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A clothesline is a very simple way to reduce energy usage and lower your budget. Even if weather or time constraints prevent you from hanging every load of laundry, it will offer you a significant savings. A pulley clothesline is an easy and convenient solution for drying your clothes. While a fixed clothesline requires you to walk the length of the line, a pulley allows you to stand in one place while your clothes are moved further across your yard.
This tutorial will show you how to install your own DIY clothesline in your backyard. You will find a number of opinions when it comes to the clothesline supplies that you should use. In particular, people will either be for or against the use of a cotton clothesline.
Personally, I prefer the cotton clothesline, mainly because it provides more traction to hold my laundry in place. Wire clothesline may work for a stationary clothesline, but they allow the clothes to slide too much when pulled on a pulley clothesline.
The biggest advantage with a wire clothesline is that it will not stretch, which is a common problem with cotton clotheslines. It will also last longer since the cotton clothesline tend to break down in the sun. However, the plastic coating on wire clotheslines also tends to break down and crack over time. I typically need to replace my cotton clothesline once a year. They are fairly inexpensive to purchase, so I still see it as a bargain. Selecting the proper location for your clothesline is a critical part of your installation.
A popular and convenient location is a back deck, where the elevation will make it easy to keep the line off of the ground to prevent dragging clean laundry through the dirt. Consider also how far you need to travel from your washing machine.
You will also want a location that receives enough full sun to sufficiently dry your clothes. The same is true if you typically wash laundry in the afternoon. Will your neighbors be able to view what is hanging on your clothesline? Would you rather choose a more private location? Once you have determined approximately where your clothesline will be located and where you will stand to hang your laundry, consider where your second pulley will be located.
This will be the end of your clothesline. Is there a tree or pole where you can attach a pulley? The higher you can place the second pulley, the better your chances for keeping your laundry out of the dirt. Return to Top. Determine where you will hang your pulleys. Your first pulley should be just above your head at the location where you will stand and hang laundry.
This is the beginning of your clothesline. The hook is screwed into a stud and the pulley is attached to the hook. The other pulley should be 10 to 20 ft above the ground. Then, angle your long screwdriver in the hook to act as a handle as you twist the screw into the hole. Once your hook is secure in your clothesline supports, you can attach the pulley. This can be an easy process if you already have a clothesline and are replacing the rope.
Tie one end of the new clothesline to your old clothesline, and pull the old clothesline through the pulleys until the new end comes back to you. Stringing a new clothesline may require two people. You can string the line after your pulleys are hung on the hooks, but you may find it easier to run the rope through your pulleys before hanging them. Do you notice that your clothesline sags after use?
Cotton clotheslines will stretch as more heavy wet laundry is hung on it. A clothesline tensioner or tightener uses bearings to help you put tension on your clothesline. It will allow you to tighten your clothesline as the rope begins to stretch with use, even while clothes are still on the line.
With the loop end of the tightener facing away from the top of the clothesline, tie one end of the clothesline to the clothesline tightener with a secure knot. Thread the other end through the middle, between the bearings. If you have any trouble threading the clothesline, try wrapping a little bit of duct tape around the end.
Now grip the tightener with one hand and pull the clothesline with the other hand until taut. Your clothesline is full when the tightener stops at the bottom pulley. You will have to tighten the clothesline the first several uses as it stretches. This is completely normal. The clothesline tightener will make it much easier for one person to do this by themselves.
You can also tighten the clothesline while it is full of wet clothes. Our first clothesline did not have a tensioner. Hubby and I could barely tighten the line with the two of us, especially while clothes were hanging on the line. I cannot recommend this device highly enough. Before hanging your laundry, wipe the clothesline down with a clean rag.
When pinning the laundry, fold some of the fabric over the clothesline before adding the pin. This will give the fabric a better grip on the clothesline and prevent it from falling to the ground when the wind blows.
You can also overlap your clothes slightly so they can share pins, and allow space on your line for more clothes. Now, many people comment that they have a problem with stiff laundry after it has been hung on the clothesline. First of all, try running a cup of white vinegar during the rinse cycle to help rinse out any extra detergent.
In additional to the vinegar, I also run my laundry through the drier for minutes after I take it off of the line. This helps to make the fabric softer while also knocking off any dust and allergens that the clothes may have picked up outside. This step is completely optional because I realize not everyone has a drier. However, you may find it helpful, and it still reduces the energy costs of running a full drier cycle. Install a clothesline separator between clothing items every ft to keep the clothesline from sagging too much.
A long clothesline that is allowed to sag will cause the laundry to drag the ground, especially when it is wet. Towels and jeans, which are heavier when wet, will need separators closer together than diapers and t-shirts. A clothesline separator has two ends, one with a small pulley wheel, and one without.
The separator will move with the clothes as the line is pulled. Join our Facebook group, where we support each other and learn more about gardening, cooking, and living self sufficiently. Are you looking for more ways to reduce your reliance on disposable products, save money, and be more self sufficient? You may also be interested in saving money by making your own laundry detergent. I have been begging my husband but the idea overwhelms him. Can not wait to show him your post! So, how did it go with hubby?
I hope he felt a little more at ease about it. It started with simply trying to save a little money and it does but I find the time spent hanging clothes is very peaceful. Just me and my thoughts:. I have always had clothes lines at my houses, and my parents, too! It is so nice when the weather permits! I have fond memories of playing between the rows of sheet and towels when I was a kid! Blessings, Susie. Same here. My parents and grandparents both has clothes lines.
Makes me all the more glad to live in the country. I want a clothesline so much.. Carri simplydonewright. Thanks for stopping by! I love my clothesline and the smell of freshly dried clothes from the line. I never thought about a pulley system…just might have to change mine.
Thanks for linking up to the All Star Block Party. The pulley system makes it so easy. I love being able to stand in one spot while I hang my laundry. Hi Bonnie, I have a question for you. I love my clothes line and installed one just like yours about a year ago. My problem now however is that I am finding it needs to be tightened up just a bit but I cant seem to be able to now pull my line through the tightner.
Even with two of us working together it just wont budge. Because its been over a year I cant recall if squeezing the spring loaded center part is necessary for pulling the rope through. I cant seem to make it budge either…even using plyers to squeeze it. Do you have the same tightener I use? Both my grandmothers had pulley-clotheslines. One GM had hers in the backyard of her one-family house.
The other GM lived in a four-family house with back stoops next to the driveway. I put up a clothesline when we moved to this big, old one family house in Game Night. Personal Care. Oral Care. Health Services. Vision Center. Health Clinics. Shop All Beauty. Shop All Premium Beauty. New Arrivals. Beauty Tutorials. Beauty Savings. Premium Beauty. Trending in Beauty. Outdoor Sports. Sports Fan Shop.
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