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Outdoor Clothesline




Line drying is remarkably effective and energy efficient -- and that clean, fresh smell is worth the extra effort. This removable clothesline can be kept coiled on the porch and rigged up in seconds.



  • Clothesline, long enough to span the distance between your porch and a nearby tree or post
  • Two metal eye hooks
  • Sailor's cleat
  • Snap shackle


  1. Step 1


    On the porch end, thread the line through a metal eye hook, and wind it around a sailor's cleat installed about a foot below the hook.

  2. Step 2


    At the other end, screw another hook into the tree or post. Tie the clothesline to a snap shackle, which makes attaching and detaching the cord a breeze.

Martha Stewart Living, July/August 1995



Reviews (30)

  • snoopy 14 Jun, 2012

    I live in a mobile home park, and whenever I get the chance to hang dry I do. I love the smell but I do not like rough towels. so I let them dry and spritz them with water and iron them. which takes time but they smell fresh and alot smoother to the skin,, My grandma always dry lined and I loved it... but I did not like the ironing then, but now I really enjoy it and appreciate the memories.

  • Bekagram 3 Jul, 2011

    I grew up with clothes hung out and until recently I did my
    sheets and blankets, My feeling is that the UV rays kill alot
    of bacteria and bad stuff and is actually healthier and my son
    was sensitive to pollen it might may them build up a resistance to pollens, etc.

  • Katelapp 9 Jun, 2010

    What about pollen and allergies? Is there another suggestion for energy efficient clothes drying? My family would be a mess the way that they currently suffer if I tried this.

  • CarolLandesBaker 6 Jun, 2010

    If you have questions about an outdoor clothesline pulley system, most reputable hardware stores can help you. Or if that isn't an option for you, use or another search engine and look for the term, or check out this link I found using google.

  • bassh20 2 Jun, 2010

    Instead of using a porch or tree, I had my husband set 2 4x4 post a good distance apart, install eye hooks

  • Orah 1 Jun, 2010

    I'm sorry for your lot gloriousjeans but when you move to the land of the clone homes with a homeowners' association you sign up for tyranny and busybodies with nothing better to do than cause grief. A golf communty doesn't think green the same way.

  • Orah 1 Jun, 2010

    I'm sorry for your lot gloriousjeans but when you move to the land of the clone homes with a homeowners' association you sign up for tyranny and busybodies with nothing better to do than cause grief. A golf communty doesn't think green the same way.

  • HoneyMesquite 1 Jun, 2010

    Don't put a bolt in your tree if you care about the tree. It can cause disease to set in and you could lose your tree.

    I bought an umbrella style clothes line at our local hardware store for about $40. You can get them on Amazon. They're easy to install and easy to use.

    It's hard to believe that clothes lines are now considered so "special" and not just how things should be...the world is upside down.

  • yanaka13 31 May, 2010

    Beautiful thoughts on this site!
    In the UK, the line can be pulled quickly back into the room for shelter as the showers are frequent followed rapidly by sunshine, so the line can be sent back again into the sunny air, by way of pulleys attached at the far side of the room it self. No need to remove the laundry!
    When it rains only the part of empty line is out, of course you need a longer line.

  • Gloriousjean 31 May, 2010

    I have hung wash out doors for 50 years. Then we moved out of state and moved to a golf community. Rule #1--no hanging wash out side. I ignored this rule for about 6 mos. Then one sunny Monday morn. the president of the Assn. knocked on my door. Some good neighbor reported me. No mor hanging wash out to dry.

  • Orah 31 May, 2010

    To snjmom post #18. The trick to line drying is weight distribution especially wet heavy items. Some things have to be dried flat like knits, no way around it. Hang button downs on plastic hangers prior to line drying. Pin on each side of hook crossed at the top keeps them in place on the line. Hang sheets like a sling and they dry super fast.

  • rockinghorse74 31 May, 2010

    I've been "line drying" my clothes for 25 fact I didn't own a dryer until after my dd was born and I used cloth diapers. I hang clothes out in any weather except rain or snow. On a warm windy day they dry faster on the line than in the dryer.

