How to … peg out the washing

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“I think this is the right way to use clothes pegs … I have been doing it wrong my whole life. What do you think?” an Aussie woman asked in a popular Facebook group. Her proposed hanging method has sparked a debate about the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ ways to hang washing on the line.

The apparently outrageous suggestion was to clip the clothes pegs onto the sides of towels, to keep them from flapping in the wind and to minimise peg marks. The Facebook group ‘Mums Who Cook, Clean and Organise’ responded with more than 50 comments sharing their two cents on the issue.

Image credit to Yousra Umer, posted on the ‘Mums Who Cook, Clean and Organise – Australia’ Facebook page.

One member wrote, “Can’t say I’ve ever thought of doing it like that … I like to have as much towel hanging down as possible, so they dry quicker rather than being doubled up like that.” Another woman agreed, “… I try to have only the tiniest bit doubled over, so they dry quicker.”

“I read somewhere, I can’t remember where, that hanging them like in the picture helps make them fluffier when dried in the sun … I think it helps,” one member commented in support.

Some were opposed to the suggestion, arguing that doubling over washing actually intensified peg marks and takes longer to dry.  One member went as far as to call the poster ‘insane’ for this pegging method.

Some members were gentler in sharing their opinions, one writing, “Is it that windy where you are that they even need to be pegged? I think you can hang clothes in whatever way makes you happy.”

However, this radical pegging method may not be a recent invention. One member of the page commented, “I do this when caravanning, stops them flying off from the wind. Sometimes I even use four pegs, two at the top section and the others at the bottom sides, works a treat.”

“Each to their own … but funny how in 2020 … they are now telling all previous generations of people who have hung their clothes to dry … how they have done it wrong … oh so funny,” one member commented.

“When it’s super windy, that is the way to go, things are less likely to blow off. When it isn’t, it’s slower to dry, and leaves marks. But if it works for you, it works for you,” one member concluded, suggesting that the different pegging methods could live happily side by side.

Smaller debates broke out in the comments, too, supporting or smearing people who leave pegs on the line between uses, and a few people piping in to share their passion for stainless steel pegs.

There are some drying tips that most experts do seem to agree on. When it comes to hanging clothing up, it’s best to hang bottoms from the top and tops from the bottom to minimise peg marks and prevent stretching. Committed experts even suggested placing pieces of scrap material between the fabric of the clothing and the peg to prevent marks or wear.

How do you hang your washing on the line? What side of this debate do you stand on?

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Written by Liv Gardiner


Total Comments: 29
  1. 0

    As quickly as possible and on a sunny day! Then I get on with life. I suggest the writer actually gets a life.

  2. 0

    I’m a little pedantic when it comes to hanging the laundry. Bath towels are hung length-ways with 5 pegs for standard size and 6 for larger. There is reason to this method – they keep their shape. I have towels bought in the 80’s and still perfect rectangles. They were quality towels but it also works on supermarket towels.
    Sheets are hung doubled over with loose edges hanging down. Again to keep their shape and it puts a fold in the centre of the sheet.
    Track pants and jeans always hung by the waist to hide peg marks. tops are hung over the line and pegged in the arm-pit to hide peg marks. They stretch if hung by the waist band.
    The thing I am really pedantic about is colour matching the pegs to the clothes.
    I also iron flat sheets and pillow cases, especially my white cotton. Pure luxury to slip between ironed pure cotton sheets. Curtains also need ironing – you can tell the difference.
    I know: it’s really sad and I should get a life but I’m happy.

    • 0

      Showing our age ArJay. I don’t iron sheets but everything else as I’m not a fan of polyester. My kids rarely use an iron, and yes you can tell!

    • 0

      What’s an iron?

    • 0

      I used to watch my mum hang out the washing, then learned a different way at high school, so I just do it in my own logical way now. ArJay I’m with you all the way bar the ironing, I’d rather scrub the front driveway with a toothbrush! 😀 .

    • 0

      Ar Jay,

      My wife gets frustrated with me hanging out the clothes. My clothes are colour coded red and white, hers are blue and white. Miscellaneous (towels, etc) are purple.

      Sad indeed, however it works for me. This is what retired accountants do.

    • 0

      ArJay I am with you in hanging out clothes to keep their shape. Makes it so much easier when folding straight from the clothes line and into the linen cupboard. This way no need to iron.

  3. 0

    Well, that gave me a laugh today! As if it mattered! Personally I’m with the ones who put as little as possible over the line, and peg them onto the line. I might go back a couple of hours later, and switch the bottom to the top. If it’s something special, and I don’t want peg marks, I might hang the item on a coathanger. Fitted sheets are a little tricky; I have as little of the elasticated part over the line as possible. Then definitely go back later and swap over. I don’t put them in the dryer as the elastic gets worn out over time. As to ironing – I don’t have clothes that need ironing. Keep an iron because very rarely I need to smooth something for sewing.

  4. 0

    I’m very fussy about how I hang my washing so that it dries faster, leaves minimum peg and line marks and reduces ironing overall, but I couldn’t care less how other people hang up their washing. Besides, it’s none of my business.

  5. 0

    The reason for hanging washing out in the sunshine is, apart from the need to dry the clothes, the sun also kills many germs so if your washing is doubled over and unable to get the sunshine on it, germs may still linger no matter how well you may wash it. I agree with the majority also, that it doesn’t matter which way you hang out your washing, if you are happy with it, then go for it.

  6. 0

    I haven’t enough hours in the day to finish all my writing tasks.
    Don’t you have better ways to spend your time?

    • 0

      Why on earth would you want to waste time doing writing tasks, Typewriter? To develop the mind? In the hope you won’t be forgotten after you pass on? Give it up! No one will read it! You may as well leave it in your will to toss them in the hole after the box. Three days later they will ask ‘Who was Typewriter?’
      Why don’t you try to lose your ego and enjoy the simple things in life like…contemplating the best way to peg stuff on a clothesline in the warming morning sun. Go on, Typewriter, get outside for a change!

  7. 0

    I prefer to hang tops and dresses on hangers which I then peg on the line. No peg marks and little to no ironing.

    • 0

      I hang my tops and dresses that way too.

      If I didn’t peg my washing on the line it wsould be on the ground in less than 2 minutes regardless of how big and heavy it was.

      I have to confess that when there is plenty of line space I hang my towels along the sides (with extra pegs) The dampness leaves the towel a lot quicker. I turn them once sometimes.
      As they dry I reduce the number of pegs on them.

      When they are dry enough to go on airers indoors I don’t the washing onto them. I drape the clothes over the rungs.

      My Mum was using these methods in the 1950s

  8. 0

    Ironing? what’s that?
    Maybe during my corporate career but in these days of T shorts and shorts, nup!

  9. 0

    Ha Ha, all must be well in the world when amidst the great pandemic people can fanny about with topics like this. Who gives a rats backside how others hang their clothes, just do what suits you. This site must be struggling for interesting articles.

  10. 0

    I once knew a scots lady in her mid eighties, she told me she irons everything even her husbands underpants. I laughed and her husband lowered his trousers to show me the creases in his underwear. I said “I hope she does’t starch them as well”

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