Do you remember clotheslines??


Well-Known Member
Not only do I remember clotheslines, but my grandmother had the old wringer type washer and dryer and we as kids used to fight over who was going to get to feed the clothes through the wringer. Plus I remember my grandmother always used to add something called "blue" to the wash water. Fond memories..... We didn't however, argue over who got to hang the clothes up! LOL


(If you don't know what clotheslines are, better skip this.)
1. You had to wash the clothes line before hanging any clothes--walk the entire lengths of each line with a damp cloth around the lines.

2. You had to hang the clothes in a certain order, and always hang "whites" with "whites," and hang them first.

3. You never hung a shirt by the shoulders, always by the tail! What would the neighbors think?

4. Wash day on a Monday! . .. . Never hang clothes on the Weekend, or Sunday, for Heaven's sake!

5. Hang the sheets and towels on the outside lines so you could hide your "unmentionables" in the middle (perverts & busybodies, y'know!).

6. It didn't matter if it was sub zero weather....clothes would "freeze-dry."

7. Always gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes! Pins left on the lines were "tacky!"

8. If you were efficient, you would line the clothes up so that each item did not need two clothes pins, but shared one of the clothes pins with the next washed item.

9. Clothes off of the line before dinner time, neatly folded in the clothes basket, and ready to be ironed.

10. IRONED? Well, that's a whole other subject!


A clothesline was a news forecast
To neighbors passing by,
There were no secrets you could keep
When clothes were hung to dry.

It also was a friendly link
For neighbors always knew
If company had stopped on by
To spend a night or two.

For then you'd see the "fancy sheets"
And towels upon the line;
You'd see the "company table cloths"
With intricate designs.

The line announced a baby's birth
>From folks who lived inside -
As brand new infant clothes were hung,
So carefully with pride!

The ages of the children could
So readily be known
By watching how the sizes changed,
You'd know how much they'd grown!

It also told when illness struck,
As extra sheets were hung;
Then nightclothes, and a bathrobe, too,
Haphazardly were strung.

It also said, "Gone on vacation now"
When lines hung limp and bare.
It told, "We're back!" when full lines sagged, with not an inch to spare!

New folks in town were scorned upon
If wash was dingy and gray,
As neighbors carefully raised their brows,
And looked the other way.

But clotheslines now are of the past,
For dryers make work much less.
Now what goes on inside a home
Is anybody's guess!

Krazy Kruizers

Holland America Specialist
I remember wringer washers -- my mother had one for years.

Clotheslines -- I still have them in my utility room. And in the summer when I wash my curtains, DH strings a line between a couple of trees in the back yard so that I can hang them up outside.


Well-Known Member
I grew up with clotheslines and yes, we hung the undies on the inside lines. Shared the pins between two items, and always put the pins away. I used a clothesline when we first got married but working full time got in the way. No one has a clothesline in our neighborhood but I do drive by a house on my way home of an elderly lady and she always has her wash hung out on Monday. 7 pairs of slack, 7 shirts, etc. In our old neighborhood someone stole one of our neighbors slips and such off the clothesline. We still chuckle about it to this day.


Well-Known Member
I absolutely remember wringer washers & clotheslines! And everything is exactly as you described. About a yr ago DD & I were walking past a window display with old appliances & I pointed out the wringer washer to DD. The look on her face when I told her I used to use that to do laundry & then hung the clothes outside to dry.


If you take me serious, it's your problem
LOL.... DO I?? .... One of my first terrifying events at the tender age of 4 was when i got my arm wrung in my mothers old wringer i was "helping" with the laundry and was feeding stuffinto the wringer and my hand got caught in it. I was up to my neck literally in the wringer before my mother managed to shut it off... took her another 10 mins how to figure out how to get my arm free. Needless to say , i didn't go near that damn thing for quite a while. :biggrin::duh::smack::bbbat::truce:


Senior Flea Coller Tester
When I was 21 I rented a lovely place in SLC. It had a great back porch with a wringer washer for my use. I used once or twice, and decided it was so much easier to just walk up the street to the laundermat. There is a lady who's house we walk by sometimes on our afternoon walks, and she hangs clothes up. I almost envy her now.

Donna - dsw

Well-Known Member
We always hung clothes on the line as a kid. My grandmother had the wringer washer.

