Retractable Clothesline

A great way to save money is by line drying your laundry.  This is not a new concept, but not many people use this method of drying clothes, especially during the winter.  I have tried different gadgets and hang drying methods in my house during winter months, but the best so far has been a retractable clothesline.  This is a gadget I happened to find on a clearance shelf at the grocery store a couple years ago.  There were two sitting there, so I bought them both and gave one to a friend.  I don’t remember the price, but I don’t think I spent more than $10 each on them.

The clothesline reel mounts to the wall and has a spring loaded line that pulls out and hooks to the wall across from it.  Once the line is hooked, you have to lock it in place by wrapping the line around a disc on the bottom of the reel.  This unit is pretty sturdy, and we have it mounted securely (in wall studs) so it won’t pull out of the wall even with a full load of laundry on it.  A line like this could be mounted in most areas of the house, and the hook can be hidden next to or behind something already on your wall.  We have ours hidden in a decorative plant.

If you can’t find a retractable clothesline at the store, look for hooks and a vinyl line so you can rig something up.  If you make loops on the ends of your line, you can take it down and store it between uses, especially if it runs through the middle of your house like ours does.

The drying time seems to be longer indoors than out, probably because there isn’t any wind to help.  However, even if I line dry them until they’re halfway dry before putting them into the dryer, I’m saving energy (and money) by using the dryer less than if I didn’t line dry at all.  If you have a favorite indoor line drying method, tell me about it!