Best Retractable Washing Lines For UK Homes (2023)
After having a washing line in the back garden for more than 30 years, we wouldn’t be without one. There’s no better way to get a full load of washing dry than on the line, blowing in the breeze. The only drawback is the line is suspended from the back of the house and extends the length of the garden.
This means whenever the grandchildren want to play in the garden, they need to remember to duck under the washing line or risk getting choked. So we decided on looking into retractable washing lines and here’s what we found.
This Months Popular Retractable Washing Lines
- One Vileda Cordomatic Retractable Washing Line with 15 metres of outdoor clothes line
- Automatically retracting clothesline is wall mountable for indoor or outdoor use
- Clothes airer washing line is made of strong, durable plastic and comes in a red color for greater visibility than white clothes lines
- Vileda wall mounted washing line holds up to 15 kg of laundry, making it ideal for large washing loads
- Easy to use retractable outdoor washing line
- Stows neatly away when not in use
- Double line – each with 15 m length
- Fully retractable with UV stable protective casing
- The Ram 30 Metre Retractable Clothes Line
- Heavy Duty Washing Line
- Strong & Durable
- Comes With All Fittings
- Ram Heavy Duty Outdoor Retractable Clothes Line
- Washing Line: 15 Metres
- PVC Heavy Duty
- Comes With Pins
- Space-saving compact pull-out clothes line
- Smooth pull-out system and automatic blocking ensures the lines are always taut. Easy to fix between two walls
- Manufactured from corrosion resistant materials, suitable for bathroom
- Dimension: 7.6 x 48.3 x 440 cm. They have up to 22 metres of drying capacity.
- Cost effective and eco-friendly way to dry your wash. Using this washing line will not only reduce the need for energy derived from fossil fuel, but also save…
- It is designed to withstand the humid confines of your bathroom and inclement weather when mounted on your balcony or patio. Durable cord style lines withstand…
- 59 feet of self-retracting washing line. Ideal for indoor and outdoor use. 5 sturdy nylon lines. Provides 18 meters of total drying space at a moment’s…
- Please Note: Images are for Illustration purpose only. Actual product may vary slightly from the pictures.
✅ ABS shell. ✅ 5 Sturdy Polyester ropes,…
- Retractable Clothesline: Extends to 15M in length and features a self retracting design the rope can also be easily retracted after use to save space.
- Material Premium: Made of ABS shell and PVC rope, sturdy, durable, and rust resistant. it is well suited to your daily laundry drying needs.
- Natural Drying: Use the power of the air to naturally dry your washing and leave your laundry with a refreshing scent. Have fun drying Baby, Kids, and Adults…
- Easy to Use : Mount our heavy duty retracting washing line in seconds, 180 degree rotation mounting bracket and pull rope to any length that you want using the…
How Do Retractable Washing Lines Work?
A retractable washing line is exactly what it says it is. A washing line that can extend into the garden but be retracted when not in use to give you your full garden back.
All the benefits of a washing line with the added bonus of virtually disappearing when not in use.
They consist of a spool of washing line set inside a reel which can be pulled out and extended along the garden and fixed at a set point. Retractable washing lines will also work well if suspended on your balcony if you live in a flat.There are also retractable washing lines available for indoor use, which is great if the weather outside is bad and you need to get your washing dry.
What Are The Benefits Of A Retractable Washing Line?
We all want to benefit from drying our laundry outdoors in the fresh air, but don’t always want to give up space in the garden permanently. A retractable washing line is the answer. The convenience of hanging the washing out on washday, without the inconvenience of dodging the washing line for the rest of the week.
- Easy to install
Most retractable washing lines are fixed to the wall using just 2 screws and take just a couple of minutes to install.
- Long lasting reel case
The reel case on many retractable washing lines are UV protected to ensure they last for a long while.
- Heavy duty line
Although far thinner than a traditional washing line, retractable lines are strong enough to cope with a full load of washing.
- Blends in to the environment
After a few days, you’ll forget it’s even there once it’s retracted.
- Line is always clean
Unlike traditional washing lines that are exposed to all weathers and bird droppings etc, the retractable washing line is only ever exposed when in use. Once the washing has dried, the retractable washing line is sent back into the reel where it stays clean and dry until the next time you need it.
- Can be removed completely if needed very easily
If there is a threat of particularly bad weather, and you don’t want to chance leaving the retractable washing line fixed in position it can be taken down and stored somewhere safe in a relatively fast time.
- Long drying area
Many retractable washing lines extend up to 30 metres (100ft) which gives you a long drying area to work with.
What Are The Disadvantages Of A Retractable Washing Line?
