Good question. A retractable washing line is primarily designed for convenience and incredibly small places. It usually folds in on itself or has a retractable cord that recoils into a housing. They are the perfect product if there is no convenient place to hang a traditional line or if your garden is very tiny. You can attach a retractable washing line to a wall and forget about it until you need it.
As with most washing lines, a good one has plenty of strength. How many times have you retrieved your washing from the dirty garden or floor because the line has sagged or worse snapped? It happens!
The next valuable quality has to be the overall available capacity of your washing. You will need plenty of lines, especially if you have a larger family. However, there is an apparent trade-off between storage capacity and convenience with some retractable washing lines as they are often made for use in smaller spaces inside the home. Don’t expect a retractable to compete with a rotary washing line. However, the capabilities of some models will surprise you.
We’ve tried our best to sift through the most popular products to help you decide which is the best one for you. Read on if you want to know more.
Our pick for the best retractable washing line overall is the Minky Retractable Reel Washing Line. It affords 30m of drying space. The PVC coated lines and the casing are weatherproof and will stand you in good stead for many years to come. It looks great and is relatively cheap. Check out all our reviews here.
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This Minky Retractable washing line features two lines that are 15 meters long each. That gives you 30 meters of drying space, more than enough for all your clothes. Impressively, the PVC lines are coated so that they can withstand the elements. It bolts to the wall on a bracket and simply clicks on and off for easy removal and storage.
If you want to dry your washing naturally in the fresh air, yet only have a small garden, this outdoor retractable clothes line is ideal. The Minky provides a full 30 m of drying space on two lines, so it can be used to span a balcony or patio. And, because there are two lines, each line can point to a different section of your garden to really maximise drying space – which is ideal if you have a large family and do a lot of washing.
This wall-mounted retractable line is sunlight resistant, and the reel can be removed from its bracket when not in use.
The Minky retractable washing line does not have an automatic locking mechanism. It has a nub at the bottom where the line can be tied around to tighten the line to the desired tension
The Minky double retractable washing line provides good value and a neat way to dry your clothes outside – great if you don’t have the room for a fixed-line.
Retractable washing lines from Brabantia are usually sleek and well designed and this one is no exception. Its a wall-mounted retractable washing line that works great anywhere. The first thing you’ll notice is how easy it is to open and close; you can do it with one hand. For all intense purposes, it is a rotary washing line minus the pole and mounted on a wall. It is one of the better-looking washing lines on the market.
Aside from providing plenty of drying space, this retractable line is also very durable and can hold up a whole load of laundry. That means you don’t have to worry about the line collapsing and snapping.
It comes with a cool cover, and when the washing line is packed away, it looks very pleasing on the eye and tucks away nicely.
This is one of the best retractable washing lines and has seemingly endless features that you’ll love. The first of which is its durability. It is heavy-duty and certainly feels long-lasting. It is made of solid plastic that will survive most weather. And since it is made of plastic, it is relatively inexpensive. It also has fifteen metres of drying space, not as much as the Minky one though. The package comes complete with screws and rawl plugs which means you can pop it onto the wall immediately after purchase. This retractable clothesline can be mounted to the wall easily and is excellent for both indoor or outdoor use.
The Casa Bella retractable washing line is available as a single or double- lined washing line and its another useful washing line that doesn’t cost the world. The double line version offers 30m of drying space for your clothes, and each line has an individual locking mechanism allowing you to use them independently of each other.
The product is wall mountable and is supplied with robust fixings to attach it. The Bella is fully retractable so it can be stored away neatly when not in use. The casing is thoughtfully designed and is entirely waterproof. The mechanism is automatic so you will need to be cautious when you are retracting it for the first time. It would be best if you remembered to keep hold of the line at all times otherwise it will fire off potentially breaking the plastic cap at the end resulting in the line getting jammed inside the waterproof plastic casing. However, the purpose of the neat plastic cap is to store the cable out of the way safely and to keep the unit waterproof.
The casing operates on a hinge so you can move it from side to side to help you set up your washing line better. It’s small and compact and won’t take up a lot of space.
If you are careful with this line, it should last a long time. Don’t be tempted to overload it or you will ruin the line. Apart from that, it is a solid little retractable washing line, and we like it.
Another great washing line from Brabantia they have a good reputation for producing quality products. We are confident that this one’s sure to please too. It is compact, and its simple design makes it easy to use. It has five drying lines and provides a total of 22 meters of drying space. The line has a pulley system with an automatic locking mechanism. The entire product is made from corrosion-resistant materials and feels extremely durable. However, we believe this one is best used inside. It is compact and can be stored conveniently when not in use. It is effortless to install, and the line is easy to pull out and retract. This retractable clothes line is also very budget-friendly and won’t break the bank.
