Tips AU

The ultimate cheat sheet to hanging washing

By Katie

Updated: August 23rd, 2018

Say no to an increasing electricity bill with these nifty hacks when hanging washing

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It’s easy to use the dryer but did you know it’s also the second biggest drain on electricity in your home? So, to save money off your next electricity bill buy a clothing horse or start using the washing line – pronto.

It might seem like a lot more effort but it really isn’t if you use these 7 tips next time you hang your washing.

Use hangers

Use coat hangers to hang your shirts to not only keep them in shape, but also half your ironing time. If you’re still inclined to use the dryer, do so, but after you’ve hung them out and they are almost dry. That way you’ll only need to put the shirts in for less than 20 minutes.

Source: Instructables

Maximise space

When you are putting on one, two, three or even four loads of washing a weekend (or day), you can find yourself playing the waiting game until the last load is dry. By overlapping the edges of clothes, it will allow for a bit more space and also use up less pegs – which have you noticed, always seem to go missing…

Source: Urban Cultivator

Another brilliant idea is to hang items across the lines rather than on the line, see how that works below.

Source: Imgur

Use the sun

Can’t remove those stubborn stains? The sun is more powerful than you realise as it will actually make your white clothes look more whiter and brighter.

Turn clothes inside out

As much as the sun is good for white clothes, for coloured and darker clothes it’s another story. Over time colours can fade and it’s important to protect them as much as possible, by either taking them out of direct sunlight and/or turning them inside out.

Source: Daily Mail

5. Go upside down

Ever had that moment when you take a top off to wear that day and you have peg marks that you can seem to get rid of? Well to avoid ugly marks on your favourite blouse hang it upside down.

6. Remove excess water

Your clothes will dry a lot faster if you can squeeze as much water as you can out of them. The best way to do this is to use a clean dry towel and roll up the piece of clothing inside the towel (like a roulade) as tightly as you can, then unroll and hang on the line.

Source: One Good Thing By Jillee

7. Flat drying

For clothes that stretch, such as jumpers and dresses, make sure you lay them to flat dry so that the shape reminds intact. This can be on a table, the ground (make sure you use a towel underneath), or these days you can actually buy flat dryers for this purpose.

Have you got any other laundry hacks for hanging out washing? Let us know in the comments below.



Marketing Communications Manager Katie is bright, bubbly and slightly obsessed with sport whether it's watching or playing in social teams. She also enjoys music and the fact that she can walk to and from the beach.

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  1. Pauline Hudspith

    Sunlight also gets tide of tomato stains

  2. Pauline Hudspith

    Rid not tide

  3. Glenn

    If you are in a hurry and it is a hot and still day just hang your clothes without pegs you will have it done in no time

  4. Anonymous

    Always peg t-shirts under the arm so the peg marks don’t show

  5. John

    I always put washed clothes straight onto hangers and onto the line. For stiffer fabric I quickly brush them with my hands to remove any wrinkles so that no ironing is required. When dry I then just place the clothe already on hanger straight into the wardrobe and presto.
    (socks and underwear are hanged on those multi-hangers, or just placed on the line without a peg. )

  6. Sam

    But a hanging peg tree from a $2 to hang your socks and undies. It’ll not only save time but also pegs!

  7. Tracy

    I live in Far North Queensland, so hanging clothes on the line is very damaging to the clothes. My hubby rigged up a good quality heavy duty tarp over my clothes line, and now not only do my clothes have protection from that extreme heat/ultra violet sun, but they can still be hung when it is wet season and they will dry. You can have your local upholsterer sew up a heavy duty cover for your clothes line too. My inlaws have one, it’s Excellent!

  8. Carole Corry

    Someone told me once and it’s a great tip, if you wear it at the top, hang it from the bottom, if you wear it at the bottom, hang it from the top.

  9. Anon

    Sox on clothes and pegs on sox. Space saving plus saves peg marks ruining clothes

  10. Helen Whittle

    If I am using my clothes horse to hang the washing in the courtyard, I keep all non-ironing items to my right and the items that may need a pressing to my left. When I come to gather the dried washing, it makes it much quicker and easier to fold and put away, into the appropriate drawers or ironing basket indoors.

