General Question

DandyDear711's avatar

What do you think of people who have those outdoor clotheslines in their backyard?

Asked by DandyDear711 (1512points) November 16th, 2010

You know – those old fashion clotheslines that look like umbrellas. You can see people’s clothes – underwear, jeans, towels etc. – from the street.

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40 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

I’m awfully glad I had one in September when my dryer broke. Hooray for those people who reduce their carbon footprint by using their clotheslines! Anybody who doesn’t like them has the option of not looking at them. Somebody’s clean clothes are not offensive.

mrentropy's avatar

Generally speaking I think they’re fine.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I used to have a pulley one, from the back door to the street light pole out back. I need to put that back in; thanks for the reminder. Cheaper than the dryer, and if it bothers anyone’s sensibilities to see laundry for a day, then I would have to suggest that they get a life.

augustlan's avatar

I don’t think anything of the people who use them. I’m not a fan of the look of it, but it’s not any kind of major issue for me. I know that I wouldn’t have the fortitude to hang all of my clothes out to dry. The excema on my hands would go crazy if I had to do it in the winter! Not to mention the fact that I’m way too lazy to do all that hard work. But it’s better for the environment, so more power to them.

jrpowell's avatar

We mostly use ours for blankets. My sleeping bag is on ours now. It saves electricity and wear and tear on the drier.

Blackberry's avatar

It’s a good way to dry clothes. What do I think of the people that do it? They’re okay to me lol.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I think they look especially good next to the outside wood burning furnaces.

meiosis's avatar

I think the clothes lines are excellent and the people who own them are sensible. Anyone who is bothered by it has bizarre issues.

SuperMouse's avatar

I think clotheslines are great. They save money the clothes smell fresh, and they are not bad for the environment. I want one for my own backyard.

Jayy's avatar

wow really? Down here in aus everyone uses it as long as you’re not living in an apartment or in the city.

Seelix's avatar

I’ve heard that some people think the use of clotheslines and those umbrella-type things are unsightly. Personally, I think those people probably make way too much money to have to worry about utility bills.

I live in an apartment building and so can’t have a clothesline, but I definitely would if I could. I have a little folding rack that I use to dry a lot of my clothes indoors; it saves me a little money and I don’t care if my socks or underwear are wrinkly.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
mrentropy's avatar

But I do wish I could see the neighbor lady’s knickers.

Skippy's avatar

I love the smell of sheets on the bed after they’ve been hung out to dry, but can’t stand to see granny’s panties hanging out there.
In my little po-dunk town, it’s a regular feature in many yards when you drive past. (even in Winter)

Fun part is back in the day you knew when someone had a baby, guests in their homes or divorce was happening, just by looking at the clothes line.
It was, and in some cases, better than town gossip.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I think they know how to make clothes smell good! : )

bunnygrl's avatar

oh my! I wasn’t sure at first if this was a serious question. I don’t have a “whirlygig” or rotary airer outside but I do have four proper metal clothes poles in my garden, just as all of my neighbours do, which gives me 8 good sized lines to hang washing on during the summer. I consider myself very lucky, and have been told so by some of my colleagues who live in flats (apartments) and don’t have the luxury of being able to hang out their laundry.

I don’t know what age you are sweetheart, and I mean no offence I promise you, but any housewife/homemaker, will tell you that there is no scent on this earth like fresh sheets/bedding just brought in from the line after a day of blowing in the sunshine and fresh air. It is just glorious, and makes going to bed at night a joy. Yes, I have a dryer in my kitchen for emergencies (I need those jeans now!! lol) but as others have said, with the price of utility bills who can afford to run it? and if God is giving us warm sunshine, who’d want to? No, my undies have never seen the outside line, but lines of clean white shirts, jeans, and bedding, bedding bedding…. just beautiful.

It had honestly never occurred to me that it was even possible that seeing lines of clean laundry was something which could provoke someone to look down their nose at me, and to be honest, I really…. I’m trying to be polite and not cause offence, I really am. I don’t know about anywhere else in the world but in Scotland a housewife counts herself blessed if her back garden is big enough to give her a few lines. We’re a houseproud lot us Scots housewives.

I do think that you sound a little immature sweetheart, and maybe need to grow up a little and find some real things to be offended by. What about all of the prejudice in the world (in all its forms), children who don’t have enough to eat, people without homes, the effect that the economic downturn has had worldwide on normal people. With all of this going on, you’re offended by looking at clean washing blowing in the wind?

edit: just had a thought after re-reading your question. Maybe I’m wrong and you’re not implying that there is anything wrong with hanging out a wash? I’m not sure anymore, and if I was wrong about your opinion, I apologise. Either way, my opinion is still the same, good for the planet, good for your clothes, good for your heart, on two levels :-) There is the extra excercise which we could all do with, and there is the wonderful feeling inside when you bring it all in and get to ironing beautifully fresh laundry. There’s no feeling like it.

iamthemob's avatar

I’m with @meiosis on this one – they are reducing their costs (electricity or laundromat) as well as reducing their carbon footprint. They make me jealous I don’t have a yard.

zenvelo's avatar

those are the people with fresh smelling, soft feeling clothes. And they are energy wise! I think they are smart!

bunnygrl's avatar

@DandyDear711 lol I know. Ironing isn’t my favourite past time I have to admit so I usually put some cool music on (some Dean Martin, Sinatra maybe) and off I go, a happy wee thing singing along and it all gets done in no time. Of course sometimes I also watch tv while I iron, normally the BBC news24 channel or BBC Parliament (I’m a politics buff) and then I can even amuse myself by throwing the occasional sock at the screen when our Prime Minister shows up :-)
huggles xx
EDIT: @DandyDear711 Wanted to apologise too for my comments above in my original reply. I had clearly misunderstood. I thought you were looking down on folk with lines, obviously you’re weren’t and I’m sorry <hugs> xx

CaptainHarley's avatar


You’re “a wee thing?” : )

bunnygrl's avatar

@CaptainHarley Well, I’m only just over 5 foot 2 inches tall,and my legs are so short that sometimes I’m surprised that my little feet even reach my shoes, so yeah, pretty much. In my next life I want to be 5 foot 10” and all legs :-) well, I can dream can’t I lol.

