Basic Rules Of The Clothesline.....And Morning Muffins - GIVE THEM FOOD...and other ways to cope with life Blog at - 191012

GIVE THEM FOOD...and other ways to cope with life

BASIC RULES OF THE CLOTHESLINE.....and morning muffins 
Aug. 19, 2010 2:57 pm 
Updated: Dec. 26, 2011 9:43 am

You have to be a certain age to remember what a clothesline is.  I have memories of my 5 foot nothing mother standing precariously on a little platform my father had built her to reach the line.  Lugging wet clothes for 5 people was no easy task....then getting them up on the line was a ritual to say the least.  I remember playing "dolls" with those long slim clothes pegs, before the ones with the springs.  I remember running through the sheets once they were hanging...always of course followed by mom's yelling to stay out of them....I remember my mom standing forever, ironing.  How many of you can even remember wringer washers?...oh, I'm dating myself for sure.  I know we still had one when I was 13...even though we by then had a dryer.  Anyway, here are the Basic Rules of The Clothesline and a cute poem.  Should you attempt to stroll down memory lane and actually hang some laundry're might want to sit down to a breakfast of my low fat Banana Muffins.....really good and healthy too!


1.  You had to wash the clothes line before hanging any clothes – walk the entire lengths of each line with a damp cloth around the lines.
2.  You had to hang the clothes in a certain order, and always hang “whites” with “whites,” and hang them first.
3.  You never hung a shirt by the shoulders  – always by the tail!. What would the neighbors think?
4.  Wash day on a Monday! . .. . Never hang clothes on the weekend, for heaven’s sake!
5.  Hang the sheets and towels on the outside lines so you could hide your “unmentionables” in the middle
6.   It didn’t matter if it was sub zero weather  … clothes would “freeze-dry.”
7.  Always gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes!  Pins left on the lines were “tacky!”
8.  If you were efficient, you would line the clothes up so that each item did not need two clothes pins, but shared one of the clothes pins with the next washed item.
9.  Clothes off of the line before dinner time, neatly folded in the clothes basket, and ready to be ironed.
10. Fresh sheets on the bed guarantee a good nights rest!


A clothesline was a news forecast
To neighbors passing by,
There were no secrets you could keep
When clothes were hung to dry.

It also was a friendly link
For neighbors always knew
If company had stopped on by
To spend a night or two.

For then you’d see the “fancy sheets
And towels upon the line;
You’d see the “company table cloths”
With intricate designs.

The line announced a baby’s birth
From folks who lived inside -
As brand new infant clothes were hung,
So carefully with pride!

The ages of the children could
So readily be known
By watching how the sizes changed,
You’d know how much they’d grown!

It also told when illness struck,
As extra sheets were hung;
Then nightclothes, and a bathrobe, too,
Haphazardly were strung.

It also said, “Gone on vacation now”
When lines hung limp and bare.
It told, “We’re back!” when full lines sagged
With not an inch to spare!

New folks in town were scorned upon
If wash was dingy and gray,
As neighbors carefully raised their brows,
And looked the other way .. . .

But clotheslines now are of the past,
For dryers make work much less.
Now what goes on inside a home
Is anybody’s guess!

I really miss that way of life.
It was a friendly sign
When neighbors knew each other best
By what hung out on the line.

The Clothesline Said So Much, by Marilyn K. Walker

So, if you actually venture out to hang some clothes,  you may want a nice cup of coffee and a Morning Muffin afterward.......

Low Fat Banana Muffins

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • cinnamon sugar (combine some cinnamon with sugar)


  • Mash the bananas and stir together with sugar and egg and veg oil
  • combine the  dry ingredients
  • mix together just until combined well
  • put into muffin cups and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar
  • bake 375 for 14-16 min.     1 dozen