  11. Sally

    I fold my sheets before hanging the open folded ends on the line. This saves having to put half of it over, and when they are dry, just unpeg at one end and start folding, one peg at a time, half your folding work is already done

  12. Katriba

    Hang all socks onto a small Asian clothes clip that will accommodate many pairs and any odd socks when dry – go into a holding bin until their partner turns up. Sort it weekly to reunite pairs again. It is so much easier to sort socks this way and also it is much quicker to get them off the line and pair them up while watching TV in the add breaks.!!

  13. Katrina

    Give shirts and T- Shirts and jeans a quick hard flick when taking them out of the washing machine. This will reduce ironing time and shake most crinkles out. Always lie dry items neatly in a basket or over your forearm when transporting items from clothes line back inside. Be efficient in your methods to cut down on laundry and ironing times!

  14. Elissa

    Don’t bother pegging socks and jocks. Throw them onto the lawn or clean pavement. They dry pretty fast there and if your car is in a More private space, lay clothes or whatever on the bonnet of the car. Worksa treat;-)

  15. Mike

    Hang socks next to each other and by the toe. When the time comes to take them off, fold the end of one sock into the other so you already have the socks together.

  16. lisa

    Before hanging, give each item a swift and strong ‘shake’
    it seems to shake out a lot of wrinkles and creases and saves on ironing

    for items that must be ironed, i sometimes iron them wet straight out of the machine and then put on coathangers and dry after ironing
    the ironing wont be as crisp as when done after drying, but for childrens school shirts and dresses, the job is perfectly acceptable

    when removing clothes from the line, take the extra time to fold or at least lay neatly, clothes carelessly thrown into a basket wrinkle badly.

  17. Gloria

    For clothes that lose their shape easily like t-shirts, don’t stretch them when hanging them on the line wet, just fold them over and spread ‘loosely’ that way when you take them off the line they are not in the same shape that you hung them up as!

  18. Anja

    Three good shakes before hanging up clothes makes ironing very easy

  19. Trevor

    Save time in your day by not wasting it reading stupid articles about how to hang your washing.

  20. Tracy

    I have a cover over my clothes line, as I live in the tropics of Far North Queensland, which protects my clothes from the sun & the rain (ie Wet Season). Mine is custom made, by an upholsterer, but you can achieve the same with a heavy duty Tarpoulin.

  21. Josh

    One of my favourite tips is wearing clothes and sitting in them when they are just nearly dry and only feel a little damp – the body warmth finishes off the drying process, and hey presto, presses the clothes as well. The hard part is timing when you have several items in your laundry wash, and its also quite problematic to wear sheets and pillowcases which don’t actually have built in sleeves and holes for legs like (for example) shirts and pants.

  22. Carole Baker

    Overlapping clothes on the line to save on pegs just results in undried or damp corners which can end up very smelly and very stale, indeed. The idea is to get a goodly amount of fresh air circulating amongst the clothes. Stubborn oil stains on clothes benefit from rubbing gently with kitchen washing-up detergent pre wash. Works on everything, even silk. For silks, handwash in a bucket of warm water with mild detergent which has been thoroughly dissolved. Rinse thoroughly in tepid water and then spin-dry before hanging inside-out on the line. Iron when still damp and hey presto!, like new.

  23. Edith Molina

    Whites with stubborn stains, when it is very sunny (summer the best time) put the garment (after washed) in a wide container with a little water with detergent and squeeze lemon juice on the stain and live it under the sun until the stain disappears. It doesn’t work for colour runs.

  24. Clare

    I loop all the shorts and undies onto my arm as I take them out of the machine and it means less bending to pick them out of the basket.

  25. Jodi

    Hang a few jocks together on one peg, shake all clothing before you hang as this shakes out wrinkles & fluff & also hang your jeans etc upside down as this pulls out some wrinkles (just learned this it works).

