While the UK isn’t known for its clear and sunny skies, a retractable washing line is still a must-have.
When your drying is powered by the sun, it doesn’t cost you a penny except for the initial investment in the line itself, which is still a far smaller investment than a tumble dryer. Plus you can install them yourself with very little work and clothes finish up smelling great!
A product that saves you money and is environmentally-conscious is always worth buying. Here are our recommendations for the best products available on the market right now.
1# Best Retractable Washing Line: The Minky
The Minky Retractable Reel Washing Line is perfect to hang over small gardens, patios, or balconies, making it an ideal small space solution.
It comes in two sizes, 15m and 30m: however, rather than being one very long line, the 30 m size is actually two 15m lines that run parallel to one another.
You may not have been considering a dual washing line, but you have to admit that it is a clever way to double your hanging space without taking up too much extra square footage. The Minky Retractable Reel Washing Line attaches to the wall with a bracket: all the wall fixings come standard with the kit.
The lines are coated with strong PVC which makes it easy to wipe the lines clean and also protects the lines from getting weathered too much by sunlight. On days when you aren’t doing any washing you can easily retract the lines, and in the winter months you can stow the whole unit away since it easily unclips from its wall bracket for storage purposes.
The Minky Retractable Reel Washing Line can hold up to 25kg which is impressive, especially when you take into account the fact that most tumble dryers don’t have more than about an 8kg capacity: if you get the 30m size, it’s equivalent to about 3 average-sized wash loads: you’ll definitely notice the changes to your energy bill over time when you reach for the Minky washing line instead of utilising a tumble dryer.
Buy on amazon: Minky Retractable Washing Line
How To Install The Minky Retractable Washing Line
The Minky Retractable Washing Line is quite simple and intuitive to install. Read on to learn more:
- Look for a place to install the wall bracket so you can mount the unit that houses the retractable lines.
- Make sure there’s a place about 15m away from the wall bracket where you can attach the lines when you pull them out to start drying your items. That could include a garden post, a bit of fence, or the wall of a garage or shed. If you’re installing two lines, make sure to leave enough space between them for breeze to blow through.
- Install hooks where you can attach the lines when they are fully extended.
Other Good Heavy Duty Outdoor Washing Lines
Whilst the Minky is out top selection when it comes to retractable washing lines, we have put together list of alternative options. Here are some other lines you might also want to consider:
#2 Metaltex Double Line Washing Line
The Metaltex Double Line 30m Outdoor Retractable Washing Line shares several similarities with the Minky line detailed above. They both offer dual independently retractable washing lines with automatic mechanism to help reel in the lines when the unit isn’t in use.
The lines feed back into a sturdy box which can be mounted on a spring bracket either outdoors or indoors if you’d like to be able to air dry your clothes in a bathroom or laundry room instead of outside.
While lines extend out 30m, you don’t have to use the full length: just unwind to the length you need and secure it with a locking device. The Metaltex comes complete with one 30m retractable washing line, two brickwork and wall screws, four raw plugs, and two line hooks.
Buy on Amazon: Metaltex Double Washing Line
#3 Dryzem Dual Retractable Washing Line
The Dryzem Dual Retractable Washing Line consists of two 15m lengths of fully retractable clotheslines stored neatly and conveniently in a UV stable housing unit, giving you the option to utilise up to 30m of space for line drying.
Said housing unit is adjustable: it moves side to side, allowing it to be stored neatly against a wall, while still giving you some flexibility. Each line is independently retractable so you can hide away unsightly washing lines when not in use, and both lines are fitted with a locking cleat mechanism so you can decide how much line you need to use at a given time.
When you’re done using your Dryzem line, you can quickly rewind it with an automatic mechanism that recalls the lines and fully locks them back into the housing unit with a flush fitting clasp, so the lines will stay safely hidden away from accumulating dirt, germs, and grime when not in use.
The Dryzem option comes with fitting instructions and a complete fixing kit that even includes hooks.
Buy on Amazon: Dryzem Dual Washing Line
#4 Addis 15m Laundry Sense Washing Line
The Addis 15m Laundry Sense Retractable Washing Line is the only washing line on our list that doesn’t offer up to 30m of drying space with dual lines: this single line unit includes just one 15m line, along with three wall plugs, two screws, and one hook for setting up the unit.
The Addis line, much like the other washing lines we’ve discussed here, is ideal for homes where space is at a premium: the manufacturer suggests the carport as an appropriate location to fix the housing unit (or rotary airer, as they call it), though they emphasize it can be used either indoors or outdoors.
Just secure the rotary airer to your chosen wall, and unwind the line to your desired length. To tighten the line and secure it in place, simply wind it around the bottom of the hook located on the plastic cover. This line, like all Addis products, comes with the Addis guarantee of quality.
Buy on Amazon: Addis Washing Line 15m
How long do they last?
Unfortunately, retractable wash lines can be temperamental and unreliable. A lot of the times, their performance can be affected by unpredictable elements like how windy a given area is. But at under £15 for even top of the line retractable wash line setups, you can replace them very inexpensively, especially when you hold them up against the money you save by not operating an energy-sucking tumble dryer.
What tools do you need to install a washing line?
You can install a retractable wash line quite easily. The main tool you’ll need is a drill for mounting anchors or housing units into the wall. If your unit doesn’t come standard with a wall bracket, you’ll want to get one of those, along with some screws. You’ll also need hooks so you can connect the extended washing lines at another point 15m from you wall mount.
Any suggestions on pegs to use?
You can’t hang your wash on the line without clothes pegs! We love the Caraselle Ecoforce Strong Hurricane Force Grip Clothes Pegs. Not only are they super sturdy (in perhaps our favorite ever customer review, a grandmother marvelled that her grandchildren had so far been unable to destroy them), they’re eco-conscious, too: they’re made from recycled plastic. Because hanging your wash up to dry is a definitively eco-friendly action, we love the thought of amping up that environmental consciousness to clothes pegs, too.
How windy is too windy for washing?
A bit of wind is actually beneficial for drying your wash. It gets your garments to dry much faster, and enough of a stiff breeze can whip the wrinkles right out of some of your clothes. As long as long as you have solid clothes pegs and you hang your washing with enough of them, anything short of storm-force winds should be fine. Only you can really judge though what wind conditions are too much for you to manage in your particular location.