Aug. 19, 2010 3:30 pm
Well I don't think of myself as old at 29 but I too remember clothes lines and actually had one at my first house. What I wouldn't do for one again. There really is something to be said for sheets that are line dried and have that spring/summer smell. When I was little I remember playing in my great grandmothers sheets that were hanging to dry. I also remember the "switch" she told me to pick to be part of my punishment. lol
Aug. 19, 2010 3:35 pm
That was a stroll down memory lane all right. I still have a clothes line. I make quilts and it is my preferred way to dry them after I wash them. They look so pretty in the wind with all the colors and patterns moving. I also remember wringer grandma had one. She also hauled all her rugs out to the clothesline to beat the dust out of them. Those were some strong people, those grandmas. Mine was barely 5 foot also. Makes you wonder how they did all the chores they had to finish AND make supper and tend to babies and on and on and on!
Aug. 19, 2010 3:37 pm
Oooops...forgot to say. " nice blog, thanks!"
Aug. 19, 2010 4:31 pm
Love the post. We put up a clothesline a few weeks ago and are really loving it. I have a load in the washer now that is going up in a bit. The simple things in life always feel the best and bring back the best memories!
Aug. 19, 2010 4:35 pm
Definitely as stroll down memory lane, my mother had a wringer washer until the day she died in 1996, I learned how to use this, but was terrified of feeding sheets in all bunched up so that the safety on the rollers didn't pop open. Can you believe that when I bought the house I am in now that we were not allowed to have a clothes line? It was a subdivision by-law. I did install the type that I could use it and then take it down at the end of the day, it wasn't permanent and from the street no one could see it in use. Today the by-law is gone because they encourage a greener environment. Talking about using only 2 clothes pins, I still do that as well with overlapping. I don't know why because I have an abundance of pins but I still do it. If you don't have a clothes line you don't know what you are missing and especially those clean, crisp bedsheets that do make you sleep better......thanks for the memories and the recipe.
Aug. 19, 2010 4:36 pm
By the way I remember running between the bedding as it hung down almost to the ground, it was a decent hiding spot if you were playing hide and seek and if it wasn't windy.
Aug. 19, 2010 5:57 pm
I hang up our clothes on the clothesline almost every day, and I'm 42. I love it!
Aug. 19, 2010 9:00 pm
I loved the smell of fresh sheets on my bed as a kid, but hated wearing my scratchy pants and shirts. LOL
Aug. 19, 2010 9:55 pm
Such a great blog! I remember the wringer washer and the clothesline too. My mom was 5'1" and I have that vision of her reaching up to hang and having to rely on my brothers to help when she couldn't quite reach. Hadn't thought about that in years. And Janet, I remember running through the sheets and playing hide and seek between them too. And really.....tell me Downy and some of the other companies may think they have captured the smell of line dried clothes, but we that are in the "know", know better. You can't beat a clothesline and I need one again.
Aug. 20, 2010 4:40 am
Zopooh..LOL, didn't mean to imply that you were old!!...I think, I was raised in a big city so clotheslines left and were never to be seen again..but as Janet said, now we are all getting greener, it's interesting that some subdivisions are allowing them again. Glad everyone enjoyed the memory jog.
Aug. 20, 2010 5:42 am
Great blog. I was forced to give up my clothesline about 5 years ago! There's nothing like the clean smell and feel of the clothes and linens after being naturally dried. My mom passed away in 2000 and she never owned a dryer!!! She wouldn't hear of it! I remember watching her washing the clothes in a round pink and white wash machine and then putting them through the wringer a couple of times. What an ordeal that was! That was a long time ago but I remember the time we spent together as she explained all this to a 5 year old (me). Yes, and running through the sheets during a game of tag or hide and seek. Thanks for the memories, Cocojo!
Aug. 20, 2010 9:38 am
Thanks Coco, great memories to share. The poem was very informative, I did not realize all the info one could gather from a clothesline. We had party line telephones to keep us updated. I still try to do laundry on Mondays and use my clothes line from April until it gets too cold in the fall. No better smelling clothes and my dryer has outlasted my new washing machine.
Aug. 20, 2010 10:48 am
forgot to add, I have an old wringer washer as a flower planter by my window-love the thing, found it at an auction and had to buy it.
Aug. 20, 2010 11:59 am
Great blog. I have 2 clotheslines. I love the smell of the clothes when they are hung out but I hate that I have to iron blouses and capris and a few other things that I don't when I use the dryer. DH is actually building a small room off the 1/2 bath to bring my washer & dryer upstairs because my knees are really bad and I'm nervous I"m going to tumble down the cellar stairs.
Aug. 20, 2010 6:19 pm
I also remember mom sending me and one of my brothers to go and do the really heavy washable blankets and comforters to the laundry mat as soon as we would break for Christmas break, we would spend most of the afternoon, she wanted the bigger industrial machine because it could hold more and then to dry as well....I think she just wanted us out of the house to wrap things so we were out of the too remember my mom bringing in items that were frozen solid, I always wondered if you tried to bend it would it have broke.....and to "Avon" my moms favourite softener was Fleecy brand and "yes" there is nothing like the smell of fabric softener on your clothes when they hang on the line....wonderful!
Aug. 20, 2010 6:33 pm
Great blog! I used to play with the clothespins when I was little, sorting the slide-on ones from the clippy ones. (So I was easily was a simpler time ;)
Aug. 20, 2010 6:58 pm
Thanks for stopping by everyone!...I'm thinking laundry mat stories would make a good blog!
Aug. 21, 2010 4:23 am
I live in Ireland and we still have and use clotheslines. In fact, I'm doing laundry now and it's going on the clothesline. My dryer is broke and can't afford to fix it right now. I remember wringer washers too, crushed a finger in one at about age 3. But, towels hung on the line aren't soft, they'll take your hide off if you aren't careful. lol
Aug. 21, 2010 4:25 am
BTW, my mother was only 4'8 1/2" and I'm just under 5' myself. Sometimes hanging laundry is a bit of a stretch. Especially sheets.
Aug. 21, 2010 5:56 am
This sure brought back memories of growing up.
Aug. 21, 2010 6:14 am
That was excellent! I remember exactly what you are talking about!
Aug. 21, 2010 6:27 am
Thank you for a memory that my daughters and granddaughters will probably not experience. I can remember big pots of water on fires built in the backyard. After the clothes were washed in the wringer washers the whites were put in the big pots and stirred with a stick. I was told the whites would get extra cleaned and white using this method. I also remember how clothes smelled so fresh and clean. I remember how not only us kids being chased from the clothesline but the family dog also. He loved pulling off the sheets after they were hung up. Really was that the good old days. I think so.
Aug. 21, 2010 7:29 am
Thank you for a wonderful column and a great sounding recipe. I will try these. As for the clothesline: When I started house hunting 4 years ago my biggest requirement was NO subdivisions or home-owners associations because I intended to put up a clothesline. I have my clotheslines now and I will fight to keep them!
Aug. 21, 2010 8:24 am
Memories from my childhood - I have passed them down to my kids, and although my air force son doesn't use his line, my 21 year old daughter's is a blessing for her. It does my heart good to stop in for coffee in the morning and sit on the deck watching her hang her line full. Thanks for jogging my memories.
Aug. 21, 2010 8:51 am
Certainly brings back the smell of fresh outdoors sheets. We didn't have fitted sheets and I can remember that you put the bottom sheet in the wash and the top sheet went on the bottom and a clean sheet went on top. After all, you only slept on the bottom sheet!
Judy's Kitchen 
Aug. 21, 2010 9:20 am
I'm going to send this to my 94 year old mother who moved to assisted living last year after a lifetime on the farm, She wrote poetry and will love the memories this will bring up for her and will probably share it as part of their entertainment. It gets very HOT in Texas during the summer and I just couldn't reconcile myself to having a dryer and AC running at the same time doing opposite chores, so my DH put up a clothes line behind a privacy fence so I can hang my clothes any which way, any day of the week. I find it to be a very meditative experience plus it makes me feel so virtuous to be Green!
Aug. 21, 2010 9:59 am
Love the blog, and especially all the comments. Lots of great memories!
Aug. 21, 2010 10:37 am
It's funny how subjects that you haven't talked about for a long time suddenly pop up unexpectedly in more than one place. A visit to my brother's home last weekend began with a discussion about clotheslines. My SIL was having a look at the new line that needed to be strung across the back yard. She grew up on a farm in rural Ontario in the late 50's when the ringer washer was a luxury and a dryer practically unheard of. For us modern folk clotheslines are the stuff of nostalgia. I don't know what it is about them that we all like so much. I can vividly recall the squeaky sound of the pulley providing a vacant spot for the next item to be hung. In addition to the clip and the spring pegs, my mother had a bag, made out of muslin material, with a flap to flip over to enclose and store the pins/pegs. A wiry paperclip shaped device on the backside of the bag was fastened over the line allowing for handy, hanging storage.(Sorry - it's a little hard to describe). Wow, I haven't thought about that for years. What a lot of work lugging the heavy, wet laundry outside to hang each item. There was a ringer washer in our basement for years. I love the idea of using it for a planter. Too bad it mine is not still around. I vividly remember a boy in an early primary grade who came to school with his arm in a large heavy cast. He had caught his arm in the ringer. Yowch!! I'm in Toronto where the law/bylaw/covenant banning clotheslines did exist but has since been overturned in a bid to save energy. I had to laugh while reading up on this subject. Apparently there is an advocacy movement known as "Right to Dry" whereby the lowly clothesline has been dubbed as a linear solar powered drying device. In fact in 2008 the massive provider, Toronto Hydro, launched a celebratory giveaway of 75,000 clotheslines. FREEE! Yeah! In addition to the many perks this ancient device allows us, may I offer another? When my children were little I was taken under the wing of an older, wiser mother concerning laundry. Those unsightly stains endured by cloth diapers could be magically cured by the sun. Nature's very own bleach. Who new? Thanks cocojo. This has been a really fun topic.
Aug. 21, 2010 11:05 am