Brian1946's avatar

I admire them for reducing their carbon footprint and seeing clotheslines takes me back to when my mom used them, so I also have a nostalgic appreciation of them.

If there are clothesline towers that look like trees, then I might get one.
What sight would be more sublime than one featuring my sox hanging from an autumnal maple?
Now that’s what I call fall foliage! :-p

trailsillustrated's avatar

ugh! I grew up pegging up washing. I lived in s australia, in the hills. where it’s cold in the winter. Turnin an ankle to get out there to the stupid line, prying the cold, cold stiff clothes off, the steamy mess strung around the rafters above the woodstove- no thanks no thanks- I can see a line from my kitchen window here in the states, they leave the washing up there for days

tigress3681's avatar

People who take advantage of solar power to dry clothes are awesome! As fugly as particular types of devices may be, the fact that these people are not using electricity and thus contributing to the consumption of coal cannot be underappreciated!

Someone come install something for me to use to line dry my clothes please!

JilltheTooth's avatar

Although I love the way stuff smells just off the line, the whole “bird-poop-on-my-clothes” thing was kind of yicky.

mattbrowne's avatar

What do you think of people who use dryers when they actually got the space to use outdoor clotheslines and plenty of sunshine?

Aethelwine's avatar

They are common where I live, so I have to wonder why someone wouldn’t have a clothesline. I’m not saying you are judging anyone @DandyDear711, but I have honestly never heard that anyone had a beef with them until I became a member of Fluther. I only say this because this question was asked not too long ago, and that is when I learned people in some cities thought they were unsightly.

I’m so glad I live in the country where people aren’t going to judge me for putting my clothes out to dry. lol

Ivy's avatar

It’s a matter of values. I look out my kitchen window at my neighbor’s vehicles .. all of them: their two SUVs, their 5th wheel, and their boat, all blocking my view, and fantasize vaporizing all of them. They, on the other hand, would like to do the same to my small clothesline in my big backyard.

OpryLeigh's avatar

It’s not unusual to see them here in the UK, we even had one t one point and I believe my Grandmother still does. I don’t really think anything of people who have them although I’m sure they save energy though.

squirbel's avatar

When I was younger, I used to look down on the families that had clotheslines. I’d think:

“Wow. They can’t even afford…”

Now that I am older, I think:

“Man, I should put one on my land. Those people, whether they can afford a dryer or not, are less wasteful than the rest of us.”

Once I actually put one up, I’ll think:

“Man! My clothes smell so fresh, and I don’t have to worry about shrinkage! Sunshine smells so good!!!!!! I feel good about myself~”

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Nullo's avatar

I have no problem with it. Apparently, not even an ocean of bleach gets the whites as white as a good sunbath.

I don’t much go in for the clothesline; I’ve never been able to figure out how to get fluffy towels from one. Plus, I do most of my laundry at night.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I think they’re smart – why waste money on drying clothes when nature gives you a perfectly good alternative. My family has always used clothes lines, from Azerbaijan to Russia…here, my mother uses a dryer and so do we, sometimes, but if we can get certain things on the line, we do, especially babies’ cloth diapers.

DandyDear711's avatar

@Nullo – Towels from the line can double as exfoliators.

augustlan's avatar

@jonsblond I think you hit the nail on the head… it’s a city vs. country thing. I’m definitely a city girl, and until fairly recently had never lived anywhere where people routinely used clotheslines. Growing up, the only times I ever saw them in use was driving by the government housing projects. Many people living there couldn’t afford the extra expense of drying their clothes at the laundromat, so there were tons of makeshift lines strung across their apartment balconies. Probably a negative association formed in my young mind. I’m a lot more open-minded about it now, and see how beneficial it is in many ways. Still too lazy to do it, though!

OpryLeigh's avatar

@augustlan Funnily enough, in contrast to your association with the make shift washing lines of poorer communities, I have quite a positive feeling towards them. I don’t see them so much now as I live in a slightly more suburban area but when I was more city/large town based I used to feel at home when I saw them. There is something very humble and non-pretentious about these makeshift washing lines and on the rare occassion that I see them now, I always get taken back to my childhood.

mattbrowne's avatar

In Germany it’s very common and it has nothing to do with wealth.

bunnygrl's avatar

@Nullo my towels and bedding are all line dried whenever its dry, and are all gloriously soft and fluffy. I use a good quality fabric conditioner/softener (in addition to my laundry/soap powder which is always a “two in one” so already has conditioner added anyway), its one of my few luxuries but well worth the extra cost I think. I’m especially fussy about my bedding and towels lol.

If you do end up with harsh rough feeling towels, pop them into the dryer for maybe 8–10 minutes with a damp (not wet) face cloth/flannel and this will soften them for you. I still prefer a fine quality fabric conditioner though, as little luxuries go it’s ok I think, some girls go for diamonds I love my fabric conditioner lol.
huggles xx

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