An introduction to the different kinds of indoor clotheslines and drying racks that can be used as an alternative to hanging clothes over the tub, shower door frame, railings, etc., or combine an indoor clothesline or drying rack with these drying methods to increase indoor drying capacity.
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Retractable Multi-Line Indoor Clothesline
example – Leifheit Rollfix 210
Pros: A 4-line or 5-line retractable clothesline maximizes air drying capacity, yet, when not in use the clothesline retracts into a compact housing. Tensioning knob keeps clothesline taught.
Cons: Requires mounting; tools needed: tape measure, level, and drill. Visible hooks or mounting bar on opposite wall when not in use.
What to know: Mount to wall studs, if possible, for maximum holding capacity. For hollow wall mounting, use the most heavy-duty wall anchors possible.
Retractable Single-Line Indoor Clothesline
example – VDOMUS
You may recognize these stainless steel retractable adjustable clotheslines from hotel showers. They have a polished finish and clean design that blends well with their intended environment.
Pros: Can be mounted inline or side-by-side on the same wall to be used as a hand towel or washcloth holder.
Cons: Limited weight load and drying capacity (short line lengths that range from 6-10′).
Retractable Heavy Duty Long Line Clothesline
example – Household Essentials R-400
Pros: A heavy-duty single retractable clothesline with long lengths that commonly spans 40+ feet.
Cons: The large and industrial design doesn’t blend well for indoor applications, although the Leifheit Rollfix 80 is much more appealing than the rest of the offerings in this category. Many indoor room sizes won’t allow full extension.
Laundry Drying Racks
example – Leifheit
Leifheit has the most extensive line of drying racks (30+ models, not including limited edition colors) to best suite your living space and drying needs.
Pros: Many laundry drying racks are free-standing and don’t require mounting. The lightweight material and ability to fold allows easy portability and storage. For a large enclosed laundry area, leave expanded for continuous convenience.
Cons: Depending on the model, can take up considerable space when in use and requires storage space when not in use.
What to know: Unlike many other types of indoor clothes drying products, laundry drying racks are readily available at many local retailers — e.g. Target, Menards, Bed Bath & Beyond — to find varying brands and styles of in-stock drying racks.
Wall Mounted Drying Racks
example – Ballard Designs
Pros: Some models have shelves and hooks for extra storage. Can be incorporated as part of a rooms furnishing, compared to the industrial design of portable drying racks.
Cons: Limited drying area and requires mounting, preferably to wall studs.
Wall Mounted Rotary Dryer
example – Brabantia Wallfix
The Brabantia Wallfix is designed for outdoor use, but can be just as easily mounted in a basement or large laundry room. Mount to a solid wall (brick or concrete) or solid wood studs.
Pros: Maximum drying space. Great solution for condo patio areas.
Con: Limited options for indoor use.
What to know: For maximum load capacity, mount to wood wall studs / post, or a solid wall (concrete or brick).
For a simple and effective DIY indoor clothesline, mount eye lag screws between wall studs and attach a clothesline or rope equivalent. Parts are readily available at any home improvement store.
What to know:
- For an outdoor clothesline, galvanized coated hardware will have better wet weather durability than zinc plating, but for indoor use, either coating is fine.(ref. Galvanized Plating vs Zinc Plating and About Fastener Materials for more information).
- Choose the proper screw size and load limit, e.g. Hillman Group Lag Thread Screw Eye specifications.
- We reached out to NetKnots.com for some advice on a proper knot for tying off the ends of the rope to the lag screws and received the following suggestion, “The Buntline Hitch is a wonderful – small profile – trusty knot for securing rope to an eyelet. But in order to have a tight line, you kind of need an adjustable tightener knot on the other end, such as a Tautline Hitch“.