Shirts drying on washing line outside

Best Retractable Washing Lines (2020 UK)

When you think of washing lines, your first thought might be a plastic-coated string that has loosened over time and has become more of a choking hazard in the garden than a practical way to dry your clothes…

But, your washing line doesn’t have to be a permanent feature—retractable washing lines can be put away in seconds, then brought back out as soon as the washer is finished. There are also indoor retractable washing lines, for those who don’t have the use of a garden.

We’re going to look at the best of these retractable clotheslines in this post and talk a little more about how great they are!

Best Retractable Washing Lines

We’ve hand-picked some of the best retractable clotheslines on the market in 2020 and listed their pros and cons, so you can choose the best fit for your personal laundry needs.

Outdoor Retractable Washing Lines

1. Vileda Cordomatic Retractable Clothes Line, 15 m

The Vileda Cordomatic clothesline can extent up to 15 metres and can be set to any length in between – ideal for smaller gardens or yards and great for those who tend to do smaller wash loads.

It claims to hold up to 15kg in weight, which is ideal for an average wash to be hung out in one go. This line actually comes with its own fittings, screws and wall plugs, so you can install it without needing to take a trip to the DIY shop or scouring your toolbox for suitable screws.

The plastic-coated, retractable cord is easy to clean (when necessary) and stays clean once coiled back inside the housing unit, so your washing will stay dirt-free!

Pros

  • Holds up to 15kg
  • Strong ABS plastic coating
  • Can be used indoors as well as outdoors
  • Fitting instructions included
  • Includes fitting kit
  • Space-saving
  • Can be locked at any length (for smaller spaces)

Cons

  • Plastic coating may crack after extended use
  • Line may need to be extended completely before retracting
  • May need a line prop to use effectively at full length

 

2. Minky 15m Retractable Clothes Line

The Minky retractable clothesline is probably one of the most popular options for many, with the Minky brand rising to social fame when Mrs Hinch recommended their anti-bacterial cloths as a must-have for cleaning your home.

One of the great things about this washing line is that it can be removed from the fixed bracket to be stored indoors over the winter months – which means no spider surprises when summer comes around!

Another positive is that it comes with the fixings needed to get your washing line up and in use within minutes.

The compact design of the reel makes this an ideal choice for those with small gardens or even those utilising a balcony to dry their laundry.

Pros

  • Well-known brand
  • Holds up to 15 kg
  • Wipe clean PVC line
  • Can be removed from the bracket when not in use
  • Includes all wall fittings
  • Can be used indoors as well as outdoors
  • Compact reel

Cons

  • Plastic line may snap under extreme stress
  • May need a line prop to use effectively at full length
  • A little on the pricey side

 

Indoor Retractable Washing Lines

1. Brabantia Retractable Indoor Washing Line – White

This indoor retractable clothesline is perfect for anyone living in a flat or house without the use of a garden and would also make a fab addition to a laundry room. With 5 separate lines coming from this single wall-mounted unit, you get up to 22 metres of hanging space.

The Brabantia washing line needs to be fitted between 2 walls at a maximum of 4.4 metres apart, so it has slightly more limited use, however, with more people living in studios and flats, this is the perfect clothes drying option for small spaces. Not to mention how discreet this line is when not in use.

Fitted with an auto-blocking system, the Brabantia indoor washing line remains taught when loaded with laundry – each line holds up to 2.5 kg of washing.

Pros

  • Up to 2.5 kg per line (12.5 kg total load)
  • 5-Year Brand Guarantee
  • Easy to fit
  • Suitable for bathrooms – corrosion-resistant materials
  • Comes in White and Matt Steel colourways
  • Up to 22 m of hanging space
  • Compact sleek design
  • Hooks included for fitting

Cons

  • Installation may be a little tricky
  • Some lines may be tauter than others

 

2. Hisome Retractable Clothesline 4 Metres Stainless Steel Line

This stainless steel washing line is designed perfectly for smaller spaces and is ideal for hanging clothes to dry on coat hangers or for those items that can’t go into a tumble dryer.

Extendable up to 4 metres and holding up to 20 kg, this automatic locking and tightening clothesline could work perfectly in a bay window, bathroom, laundry room or on a covered balcony.

