Hanging your clothes outside on the line reduces wear and tear on the fabrics, gives them an unbeatable fresh smell and reduces energy compared to using a tumble dryer. Summer is the perfect time to make use of the sunshine and longer days, but is there a right way to hang something on a peg? Technically, no, but the team at ACE has pulled together some top laundry hacks to help you hang out your washing in a way that keeps your items in tip top condition, reduces creases and fading, aids drying and makes ironing easier. Sound too good to be true? Read on.
As soon as you take a load out of the washing machine, sort it into item types. Fold sheets, towels and bigger clothing items at the bottom of the washing basket, with underwear and socks at the top. This will help to stop creases forming, as well as making sure that you’re not digging around in the basket when you’re outside and dropping items onto the grass. When it comes to bringing the washing in to be ironed and put away, everything will already be neatly together.
Make sure you hang things with enough space and air gaps in between so that they dry quickly. You can alternate between long and short items on each row of the line, or start hanging shortest items in the middle and work outwards. Be aware that if you hang larger items such as towels and hoodies all the way round the outside, it will block air getting to the middle – so make sure it’s balanced and as spread out as possible. Keeping it balanced will also keep the lines taut and make the base more stable in case of wind – you don’t want it to be significantly heavier on one side.
There are different opinions when it comes to hanging – as a rule, hang tops from the bottom and bottoms from the top. If you hang shirts and jumpers from the bottom edge it’ll stop the shoulders getting stretched and avoid unsightly peg marks on the shoulders. It’s a good idea to hang shirts on hangers that are pinned to the line so that the shoulders don’t get stretched or wrinkled. Some people also vouch for hanging trousers from the bottom, as pegging the thick waistband will mean it takes longer to dry.
For delicate fabrics, you can use scraps of material (from an old cut up t-shirt or similar) beneath the pegs to protect the item and avoid marks. Fold sheets and blankets in half, then pin them up by the open ends to stop a harsh crease forming. Use a couple of extra pegs in the middle to stop it sagging or blowing off in the wind. Hang socks in pairs, held together in the middle with the leg holes open, to save space and help them to dry more quickly.
If you don’t like the ‘stiff’ feeling that line-dried jeans and towels have, ‘fluff’ the items for five minutes in the tumble dryer – this doesn’t use much energy and gives the same soft feel. If you’re worried about sunlight fading bright colours, hang items in the shade and/or inside out. Be careful with stretchy or heavy items such as knitwear, as these may fall out of shape however they are hung and may need to be dried flat.