- Some can stretch
It depends which make and model you buy, but some retractable washing lines can stretch and sag.
- Some are poor quality
Some retractable washing lines are built using substandard parts, or maybe they’re just not assembled correctly. In any case some just don’t last as long as we would have liked.
- Some models can be pricey
You’ll need to do your homework, as some of the better quality models are less expensive than some of the poorer quality models which can be quite expensive by comparison.
Retractable Washing Lines Buyers Guide
If you’ve decided that a retractable washing line would benefit your household, keep reading for some pointers on what to look for in a retractable washing line.
There are different designs when it comes to retractable washing lines, some are designed solely for indoor use. If you’re looking to replace an outdoor clothesline, you’ll need to ensure the model you choose is suitable for outdoor usage. Others can be used inside or out, which can be handy for different times of year.
This might seem a bit fickle, but we like the idea of a red washing line as this will be easier to see with old eyes. But seriously as there are various colour lines available, you can choose which colour (within reason) you feel suits your garden better.
There are some models which have an extended length of 30 metres and others which have the same amount of drying distance but spread over 2 lines which extend 15 metres each. You’ll need to measure the area you intend to use the line and buy accordingly.
The materials used to construct the casing can vary greatly between the various brands of retractable washing lines on the market. Look for UV protection and waterproof too.
Don’t just assume that just because it’s called a retractable washing line it automatically retracts. There are many models that do retract automatically, but there are also many that need to be retracted manually. Manual retraction is relatively time consuming so if your chosen model doesn’t have automatic retraction we predict it will stay extended when not in use.
Many of the retractable washing lines we looked at had lines which were coated to protect the fibres from damage. Not all of them do, however, if this is a feature you would like, check before you buy.
Some retractable washing lines are made from traditional fibres while others are steel lines coated in a weatherproof material. The material the line is made from will affect the durability and strength of the line.
Does It Pivot?
Some retractable washing lines are fitted in such a way that they can be pivoted from side to side which allows them to be sited in different parts of the garden from the one installation point. The wall bracket fits securely to the wall but the line’s reel is on a pivot allowing approximately 180 degrees of turnability.
Are Attachments Included
Not all retractable washing lines are supplied with all of the attachments necessary for fixing them to the wall. Look for a model that supplies all of the fixing attachments needed for a first time installation. Also check that the attachments are heavy duty attachments which means they’ll last and prevent your washing from falling to the ground.
Retractable washing lines state their capacity in kilograms and metres which will give you an idea of what will suit you best. As a rough guide;
- A 2.5 to 5 metre line will probably only suit a single persons washing
- A 25 to 30 metre line can hold approximately one full wash load
- A 50 metre line can hold around 2 full loads
The length of guarantee available on retractable washing lines varies according to brand. Some brands offer 2 years guarantee whereas others offer 5 years guarantee.
Ways To Improve Your Retractable Washing Line
One of the main complaints about retractable lines is they sag when full of washing. There are a few things you can do which will help to prevent your retractable line from sagging. Things like;
- Never stretch the line to its full length
If you have a 15 metre washing line, attach the hook at a point that’s 12 metres away. This will prevent it from sagging
- Place a cleat hook below the wall unit
This will enable you to secure the line after the correct amount has been extended. Thus preventing any more line from freeing itself from the spool.
- Use a prop
If you’re filling the line with wet washing, the weight will make the extended line sag to some extent. To help prevent this use one or more props to help keep the line straight.
- Place heavy items at the end of the line
If you have heavy jumpers or jeans in your wash load, place these at either end of the line. Not in the middle where that weight will pull on the line. At the end it is supported.
How Much Do Retractable Washing Lines Cost?
There are a number of brands manufacturing retractable washing lines and as such there are a number of prices too. As a guide you can expect to pay anywhere between £8 to £40 depending on the make, brand and extendable length.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is possible to put a retractable washing line onto a fence, but it would need to be a strong fence as the weight of the washing is liable to put a lot of pressure on the fence. If you can’t fix the washing line to a wall and you have to use the fence we suggest attaching the retractable line to a fence post and not the fence itself.
To keep a retractable line tight, never extend it to its full distance. Attach a cleat hook to the wall just below the unit and secure the line there to prevent any excess line leaving the reel due to the weight of the washing. Or use a prop to help support the line.
Retractable washing lines can be attached to walls, posts, and even fence posts. A good idea if you have one is to install the retractable line in a car port, as this allows you to dry washing even when the weather isn’t so good. Plus the line once retracted won’t affect the parking space.
A washing line should be at least 35ft (10.6m) as this is the size of an average washing load.