Don’t have the outdoor space for a clothesline? There are plenty of indoor solutions for air drying clothes.
There are two general types of indoor clotheslines – retractable clotheslines and drying racks – that offer alternatives to hanging your clothes over the tub, shower door frame, railings; or combine an indoor clothesline with the mentioned drying methods and increase your indoor drying capacity.
Our research led us to the conclusion that Amazon offers the most extensive product selection; showcasing all the major brands and more, but with so many related items, the page scrolling is tedious. The purpose of this article is to consolidate indoor clothes dryers into more specific types and provide keywords to better help narrow your search.
There are 3 varying styles of retractable clotheslines and we provided an example of each. The common characteristic is they need to be mounted, which requires some basic tools (drill – driver – level – tape measure), but the minimal area taken up may be the perfect and only solution for homes with limited space. These types of dryers are quick and easy to use once installed; just pull the line to the opposite mounting point and hook, then retract when not in use.
Note: For maximum load capacity, mount to wall studs, a solid wall (concrete or brick), or a post.
Pros (Leifheit): 5 rows of clothesline, which extend to 13.8′ in length (will span most room sizes), providing 69′ total drying area.
Cons (All Brands): Visible hooks or mounting bar on opposite wall when not in use.
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 (All Brands): Can be mounted inline or side-by-side on the same wall to be used as a hand towel or washcloth holder.
Cons (All Brands): Limited weight load and drying capacity (line length ranges from 6-10′).
A heavy-duty single retractable clothesline commonly spans 40+ feet.
Pros (All Brands): A long and heavy-duty drying line.
Cons (All Brands): 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.
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.
- 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 recieved 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“.
Many of the indoor 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.
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 (All Brands): No mounting or assembly for most models. Collapsable for easier storage.
Cons (All Brands): Depending on the model, can take up considerable space when in use and requires storage space when not in use.
Ballard Designs designed their drying racks to be an appealing permanent room furnishing, compared to the portable drying racks.
Pros: The Flat Fold and Accordion models have shelves and hooks for extra storage.
Cons: Limited drying area and requires mounting, preferably to wall studs.
The Brabantia Wallfix is designed for outdoor use, but can be just as easily mounted in a basement, large laundry room, or on a balcony wall. Mount to 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.