Wow! You hit it just perfect! My mom had a wire basket that sat on cart. She took up the cart then the basket. Mom hung wash outside until November! Funny - I remember her always having her "outside" shoes and jacket by the washing machine too. The grass would be wet in the mornings so you had to wear "yard shoes"! My job was to hang my dads handkerchiefs on the wire basket - I took such pride in doing it. All my friends mom's had clothes lines back in the 60/70's. Only one mom I remember not using it and there was whispering about her being so spoiled or too good to hang her wash out LOL. Mom used the basement on rainy days NEVER the dryer. In fact she has the same one since I was little. Still is like new. My DH'd mom had a ringer washer when we met - wouldn't part with it. We finally snuck it out and put in a new one. She was pretty miffed for a week and finally HAD to wash things and couldn't believe she waited so long to go "automated" HAHAHA. I still prefer my things dried on a clothesline and YES the rules still apply! Well , maybe not the hanging wash out until November! There is nothing that transports me to child hood like the fresh scent and feel of new sheets on the bed! I sit on my back deck sometimes and just enjoy the sight and smell of my clothesline while I have a coffee and read a book - so homey and comfortable...... And then there is the unspoken competition between me and the neighbor 3 doors down - it is a race to see who gets their wash out first thing in the morning LOL. Some days I think I have it way ahead of her and I walk outside and D@MN she beat me to it! LOL :-)
Aug. 21, 2010 11:15 am
Great blog, Thank You! My Auntie Minnie is now 89 and still has her wringer washer and clothes line. She is amazing. Good memories for sure. We can't have a clothes line here - stupid rules! One day, I will once again have a clothes line. :)
Aug. 21, 2010 11:37 am
I remember all that! Even playing with the clothes pins! Used to make roads for cars, I know I'm a girl, but I had a little brother, LOL!
Aug. 21, 2010 11:48 am
Everything you have written here is very true. Here's a couple things from my past. When I was a little guy, I was "helping mom with the washer and caught my hand in the wringers. I remember it hurting but what terrified me was thinking I had broken the machine when the rollers popped apart. I just knew I was going to get blisters on my butt, too! The house rule we had was the clothes line would be removed after each washing, coiled properly, put into a sack and placed on its own spot on a shelf. Every washday, it would be re-hung and cleaned with wet cloth. And, no! The washing was not mom's job! Whoever did not have a paying job to go to had to help with the household chores- which bring in another memory. Mothers standing at their doorways calling the names of whatever child they needed in a loud enough voice to be heard a few houses away. Thanks for the nostalgia, Cocojo!
Aug. 21, 2010 12:00 pm
I definitely prefer the clothesline to a dryer.Where I live, we have warm weather and sunshine for about 7 or 8 months of the year;and, we have no "no clothesline" laws.I read in an article on the web (and some of the posts here seem to confirm it) that it's an issue in some parts of the world;even though, there isn't a more environment-friendly method I can think of.
Aug. 21, 2010 12:04 pm
Love your memories and the poem - thank you! What child didn't risk adult wrath to run through clean sheets hanging on the line? Years ago, when my children were young and I'd taken a few years off from working, money was a bit tight with just hubbie's salary. We cut expenses to bare bones and I started hanging the laundry outside to dry on newly installed clothes lines. We had placed our electric and gas utilities payment on the budget plan - we paid the same amount each month and then caught up in August what we usually owed on our utilities. Well, lo and behold, the year I started hanging laundry out to dry, August came around and we didn't owe the utility company anything on our budget plan! In fact, we didn't have to pay anything until October. Of course, the company adjusted our monthly budget payment down by about $20 but I felt like a billionaire. To this day, March through October or November, I line-dry all of our towels, washcloths, sheets and blankets. I'm always hoping for a balmy January or February day to hang a load of towels. My now adult daughters have clothes lines at their homes, too, and use them as much as their schedules allow. I have noticed more and more of my neighbors hanging clothes out- wonder if it's a desire to lessen their carbon footprint or a reflection of difficult economic times? Maybe a bit of both. I love the feeling I get when I hang out the clothes knowing that the sun and breeze will dry them without me using any other form of energy. The smell and sight of that laundry still makes me fell all is right in the world.
Aug. 21, 2010 12:09 pm
Thank you! Happened on your blog by accident and went home about 40 years!! Sweet memories!!
Aug. 21, 2010 12:54 pm
I love the poem...very sweet and sentimental...I still hang laundry on the line when I have time! thnak you for sharing the poem!
Aug. 21, 2010 1:26 pm
Just reread this blog and find it so comforting to know I'm not alone in liking clotheslines. When we bought our clothes posts they were for sale at a fence company and were advertised as ' solar dryers'. Lol !
Aug. 21, 2010 2:40 pm
Thanks for the memories!!! I, too, love sheets and pillowcases dried on the clothes line! They smell so fresh. I also like to hang bankets and rugs out. Can't do much of that anymore because of handicap but remember the sweet smells! I remember my mom's wringer washer, the rinse water with blueing for white clothes and making starch on the stove for starched shirts and dresses! Mom's younger sister got her hair caught in the wringer one time and lost a bit of hair, painful!! And yes, frozen clothes can break when removed from the line if not careful. I remember taking towels down while frozen and one "broke". I had to sew it back together by hand!!! I was more careful after that!
Aug. 21, 2010 2:42 pm
Just read the blog and it warmed my heart .I still hang my clothes out as much as possible .The poem was lovely. I enjoyed reading all the comments.The next load I hang out will be even more enjoyable!
Aug. 21, 2010 2:58 pm
I love this post! I vividly remember my grandmother's wringer washer and though I always wanted to help hang I never seemed to understand the unspoken hanging rules. What great memories!
Aug. 21, 2010 3:34 pm
Hi I was just reading your poem and some of the memories to my Mom who is 83 and we laughed and I remembered the little wooden clothes rack she would put up in the kitchen over the heat vent to dry clothes in the winter time. We had lots of diapers so we washed all the time, I even put my kids in cloth diapers because they are much cheaper and it helps with allergies. I found a wonderful recipe through our State extension service for making laundry soap, it works very well and is sooooo cheap. It can be made dry or wet and uses only 3 ingredients. Who new.
Aug. 21, 2010 5:22 pm
I have to say, I'm a little shock that clotheslines are a memory for some! Maybe it's because I live in a far off land called New Zealand, and maybe we are stuck in the 80's here but I'm pretty sure the majority of households have a clothesline! How odd... do people really use machine dryers? Isn't that what the sun and wind are for? It's free for heavens sake! And faster alot of the time! Come on people, put a length of string up between your trees and dry your washing 'the old fashioned way'. I've planted a lavender garden under my clothesline, so when the sheets swing in the breeze they pick up the heavenly and relaxing aroma.
Aug. 21, 2010 7:25 pm
I live in a duplex here in Kentucky. Because it's a older building and owned by the city here, we do not have dryer vents, nor space to place a dryer next to my washer. I am however provided with a clothesline and a Laundromat down the street. When it's summer time I always hang out all I can =) (Note:I'm only 25, but have been hanging out clothes through out my 20's, since that is how long my family has lived here =)
Aug. 21, 2010 9:09 pm
I can't run my dryer in my mobile home (to much power overflow the braker) so I still hang clothes every few days..:O) in az it only take 2 hours for dry clothes in the summer..My mom use to hang & still does here as well. :O) we only used a dryer in Michigan in the winter..
Aug. 21, 2010 11:22 pm
I will be the lone voice of dissent here, and express loathing for clotheslines. My grandmother became so crippled from arthritis that she finally had to get a dryer, so the clothesline my grandfather welded for her from construction pipes in the 20s(!) was left idle. I made the mistake of shimmying up one of the supporting posts when I was 5 or 6. An entire colony of red wasps had gotten established inside the crossbar on the top. They all came out and attacked me. They can sting multiple times, you know. I don't remember anything between blacking out and waking up in a hospital room and machines hooked up all around me. When I came home at last, the clothesline was gone. Apparently, my grandfather came home after taking me to the hospital, and tore it down with his bare hands. When I see clotheslines now, I shy away. I don't care what they're constructed of--I won't go near. Clothes and sheets are stiff and scratchy from line-drying, anyway, even with fabric softener. Now that I've developed allergies, the pollen, spores, molds, and other nasty airborne particles left on clothes would be murder on my breathing, too.
Aug. 22, 2010 5:22 am
This is a wonderful blog. Thank you, cocojo! Like another respondent, I will send the poem to my mom, who is 88. She'll love it. I had never considered the "news" aspect of a clothesline, but how true it is. The loss of them can really be seen as another feature of our disconnected age, living together, but private, disconnected, and in some places --in almost total anonymity. Growing up, I don't remember when we didn't have a dryer -- all I remember is that Mom was loathe to use it! I can't tell you how many times my job was to hang the wash, in all kinds of weather. I was so angry when she made me hang sheets and towels in the winter, and then I'd have to bring in armloads of cold, FROZEN linen! But she or my grandmother would iron them to take out the moisture, and as others have said, there's nothing better than the smell of sheets dried outside. I don't have a line now, but your blog has once again ignited a spark to get one. We have no restrictions against them -- it's just that the dryer is so much easier and faster. As for the current restrictions, I wouldn't be surprised if we began to see them lifted -- especially considering the current economy and national desire to save energy. What do others think?
Aug. 22, 2010 6:11 am
I'm 44 and I have a clothesline - a rather long clothesline. I did not grow up with one. Our clothes were dried in the dryer or hung on hangers hooked over water pipes near the laundry room ceiling. I hang many of my clothes out to keep them from shrinking or wearing out. Here's a good one. My MIL who isn't yet 70, uses a wringer washer and clothesline. She doesn't own a dryer. We cannot manage to bring her up to speed. She just seems to like doing things the hard way.
Aug. 22, 2010 6:48 am
Marilyn, Thank you for this clothesline poem. I too am 50ish. I use my clothesline every day when the weather allows (live in MN). Saves tons of money on the electric/gas bill and with 3 kids I am not lacking clothes to hang! I love it and have forever! I thought I was one of a lost breed, but it seems there are a lot of people still hanging clothes. Happy Hanging!
Aug. 22, 2010 7:23 am
The fresh-air smell of sheets at night. Nothing better! Mom hung out all the laundry and in the Wisc. winters she hung it in the basement. I was fascinated by the wringer washer but I was too little and it was too dangerous for her to let me "feed' the laundry through. She passed away 6 years ago and never ever did buy a dryer. I didn't know what a towel from a dryer felt like until I was 20. The scratchy stiff towels were good exfoliators though. Would LOVE to smell those sheets again and see my mother hanging them.
Aug. 22, 2010 7:52 am
I'm 28 and certainly remember the clothesline. Infact one of the things my husband and I love about the house we're renting is the clothesline in the backyard! Hanging clothes makes a huge difference on the electric bill, and the clothes just seem to smell fresher when they dry in the sun!
Aug. 22, 2010 8:32 am
