What are the advantages and disadvantages of rotary washing lines?

The rotary washing line has become a common feature in most outdoor spaces of properties all over the world. There is a range of different reasons why they have become an extremely popular way to dry your clothes effectively. Lucky for you, at Washing-Line we have made a list of all the advantages and disadvantages of rotary washing lines.

Benefits of Rotary Washing Lines

Sturdy and Weather Resistant

The most common rotary clotheslines are manufactured from a galvanized steel frame that protects it against corrosion and deterioration. The weather-resistant material design of this kind of rotary washing line makes it ideal for use in all types of varying weather conditions. The base and post of the rotary washing line device provide an anchor for the rotary washing line which allows it to withstand the weather, especially in extreme conditions. 

If a rotary washing line is installed correctly it should be able to withstand the harshest of weathers without a worry. These weather-resistant features allow for rotary washing lines to have a life expectancy of up to 20 years if looked after properly.

Large Clothesline Length

The design of rotary washing lines with their compact shape usually allows for at least 30 plus meters more of washing line. This large distance of clothesline means you don’t need to worry about not having enough line space especially when drying large loads of washing. The clever design of the clotheslines dangling from between the rotary arms means that you do not sacrifice all of your outdoor space for this line space as you would normally with a standard or retractable washing line. Talking in terms of length of clothesline in comparison to space used, the rotary washing line is probably the most space-efficient drying solution currently available to purchase today.

Strong Clotheslines

One of the main advantages of the rotary washing line is its robust construction using strong aluminium brackets and slides, which allows you to be able to hang up heavy items of clothing. The fact that these clotheslines sit between the strong rotary arms and only cover short distances reduces the amount of strain on the middle of the line. This allows the clothesline to share the distribution of the weight across the whole line reducing the build-up of strain on the centre. This helps prevent the clothesline from being overstretched and sagging. Some rotary washing lines also come with tension line clips which can be used to tighten your rotary washing line if they do ever sag.

Kind to Clothes

It has been scientifically proven that clothes that dry using natural elements in comparison to artificial methods of drying such as tumble dryers. Using the natural elements dry clothes allows them to dry at a natural pace with sunlight killing extra bacteria that live on clothes. In contrast, clothes dried using artificial methods can cause fibres in material to contract, leading to your clothes to shrink or change shape.

Environmentally Friendly

Rotary washing lines are also environmentally friendly due to the fact that use the weather in order to dry clothes. This means that there is no negative effect on the environment each time you hang your washing out to dry. This is obviously a greener option than say a tumble dryer which uses electricity in order to work.

Easy to Operate System

The intelligent design of rotary washing lines also makes them extremely easy to operate which means that anyone can use them. The two most common systems they use are a rotating hoist handle or an umbrella system. The rotating hoist handle does exactly what you expect and when turned in one direction it extends the rotary washing line. If the handle is turned in the opposite direction it collapses the rotary washing line back into the post. The alternative umbrella system operates just as the name suggests too. This works by pinching in a clasp at the neck of the rotary washing line arms and then sliding it up so the arms extend or sliding it down so they collapse back into the pole. To make it easy for you we have made a guide at Washing-Line on how to use a rotary washing line.


Rotary washing lines are also extremely affordable, not only in the official purchase but also to maintain. Their robust and weatherproof design means that as long as they are used properly and shown a bit of care now and again, they will continue to function effectively. If you want to prolong the life of your rotary washing line further, you can purchase rotary washing line covers which help shield the device from the weather when not in use. Lastly, there is also no cost per use like other methods such as tumble drying which use up electricity, causing your household bills to rise.

Space Saving

Depending on the way you install your rotary washing line there are two different ways in which they can be changed to save space when not in use. The easiest way to do this which will be applicable to all rotary washing lines is to simply collapse the arms into the post. This can be done by turning the joist handle or pinching the clip and sliding the section down depending on the model you have. This neatly holds the rotary washing line together and makes it safer especially if children are playing nearby.

The other way in which a rotary washing line can save space when not in use is through it being taken out of the post connector in the ground and stored away safely. This method of installation is less common as the device can be reasonably heavy when moving in and out. The advantage of using a rotary washing line in this way is that you can remove it completely when not in use making for more space in your outside area.

Drawbacks of Rotary Washing Lines

Weather Reliant

The major disadvantage of a rotary washing line is the most obvious. The reliance on dry weather preferably with sunshine is not always a guarantee. Depending on where in the world you are living the rotary washing line may only be able to use a rotary washing line at certain points of times of the year.

Outside Space Required

Another drawback of the rotary washing line is that you need an outside space in where you can put it up. In the modern world where a large amount of the population lives in flats with only a communal outside area, you may not have space in order to put up a rotary washing line.

Uses Up Garden Space

Similar to the last disadvantage the rotary washing line needs space. If you have a permanently fixed model, which is the most common type of rotary clothesline, then this may end up being an obstacle if you plan on doing any activities in this space. There are ways around this though. You can buy and install removable rotary washing lines which allow you to pull the device out of the ground when it is not in use.

Not the Most Attractive

The final disadvantage is that rotary washing lines are not the most attractive devices to install in your garden or outdoor space. However, there are ways around this with rotary washing line covers available which allows the device to blend in with the rest of your garden décor. In addition, as we previously mentioned you can get removable rotary washing lines if you do not want them to be a permanent fixture in your outdoor space.

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© Washing-Line 2021.

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