Comes with a kit to help you install with ease – the strong adhesive can be used on the following wall coverings – tiles, marble, glass, metal and wood. Other wall finish types will need to be drilled to install the bracket.

Pros

  • Holds up to 20 kg
  • Strong stainless steel line
  • Automatic locking for taut lines
  • Can be used in bathrooms
  • Available in White or Black colourways
  • Includes mounting kit
  • User guide included

Cons

  • Quite pricey for the length of line
  • Can’t be used until 72 hours after install (with adhesive)

 

Best Double Retractable Washing Line

1. Minky Dual Outdoor Retractable Reel Washing Line 30m

Another Minky-branded washing line in our list is this dual design with two 15m lines. Ideal for those who create a lot of washing as the long cords can be used to hang up to 25 kg of freshly washed laundry – which is almost 3 full average-sized loads.

The lines can be set at 2 different lengths which makes this perfect for those obscure shaped gardens or for maximising usable drying space in a room or on a balcony. Since there are two independent lines, you could use just one when you don’t need the full 30 m of space.

The Minky can be removed from the wall bracket with ease when you want to store it inside over the winter months and the line is made from an easy-clean PVC – so your clothes won’t get dusty or dirty when hung out to dry.

Pros

  • Good price
  • 30 m of line space
  • Holds up to 25 kg
  • Well-known brand
  • Wipe clean PVC line
  • Can be removed from the bracket when not in use
  • Includes all wall fittings
  • Can be used indoors as well as outdoors
  • Compact double reel

Cons

  • Locking cleat may break with heavy use
  • May need a line prop to use effectively at full length

 

2. DRYZEM Dual Retractable Washing Line 30m

The DRYZEM dual retractable washing line is perfect for gardens, patios and even indoors. With up to 30 metres of drying space for your washing, you can dry up to 3 average wash loads per day, which is great for large families!

This retractable washing line is easy to wipe clean when needed and because it is stored inside the protective housing when not in use, it stays clean – no more random mucky lines across your favourite white t-shirt!

This line comes with its own fitting kit, so it can be mounted and ready to use in no time at all.

Pros

  • 2-year warranty
  • 30 m of line space
  • Includes fitting kit
  • Includes instructions
  • Easy to wipe clean
  • Can be used indoors as well as outdoors

Cons

  • Cannot be removed for storage over winter
  • May need a line prop to use effectively at full length
  • Could be susceptible to breaking under stress (strong winds etc.)

 

Retractable Washing Line FAQs

Whatever your laundry needs, there’s sure to be a retractable washing line for you to suit your lifestyle, living situation and access to the outdoors! In this section, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions on retractable washing lines.

How does a retractable washing line work?

This type of washing line is a saviour for those who have limited space, whether that be in the garden or inside the house. They work on a system similar to that of a tape measure, where the cord is pulled out and locked/hooked in place, but then can be released and curls back into the wall attachment.

It’s not just for smaller areas either, there are lines available up to 30 metres for those with larger gardens.

How do you secure a retractable washing line?

You will need to drill holes into the wall (or fence post) from which you want the washing line to start and screw the reel holder onto it. Depending on the material type that you are drilling into, you may need rawlplugs to make the attachment extra secure.

You will also want to attach cup hooks to the sturdy surface in which your clothesline will extend to so that it can be hooked up securely. Once you have your line in place, you have to pull a little more line out and wrap it around the brake (or locking cleat) twice – make sure your line is relatively taught before hanging out your washing.

QUICK TIP: Test how secure your connections are by pulling down on the washing line a bit – wet towels and bedding can get quite heavy, so your line needs to be fitted well to withstand this weight.

How much weight can a retractable clothesline hold?

An average single retractable washing line can hold around 10-15kg which means most average wash loads will be able to hang out to dry in one go. Heavier items such as jeans, towels and bedding can get quite weighty when wet, so do take care not to overload your retractable clothesline.

Do I need a clothesline prop?

If your washing line tends to sag a little when full with laundry, it might be a good idea to invest in a clothesline prop, to ensure that heavy towels and bedding aren’t touching the ground as they dry. This one here is ideal and is also telescopic so can be stored much more easily!