I love your poem and I STILL hang my clothes out. I wash the lines about once a month. I live in an older neighborhood, but I do believe I am the only one who has a clothes line in the back yard. I remember as a child helping my mother hang diapers outside when it was snowing. You are right, the diapers would freeze dry. I still haven't figured that one out. I don't hang out my clothers in order to save on electricity, although I do believe it is a great way to be environmentally friendly; but I do hang them out because it is smells so good, it is nostalgic and it is what my mother did. It smells like my mother is still with me. My entire house smells so good when my clothes have been hung out. Thank you for your memory sharing thoughts. I loved it!
Puff Pastry 
Aug. 22, 2010 9:06 am
My horoscope today (Leo girl) told me to step out of my routine and try something completely different. Well posting a blog is new to me. My friend told me about AllRecipes as I have boatload of tomatoes that are getting riper by the minute. What really caught my eye was the clothes line and the memory of my younger brothers "frozen" cloth diapers being brought inside and standing up by themselves beside the space heater we had in our old century home..old house in age and not in character - ha ha I am also on a team that is running to raise funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer organization - we are planning a bake sale and I am wondering what we could do to create a WOW factor and raise $$$ for this very worthy cause. Hope this is not too long - first time out and cannot stop typing. P.S. Puff is for our rescue cat we got 4 years ago and Pastry is the one challenge I endeavour to conquer!!
Aug. 22, 2010 10:02 am
I don't have a clothes line but I kept my Grandma's bag of clothes pins. I have a huge backyard so I'm thinking of rigging up a clothes line to dry certain items. This brought back so many happy memories of my Grandma and my Mom. Thanks!
Aug. 22, 2010 10:13 am
Puff Pastry...welcome to blog land. I was thinking of your fund raiser and wondered if you could sell clotheslines...then get everyone committed to using them for 1 month and donating the proceeds to Breast Cancer...just a thought.
Aug. 22, 2010 10:15 am
Thanks for all the amazing comments! I think it's just so theraputic to remember some of the good things in our lives...good people too. I love the comment about growing lavendar under the line. It's also amazing how many people got there hands caught in those old wringers! One reader had a particularly bad encounter with clothes lines and wasps...I can understand how the very word Clothesline makes you run!
Aug. 22, 2010 11:21 am
LOVE hanging clothes and linens out to dry. My boys dislike the denim and towels when they first use them (stiff, almost starchy)but the softness comes back quickly and nothing will ever beat the natural fresh air smell that gets embedded into the fabric. Plus, your whites get a little natural brightening from the sun! Sheets dried outside pretty much guarantee a good night's sleep. Even though I have been "hanging out" for most of my 50 years, I am confident that I will never try the freeze-dry method for winter laundry, even though Michigan provides plenty of opportunity.
Aug. 22, 2010 12:04 pm
I am only 34 but have also used a clothesline year-round since i had my first home and I remember watching Grandma use the wringer washer until the late 80's. I was always afraid she was going to cut her fingers off, lol. Love the smell and feel of line-dried linens and clothes...and I have some of my best talks with my neighbour while stringing up the line.
Aug. 22, 2010 12:05 pm
Loved all the comments about hanging clothes outside. Right now, I am running up and down the stairs because my laundry is on the second floor. We just moved in about a month ago, so we haven't figured out where to hang a line, but you bet we will very soon. The trek to the backyard from the laundry will include 2 sets of stairs, but I am looking forward to those sheets blowing in the wind and smelling so sweet at night when I am falling asleep on them. Plus, all that exercise running up and down the stairs will be a good thing. A memory from way back when I was a child is talking to the neighbors when we were hanging out the wash. I miss that! Nowadays, everyone is so busy that sometimes you don't really see the neighbors for days.
Aug. 22, 2010 12:42 pm
Karen - my laundry room is on the 2nd floor,also. If you are lucky like me, the window faces the back yard and there is a sturdy tree a proper distance away. Clothesline pulleys are available at Walmart. I recommend getting the line tensioner, too. I've been known to "throw the laundry out the window" at 10:30 pm or 5:30 am. I always try to keep a "neat" line, since it is very visible at that height.
Puff Pastry 
Aug. 22, 2010 12:51 pm
Thank you cocojo so much for the welcome to the blog..I loved the idea of using the clothesline for fundraising purposes. Allow me to run this fundraising idea for Breast Cancer past you folks - what if our team named the Durham Go Getters was to purchase an inexpesive clothesline and colored pegs to "string up" at our place of work. We could "sell" the pegs for a donation to Run for the Cure and Pin Up the donors name on the line. The object would be to completely fill the line with names. To take it one step further we could "cut out" pink construction paper items to hang on the line. Right now we have the wooden frames that we use to hang up wet laundry but on a lovely sunny day I bring them out to the patio to air dry. No one will ever convince me that dryer sheets and scented products will match the great outdoors! Andrea C - thanks for the inspiration of the poem going to your 88 yr. old Mom. My special Aunt is 86 and she will love it too!I totally agree with Andrea C. and her comments. What I love about the words I am reading on this blog is how they are coming straight from everyones heart. Enjoy the day!
Aug. 22, 2010 1:21 pm
Oh the memories! My short little mom didn't have to have either a stand or someone tall to help her. There was a contraption that would raise or lower the line. Fresh washing hung too high for anyone to run through it. If we had, I wouldn't be alive to talk to you now. I remember adjustable metal forms that mom put down the pantlegs of my dad's work pants so they would dry quickly and not need ironing. Unfortunately I also remember how badly chapped your hands got from hanging out wet laundy in the winter. If it got really cold, wet clothes got lugged down to the laundromat and we were miserable until the weather broke and we could have sweet-smelling clothes again. I can no longer stand long enough to hang out my washing and I really miss the smell and feel of linens dried on the line....
Aug. 22, 2010 5:38 pm
At 26, I am blessed to say there has been a clothesline in my backyard since before I was born. Even now, the towels are about to come in as soon as I post this. I also have the wringer washer my great grandmother owned til she died (she never trusted that "automated contraption" my great-grandfather tried to bring home; she made him take it back!!). I plant roses, lavender and basil along my clothesline so everything takes the scent. Absolute heaven! Thank you for posting this, Cocojo! What wonderful memories you've brought back!
Aug. 22, 2010 6:07 pm
I just love reading all your responses! Puff...I think that fund raising idea is great..give it a try! I had one other memory ...did anyone ever play Bride with the sheets on the clothesline?....I would put my face into the haning sheet and walk forward singing here comes the bride as my "veil" uncovered my face and fell off the back of my head...making of course, a train....oh the silly games of youth!
Aug. 22, 2010 8:30 pm
Oh the memories!! I am 69 and still hang my laundry out. I think it is good exercise to bend and reach, keeps your waist trim. I like two parallel lines minimum, I hang my jeans/pants by the bottom of the legs, one leg on each line, slide my palms down the "crease" line and they dry like they were ironed! I don't hang outside in freezing weather any longer as I have arthritis in my hands, but I used to hang the wash early and by afternoon with a brisk breeze, the wash would thaw and be dry except under the pins. Now I have racks I put up, one for flat items, and an ironing rack with plastic hangars for tops and pants, works for me. My Mom taught me to use the wringer too, but gave up on me because I would always break a button or two by letting it go through sideways. And as everyone else observed, there isn't a smell in the world like fresh sheets off the line, if hung correctly, they don't need ironing. I also like the rough towels to dry off with, makes your skin tingle, yummy. I just moved into this house in March, and only have one line from tree to tree. I have the "T"'s and line, but it's been so dry this summer, the ground is like concrete. Will be glad when the ground softens enough to install my new T poles and line. Oh, and one more thing, I don't remember running through the sheets, but I ued to have a dog that would wait until I went in the house and then would pull every last towel or anything he could jump up and reach off the line into the dirt. Had to tie him up or bring him in on laundry day. Thanks for letting me reminisce.
Aug. 23, 2010 1:13 am
I'm 17, not old at all, and my grandma used a clothesline all through my childhood. I loved playing with the wood clothespins, throwing them in the backyard and then trying to find it with my sister. It was fun to run between the sheets with my hands out at either side, especially when they were still wet. I miss those days. Now my grandma has a new grandbaby from my aunt and a great grandbaby coming from my sister, and they will never know why there are two huge posts with very long cords running between them in the backyard. It's pretty sad to think about. It's a simple joy I had as a kid that my cousin and niece or nephew will never have. I really miss those times, and the poem was adorable. A very good post =)
Aug. 23, 2010 3:54 am
When we came to Japan, I was very pleased to find that hanging clothes out is the norm. Now, I will say, mostly they use a set of poles. You thread the shirts over the pole armhole to armhole, OR you can hang them on hangers which are hung on the poles. The laundry sections in the sundry markets are replete with gadgetry related to better hanging. Yes, you must wipe the poles clean each day, and no, you dare not leave the pins/hangers/gadgetry out, or it gets dirty. Giant hinged plastic clips, lock blankets and bedding onto balcony walls. And during the rainy season, the trains a rank with a soured laundry smell. :[ Great blog.
Aug. 23, 2010 3:55 am
"are" rank...
Aug. 23, 2010 5:37 am
I love my clothes line. My Mother used one and I have used one my entire married life (almost 27 years). In the winter I hang the clothes in the basement and the woodstove dries them. The dryer is only used maybe a dozen times a year. The only problem I have is I can't use the excuse the dryer shrunk my clothes and that is why I have buy a larger size! :-)
Aug. 23, 2010 5:59 am
I love my clothes line. i use it almost everyday..but since i live in Canada..i stop using it usually in November...frozen hands i do not love. I am only 34 and i used to have a wring-washer..and i loved it..there is somthing about the simple chore..but it was time consuming. I have two daughters 11 and 13 and they both take turns on hanging and taking the laundry off the line...I love Fleecy its my favorite fabric softener...and Josie..thank you cause i just talked to my husband about a line in my basement for the winter and letting my wood furnace dry them for me..i am assuming i should get at least one load done a day that the blog
Barbie B. 
Aug. 23, 2010 5:59 am
What an interesting read!! Those were the easy days, weren't they? But Mom DID have to work very hard. I love my clothesline and when the breezes will blow I will try to launder alot. The towels are fluffed for 5 min. in the dryer before hanging out, as are alot of the jeans, etc. It really helps shake out the wrinkles. Thanks for this subject, Cocojo. This comes from Perry Co., Missouri.
Aug. 23, 2010 6:09 am
