Gas station without pumps

2021 July 9

Low-cost clothesline

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 18:42
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For the past several years, I’ve been planning to put a clothesline up in my yard, to reduce the use of the natural-gas clothes dryer.  We used to have a clothesline behind the garage, but it went away when the blackberries grew up to higher than head height.  I considered replacing it, now that the blackberry vines have all been removed (well, cut down to the ground—it isn’t really possible to remove the roots that under the concrete). But it was never very convenient to have the clothesline behind the garage, so we did not use it as much as we might have.

I had also considered various ways to repurpose the old swing set that was in our backyard—all the swings had failed and been removed years ago, but digging up the frame and hauling it to the dump was too much effort, so it has been sitting there uselessly for years.  I had thought about adding a retractable multiple clothesline and a new post to attach the other end to, but I never came up with a design that seemed worth the effort.

Finally, this summer, I decided to do a really low-cost, low-effort clothesline, to see if we would use it enough.  I spent $6.75 (plus shipping) for 75′ of 550-lb test paracord, and wrapped the cord around the swing set at different levels.  This makes enough clothesline for one large load or two small loads of laundry,  which dries in the summer in about 3–4 hours.


One load of laundry used about 2/3 of the available line.

Most clothes come out fine on the line, but towels come out quite stiff and rough. Tumbling them for 20 minutes in the dryer (without heat or on the lowest setting) softens them, though they are still much rougher than towels dried entirely in the dryer.

I was a bit worried that the wrapping would make mowing the lawn around the swing set even more difficult, but as long as there are no clothes on the line, the line does not make much difference to the difficulty of mowing around the swing set.

1 Comment »

  1. Great idea! My clothesline-but-not is a hammock, but this holds much more.

    Comment by undine — 2021 July 12 @ 15:45 | Reply

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