Line drying is a gentle and environmentally friendly way to dry clothes, and will leave your garments smelling fresh and feeling new.

If your garment’s care label has the line dry symbol on it, it is important that you avoid tumble drying and instead make sure to line dry the garment on a clothesline . Your dryer will get too hot for that fabric (learn how hot does a dryer get.)

Some garments made from delicate fabrics can be damaged if they are put into the dryer, which is why they must be air dried on a clothesline.

Line drying can be done indoors or outdoors, and the only supplies needed are a clothesline, some clothespins, and some damp clothing needing to be dried.

If you do not have the space to line dry then take your clothes to a dry cleaner to be cleaned. Take a look at how much dry cleaning costs and how long dry cleaning takes.

Continue reading our article to learn how to line dry your clothes in the best way possible. 

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What Does Line Dry Mean

What Does Line Dry Mean?

If you see the words or symbol for “line dry” on the care label of a clothing garment, it means that the item must be hung on a clotheslines to dry. It means that the item should not lay flat (dry flat) or be placed in the dryer to dry (know how to use a dryer to dry if you are short on time), but instead be hung from a clothesline with clothespins.  

While line drying can be beneficial for some garments, it is not meant for all clothing types. Be sure to check the garment’s care label before line drying, and continue reading our article to find out tips and tricks so that you can line dry clothes properly

Symbol for Line Dry

the symbol for line dry

The Line Dry Symbol is simply a curved line inside of a bordered square. The curved line represents the clothesline that is used to line dry clothing items and other laundry. 

How To Line Dry

Total Time: 2 hr

Cost: $0

Before you start drying your clothes, you want to make sure you wash your clothes properly so they last as long as possible. Use the following tips to ensure that your clothing items are line dried properly. 

1. Turn clothes inside out

Turning your clothes inside out while they dry will help to reduce color fading. The ultraviolet light from the sun can make colored and dark garments fade, which means it’s better to turn them inside out. 

White garments on the other hand have the ability to become brighter in the sun. There is no need to turn white garments inside out when drying, it is actually better to leave them right side out. 

If you do not want color fading to occur, try hanging your garment at night or in the shade, in addition to turning it inside out. 

this is a photo of a grey t-shirt turned inside out

2. Wash soap out

Before line drying your garment, be sure that all the soap and detergent is washed out of the fabric. Failing to wash the soap out of your clothing after the wash will result in your garment being stiff once it has dried. 

Be sure that all the soap has been removed by doing one extra wash or rinse cycle, or by adding a cup of white vinegar to the final rinse. 

Follow are guide on how to wash clothes to make sure no soap is left over once washed.

this is a photo of a washing machine set to extra rinse

3. Remove excess water

Your clothes should be slightly damp but not soaking wet when you go to line dry them. 

If your clothes are still wet from washing, wring them out to remove excess water, or put them back into the washing machine for one more spin cycle

Wring and shake out the clothes before line drying so that the clothes can dry properly and without creating any wrinkles

this is a photo of a washing machine set on spin and drain to remove excess water

4. Do not over dry

Do not over dry your garments on the clothing line. Leaving your clothes hanging for too long can attract dirt and bugs, and can also lead to color fading and shrinkage. 

this is a photo of a t-shirt being left out to over dry on the drying line

5. Leave space between items

Make sure there is enough space between garments hanging on the line so that the air may move freely between items, and colors do not transfer from one garment to the next. 

The better the air circulation around your clothing, the quicker and more effectively it will dry. 

this is a photo of t-shirts hanging on a drying line with space between them

6. Use clean clothespins and clotheslines

You may have to clean your clothespins and clothesline sometimes to remove dust, dirt, or bird droppings. You’d be surprised how quickly these things become dirty, so keep an eye out for dirt, and clean your supplies frequently!

this is a photo of a clean clothes line
use clean dry line
this is a photo of a dirty drying line
replace dirty dry line with clean line

Advantages of line drying

The benefits of line drying your clothes are numerous. Line drying:

  • Saves money and electricity 
  • Brighten whites
  • Disinfects laundry 
  • Is a gentle way to dry clothing
  • Removes odors
  • Leaves your clothes smelling and feeling fresh
  • Does not create new wrinkles 
  • Allows you to dry a lot of clothes at once
  • Is good for delicate garments

Disadvantages of line drying

Line drying can also have its drawbacks. Line drying:

  • Is slow and takes time
  • Depends on good weather 
  • Can lead to color fading
  • Can make clothes stiff
  • Can be awkward and unsightly


It means to hang laundry from a clothesline using clothespins. Laundry that is required to be line dried should not be put into a dryer or laid flat to dry.

Most garments that are required to be line dried cannot go into the dryer. The tumble action and high levels in of heat in the dryer are not suitable for garments made from delicate fabrics. 

Hang the item evenly by using clothespins and a clothesline. Leave space in between each item so that the air can circulate properly, and turn dark garments inside out to avoid color fading. 

Line dry and hang dry are very similar but slightly different. Line dry refers specifically to drying on a clothesline with clothespins. To hang dry you may use a hanger and a closet, the back of a chair, an indoor drying rack, or a door handle.