I enjoyed reading your blog and all the comments about clotheslines. Both my own mother and both grandmothers hung out clothes regularly. It was often my job to hang or gather them once I was tall enough. My grandmother was so particular about what and how the clothes were hung out! She didn't want to give the neighbors the wrong impression of her homemaking skills. Grandpa was never allowed to throw a rag over the clothesline to dry! I enjoy using my clothesline, but admit that I sometimes feel like a dinosaur because it seems that I'm the only one who does. I do it for so many reasons. I enjoy the wonderful fresh smell, the cost effectiveness, the fact that it doesn't impart any pollution or use resources unnecessarily. I'm sure many would consider me very outdated and old-fashioned, but I love my clothesline. Your blog has made me feel very proud of my old clothesline!
Barbie B. 
Aug. 23, 2010 6:11 am
...oops, that didn't come out correctly. When I typed 'those were the easy days', I meant---for me!! :)
Aug. 23, 2010 7:15 am
I love my clothesline, too, and use it whenever I can. I remember my Mother using the wringer washer even tho she purchased a new automatic Kenmore. She said she was able to save water. She washed clothes in order, whites, light colors, dark colors then rugs etc, by pumping used soapy water from machine to wash tub and then rinsing and then pumping the soapy water back into the washing machine. Of course everything was hung out on "the line" and she was so proud of the white-est whites in the neighborhood. Wish my daughters (4) had lines. I used to make dolls from the clothespins too and drew faces and glued hair (sometimes pieces of my own hair) and clothes on them too. Washday was a day of hard work...women took quite a bit of pride in cleanest and hanging stuff in the right order, etc. to ease the sorting problem. Thanks for the memories.
Aug. 23, 2010 7:29 am
Great blog!! Unfortunately I live in an association that does not allow clothes lines. There is an organization called Project Laundry List ( who's mission is "Project Laundry List leads the air-drying and cold-water washing revolution." They are tracking associations that don't allow clotheslines and help folks change those by-laws as well. I have used my dogs lead that stretches 75' from my porch to a tree. I wipe it down with a rag first and really upset the dogs for a few hours when they can't go out. I hope to change my association by-laws so that I can dry clothes "legally".
Aug. 23, 2010 7:51 am
We never had a clothes dryer until I was 16 so I definitely remember using a clothesline and wash day was a whole day thing. I learned from my mom how to fold fitted sheets and everything else correctly. Now I am teased and it's referred to "the Kathy way" of folding by my hubby. I always loved the smell of the sheets and towels after they've dried in the breeze all day. When we had those breezy days I always heard, "ah it's great clothes drying weather." I remember that the jeans could almost stand up on their own they were so stiff! And the frozen towels!! They had to be dried in the house but they smelled so good! We had temporary clotheslines in our house for the winter. I remember getting an earring caught once, there was blood and some clothes had to be re-washed. It was not a good day for me. Today, where I live, we are not permitted to have a clothesline. What a pity. I've missed lots of "good drying days".
Aug. 23, 2010 8:07 am
I also hang my clothes on the clothesline (I'm in my forties, too!). When you live in the south (in the summer), your clothes will dry faster in the sunshine than in the dryer! Saves money on electricity by not using the dryer and also lengthens the lifespan of the dryer.
Aug. 23, 2010 8:33 am
I have a clothesline. I insisted on one. There's nothing like the smell of sheets hung on the line! I live in the northeast but remember everyone having them when I grew up (I'm in my 40s). Not only does it save on your dryer lifespan but it shelps lengthen the life of your clothes too!
Aug. 23, 2010 9:45 am
i love reading these posts. I live in a small town in Ontario Canada..and i am surrounded by clotheslines..all my neighbors except for two have them....i would say that 80% of the houses in town have a line...and 70% of them are used on a daily basis in the summer months. I am really short..and i am not sure what it is called but i have a metal thing on my pole where i can slide my line down to hange them and slide the line back up and hook it so the breeze gets at it...very easy and more comfortable than using a clothesline stand and reaching all the time.
Aug. 23, 2010 9:46 am
I'm glad to live in a city neighborhood where some look down their noses at clotheslines, but a growing number of us have them, anyway. We use the dryer for those "unmentionables" and a few other things, but one dryer load for every 4-5 washer loads isn't so bad.
Aug. 23, 2010 11:03 am
We live in the country and we always hang our clothes! They smell so fresh. We were just commenting today (very hot, dry day) what a waste it would be to put these clothes in the dryer. It saves lots of $$$! It does seem to fit a simpler lifestyle. Like fresh baked bread, fresh peach preserves and fried okra, right from your own soil!
Aug. 23, 2010 11:14 am
Hey COCOJO, I wish we could use clotheslines!! We live in a development and aren't allowed to have them!! They say that they are an eyesore! WHATEVER!!!!! I can always remember growing up with clothes on the line!! Thanks for bringing back the memories!
Aug. 23, 2010 11:35 am
I don't consider myself to be old at 23- and I use my clothesline nearly everday (even when it's 20 degrees outside, although we installed a wood furnace in our basement and now will have a warm place to hang our clothes)! In fact, I recently insisted on hubby upgrading my line and adding more. You just can't beat the feel of fresh washed / line dryed sheets (which I do every Saturday) I don't iron much more than our church clothes though.. I also remember my grandma having a wringer washer until her house burnt down and her new house had a modern washer. My little brother got his finger stuck in it one day when he thought it would be fun to run his ball through the wringer :)
Aug. 23, 2010 11:51 am
living on an island 6 ,mos of the year,I love hanging the wash and watching the wind blow & hear the flapping of the clothes, I like to hang them a certain way too, veg,garden love to cook,,chickens, art studio, great life...
Aug. 23, 2010 12:18 pm
I know the clothesline, we still use them in England every day. Nothing I miss more than good cotton sheets that have been blowing in the breeze...
Aug. 23, 2010 12:50 pm
#'s 1,2,3,7,8 & 9 are me...I've never had a dryer and my kids will definitely remember the clothesline! :) I'm not sure I'm old enough for the wringer-dryer thing, I do remember my parents with a dryer, but my dad was no electrician, although he did all our wiring. I remember being zapped so bad trying to use the dryer, I never did use one again. I love love love the smell of clothes on the line and will never stop. And those kids...every single one of them has loved running through clean sheets.... The poem is awesome - I have never heard it before, but often thought those very thoughts as I hang up clothes!
Aug. 23, 2010 1:55 pm
I bought a house (finally) last year and since it was built in 1949 it still has the clothes line posts out in the back yard. One day my cat had spent the entire day laying out in the sun. When I picked him up for a cuddle his fur had the most wonderful smell as if bathed by sunlight. The next day I went out and bought a clothes line and old fashioned clothes pins and put up my line. Since we have had hot weather for the last 3 months I have been line drying all my clothes, saving energy and enjoying my fresh sun dried laundry. One caveat if you have dogs, remember to bring in the laundry before you send the dogs out! One of mine loves to steal the laundry off the line and drags it all over the yard (very proud of herself). Nice to hear others are doing the same!
Aug. 23, 2010 2:07 pm
I'm only 30, but my mother was a zealous clothesliner. She probably still is, though I haven't been home in the summer for many years. I hated laundry, but I had a rhythm to it: set the first clothes pin, flick the other end of the towel to straighten it over the line, and set the next one using the second clothes pin. I didn't like jeans, because you couldn't double them up.(We didn't "freeze-dry," though they were out there on some cold cold days in the early fall.) I like the smell of clean line-dried sheets, but not the crispy texture of everything that was hung to dry. My babysitter was still using a ringer washer in the early 1980s, and cooked using a spectacular wood stove in her kitchen. She must have been in her 50s at the time. I would give anything to buy that house and fix it up, it really was a spectacular Victorian farm house, and completely under-appreciated (even abused) by anyone who's ever lived there since I was born.
Aug. 23, 2010 2:11 pm
I have done laundry all day and hung it up on my clothesline to dry. I love my clothesline and am glad to see I am not the only one willing to do the work to be a little greener. Most people I know can't believe I even have a clothesline, much less use it.
Aug. 23, 2010 3:13 pm
I remember running through the sheets at my grandmother's in Idaho. I have a retractable clothesline now because I just HAD to have that fresh smell. My children still talk about how nice it is to have fresh sheets - not so much the towels, though, but nothing can beat that wonderful smell. And of course the memories it brings back. Thanks for sharing!
Aug. 23, 2010 3:43 pm
In this day of "green" everything I am surprised more people do not use clothes lines! To many "urbies" do not think they have time but if some one like me who has worked a full time shift work job , raised 5 kids and help with all aspects of farming and ranching, volenteer in the rural community still can use a clothes line to dry almost all of our laundry maybe some people just have to push themselves a bit. Besides the money that you can save the clothes smell wonderful!!
Aug. 23, 2010 4:13 pm
In 2003-ish, we visited a small community in Tennessee, and were told by our hosts that "THOSE" neighbors hung out clothes, as if they were telling us that "THOSE" neighbors held drunken orgies on their lawn, or something equally scandalous. I wonder if, in a country that is giving monetary incentives for certain "green" purchases/improvements, such clothesline snobbery will be/can be allowed to continue.
Aug. 23, 2010 6:10 pm
I love this! At 32, I remember running through the clothes/sheets my mom hung and for some reason it was such freedom. Now my oldest daughter (2) is doing the same thing and it's such a joy to watch her because I definitely understand. I join her often! And how funny...the neighbors learned of my pregnancy by the clothes on the line. I'm passing this on to a friend/fellow clothesline dryer. Thanks so much for this!! Can't wait to try the muffins. :)
Aug. 23, 2010 6:24 pm
I am 32 and love clotheslines. We had one when I was little, which is probably where it started. My kids have learned to hang their stuff on the line because I get tired of clothes all over my laundry room. I even have my husband doing it. We are getting ready to move and I'm kind of heartbroken that we have to leave it.I don't follow all the rules. We just let our whole life hang out there and on the weekends to boot. Thanks for the recipe. That always makes them a little more friendly in the morning.
Aug. 23, 2010 6:27 pm
I can;t believe the number of people who use clotheslines! Where have I been? I guess city living and then subdivision living made me think they were so obviously! THYME...your life sounds lovely..I'm coming on Friday.
Aug. 23, 2010 7:23 pm
At 27, I too remember the clothesline, although not used as often as we could have done. I keep on my hubby to put one in for me, however, some things need to wait. Guess I'll have to increase my efforts!
Aug. 23, 2010 7:33 pm