  26. Beautiful dining room and I love the art! I feel your pain on the 3M srpits not working… I used some of the heavy duty srpits to hang some flat mirrors (no hanging hardware on the back) in our basement. They worked well for about a month I think, then one night we heard a huge crash and breaking glass – one of the mirrors fell on the tile floor and broke. 🙁 So sad. I knew it was possible because the paint on the wall was semi-gloss, but still! I thought they were sticky enough, too. Guess not. At least your artwork fared better than my mirror, may it rest in peace. :)~Chelsea

  27. Tom

    if you have a split cycle air conditioner running put the clothes on a drying rack at the hot air exhaust of the compressor unit

  28. K105

    My hack is about the other end of drying – I hate folding and sorting clean washing then carrying it around the house to put away, so now I have a tub for each person in the family, and take stuff off the line, fold it/roll socks, and put it directly into each person’s tub. Each tub goes straight to each bedroom for its owner to unpack and bring back to the laundry. Saves me a lot of time.

  29. My Scottish mother-in-law said one should hang socks from the tops. Her reasoning for this was to avoid pegging in the areas which would wear out first. The pegs caused friction therefore she kept them away from hard wear areas, the toes and heels, to avoid holes.

  30. Rachel

    I spray ironing starch onto any clothes that are generally ironed, like business shirts, as soon as I get them out of the machine. Spray and then smooth them out with a flat palm and hang on a hanger, ironing takes half the time. I also have the issue of not enough space to hang my 5+ loads of washing per day on, so I fold teatowels and towels singlets etc in half lengthways. They don’t take much longer to dry but I can fit it all onto my fold out clothes airer. I wash a lot! I am also time poor so anytime I have to rewash something it is annoying to say the least. To avoid this I use a cup of ammonia or a cup of vinegar to my washing load baking soda is great too. For the ultimate grease and stain remover use a few drops of pure essential oil. Amazing results and beautifully scented washing

  31. Jeff

    If you can, put the clothes through a second spin dry cycle in washing machine before hanging or using a clothes dryer.

  32. tried it

    On wet days I use a portable line and place a golf umbrella over the top..keeps clothes from getting sopping wet and they do dry

  33. I never spend hours ironing, ( Believe me I use to) what a waste of time it is.. I now hang cloths up and iron them when i need to wear them.

  34. Dotty Hazell

    I peg my T-shirts and some dresses and shirts under the Armpits. mum taught me this one.. it hides the peg marks and helps to keep t-shirts in shape.

  35. Ian

    Leave the pegs on the line — don’t put them back in a peg tin/bag/container each time.
    Don’t buy wooden pegs
    Buy “good” quality pegs if you want to leave them on the line !
    Enjoy !

  36. Anonymous

    Great tips, thanks ?

  37. Jeanette

    For jumpers or similar knitwear that can be hung on the line, an old tip but a good one is to thread some old pantyhose from a peg through one arm, over the line and out the other arm to another peg. This will avoid any peg marks and possible stretching.

  38. Justine

    Pair the socks as you put them on the line…leave a gap next to single socks and when it’s mate surfaces from the basket you can peg it in the gap…roll them in pairs as you remove them when dry.
    Put small items on a mini hanging portable drier…then hang that on the line…makes it easy to bring them in quickly and safer on a shared line to bring them in at night (which is commonly when underwear goes missing)

  39. Danni

    I peg tops by the underarm and shirts at the bottom. I always fold my clothes as I take them off the line, then just put them away… I very rarely have to iron anything. I also shake my towels before hanging to make them fluffy and gets rid of any loose fluff.

  40. Ildi Tonkin

    I use an airer rack to hang out small items in a handy patch of sun. Socks, undies, tea towels, etc.. go on it. No pegs needed. Just drape over the lines. I can even get two towels on mine. One at either end.

  41. Janet Elliott

    I love this article. Living in Australia we are so lucky to be able to hand our washing outside and get it dry in one day. I lived in UK for a long time, and I either had to put washing on racks over radiators, or in winter, hang them outside and guess when they were worth bringing inside i.e. when the ice had melted!!

    I’m renting at moment, and one of my serious decisions about a new place to live is “can I hang my washing outside” and hopefully in my own space.

