Let it all hang out – Air dry your laundry

Hanging laundry to dry outdoors.
Hanging laundry outdoors on a clothesline.

It’s a hot, sunny summer day and you just finished washing your laundry. Do you hang your clothes to dry on a clothesline outdoors? Your answer will likely depend on your generation and where you grew up. Maybe you were raised in the time before electronic clothes dryers became a ‘must have’ appliance and drying your laundry outdoors was a normal activity. Perhaps your childhood memories are of helping your parents or grandparents hang the laundry outside. Maybe you’re eco-conscious and want to reduce your energy footprint. Or, you simply want to save a few dollars this summer.

If you were to ask your friends, family or colleagues whether or not you are permitted to hang your laundry outdoors, you will likely get different answers along with a few strange looks. Over the years, hanging laundry outdoors to dry has become somewhat of a taboo. However, recently more people have gone back to outdoor clotheslines and umbrella stands to dry their laundry.

What are the rules?

On April 18, 2008, the Province of Ontario through Ontario Regulation 97/08 lifted some of the restrictions that prevented people from using outdoor clotheslines on the ground level of a homeowner’s back or side yard. If you live in a condominium and would like to install a clothesline in the exclusive use common area, you have to ask permission from your board. However, you do not need permission to use a portable drying rack that does not alter the exclusive use common area in the side or back yard of a ground floor condominium unit.

While the provincial regulation ensured municipalities could not ban clotheslines, municipalities are allowed to regulate their use. The City of Burlington does not have any such regulations.

Coupon for outdoor clothesline umbrella stand or clothesline kits until Sept. 30, 2017.
Coupon for outdoor clothesline umbrella stands or clothesline kits until Sept. 30, 2017.

Now that you know you can air dry your laundry, set up your clothesline, hang up your laundry and enjoy that fresh air smell. Check out the Save on Energy website to print a $10 coupon for savings on umbrella stands or clothesline kits available at your nearest participating retailer.

Take Action Burlington and hang your laundry outside to dry. Collectively we can make a difference by reducing our community’s energy needs.

10 thoughts on “Let it all hang out – Air dry your laundry

  1. I have a wonderful umbrella stand, but I don’t have the screw to put in my lawn to support it. Lee Valley has a huge, bright orange and turquoise one – no thanks. Has anyone seen the ground screws sold separately?


  2. Did you ever find a ground screw, Janet? They sell them separately in the U.K., nice metal ones that hammer into the ground, about 15ins long.


    1. Tom, you’ve inspired me to get back to work on this. I’ve just discovered that they’re called “ground spikes” over here. Suddenly I have options! One is on order from a home improvement store. Thanks for the prod!


  3. it is January however planning ahead is always good. I have been stringing a line for drying clothes from our tree to a fence post for years. This year I would like to have a “real” clothesline, does anyone know a handy person who might provide that service.


  4. for some reason I always understood that you can only use an umbrella clothesline in Burlington. Do you know if we are allowed a Line that goes straight out style?


    1. The City of Burlington does not have any regulations banning clotheslines. So, yes, you can use straight out style lines in Burlington if you’re not living in a condominium. If you do live in a condo, you will need permission from your board of directors.


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