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Indoor Laundry Lines - Retractable Clothes Lines For Inside The Home

Updated on July 3, 2013

Whilst many of us appreciate the convenience of an indoor electric clothes drying machine, we also know those machines are both expensive to buy and equally costly to use and not only in financial terms either but also in terms of the environmental cost of excess energy consumption.

In many ways it makes more sense to make use of what nature has provided us with and use the warmth of the sun and cool breezes to hang dry clothing outside. Not only is this form of drying completely free, but its enviromentally clean and besides, nothing makes your clothes smell fresher and cleaner than drying outdoors in the fresh air.

There are numerous types of outdoor garden and yard clotheslines upon which to dry your clothing outside. However, when you do not want to devote space to a permanent clothesline extended between poles, or are unwilling or unable to cement in an umbrella style clothesline, then you do have a very popular alternative: a retractable clothesline.

Retractable clotheslines behave somewhat like a metal tape measure, in that, you basically have a clothes hanging cord which pulls out of a holding box and connects to a point 20, 30 or even more then 40 feet away to make a secure area upon which to peg out your laundry in the sun. When you are done with it, then you simply unhook the far end and it will automatically be drawn back in to the compact housing. In that way, when you are not using it to dry washing outside, it isn't in the way of your other outdoor pursuits.

Pull out washing lines are used in backyards, gardens, boats and they're easily portable too so you can use them for camping and road trips. This page features well reviewed and highly rated extendable clothing lines outdoor use so you can find the right one for your requirements.

Crawford-Lehigh RC40 40-Feet Retractable Clothesline
Crawford-Lehigh RC40 40-Feet Retractable Clothesline

This 40ft retractable clothesline can be hung anywhere you need a place for hang drying laundry whether that be outside in your garden, or inside on a balcony or bathroom. The generous 40 feet long vinyl coated cord is held in a heavy duty plastic housing to avoid rust damage. This will automatically retract when not in use and is available here at a cheap price.

Jerdon CL1 Retractable Clothesline with 8-Foot Adjustable Nylon Line, Stainless Steel Finish
Jerdon CL1 Retractable Clothesline with 8-Foot Adjustable Nylon Line, Stainless Steel Finish

This retractable clothes dryer allows you to reduce energy consumption and save space in one simple unit. This 5 line clothes dryer gives up to 170 feet of drying space as each line is 34 feet long. A tension knob keeps the lines taught to prevent sagging droopy washing lines and each line rolls up and neatly packs away when not in use to save space.

Honey-Can-Do DRY-01375 Wood Clothespins with Spring, 50-Pack, 3.3-inches Length
Honey-Can-Do DRY-01375 Wood Clothespins with Spring, 50-Pack, 3.3-inches Length

Don't forget the clothespegs or none of these products are going to be very useful. These inexpensive natural wooden clothes pegs are made in the traditional wood and spring design and are both rust and moisture resistant and will hold up to 10lbs in weight each. There are 50 pegs in this bag.


Choosing The Best Retractable Clothesline

There are both indoor and outdoor retractable clotheslines. The indoor style are popular amongst students and people who live in small apartments as they are ideal for hang drying laundry in a small area and then folding it away afterwards.

Outdoor retractable clotheslines for a garden or yard area are perfect for people who do not want a permanent clothes hanger taking up space in their yard. For the outside, you have to take into consideration a few extra things of course.

You want a strong material which isn't going to sag in the middle or break under the weight of damp washing which can weigh an awful lot when in cumulative weight. Do not be tempted to use cheap rope or nylon cord as this will rot and weaken over time leading eventually to a heap of washing lying in the dirt - not good.

A good outdoor retractable laundry line has a metal core coated in vinyl or PVC. This will resist rust and have the strength to avoid annoying sagging and drooping in the center. The very nature of these makes them go taught when they are extended ready for use but if you but a cheap one you can run the risk of the cord itself stretching and sagging in the middle.

Retractable washing lines should also have a rust resistant housing and the best will have a strong metal bracket and fixings. Buying a rust proof model is important for both inside and outside use because even inside, you will probably be using it somewhere like the bathroom which has a lot of steam and moisture in the air. Metal fixtures are great for keeping things firmly secured but for the body of the housing you are often better off with a heavy duty plastic cover which is weatherproof.

You also have to decide whether you have a single, double or multiple line clothesline. If you have a 40ft wide area to hang from then that's great, go with a 40ft long one, but if your hanging space is 10ft wide then you can still get the same hanging area by buying a retractable washing line with four 10 feet cords which pull out from it. You can find a laundry drying solution to suit all types of purposes, so if you are worried you haven't got a place to hang one of these then be sure to take a look at the different options anyway because you will probably be surprised at the level of innovation out there are will find exactly what you need.

Save Money With An Indoor Clothes Line

One of the major benefits of using an indoor clothes drying line is that it can save you money compared with the costs of using a gas or electric clothes dryer. Even a budget priced laundry machine is going to cost a few hundred dollars, with the best rated models pushing and exceeding the four figure mark.

That's a lot of money to shell out just to dry your clothes indoors when nature has already offered a much cheaper alternative. The experts who pay attention to this kind of thing tell us the typical cost of using an electric clothes dryer is around $50 - $90 a year which varies on how much laundry you do and the energy efficiency rating of your machine which means that across the course of it's lifetime, combined with the cost of purchasing it in the first place, you might easily be paying anything from $2000 - $3000 just for drying you clothes.

On the other hand, mother nature gave us something called fresh air, which does the job just as well for free. During the winter months, a laundry line for inside the home lets you take advantage of the heat you are already producing to warm your home to do exactly the same job so really, a electric tumble dryer is something we can all easily do without whatever the weather.

Guestbook Comments

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  • TransplantedSoul profile image


    5 years ago

    Doing laundry make me want to use a garotte! I think using one of these lines could fill that function quite well - plus when used in its conventional fashion would also get me outside to get some fresh air. I'll bet this would save money on electricity too. I wonder what the payback period is from a clothes-dryer to an outdoor line?

  • profile image


    5 years ago

    Good resource. This is a very useful tool to have at home.

    Li Li


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