    I hang all shirts, tshirts on hangers and never need to iron them.

  42. Never hang jeans with the fly undone, as in the idea 4. This tends to cause a fading in the shape of V from the bottom of the fly up , when the trousers are worn with this faded V it looks ridiculess.

  43. Bruce Laidlaw

    Hang sheets by the corners, between two parallel lines if you can. When they’re dry you can fold them as you unpeg them. Easy!

  44. Jill Clark

    I have always put my washing on the line in the manner described above… Saves a lot of time and energy .
    Also, not that many people seem to use them these days, but if you have stained nappies and hang them out on a frosty night, the stains will disappear! (Mostly).

  45. Bettina

    Never hang black clothes in the sun. It fades the colour and makes them look old and worn out quickly.
    I keep a rack next to the washing machine with hangars and hang them directly from the machine then straight into the wardrobe

  46. Jennifer

    Throw bras inside out over the line. No peg needed. Space undies and jocks so the sun can take care of any lingering germs.

  47. Debbie

    Have tall guys in the family?
    Problem with tshirts always getting shorter?
    Hold the Tshirt from bottom edge… Swing a few times to shape and keep length. Then shake and hang .. Really works to keep them long !!

  48. Wendy

    Hang your jeans by the cuff as the weight of them takes the wrinkles out, simply fold and leave for a while and they won’t need ironing!

  49. P

    I live with my 3 kids & as I hang the washing I use one section of the clothesline per childs’ clothes…. as I take washing off the line I fold it, & therefore all clothes are brought into the house already folded & sorted for each child to put away! Saves so much time & is so much nicer folding washing outdoors instead of inside! 🙂

  50. sherry

    I always use clothes hangers to put out tops and trousers. I also peg socks bras etc onto metal hangers. In winter they are easy to grab. They are also easy to hang on curtain poll so they dry in warm rooms. Even on cold days the earth from window glass is enough to dry them. My daughter has loads of small baby items which when pegged to a hanger, and hung on curtain poll up high, stop the risk of fires as they wont fall off, and toddler cant tear down ?

  51. sherry

    Also, try using safety pin to group small things and put on line. Super fast for sorting socks, bibs etc

  52. udi

    many of my tips are already here, but this one. hang undies from there crotch to stop the waist elastic from stretching.

  53. Diana

    To free up time hanging clothes I lay all my family’s socks on my outdoor table and they dry up pretty quickly .

  54. Susie

    Peg one sock to the line by the toe, and peg its mate vertically to it at their cuffs. Socks are already sorted. When dry, just unclip and fold them together. Hanging the pairs vertically also saves space on the line.

    If you love fluffy towels that have been dried in the clothes dryer, save on electricity by hanging them on the line till half dry, then finish them off in the dryer.

  55. anthony bugeja

    We bought a ClevaCover from a store for our line. Specially made for our conditions. Keeps close dry when raining and stops bird/bat poo getting on your clothes! I think you can buy them online -(about $150) – best investment we ever made! I would think a lot cheaper than getting one custom made for you too.

  56. Steven

    With socks that you have as a pair out of the basket, pinch the inside tops of the two together, crease that pinched double cloth layer over the line, and use one peg to peg that pair on the line. For added efficiency, roll from the bottom when dry, unpeg, and overfold one of the tops around and over the rolled pair, creating a smiley face. ?. 4 advantages: keeps pairs together, halves peg usage, facilitates rolling at point of removal, and smiley socks increase family happiness. Massively outweigh the one disadvantage of sub-optimal trying of inside tops of socks at pinch and peg point.

  57. Marg

    Use a trampoline to lay jumpers out flat to dry so they keep their shape. This a good idea for when it’s the end or start of the season, and you have to wash a lot of jumpers all at once, as you can fit a lot on the trampoline mat.

    When my kids were young and it was a good drying day, I confess to throwing all the washed socks and undies on to the trampoline – quickest way ever of putting the washing out!.
    Kids scooped them up when they came home from school. and took their own items to their rooms.

