Clotheslines Hung Out to Dry


We’ve covered this topic before, but to be honest I hadn’t realised just how big the issue was. Probably because backyard clotheslines are a cultural icon in Australia. The adjustable rotary clothesline, known as the Hills Hoist, is such a part of our psyche it is exhibited in national and state museums, and was even incorporated into the closing ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games. By 1994 some 5 million Hills Hoists had been sold, which is pretty impressive considering its country of origin only had 5.2 million detached houses at the time.

So it comes as a shock that America is resisting something that we take for granted. Mind you, as one of only three countries in the world holding out against metric, and the only developed country not signed up to Kyoto, I suppose one shouldn’t be too surprised. But, when Project Laundry List inform us that electric clothes dryers use 6 % of residential electricity in the United States, while the US Department of Energy rate them as the second biggest muncher of household energy, maybe that aversion needs redressing.Wanna get some solar energy mojo happening at your house? Simple. Install a clothesline. Not only will you avoid all that whopping energy drain, you can use it to save time and money too.

As we’ve noted before the moisture remaining in clothes, sheets, towels, etc after washing pulls the wrinkles out, as it drains through the material under the influence of gravity. Neatly fold the clothes as you take them off the clothes line and in most cases you’ll find yourself (and your electricity bill) freed from the dreaded chore of ironing. Dryers on the other hand are notorious for shrinking their contents, twisting them, inducing wrinkles and adding static electricity.

Sunshine is a brilliant steriliser, so your clothes will smell great too. And according to Laundry List you’ll be safer as a result. They reckon that annually in the U.S., clothes dryer fires account for about 15,600 structure fires, 15 deaths, and 400 injuries.


So rally against planning covenants that stop you installing a clothesline on spurious aesthetic arguments. Here are one, two and three companies that help you convert them into more visually benign, multi-use outdoor features that also save you from racing outside when it starts to drizzle.

Memory jogged by :: ABC

Some of our earlier posts on this theme:
A redesigned clothes peg.
Do clothes lines devalue properties?
National Hanging Out Day 2007
Ontario Bans the clothesline ban

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