  • Carmy 31 May, 2010

    I went back to line drying several years ago even though our development said no lines. We have a fenced in back yard and I take the clothes off quickly and re-tract the line and nothing has been said yet. I think it is such a shame that as a society we can't stand to see clothes lines in our yards. To me it brings back many warm memories.

  • grannyj3 31 May, 2010

    I too have pollen allergies, but find I can line dry, then run through dryer with a couple of damp towels for a few minutes. More work, yes, but for linens? Well worth it. The "outdoorsy" smell remains, and the use of my electric dryer is minimal. It also softens the clothes a bit.

  • emmasyaya 31 May, 2010

    just goes to show: sometimes the easiest solutions are right under your nose! one of my clothesline posts came down in a blizzard years ago, and i was going to have to cement in a new post, so i've just been putting it off...and all i really needed to do was screw a heavy-duty i-hook into my porch. i'll be having line-dried clothes this afternoon!

  • ginasews 31 May, 2010

    I used to line-dry all the time until I found out why my allergies were always so bad. If you or your children are allergic to pollen, it is a bad idea to dry outside. The pollen will be on the clothes/linens and will not shake off. Otherwise, this is a great idea for the energy-conscious.

  • mbcolsoh 8 Mar, 2010

    Hi everyone. the clothesline/hammock how to is from the april 2000 issue and is definitely worth taking a look at if you are going to be putting up a clothe line

  • ParkBurg 14 Jan, 2010

    I know of another clothesline that works GREAT! Here is their website

  • sognpjg1023 9 Sep, 2009

    yes iwolud love it

  • bcr8tiv 1 Aug, 2009

    I have the directions to the hammock clothesline. Would you like them? I saved them for 7 years!!!!

  • DavidRush 21 Jul, 2009

    a chromium clad or stainless steel bolt or screw in the tree would cause no problems at all

  • Magmo 21 Jul, 2009

    Wouldn't a screw in the tree be a "bad" thing?

  • jmkeller01 16 Mar, 2009

    it was in a special outdoors issue from last spring, although i don't remember the exact title. i have the issue (somewhere!) and if i can find it, i will post again.

  • wannadoo22572 18 Dec, 2008

    I also remember the clothesline that gailsuzette is talking about. I actually came here looking for it. Please make it availalble!

  • gailsuzette 10 Dec, 2008

    Years ago there was a design in the MS Magazine for a clothesline that was made with wooden white posts, had a dual purpose (hammock?) and was quite attractive when not in use. I would like to see this design become available again. I have contacted the magazine and was told the date of the issue of the magazine but they could not provide me any more information.

  • Hotpot 28 Oct, 2008

    In the UK 'Out Door' Clothes line can be found in almost every home... you don't need any fancy gizmo's just a couple of strong hooks from the hardware shop, use your nearest post or tree in the backgarden and string your line out tight.
    A wood or metal prop to hold the line of clothes high up to catch the breeze is an essential.

  • miracledebtor 16 Aug, 2008

    Oh, my!! I live in the Ocean State and don't know remotely what a "sailor's cleat" is. What is a "snap shackle"? Am I dim witted or am I not a hardware store employee? Can you contact me and tell me if indeed my hardware store employee will be able to tell me what these items are? Thanks for contacting me on this...<sigh>

  • pastel 6 Aug, 2008

    The type of outside clothes line I am looking for is the one you had on your show. It was in a coil that attached to one side and the end pulled and clipped on to a hook on the other side. As you pinned the clothes on the line you pulled the clothes line forward as you continued. It was a pulley clothesline that recoiled when you were done. I can not find this. Could you let me know where you found this? Thank you K.

  • snjmom 21 Jul, 2008

    I often end up with misshapen clothes or wrinkles when I line dry outside. Any tips on how to avoid these things?

  • leonelinsky 27 Nov, 2007

    i 'd seen the program where you explain how create a clothesline between two trees using a two pulleys and other things. When i saw you mention which are the other things that are necesaries for complete the clothesline. Including the sailor ... Please if you can bringme the things that are necesary, i will appreciate.