  58. Declan

    I’ll pass all these tips on to my Mum, she’ll thank me for them

  59. Helen

    I love all these tips – better than the original article. Good to see some new ideas. I like the humour too (I just ‘wasted’ about 15 minutes reading it all, hehe).

  60. jenny

    pegging socks together would take me all day. I wash 100 socks every week. I put them in a tub and they can bloody well find their own pairs!!!!

  61. Andy

    Helen .. I just did the same thing. There were about 4 negative comments And the rest were poor to very great. Most I knew, but some were outstanding, so I’ll try.
    My tips with thanks to Steven Oct 25 and
    Jane Elliot May 17
    Matt Hetherington May 17
    Danni May 11
    Justine May 10
    Dotty Hazel April 22
    and Rachel April 13 – what an addition to washing then aroma. Many thanks.
    and Rael March 15
    and one could go on with all the good tips.

    My x 2 weekly washes and dry, will now be easier and a habitual time saver for me.
    Will await my next wash to see what is implemented.
    Great and Thanks.
    ps: Habitual time-saving is the best thing since sliced bread.

  62. Trisha

    I hang jeans from the bottom as the weight keeps the creases down a bit also zip up to avoid sun bleaching. All linen is prefolded to dry then I just finish folding and put away. Except towels, when they are hung on the line use 3 pegs so they don’t droop when dry also you can straighten them up while they are wet to get rid of the crinkly ends.

  63. Brenda

    Buy a cardigan hanger from Bunnings on put it on your clothes line you can hang underpants singlets T-shirts women’s tops etc no pegs required
    Shake all clothes before hanging on the line and pegs socks from the top they dry quicker

  64. Leanne

    To dry things faster on the line leave a space between each item, then on the next line hang clothes in front of the space from the first line.
    This creates an flow of air around each item decreasing dry time.

  65. Smelly

    To reduce washing effort 4-fold, wear a pair of undies 4 days in a row-right way, back to front, then inside out right way then finally inside out & back to front. Works a treat, and reduces sun-fade significantlyover the life of the undies!

  66. Kathy

    I fold almost everything as it comes out of the washing machine. It irons out most of the wrinkles before you hang them. It takes a little longer but totally worth it. I hardly iron anymore, only hubby’s work shirts. You’re welcome : )

  67. Robbo

    Do not Wash or dry men’s shirts in machines they fray the cuffs and collars and I have found hand washing over the years to produce the best results and make new shirts appear even though the many years old

  68. Amy

    A. I do a load of washing a day sometimes two
    B. How do i get spag bol stains out of clothing?

  69. Geoffrey Newall

    Leaving plastic pegs on the lines exposes them to continual sunshine, the most active thing for degrading plastic!! Wooden pegs soak up water and if reused whilst still moist can leave stubborn stain marks on clothes.

  70. Linda

    Use an old dishwashing machine cup rack placed over the hot water heater (mine is under the verandah) to hang socks – no pegs, local low level heat source & winds haven’t blown them away.
    In rainy winter weather, use a small fan in the laundry with clothes on indoor clothes racks – cheaper to run than a clothes dryer
    Use moulded shoulder dry cleaning clothes hangers for drying shirts/ tops / jumpers- keeps the shape well, dries a bit faster with more airflow through the inside of the garment & no ironing required

  71. Nicki

    We have a family of 4, so when I hang the clothes, each persons clothes get their own section of the washing line. Then when it’s time to take the clothes off the line, I take down one section at a time and fold as I go. Then all the clothes on hangers are taken down last. No more baskets of clothes to be folded and sorted! Saves so much time!!

  72. Robyn Poulton

    Excellent tips

  73. Roulse

    While drying clothes outside is an option most people in apartment buildings don’t have this option. Advancements in Clothes Dryer technology’s have made it cheaper to Dry Clothes. Heat Pump Dryers use gas to dry clothes and hence carry a whooping 6 star energy rating compared to previous technologies that had at most 2 star energy rating. Although Heat Pump dryers are a bit pricey ($1000 rrp minimum) they are well worth the investment especially if you add extended warranty.