If you want to get the most out of your outdoor drying area, then you should consider the retractable clothesline outdoor style.
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This is a heavy duty built unit that attaches to the outside wall of your house, shed or other structure, and is tough to the weather. You simply pull out the retractor to reveal five coated lines for outdoor air drying of your clothes.
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This retractable clothesline outdoor style can also be used indoors and would work well in a basement or large bathroom, but the best part is, that it extends 34 feet and includes tightening knobs so that the wires do not droop with the weight of the clothes as many of the older styles did.
This gives you 170 feet or more of drying area for your laundry. Plenty of space for a couple of loads or more.
Using a retractable clothesline outdoors means that you can simply put it away when you are finished with it, so that it doesn’t mar your backyard décor or take up valuable room. If you have nice breezes through your yard or on your back porch or deck, then the clothes will dry quickly and you can then quickly retract this line and now it is out of sight for you and your guests.
With this setup, you will need to purchase a receiver, meaning somewhere to attach the bar to when you pull out the lines. You can get one that simply attaches to another building or fence if for example you are using your back deck or back porch as a drying area, or you can also purchase a sturdy free standing clothesline pole that you can easily attach your lines to.
As you can see in the picture, this retractable clothesline, outdoor style can hold a lot of clothing. The lines are tough enough for jeans and towels, and are spaced just right for getting the air flow needed to get the clothes dry fast.
If you are trying to help with the environment and also save on electricity or gas bills then these styles of retractable clotheslines are a great way to go, especially if you need more than a single line or portable style indoor ones are just not big enough.
You could have one of these inside as well as outside, so that you can still dry clothes in the off seasons and the rainy days. If you have it set up so that it is easy to use, with your clothes pegs nearby, then you are more likely to use it rather than just promptly throwing the clothes in the electric dryer.
You can save a fair bit on laundry days and your electric bill or gas bill by washing your clothes in cold water by using environmentally friendly cold water washing soaps, and then hanging them either outside or inside.
If you absolutely hate the idea of jeans or towels hanging to dry because they don’t dry soft, you could take the jeans and towels and put them in your dryer on “air” only for 10 minutes to fluff them up afterwards. Yes, you will still be using electricity, but you will not be using the heating element and you will get the fluffy towels and softer jeans this way. It takes a lot of energy to dry denim jeans or thick towels in the dryer, so maybe consider using more environmentally friendly softeners in the rinse cycle and this way you can still hang them outside or indoors to dry. Also see Portable Umbrella Clothesline for more ideas.