I refuse to use the dryer. To me it just seems stupid to use gas or electricity to do what nature will do for free. Talk about leaving a carbon foot-print. My mom hung clothes her whole life and I can tell from the posts before me that everyone can relate good memories of wash day. How many memories will our kids have of standing around the clothes dryer waiting for the hot clothes to be done. I love going outside to hang gives me some me time. I often fold them right off the line outside. Pay the utility companies so you can operate the dryer. It heats up your house in the summer so you spend more to cool the house. Plus the cost itself of the dryer. Doen't anybody have good sense anymore. And when I drive by a house with laundy on the line...I feel a sense of warmth, of family. Yep, hanging out the laundry is a good thing.
Aug. 23, 2010 10:29 pm
Since my firstborn was in diapers (cloth), I have been using my clothesline as the main drying appliance. Although I do have an indoor one in winter and on rainy days, and never remember a wringer washer. ( My older sister will, though). On a warm summers day a large load will dry in less than 2 hours, not much more time than a tumble dryer, and an 80cent saving. My $85 clothesline has paid for itself over and over again in 9 years. And yes, I do hide the unmentionables in the middle, or indoors.
Aug. 23, 2010 10:31 pm
Of course, the best part is, you don't wait by the dryer, so that your clothes will have less wrinkles, you just take it down when you darn well feel like it, if weather is not on your side, you get a free 2nd rinse.
Aug. 23, 2010 10:46 pm
In Ontario, the provincial government lifted any restrictions to drying clothing outside, and the provincial regulation supercedes any municipal or condominium regulation ( not sure about apartments, but townhouses pretty sure). Either way, its a step in the right direction
Aug. 24, 2010 4:05 am
I grew up in Detroit, without a clothes line. When I married and moved to rural Ontario I discovered the blessings of hanging clothes on a clothes line and have done so now for 40 years. Nothing feels so good as climbing between sheets that have been hung to dry in the fresh air and sunshine. Yes, unmentionalbes are kept out of sight. We believe so much in the clothes line life style, that because I also work out of the home, my husband often takes on the task of hanging out the wash.
Aug. 24, 2010 7:14 am
There is no greater feeling hanging out the washing on the first warm day of the year. I live in Scotland, not reknowned for its warm, sunny weather, but everyone hangs out washing. If it's raining, we have an airing cupboard where our heating boiler is and a clothes horse to dry things on. We have spent our last three summers in the US and could not believe that people used a tumble dryer when the weather outside was so warm and sunny. Come on - the country with the greatest carbon foot print in the world - you need to take a look at the wonderful natural resources available to you!
Aug. 24, 2010 7:29 am
I just saw this blog and am so glad I took the time to read it. Yes, that clothes line says a lot about a family. Recently mine rotted and the thing fell over and after only 4 years! I mainly used mine for rugs and heavier items. The wind here in the Patagonia fills the clothes with dirt and sand. On calm and sunny days I'd put out my whites, the sun when it is out is very strong here. I'm told we have no ozone layer above us, plus the altitude in the Andes. Anyways, Cocojo I really enjoyed the blog and all the memories that people shared in it. Thanks for another good recipe too!
Aug. 24, 2010 9:14 am
and, for babies with bad diaper rash, cloth is the only way to go & the sun kills all the germs that cause the diaper rash.
Aug. 24, 2010 9:59 am
Hanging clothes on the line is wonderful! The sun and wind make them smell great!!! Hanging out the clothes is one of the only chores I actually enjoy :))) Loved all the stories and memories!!! thanks!
Aug. 24, 2010 10:11 am
Reading this has brought back so many memories, I grew up in detroit and remember all of our neighbors used clotheslines! In the winter we hung the clothes inside to dry, times were much simpler then, a time when neighbors spoke to each other! We would share goods that were canned, the good ol days for sure! I live in a townhouse now that won't allow us to put up a clothesline, who knows maybe in the near future that will change, btw I'm 35 and remember the wringer washer our neighbor had one I remember thinking it was the coolest thing!
Aug. 24, 2010 10:56 am
I have actually chosen to go back to a cloths line. Thanks for your list of 'rules' it has been about 1.5 generations since my family has had to line dry. I love the smell of line dried cloths, they last longer, I don't have to pay for running a dryer or even purchase one, and I don't have to heat up my very small house with a dryer. It gives me a chance to slow down and enjoy being outside with a cool shirt tossed over my shoulder. I'm even teaching my 3 year old how to hang her laundry!
Aug. 24, 2010 11:46 am
Love it! My mother made us hang our own clothes. I loved the smell of the clothes after they were hung out to dry, I dont care what brand dryer sheet you buy that smell is irreplacable. Now things are hurried, I do my laundry whatever day I find time. The clothes usually end up tossed on the couch for a few days until I have time to fold them all. Hopefully someday things will calm down and I can go back to the simple life. 
Aug. 24, 2010 12:07 pm
Aug. 24, 2010 12:14 pm
My comments are simple and short, because I´m from Argentina , and my english is not so fluid. I´m very sorry about my comments, but I do the best I can
Aug. 24, 2010 2:38 pm
I just brought clothes in before reading this, they smelled soooo good! There's no fabric softner that comes anywhere close to smelling as wonderful as the scent of line dried laundry! And how well I remember the wringer washer & the wash board too. Now here's a question for you all....have you ever seen wash out on the line in the dead of winter? Funny, those clothes dry out there too. Amazing!
Aug. 24, 2010 4:02 pm
We can sure see why perfumes with names like linen, summer cotton and all things reminiscent to anything freshly laundered are so popular.
Aug. 24, 2010 4:28 pm
I had a clothesline until I moved into a co-op apartment where they are not permitted. My mother also had a wringer washer, but she was a modern woman so the wringer was electric - my grandmother's was hand cranked. To this day I still do laundry on Monday (and when I had 5 kids I also did it the other 6 days LOL) Thanks for a stroll down memory lane.
Lee B 
Aug. 24, 2010 5:51 pm
Thanks for the trip down memory lane...My 71 yr.young mother still uses her clothesline. :) great topic!
Lee B 
Aug. 24, 2010 5:52 pm
Thanks for the trip down memory lane...My 71 yr.young mother still uses her clothesline. :) great topic!
Aug. 24, 2010 10:52 pm
How well I remember! Wringer washer, the smell of really clean clothes with no chemical enhancers except God's own fresh air! I did live in an apt. complex that had a clothesline, but just moved to one that has kids running all over the place late at night ("we can't set a curfew for children unless we set one for adults---it would infringe on the children's rights!!!"), but would not consider a clothesline. Did you know Vermont has a campaign to "legalize" clotheslines---it's called the "Right to Dry" campaign. I kid you not!
Aug. 25, 2010 4:57 am
dori..your comments are always welcomed here..don't worry about your English..even we get it wrong sometimes! Ralynb..LOL! and I haven't heard the phrase "I kid you not" forever...are you Canadian! This has been a fun topic.
Aug. 25, 2010 5:40 am
Good morning to you and thank you for starting my day off in a great manner--a flood of memories invaded and brought smiles to my face-a wringer machine was used at my beach community by 5 families and we kids loved it when it was our day--it got outlawed as a menace to environment--we all cried-one momism was hang out at night and the evening dampness overnight BLEACHED-things did appear brighter in the AM after a dose of sun-still have a line and hang out at night to bleach--as to sheets-no comparison and as to the towels-a dry thirsty towel absouletly dries better and just more enjoyably than one covered in chemicals (from dryer)-had a short mom and she had a closethespole that would raise the line a mile high-Still have a clothesline at the beach and do most of washing by hand--not the linens and hang out for sure I want to say thank you for this memory jog and the wonderful poem and recipe--you made my day-CAS
Aug. 25, 2010 5:43 am
It is a shame that there are places where you are not allowed to have a clothes line! I have a cousin who hauls her laundry to her mothers house to hang on the line! I am fortunate that I can walk out my back door and use my own. Always double hung, in color/type sequence. Hung in the basement on the water pipes in the winter months. Wringer washers, grew up with them also. My only thing now is that cotton clothes lines are so hard to find. Now a days they are nylon which does not hold up at all! By the way my cousin and I are in our early 40s. Like us, almost all of our other cousins, older and younger, use the line also.
Aug. 25, 2010 5:45 am
Oh, one more thing, the old wooden props were much better, (splinters and all) these metal ones stink!
Aug. 25, 2010 6:03 am
Here on the island we still dry our clothes on clothesline. Our tropical whether it's perfect all year long so we don't have an excuse for having a dryer.
Aug. 25, 2010 7:22 am
Well, I don't remember wringer washers, but I have used a clothesline since I was a little girl. My mother owned a hair salon in our home and I was in charge of the towels. Even in apartments I lived in - I had lines inside! I now have a clothes line that is huge! I can hang 7-8 loads of laundry at one time and even use it for sun bleaching the cloth diapers I use for my youngest son! There is nothing like fresh clothes off the line!
Aug. 25, 2010 7:26 am
I always dry my washing on a clothes line, weather permitting, and in Scotland, that is not every day! Due to our wet weather I have a pulley in the laundry and so I hang the washing up on that. At one point I had two sons in Southern California and I had them put up a clothes line for me when I stayed with them. There is such beautiful weather there it seems such a shame that so many Californians tumble dry their clothes. I know well that when I leave those families the clothes go back in the drier and not outside. I just love Allrecipes.
Aug. 25, 2010 8:25 am
Wonderful memories and stories...I remember being a teenager and having to be 'in charge' ofr hanging the laundry. Mom was the 'ironing Queen' and she would 'remind' me how to hang things properly :-) We just added a 2nd floor to our house, all bedrooms are now upstairs and the washer/dryer are off the bathroom. We have an open air deck off the master's going to have a clothes line REAL soon. Thanks for the memories...ummmm clean sheets and fresh baked bread, two of my favorite smells.
Aug. 25, 2010 8:54 am
When we moved into our house 35 years ago, my husband, who works for the electric company, went around the neighborhood telling everyone he was going to put a solar dryer in the backyard. The day he put it up all the neighbors came over to see what it was going to be like. Four lines later they realized my solar dryer was nothing but an old clothes line. Still use it to this day.
Aug. 25, 2010 8:57 am
I am just in from hanging my second line full for the day! When I can't hang the clothes outside I try not to wash those days! Nothing is better than fresh sheets in the bed!
Aug. 25, 2010 10:05 am
We still use clothes lines around here, I remember one of the houses we lived in my mom would put a clothes line in the basement next to the wood stove, it was always interesting to go down there and try to find something. It was also one of my dads favorite hide outs. It was always so warm. People around here do that too and I still hang clothes out to dry, but mostly the big things like bed sheets, pillows that I wouldn't put into the dryer and other big things. I love clothes lines and fresh stuff from outside.
Aug. 25, 2010 10:30 am
Watching sheets and towels dry in a fall wind is one of my favorite pastimes. And that smell - nothing like it! I can't believe that some neighborhoods do not allow clotheslines these days - where is their sense of "Saving the Planet"? My little 2-year-old grandkids also love playing with the clothespins - putting them one at a time into a plastic container and dumping them out again. Who needs NickJr.??