This wall-mounted collapsable clothes line is designed to save space but has enough storage and load capacity to cover your washing hanging needs. We love these types of retractable washing lines because they can be placed directly over radiators for rapid drying.
Each rod is capable of holding up to 2.5 kg, and it extends out to over half a meter. The frame is constructed from steel and is plastic coated for better protection. The unit is robust considering its size, and the rivets are rugged, which helps it to support up to 20kg. This washing line can be used safely indoors and outdoors.
The Artweger is visually more appealing than most retractable washing lines, and that alone is a good reason to choose this option.
There is plenty of storage in this small package. This clothes line can conveniently placed anywhere in your home like over the bathtub, washing machine, or in a closet. The Teleclip 60 is narrow, which makes it extremely useful when space is limited. It fans out like a concertina when opened and 4.2 metres of drying space offers which is quite mind-blowing considering its size. It is made from stainless steel that is powder coated and contains eight hanging rails which are 60cm long.
This retractable clothes line is sturdy once installed. It has recessed side handles to extend it easily and it stores flush with the wall when its in the collapsed position.
This product is said to be weatherproof, which means it is suitable for indoor and outdoor use.
It also comes with a 3-year guarantee.
We really like this little wall-mounted clothes washing line. While not exactly heavy-duty, It feels like it will not break unless abused, and when it’s stored away, it’s hardly noticeable. It’s also very easy to use.
One of the titans in the world of retractable washing lines and this one is from Dryzem. It features two retractable lines that provide 15 metres of drying space. The clothes lines can be quickly and conveniently stored in the housing unit when not in use. The housing unit itself is also adjustable and can be moved from side to side and stored against whatever wall you choose to hang it on.
Each drying line has an automatic retraction mechanism that allows you to retract it with the push of a single button and a cap to keep dirt out of the housing unit and off of the line.
Lastly, the UV stable, adjustable housing unit can move freely from side to side affording better flexibility and can be pushed against the wall out of the way when not in use.
Here is a list of features to consider. The best retractable wishing lines incorporate several of the below qualities.
The chances are your retractable washing line will come into contact with rainwater at some point. If yours isn’t weatherproof, the components will start to rust and jam or become brittle and break altogether. The sun can also have a severe effect on your washing line. Plastics exposed to sunlight for a long time often become shabby looking and brittle and again break when you need them the most. I’m sorry, but it’s just a fact of life. A retractable washing line with weatherproof properties will stand up to the weather for much longer.
Its a matter of personal preference whether you choose a single or double lined washing line, but the available space you have for hanging washing will likely force your hand. Double-lined just means you have two lines that come out of one body which means you have double the hanging capacity. They are a fantastic invention, but they do come at a higher cost, so it’s worth considering how many lines you need before you buy one.
The sturdiest lines are made out of steel coated in PVC. This makes them strong and weather-resistant. Typically they last much longer. However, they can also become extremely brittle when exposed to prolonged sunlight. Additionally, if they’re put under excessive loads they tend to stretch and deform to a point where they will not return to their original shape. There are still some fabric/rope/ nylon lines floating about but these do have a shorter lifespan and have proven unpopular over recent years.
Usually, retractable washing lines are fitted to the wall with a bracket. Most have a couple of screws that need to be drilled and then fixed into the wall. The benefit of this is you are free to choose the location and can literally put it anywhere you want. However, if you aren’t confident with using power tools, then find a professional who can take care of it for you.
Choose a place that is obstacle-free and somewhere out of reach of the children. Make sure it isn’t too high or too low. If it’s too high, you will struggle to extend it and hang out the washing. If it is too low, it will sag, and your washing will end up on the garden floor. Also, you have to consider where the loose end of the line will go. You need to choose a location that is within reach. At the open end, you will need to fit a hook for the line to attach to, and that’s it. Job done!
Then there is the retractable concertina type washing line. Usually, these fix to the wall or hook behind a radiator. The same process is involved really. Some fix to the wall with a bracket, so ensure these types of washing lines are secured by a professional. However, the most significant decision you will have to make regarding these products is where to put them. They need to be easily attachable and easily removed while not getting in the way.
If your retractable washing line is going to be fitted outdoors, then this tip is definitely for you. There is one thing people often forget when choosing the appropriate location for their washing line. Most gardens have a dark, unpleasant spot, a place where the sun never shines. Please don’t fix your retractable washing line in this area. Choose a location that gets the majority of the sunlight; otherwise, even on the best retractable washing line your washing will never dry.
We hope enjoyed this MyCleanHomeGuide buying guide and found it useful. Here are some of our other popular laundry-related guides and best seller reviews: