The introduction of the electric clothes dryer in 1937 caused the popularity of outdoor clotheslines to diminish. In addition, many cities and homeowner associations banned clotheslines for aesthetic reasons. However, since drying clothes outdoors saves energy and reduces the threat of fires and pollution from flying lint, clotheslines are making a comeback. Install a pulley clothesline between two anchor points to eliminate the need to drag a heavy washing basket back and forth while hanging your laundry.
Things You'll Need
- Masking tape
- Step stool or ladder
- Drill bit, 3/16-inch
- Cordless drill
- Threaded hooks, 2-inch by 1/4-inch
- Braided cotton clothesline, 7/32-inch
- Clothesline tightener
- Clothesline pulleys, 2-inch by 8-inch
- Clothesline dividers
Choose two convenient anchor points spanning a level stretch of ground. For example, choose either two tall trees, an 8-foot tall, 4-by-4 anchor post and a tree or a tree or post and the side of your house.
Mark each anchor point on the opposing posts with a strip of masking tape at a height to suit your own physical stature. Stand in front of the post, reach upward and apply the masking tape to the posts at the highest point that you can reach comfortably without stretching.
Stand on a small step stool or ladder. Drill 3/16-inch pilot holes into the opposing anchor points, using a cordless drill. Insert a threaded hook into each hole. Twist the hooks clockwise to tighten them, using the pliers.
Secure the looped end of a line tightener to one end of the clothesline with a bowline knot. Form a small loop about 12 inches from the end of the line to hold the line tightener. Pass the end of the line back over itself from right to left. Grip the junction with your left thumb and forefinger to prevent the loop from unraveling. Pass the end of the line upward through the loop, around the back of the line and back down through the loop to form the knot. Tug the line on both sides to tighten the knot.
Slip the mounting rings of two 8-inch diameter clothesline pulleys over each anchor hook. Let the pulleys hang downward.
Pass the long end of the clothesline up around the first pulley so that it rests in the groove. Walk over to the second pulley while holding the line. Thread the clothesline over the second pulley and into the groove. Walk back to the line tightener while holding the end of the line.
Pass the end of the line through the hole in the front of the line tightener. Hold the tightener in your left hand and tension the line by pulling it firmly through the tightener with your right hand until the entire clothesline is taut. Trim off any excess line; the spring-loaded pawls in the tightener will grip the line and prevent it from sliding back out.
Hook the upper line through the opening on the pulley end of an elongated S-shaped clothesline divider, so that the pulley groove rests on top of the upper line. Loop the lower line through the gap in the upper face of the bottom section of the divider to support the lower line. This will prevent the lower line from sagging under the weight of wet laundry.
Attach two or three more line separators, depending on the length of the clothesline. Space all separators at even intervals along the length of the clothesline.
Tips & Warnings
- Add more clothesline dividers if three or four are not sufficient to prevent a longer clothesline from sagging under the load.
- Be sure all attachments and connection points are tight and secure.
- Be careful not to overload your pulley clothesline.
- Check attachments and connection points frequently, to ensure they remain tight and secure.
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
How to Install a Clothesline
A clothesline will save you money, conserve energy and give your laundry that fresh, outdoor aroma.
How to Make a Pulley Clothes Line
Electric and gas dryers are energy hogs. Using a pulley clothes line is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to save...
How to Install Umbrella Clothesline
An old fashioned umbrella style clothesline is ideal for saving space when your yard space is limited and you do not have...
How to Install a Clothesline Tightener
There is nothing quite like the smell of clothes that have been dried on an outdoor clothesline. But after many uses, a...
How to Install a Clothesline Pole
Drying your laundry in the open air on a clothesline conserves energy and helps trim the household budget. You can choose from...