Our Best Tips for Line Drying Clothing Outdoors

how to line dry clothing outside
Project Overview
  • Working Time: 5 - 10 mins
  • Total Time: 4 - 12 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $0 to 10

If you're looking for a way to save energy and money, line drying your clothes outside is a great option. It can also help your clothes last longer, smell fresher, and it's better for your skin. Plus, it helps preserve the environment.

If you want to join Team Line Dry, follow this step-by-step guide to line drying your clothes outside.

How Often Should You Line Dry Your Clothes Outside?

The answer to this question depends on a few factors, including the weather, the type of fabric, and your personal preferences. In general, most people line dry their clothes a few times a week during the spring and summer months. If you live in a particularly hot climate, you may want to take advantage of the heat and line dry your clothes more often. If you have lots of clothing made of fabrics that are prone to wrinkling, you may want to line dry them less often.

Ultimately, the best way to determine how often to line dry your clothes is to experiment and see what works best for you.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • A clothesline
  • A few clothespins
  • 1 iron (optional)


How to Line Dry You Clothes Outdoors

  1. Choose Which Clothing to Hang

    Depending on your needs and goals, you may want to line dry all your clothing or just a few pieces. If you're unsure where to start, choose clothes that might shrink, pill, or otherwise be damaged in the dryer. Line drying is a great way to prevent damage to delicate pieces from the dryer's heat.


    Do not wash and line-dry any pieces you would send to the dry cleaner.

  2. Hang Your Clothes

    Hang your clothing from the line using clothes pins if necessary. Clothes pins will help reduce the number of wrinkles and creases in your clothing. You'll want to hang your items firmly but not too tightly, which will avoid wrinkles and ensure there is some give so your clothes don't stretch out.

  3. Check Your Items Regularly

    Check on your items periodically to see if they are ready to come off the line, are slipping, or need to be adjusted. Some materials, like thin cotton t-shirts, will dry faster than others, such as thick wool sweaters. Be mindful of this and avoid leaving your colored clothes in the sun for too long, as this may cause discoloration.

  4. Remove Your Clothing and Iron if Needed

    Once your items are dry, remove them and check for wrinkles or creases. Some wrinkles will naturally fall out, but others may take a bit more coaxing. If the fabric is iron or steam-friendly, now is a good time to use one of those tools to put on some finishing touches.

Benefits of Line Drying Clothing Outside

It is a great way to save time and energy

When you hang your clothes on a line, the sun and wind work together to naturally dry them, so you don't have to use any energy in the form of electricity.

It can help your clothes last longer

Clothes dryers are a convenient way to get laundry done quickly, but they can also be quite harsh on your clothes. The high temperatures and tumbling action can damage delicate fabrics, causing them to shrink or fade over time. Line drying is a gentler alternative that can help your clothes last longer. 

It can give your clothes a fresher smell

The sun's ultraviolet rays help to kill bacteria, which can cause clothing to smell musty. Plus, fresh air circulation that occurs when clothes are hung outdoors helps to remove moisture and trapped odors. Just make sure you hang your clothes in a well-ventilated area, and don't line dry your clothes while your neighbors are throwing a barbecue!

It can help if you have sensitive skin

For people with sensitive skin, line drying clothes outside can be a good alternative to using a clothes dryer. Clothes dryers use high temperatures to remove moisture from clothes, which can sometimes cause irritation, redness, and itchiness. Chemicals in traditional dryer sheets also often contain allergens. Line drying clothes allows you to avoid this issue altogether. 

It is better for the environment

Line drying clothes outside is a great way to save energy and reduce your carbon footprint. Clothes dryers are one of the biggest energy users in the home. Line drying clothes allows you to take advantage of the sun and wind to dry your clothes (plus, you'll save some $$$ on that electric bill).

How to Make Your Clothes Line Dry Faster

  • Wring out or spin your clothing before hanging them on the line.
  • Line drying works best on very sunny, dry days—humidity will slow the process down.
  • If you can place your line in the sun, that helps speed up the drying process. Just be careful—UV rays can act as a bleach on some fabrics.