Indoor retractable washing line – is it a good solution?

Are indoor retractable washing lines a good solution? I certainly think they are. I did some research and compared different solutions for drying clothes indoors and the retractable clothing line was the best solution for our home.

Indoor washing line solutions

For lot’s of clothes, the most convenient way of drying them is using a tumble dryer. However, that’s not a possible choice for all clothes since some are not suitable for tumble drying. Air drying also saves energy. In any case, most homes need some kind of indoor washing line.

Drying Racks

Simple drying rack

Drying racks or indoor airers come in many shapes and sizes. They are usually foldable and can be hung on a wall or placed in a closet or corner after use. The simple ones can be purchased for around 10$ and don’t really have space for even one load of laundry. The more elaborate larger drying racks can cost 50$ and up.

I have used a drying rack for more than 10 years and at first, I didn’t even have a tumble dryer. It certainly does do the job, but usually, with a full load the drying rack is crammed with too many clothes and clothes take a long time to dry. Another nuisance with a drying rack is that it’s on the floor and gets in the way. In my opinion, it’s not the best option but it’s certainly the easiest one since you don’t need any tools to install it.

Retractable Indoor Washing Line

Retractable indoor washing line

Retractable indoor washing lines or pull-out clotheslines are great for saving space. You can install it on the wall at a height that still allows you to place other things under it. These pull-out lines cost around 15$ to 50$ and can cover distances of 14 to 34 feet (4,4 to 10 meters).

The washing lines usually don’t specify how much weight they can hold. But some do specify how many loads of washing they can hold. For 20-25 meters of the washing line, you should be able to fit two loads of washing on it. Based on my experience the washing lines can easily hold that amount of weight.

I installed a retractable washing line in our shower room. It provides lots of space for hanging clothes and can fit a full load of laundry easily. If you need more space you could still fit a drying rack under it. When you are done with drying the clothes you can easily retract it if you want to have everything neat. On the other hand, the clothing line is high enough so it doesn’t get in the way and you can easily walk under it and we usually don’t retract it unless we have guests over.

We bought the Brabantia Retractable Indoor Washing Line and it was fairly easy to install. One does need a cordless drill to make a couple of holes for fixing the screws but it’s a quick install job. We have been very happy with the model and the extra drying space it provides. Brabantia is a brand known for high-quality products and they do offer a 5-year guarantee for the washing line. I got the Brabantia retractable washing line at Amazon for 25€ and have been very happy with the product and think it’s well worth it.

How do retractable washing lines work?

Retractable washing lines or pull-out clotheslines usually have a spring mechanism in them which is pulling the washing line or multiple lines inwards at all times. The wall-mounted base unit has a roll in it which rolls the washing line inside it.

On the other end, one usually needs to install a hook or two hooks which will hold the washing line in place. If it’s a multi-line solution then there usually is a wall bracket holding the lines together like in the below image.

Fixing the wall bracket to the wall

Once the washing line has been pulled out and fixed on the hooks the empty washing line will be tight since the spring roll is pulling on the lines. The springs are not strong enough though to hold the lines tight with heavy wet laundry so that’s why the base unit usually has a locking mechanism one needs to tighten to keep the lines tight.

Indoor washing line

Perhaps the cheapest drying solution is to build your own indoor washing line. Just buy some plastic clothesline rope for 5$ and you can fit it between two walls with hooks. It will be exactly as sturdy as you make it but it will be more work than installing a pre-built retractable clothing line solution. It might not even be that much cheaper if you need to buy the hooks to fix the line. It likely will look less professional and you will not have the convenience of being able to take it out of sight easily.

Reasons not to dry clothes outside

Drying clothes outside is a good thing if you can do it. It saves energy and it makes your laundry smell fresh.

Despite the benefits, there are many reasons not to dry clothes outside. In those cases, indoor drying solutions are the way to go. Tumble drying is one option but it does wear out your clothes and some clothes are not allowed to be tumble dried like many sportswear items.

One reason not to dry clothes outside is that in some cities or areas it is illegal to dry clothes outside. Some think it brings down property values since it doesn’t look nice.

Another reason for not drying clothes outside is the weather. During the winter or during rainy weather hanging laundry outside doesn’t really help to get the clothes dry.

Allergy from pollen

Allergies and pollen can be one reason some can’t dry their clothes outside even in good weather. For some even small amounts of pollen will cause allergies and therefore it’s advisable to use indoor drying options. Also during some times in the year, there is so much pollen that it gets into the clothing and colors them so it might make sense to avoid hanging clothes outside during times even if you don’t have allergies.

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