static in synthetic fabrics and the recommended care for most synthetic fabrics is line drying. The care label will often say "air dry" or "line dry" because it eliminates most all of the static. Fabric softeners serve no purpose with natural fabrics.
Fabric softeners work by leaving a residue on the fabric which never completely washes out. This causes towels to become less and less absorbent over time and eventually makes them nonabsorbent. Vinegar solves this problem and can even help restore absorbancy. Store bought fabric softeners can cause allergic reactions through skin contact and inhalation. Fabric softeners may also contain carcinogenic coal-tar dyes, ammonia and very strong scents. When fabric softeners are exposed to hot water, heat from dryers or ironing, vapors may be emitted which can be deeply inhaled, increasing their impact.
On a very sunny day, It also helps to remove your clothes from the clothesline when they are completely done drying as the longer they sit in the sun, the crispier they become. Another option is to dry items that tend to stiffen up in a hot shady area or even inside the house. In low humidity environments, the heat tends to soften and relax fabrics. Jeans dry best hanging upside down, by the legs. And while water is the most important ingredient when washing clothes, many areas have hard water with lots of minerals which are rough on the clothes. If your area is prone to hard water, you may want to consider a quality water softener to soften your water.
Q: Where we don't recommend installing a clothesline?
A: Consider securing it to a free standing single wooden post or another creative idea. We don't recommend securing clotheslines to the following and for good reason:
Trees: Most experts agree that you should never hook a clothesline to a tree for many reasons.
1) Keep in mind, all trees move and sway in the wind which could cause your clothesline to snap and break due to the increased tension.
2) All trees produce sap and some are much more productive than others, but birds also flock to trees making them very undesirable drying conditions if your looking for clean clothes.
3) Drilling holes in a tree breaks through the cambium, a tree's life support right under the bark, so it damages a tree's life support system causing it to become weaker which could eventually lead to killing the tree. The open wound also exposes the tree to possible infection from bacterial pathogens. Girdling can also be caused by using clothesline wire around a tree which will cut into a tree's life support system, such a restraint will begin to choke off circulation.
TV Antenna's: As the name implies, TV Antenna's are not intended to be used for mounting clotheslines. Most are not heavy duty enough to withhold the weight of a clothesline with laundry. The extra weight of a clothesline could break the antenna which may be costly to repair.
Q: How to keep my clothes from fading?
A: The solution is simple as can be. You'll usually only experience this with dark colored clothing. All that needs to be done to keep your dark clothes from fading in the heat of the sun is to turn them inside out before hanging them out to dry. That's right, that's all it takes! Another fantastic idea that may take more drying time is hanging the dark clothes that you don't want to fade in a hot shady area.