When I was growing up the late 1960s/1970s, we had a clothesline in the backyard. It was an economical way to dry clothes (free!) after they were washed in the washing machine. But today you rarely see them. Why is that? Are they consider white trashish? Or just too much work? (It’s a lot easier to just throw the clothes in a dryer.)
Both of these are definitely factors, but also, modern dryers are cheaper and more efficient, so more people have them.
It would be a good way to get in touch with our HOA, if I couldn’t contact them otherwise. The enforcers would be on me like stormtroopers, probably within a day or two.
The only clotheslines I see around my way belong to longtime now elderly residents like my neighbor around the corner.
We had one when I was a kid. When I learned how to do my own laundry, I used it because I loved watching everything flutter in the breeze. My mother was mortified because “everyone can see your underwear!” I remember telling her the same held true for her when she was growing up (she was one of four; I remember my grandma’s clothesline spanning nearly the width of their backyard). She replied that was different because “back then dryers didn’t exist for most folks so everyone had a clothesline.”
If we still had one I couldn’t use it because it’d deprive our dogs a good chunk of our backyard.
I’ve got one - it’s one of those that is attached to the house in a reel that automatically winds itself up. When I need it I pull it out, attach the far end to the shed at the other end of the yard, secure the end by the reel and voila.
I also have a dryer because days suitable for outdoor drying are limited, and I don’t like leaving the clothes out all day if we’re not home.
My mom still has and uses one, and when the weather isn’t amenable, she uses a clothesline in the basement. Several of my relatives likewise. But they’re not very common any more.
We have a fold out clothesline along the side of the house. We also have a small folding clothesline for inside when the weather is no good. A dryer is fine for some things, but some items need to be hung up.
We have a rotary clothes line in our back garden. I guess we’re old-fashioned, but we’ve never had a dryer. When the weather isn’t good for drying outside (which is most of the year), we use a clothes airer in a spare bedroom. There isn’t room in our kitchen for a washer and a dryer, and my preconception of washer-dryers is that they are less good at either job (and more prone to break down). Not to mention the additional electricity costs.
My mom has one in her back yard and uses it frequently. She’s the only one in her neighborhood with a clothesline.
We used to have one, but it was very close to the fence line and became more of a critter roadway than clothes dryer. Maybe it’s just me, but I have no desire to sleep on sheets that squirrels and birds have been lounging on.
So now the shower bar has become our makeshift clothesline for things that should be hung dry.
We have one and still use it for maybe 7 months out of the year. Had a clothes line in our back yard as a kid too. I broke it when I tried to convert it unsuccessfully into a swing one day. That event precipitated one of the three biggest fits of rage from my mother I ever witnessed.
We used one, already put up, when the kids were little. Dried a lot of diapers in the Sun. (Yes, we used real diapers.)
Put up one when we moved here. Didn’t get much use and took it down. The Land of Perpetual Humidity just isn’t the place for it. Things would almost start to get mold before they’d dry.
Not sure if we’d use one if we moved somewhere suitable now that the wash load is so small.
We have a whole clothes drying setup on the back porch, and one in the laundry room for the winter or when it’s raining. We only use the dryer for a handful of items. Saves money and energy, and the clothes last longer.
I air dried my clothing whenever possible for a couple of years, then realised it was not a good choice for someone allergic to pollen, like I am.
I have one of those, too. I also have a small folding clothes rack in the basement, next to the drier.
I mostly use the drier. It is fast, convenient, and leaves the clothes soft. But there are things that can’t go in a drier, like bathing suits and bras. Most of that gets dried indoors, but if we have a lot of delicates to dry (say, we’ve just come back from the beach) the clothesline is handy.
Oh, yes I have one. I put all my towels on it. They are more absorbent when dried outside. There are a bunch of clotheslines in the south.
When I bought the house, it had a dryer in it. It is gas and ridiculously cheap to run.
To dry clothes outside I would have to haul them outside (and then inside). They get stiff, they get rained on, and worst of all, get coated in pollen and dust.
For the life of me, I can’t come up with a reason to use a clothesline besides “That’s the way my grandma did it.”
I have clotheslines and use them as soon as it hits 50-60 degrees. I was able to hang laundry for the first time this year last weekend. I’ll use them all the time now until probably early October (as long as it’s not raining). I enjoy hanging my laundry out. Laundry never gets stiff - I use fabric softener. I love how my clothes and sheets smell after they’ve been drying outside. The only things that will go in the dryer now are underwear and socks (they’re such small items and it’s more tedious to hang them) and the blankets I put on the couches for the dogs (the dryer helps suck all the hair off of them). Everything else is dried outside. I love watching the sheets blow around in the breeze. It’s kind of cathartic.
I don’t have any friends that hang laundry outside. I see a few others in the neighborhood. My sisters, mom and mil all do tho.
This is my issue with them - I have a permanent clothesline hanger set up in my back yard, and do have line on it. But I’ve only used it if my dryer is having trouble, because they’re not ‘fire and forget’ like the dryer is. I can toss a set of clothes in the dryer and come take them out a day later, but I can’t do that with outside clothes if I don’t want them to get pollen and/or rain on them, I have to monitor the weather and state of clothes and manage it. Spring/summer would seem to be the best time for drying clothes outside, but spring gets them covered in pollen and summer has frequent afternoon thunderstorms.
Efficient of labor, not energy. They use a lot of fossil fuel, being heaters. I have always hung out my clothes whenever weather permitted. In California that was a lot of the time. Here in New England I may need to adapt. The last house I visited here in winter was liberally furnished with interior wooden racks for cold-weather clothes drying. I certainly intend to do the same.
Air dried clothes last longer, and sunlight is a pretty good disinfectant. They smell much better too. And there is the inherent virtue of doing something better for the planet than burning noxious substances which are destroying the climate of the earth in order to more conveniently dry your clothes when there is a perfectly good sun right outside.
We built a deck in our backyard to accommodate a dozen clotheslines. There are 2 built-in benches where I can park my laundry baskets and eye-bolts for hangers. And if we wanted to use it as an entertaining area, it’d be really simple to pull an awning over the framework to shade the deck.
I intend to get back out there this weekend - assuming we’re finally free of the cold and rain. I miss the fresh scent of line-dried clothes. The only things I don’t hang out are undergarments, and that’s only because it would take forever to clip up underwear, bras, and socks. A load of towel is maybe 9 or 10 items. A load of unders could be 40 or more if you count individual socks!