Aug. 25, 2010 10:42 am
We never had a clothesline when I was growing up because we lived in a very dusty desert area, so the clothes would come off the line dirtier than when they first went in the washing machine. I did have a clothesline myself a few years ago and I really liked it for most items. I did insist on drying towels in the dryer, though. Crunchy towels and I do NOT get along ;-)
Aug. 25, 2010 11:52 am
I was looking for a recipe today and came upon the line "Basic rules of the clothesline ...", I had to look. It brought tears of joy to my eyes with my own memories of childhood and clotheslines. I'm 46 and have had my own lines for 20 years. Through time, 3 children, school and busy schedules I stopped using the lines about 5 years ago. Today I decided to slowdown and stop. I hung-out towels to dry. I thought "what a luxury" as the towels flapped in the wind. I'm not into computers and have never read blogs or commented before, thanks for the opportunity,
Aug. 25, 2010 12:02 pm
I rarely use my dryer! Can't beat the smell of laundry fresh from outside. And it is therapeutic somehow, hanging up the clothes, lilstening to the birds chirping :)
Aug. 25, 2010 12:14 pm
Aw, I used to have a clothesline in my younger, poorer days! Your poem is just too precious, it made me a little teary!! I remember putting the diapers on the line, a line of pure white smelling of desert sunshine....that was lightyears ago, these days I am VERY happy with my new large front-loading dryer...thanks for that wonderful, warm and fuzzy memory burn...
Aug. 25, 2010 1:14 pm
I now live in the house I grew up in. The clothesline is still there and I use it from the time it's warm enough here (Wisconsin) until it's too cold. I LOVE the smell of the sheets when they're hung outside! I also still use the clothesline in the basement that's been there since I was a kid! I'd hate to have to live without it!
Aug. 25, 2010 1:54 pm
Nice post! If you go to laundrylist dot org you will find more info. on the clothesline "movement." We use one all summer, even in our urban environment, and it's a great way to grab a few moments away from the kids! :)
Aug. 25, 2010 2:11 pm
I still hang my clothes on the line all the time when I can. During the warm months I NEVER use my dryer. My husband made me two awesome clothes line poles. I have people stop by and ask where I bought them and I proudly say, "I married the manufacturer of those 34 years ago". I love to hang out, it is like meditation for me. Everything smells wonderful too.
Aug. 25, 2010 2:39 pm
I have used a clothesline for 40+years and i love it. we are moving into an apartment and home i can have a clothes line and when we move into our permanent home when paperwork gets done that is one of the first things to go up is a clothesline that i can do about 8 loads on( have two teens that love to change clothes frequently) and taking care of my dad and owning 4 businesses that use lots of laundry i wouldnt do it another way. the smell and warmth is awesome. to beat the stiff scratchiness is to watch them and pull them off line when just dry. i have it down to almost a science for oklahoma weather:) if hot and not windy it takes about 60 minutes if windy about 30 minutes or less depending on location of line.
Aug. 25, 2010 3:07 pm
I too am 50ish and remember using the clothesline. With my first baby I would have to scrape bars of lux soap to use to wash his diapers (he was allergic to other laundry detergents) then hang the clothes on the line. In the winter I would either dry them on a dryer rack spread over the floor furnace, or hang them out to freeze dry! My hands would get so red and frozen by the time I got done!! I also would iron my sheets. We had some old 100% cotton sheets given to us from my husbands grandmother. So I would starch and iron them, they made sleep heavenly!!
Aug. 25, 2010 4:18 pm
Beautiful blog and comments. After all the memories of the wringer washer, I just have to share the poignant words of my husband's elderly father as he lay confined by his seriously ill health in the hospital: "I'm just sitting here waiting for everything to come out through the wringer." It was so typical of him to bring a little laughter and sweetness to everything. That classic line is a part of us now, and we lovingly use it whenever there's not much else left to do but wait and see and hope for the best.
The Lakewoman 
Aug. 26, 2010 4:52 am
Just bought a house with great clothesline just outside the backdoor! Glad I brought my clothespole from my old house....long live the clothesline!
Aug. 26, 2010 5:32 am
So wonderful to know that a simple little blog on clotheslines can bring a moment of joy into so many lives!..thank you for all of your shared memories...a peak into your lives.
Aug. 26, 2010 5:34 am
TIP...I just read this avoid stiff jeans and towels...when you take them off the line, run them in the dryer for 15 min on no heat...still uses some electricity but not much on the no heat cycle..
Aug. 26, 2010 5:34 am
We're off to Toronto to visit family...may not post for a few days or so.
Aug. 26, 2010 5:48 am
Clotheslines have always been in use in my family. Mom still has one, both grandmothers had one and me too, I'm 45. I have no children. I would much rather use the sun. It's free and quick too. Plus I get a little exercise and enjoy the outdoors.
Aug. 26, 2010 7:00 am
Three years ago my husband had a custom clothes line made for our back yard. It will definitely outlast our home. I requested it because like others I wanted the special "smell" on my sheets and was tired of my clothes "shrinking" in the dryer. My daughter follows my thinking and line drys her clothes. I feel very satisfied after I clean my line, hang my clothes, and finally take them off the line. People think I'm weird but glad to find this website and know there are many like me out there.
Aug. 26, 2010 7:37 am
My husband built my line poles for me. They went up the week we bought the house! HAD to have them! Our old house you couldn't hang wash out so it was vital they were the first "addition" to our new home. When the kids were outside with me while I hung out wash they would want to help too... DH added a line just for them around the middle and they hung socks, washcloths their own little undies (so cute!) and other small things.
Aug. 26, 2010 7:38 am
So now I am curious as the what pins you all used? Mine are pinch pins. Never liked the push pins because they often left smudges. Pinch pins were easy for the kids to use......
Aug. 26, 2010 10:13 am
I remember my mother telling me how my aunt washed and hung a pair of men's pajamas every week even though they had not been worn, because she did not want the neighbors to know my uncle slept in his underwear!
Aug. 26, 2010 10:32 am
How about the washboard? I have one that my great-grandfather made for my great-grandmothe as a wedding gift in 1886! He fitted boards together to make the basic board and formed a soap tray at the top. Then he used thos U-shaped fencing nails with points on both ends, and straightened them a little into wide V's. Then he turned the points to the side and hammered them into the wooden board. You can see the wear on this board from all the hand wash done through the years. I now have it proudly hanging as wall decor in my laundry room.
Aug. 26, 2010 12:12 pm
Wow. By the amount of comments you can see how many memories were touched by this blog. Thanks for that. I too had a 5 foot mom and there were 5 of us kids so I could picture perfectly as you were describing your mom teetering so cautiously on the platform to hang our laundry. I also agree that the best night's rest is on sheets that have been hung out to dry! Thanks...
Aug. 26, 2010 1:21 pm
There is nothing like the smell of clothes and sheets that have been hung on the line to dry. I have a collapsable clothes line since we have a small yard but it does the trick. I do remember my mother hanging the sheets out and I'd walk between the rows while they were damp and cool. There was something seemingly magical about the feeling of cool, damp cotton sheets against my skin. My kids are grown and have no clotheslines, but my granddaughter can come and wander through our sheets any Saturday morning she'd like. I think I'll join her.
Aug. 26, 2010 1:42 pm
Great memories; how about the mad dash to get the clothes off the line, "everybody run, help!!" when it started to rain??!!
Aug. 26, 2010 4:56 pm
I would prefer a clothesline...saves money during the summer and the linens are so nice smelling.
Aug. 26, 2010 5:37 pm
The flood of memories this brought back was wonderful. My mom is 82 now and very frail. It made me remember her as the strong twenty something so beautiful and caring. She too loved the smell of fresh hung sheets for her children's beds. Thanks!
Aug. 26, 2010 6:12 pm
When I was a new mom living in Oklahoma and hanging out cloth diapers in the winter I would run the diapers through the wringer twice and then fold them in the basket a special that I could grab the corners and pinch them on the clothesline wire...they would freeze fast to the line and when they were all up I would go back and put on the pins. They froze solid and would wave in the wind..."where the wind comes sweeping down the plains" is not just a song lyric ...they would freeze dry from the top down. When the ends were flapping freely I knew they were dry. They were sooooo soft! And smelled fresh as new snow. I'm a lot older now, and own a dryer. I miss the diapers and the towels that were freeze-dried and so soft. Miss the babies that are now grown men. Oh, in those days I also starched and ironed my sheets and pillowcases. Miss that crisp feeling! Don't miss the cold, rainy days when I had to dry everything indoors and the windows would 'sweat' and the walls felt damp . But I do miss the smell of woolen mittens drying on the radiator...think I'll go cook up some starch and do up some pillowcases.
Aug. 26, 2010 9:49 pm
Several of these rules I was unaware of and will prove helpful to me as a budding clothesline enthusiast! I grew up without a clothesline, so I am giving it a go with my family of five's laundry. Love being outside instead of stuck in the basement!
Aug. 30, 2010 12:16 pm
Love it! I still hang clothes out on my clothes line, however I now live in the Northeast not Nebraska. In the Northeast everyone has there clothesline attached to the side of their house-usually from the deck and then to a tree out in the yard. In Nebraska there are very few trees (western part of the state) so some stong inventive male-dad welled poles together to create the ends of the clothesline. Great memories.
Oct. 14, 2010 4:24 am
Howdy, Cocojo - Miss seeing you around AR. Hope you're well!
Oct. 18, 2010 8:28 pm
Thanks mominator.....just a very busy fall...hope to be back soon...just taking a break
Oct. 18, 2010 8:28 pm
Thanks mominator.....just a very busy fall...hope to be back soon...just taking a break
Oct. 19, 2010 8:02 am
I understand. Take care, and have a Happy Halloween!
Oct. 24, 2010 1:15 pm
Hey Cocojo, I miss you too! I'm taking a break also! I'm lazy~
Pat D 
Jan. 1, 2011 4:49 am
Here it is 2011 and I wish you and your family a wonder full New Year. Hope you are feeling like blogging again soon. Hugs from Pat and Family
Jan. 7, 2011 5:02 am
Happy New Year~ Hope to see you around when you get time.
Jul. 21, 2011 7:14 am
Thanks for the stroll down memory lane!
Aug. 1, 2011 6:29 pm
Hi Cocojo: You are a creative writer! I last commented on your blog last summer. I do not remember using a clothesline growing up. I have since but kept forgetting to bring it in! I wish I managed it better. How are you doing with your diet/lifechange choices?
Dec. 26, 2011 9:43 am
Well Cocojo, just stopping by to see if you have popped in or updated. Hope you had a great 2011. I do wish there was a private message area on the AR site but there isn't so...I hope this message finds you and your husband well and enjoying the holidays.
Click to Change your Profile Picture

