how to hang a clothesline on a deck railing outdoor clothesline on a deck
cleaning,  DIY

How To Hang A Clothesline On A Deck Railing

We hung a nondescript clothesline on a deck railing and this has become one of my favorite practical housekeeping ideas! Plus, it was inexpensive!

Clotheslines are a great way to dry your clothes and save energy but they can also be an eyesore or take up space where you don’t have space to give.

Retractable clotheslines are a great option to deal with the eyesore and space part of this equation but only if you have the right location to install one.

We did not.

Instead, we hung a clothesline on the outside of our wood deck railing.

How To Hang A Clothesline On A Deck Railing using eye bolts and rope

What You Need To Hang A Clothesline On A Deck Railing:

All you need for this project is a rope for the clothesline and screw-in eye bolts.

A drill and a level help too, but aren’t technically required.

We used this black clothesline to blend in with our railing and these 6-inch eye bolts. You need at least 2 bolts. We used 3 eye bolts over a 12-ft span, but that’s mainly because we had 3 posts we could screw into.

The rope was $7 (for 90 ft) and the bolts were around $1 each. For approximately $10 and change we had the makings of a very useful and nondescript clothesline.

How To Install A Clothesline On A Deck Railing:

You could hang your clothesline from either side of your deck railing or both, but we chose to hang it on the outside of the deck railing so that we could still position furniture on the inside of the rail.

This next part will depend a little on how your deck railing is constructed, but we chose to secure our clothesline to the rail posts instead of the spindles or the top rail.

All you have to do is screw your eye bolts into the rail posts, tie your clothesline to the eye bolts, and you are in the laundry-drying business!

We predrilled our holes because it’s just easier that way and then manually twisted the eye bolts into place. We used the level to make sure that the rope was hanging level before we screwed in the second and third eye bolts.

How To Hang A Clothesline On A Deck Railing using eye bolts and rope

You could use smaller eye bolts but we chose the 6-inch ones so that they positioned the clothesline far enough away from the deck railing (4 inches or so) that you could easily hang clothes over the line. Plus, the clothes aren’t directly touching the railing unless the wind blows them against the rail.

We had plenty of rope so you’ll notice that we doubled up our clothesline rope for a little added strength. This isn’t necessary though.

2 Clothesline Rope Tips:

First, if you are using a synthetic rope for your clothesline, it will have some stretch to it, so pull it really tight when you tie it off.

Second, if you are cutting your rope to length, you may want to use a lighter or match to melt the ends of your rope (if it’s synthetic) so that it doesn’t fray. For the love of all things Smokey the Bear, please don’t try this with a natural fiber rope! Only you can prevent your rope from catching on fire.

If you want to seal off the ends of a natural fiber rope so that it doesn’t fray, I found this website to have helpful suggestions.

Now, let me answer a question I know someone is probably thinking.

Why don’t we just hang clothes and towels over the deck railing? 

Oh, I have. And it works great as long as it’s not a windy day.

It’s not fun when clothes and towels hung over a railing blow off and then you’re picking them out of the mulch and bushes and wondering if they are still clean. If I want to prevent that from happening, I need to be able to secure the clothes with clothespins and I can’t do that unless I have a clothesline.

How To Hang A Clothesline On A Deck Railing using eye bolts and rope

Believe it or not, I’m not opposed to a traditional clothesline. I especially enjoy hanging sheets from a long clothesline and watching them blow in the wind. There’s something so peaceful about that. Plus, they smell like sunshine when they are done drying!

What I like about having a clothesline on a deck railing is that it’s convenient to use yet out of the way. What’s more, our clothesline completely disappears against our black railing now! Unless you’re looking for it, you wouldn’t know it was there.

I feel like I’m really maximizing the space we have and that makes me feel good. In addition, I don’t have to mow the grass around a clothesline pole and I’m all about minimizing the work of maintaining my lawn.

Do you like drying clothes on a clothesline? What do you think of this idea? You can always comment on this blog post, email us here, or reach out via Instagram or Facebook.

Happy Laundry Day!

P.S. I like hanging clothes to dry inside too! We use this wall-mounted clothing drying rack in our laundry room. It’s pretty and functional. Just make sure to secure it to a wall stud.

Thanks for being here today. I enjoy sharing ideas with you. Here are some other blog posts you might get a kick out of.

A Modern Country Laundry Room

The Age Our Kids Start Doing Their Own Laundry Plus A Laundry Hamper Makeover

No Utility Closet? Make A Utility Wall Instead.

Picking Up Trash In The Forest And Turning It Into Art

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