Like my washer and dryer much more! I hate clothes hung on the line - they seem stiff to me!


Well-Known Member
I agree with you Donna. Clothes hung up outside to dry seem very stiff......they might smell good, but those sheets would be scratchy as heck!


Well-Known Member
I miss hanging sheets on the line! We had a wringer washer when we first got married. I have no yard now so no clothesline, besides there are too many birds around!



Forever Remembered
When we still lived in the Philadelphia suburbs, we would hang laundry in our back yard, as did everybody else at the time. My parents bought a wringer washer when they first became available - quite a step up from the washing board.


Well-Known Member
I remember Grandma hanging the clothes on the line and the sheets blowing in the breeze, the smell of Downey Fabric Softener filling the air. Grandma and I still use Downey to this day, she's 95. One thing I always thought funny was that she ironed Grandpa's underwear.

This brings back another memory. Anyone remember the "milk box", where the man who delivered the milk to your home would put the glass bottles? Ours was on the front porch. If I ever got in trouble, I was banished to "go sit on the milk box", kind of like "time out" is today.
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Well-Known Member
Mbandy.............when I was a little girl (6 months old through 3rd grade), we lived in Shreveport, LA, and my dad was a milkman for Foremost. So I most certainly do remember them!


Well-Known Member
I just remembered something else. My nephew would go stand at the clothes line sucking his thumb and holding onto a corner of his blankie while it dried.


Well-Known Member

When I was visiting Susan in NC a couple of years ago, there was a store that sold milk from a local dairy in glass bottles. I hadn't seen that in years.

A shame we don't have milk men any more, a bygone era. When I was little, our milk man would always give me a piece of juicy fruit gum.


Well-Known Member
I remember clothes lines. Why anyone would want to use them
today is beyond me.

Clothes hung on a line:

They do not smell good

They are stiff and scratchy

They come in covered in dust and pollen.

If I had to sleep on sheets hung outside, my allergies
would kill me. Three cheers for modern technology, and I
am going to go kiss my clothes dryer next time I use it!


Trivia Specialist
I remember clotheslines well...and wringer washing machines...and blueing!! I think those old machines got the clothes cleaner than the machines today do...or perhaps it was just that all whites were pretty much 100% cotton and we bleached those...and then used the blueing to make the whites look even whiter!

As to clotheslines....I wish more people used them. There is a lot of talk today about saving energy. Clothes dryers are, or so I've heard, one of the worst consumers of energy and use a clothes line!! Perhaps they should be made mandatory ....

I have never found clothes dryed on a clothesline to be "scratchy" (maybe you don't rinse well enough or don't use high thread count sheets...or don't use an iron!) They do smell better too....(sorry connie....I guess perhaps it depends on whether you live in a stinking city or in a more bucolic neighbourhood :biggrin:)!! Pehaps I have just been fortunate but anything I ever brought in off the line was neither dusty nor covered in pollen...again perhaps it's just where you live! ....and yes, I did hang clothes on the line in mid winter...and yes, they did come in frozen solid...and yes, I would definitely prefer the clothes dryer to be handy in mid winter .... but I do miss the clothesline of yesteryear and if I had the space for one here I think I would have one installed...if it's even allowed to have one in my neighbourhood...the covenants you know!


Well-Known Member
I remember it all VERY well! In addition, my grandmother would never waste water, so my brother and I would fight over who got to take their bath in the bluing water versus the final rinse water. I also remember cream separators, drawing water from the well, and the day set aside for killing chickens where the big black wash pots simmered on wood fires in the "cleared" part of the yard. Nasty smelling chicken feathers!!!!


Well-Known Member
#20 I not supposed to use mine? I feel so ecologically ethical when I do!!! I don't get much chance because I work long days at work I do another sin..ON WEEKENDS...shame. I have a washline that I string up from the house to our 3 car garage (from a hundred years ago so it might have had horses!) and a washing I only get out a couple of loads a year from about now...but nothing like a little fresh air to dry things...and my Indian friend says there's nothing like sunshine to brighten the washermen in India would lay the whites in the sun to remove stains ...I think it's great.

I remember the frozen things my mom would bring in and I had a girlfriend who wasn't as lucky as others and had scars for her adult life being trapped in a wringer after spending days in the hospital having skin grafts.