Member Since
May 2009

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Stir Frying, Italian, Mediterranean, Healthy, Vegetarian, Dessert, Quick & Easy, Gourmet

Gardening, Reading Books, Music, Painting/Drawing, Charity Work

Go Pro!

In Season

Fresh Summer Meals
Fresh Summer Meals

Enjoy the bright days of summer with easy recipes.

Do Healthy Your Way
Do Healthy Your Way

Low-fat, low-carb, paleo, vegan. Get recipes for your lifestyle.

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and helpful cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for just $7.99!

About Me
Loving life at 50ish. Kids are gone and I'm focusing on my career! I enjoyed running a chocolate truffle business for 3 years and now teach adults and children about chocolate. I also teach hands on cooking classes at a local cooking school and am writing my first cookbook! Please visit me at my blog
My favorite things to cook
I love to cook almost anything but particularly enjoy Italian. I have been studying Vegetarian and Vegan cooking for the last few years and love to make healthy meals.
My favorite family cooking traditions
from scratch cinnamon buns on Christmas morning...they take forever but Oh! so worth it!
My cooking triumphs
landing my dream job as a teaching chef.
My cooking tragedies
when I was teaching myself to cook way back in college, I made these wonderful oatmeal raisin cookies for my roomies....only problem was I forgot the flour! The cookies became one big mass that overflowed the cookie sheet and made a huge mess in the oven!
Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States