How to Make a Washing Line

Updated April 17, 2017

A washing line is a green, inexpensive way to get your clothing dry and smelling like fresh air. Washing lines never went out of fashion in many European cities, where limited space and electricity costs made owning a dryer prohibitively expensive. To encourage similar practices among Americans, states like New Hampshire now promote the financial, safety and environmental benefits of using a washing line over a dryer. With the right technique and materials, your own washing line will be simple to construct and will last for years.

Scavenge or purchase two wooden poles or posts between which to hang your washing line. Alternatively, you can use two trees, or you can use any combination of poles, posts and trees, as long as both support structures are at least 6 feet tall and at least 10 feet apart. For larger laundry loads, the two supports should be at least 15 feet apart to accommodate the longer laundry line. The two supports don't have to be parallel, but must be similar in height to prevent the washing line from slanting.

Hammer one nail into one side of the first pole, post or tree. Hammer the second nail into the opposite side of this support structure, at the same height as the first nail. The nails prevent the rubber-coated wire from sliding down to the ground. Repeat this step on the second pole, post or tree.

Wrap one end of the rubber-coated wire around the first support structure three times so that it rests higher than the nails. Secure the rubber-coated wire by double-knotting the end.

Pull the loose end of the rubber-coated wire taut between the two supports. Wrap it around second pole, post or tree so that the rubber-coated wire rests above the two nails. Double-knot the end to secure the wire.

Trim any excess wire with a pair of wire cutters to protect children and animals from injury.


Go to the hardware store and manipulate different widths of rubber-coated wire before purchasing your washing line. Choose one that bends easily into a knot. You can make a washing line out of any string or rope, but only rubber stays strong against rain, snow and moisture.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 wooden poles or posts, at least 6 feet tall
  • 4 thick nails
  • Hammer
  • 25 yards of rubber-coated wire
  • Wire cutters
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About the Author

Christina Bednarz Schnell began writing full-time in 2010. Her areas of expertise include child development and behavior, medical conditions and pet health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations.