rotary washing line

4 Best Rotary Washing Lines (2021 Review)

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In this guide we’ll take a look at the best rotary washing lines.
I’ve compared design, size, build quality and cost
to give you my top recommendations.

The Best Rotary Washing Lines Are...

IMAGE RECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCT FEATURES
  • Best rotary washing line
  • Vast 50 m drying capacity
  • Excellent durable build quality
  • Best washing line for small families
  • Extra-strong 40 mm pole
  • 40 m drying capacity
  • Best washing line on a budget
  • 40 m drying space
  • Sturdy steel construction
  • Best heavy duty washing line
  • Excellent value for money
  • 100% weatherproof

Read Our In-Depth Reviews

Brabantia Lift-O-Matic Rotary Washing Line

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Best rotary washing line
  • Vast 50 m drying capacity
  • Excellent durable build quality
OUR RATING
99
PRICE
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Brabantia Lift-O-Matic Rotary Washing Line Review

For the eco-conscious among you, it might be worth knowing that for every Lift-O-Matic Rotary Washing Line sold, Brabantia organises to have one tree planted by WeForest.

Whilst this might seem like an arbitrary link, it makes a lot more sense after realising that washing lines are sometimes referred to as ‘laundry trees’ – plus, Brabantia are keen to encourage line-drying as an environmental choice.

Unlike most rotary washing lines, this one can be used at many different heights with the arms still fully open. The lowest height available, measured from the tops of the arms, is 129 cm, and the tallest option is 187 cm.

Being able to use the line at 129 cm makes it easier to drape heavier items like duvets, cushions and bed covers, without having to hold them high overhead. Woollen items can also be dried flat, without having to hang them and risk them losing shape.

Furthermore, the adjustability also makes this line suitable for people of varying heights.

There are 50 metres of line in total, spread between nine different rows, and the arms rotate to help with drying in a breeze. At the end of each arm there is also a hole through which a coat hanger can be hung, in order to dry some clothes without using pegs.

The biggest downside comes, not from the washing line itself, but from the difficulty of installing the ground spike. Sufficiently soaking the ground, even for days in advance, can make the process easier. It can be a challenge to get it vertical, and avoid the line leaning at an angle.

Installation problems aside, this is one of the best rotary washing lines for drying different types of textiles – the fact that the arms can be lowered and remain open makes it a much more versatile design than standard rotary lines.

Pros

  • One tree is planted for every washing line bought
  • Easier to dry heavier, large items like duvets and cushions without having to lift them as high
  • Woollen items can be easily laid flat when using the line on its lowest setting
  • Easy to close the line and collapse it for storage or to get it out the way whilst mowing

Cons

  • Ground must be very soft or you may struggle to get the ground spike in - soaking the ground in advance can help
  • It can be difficult to keep the ground spike straight when putting it into the ground
  • When applying force to lift the arms, sometimes the pole of the washing line can come out of the ground hole

The Home Laundry Company Premium Quality Rotary Washing line

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Best washing line for small families
  • Extra-strong 40 mm pole
  • 40 m drying capacity
OUR RATING
96
PRICE
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The Home Laundry Company Premium Quality Rotary Washing line Review

Whilst they all look relatively similar, not all washing lines are created equal. This Premium Quality Rotary Washing Line by The Home Laundry Company is a relatively heavy-duty option, with a 40 mm thick steel pole at its core making it reliable and sturdy.

Along with this construction, there are a couple of other features that make this washing line likely to stand the test of time.

It comes with a high-quality water-resistant cover, which isn’t just a basic tarpaulin bag; it has a neat appearance and a zip to help get it off and on easily. This protects the line when it isn’t in use.

Also, if the 40 metres of PVC-coated line stretch over time, there is a mechanism to increase tension, so that they remain taut and at an optimal tension for clothes hanging.

Putting up the line, and collapsing it down, is done using a system that’s similar to opening and closing an umbrella. It is simple and effective, and there are just three ‘open’ positions to choose between. On the one hand, this means that there isn’t a large choice of height options, which some people might prefer, but on the other hand it means the system is uncomplicated.

There’s enough space to hold approximately two loads of washing, and a 2.52 m turning circle which is enough to air clothes well without taking up an excessive amount of space.

A ground spike comes included, but the line will also fit into most washing-line sockets if you already have one installed from a previous model.

Overall, this is one of the best rotary washing lines if you’re looking for something strong and hardwearing. The only real downside is that it can be a little stiff to put up and down.

Pros

  • Overall sturdy construction helped by 40 mm centre pole
  • Line tension can be easily adjusted to help if lines slacken over time or during warm summer temperatures
  • Waterproof cover included that has a zip fastening instead of needing to be tugged on
  • Fits approximately two loads of washing
  • Line comes already attached so no time spend tying it on

Cons

  • Can be a little stiff to open and close

Addis Rotary Washing Line

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Best washing line on a budget
  • 40 m drying space
  • Sturdy steel construction
OUR RATING
91
PRICE
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Addis Rotary Washing Line Review

This Addis Rotary Washing Line is a good option if you’re looking for a simple, inexpensive airer with basic functions.

It’s one of the best rotary washing lines in terms of value for money; the 40-metre line provides enough space to hang around two loads of washing at a time, the line tension can be adjusted when required, and the steel construction is rust-resistant and sturdy.

Unlike a lot of the rotary lines featured here, the Addis airer only has one height option. It stands at 175 cm overall, and is opened using and umbrella-style mechanism whereby you press in a button and open the airer until the line is taut. When the button is released, it locks in place.

In general, it seems the line is relatively easy to open and close; whilst it may be stiff initially, customers report that it generally loosens over time.

A ground stake comes included, so it’s not necessary to buy one separately, but there’s no cover provided. Given that this washing line can sometimes be prone to rusting, acquiring a cover might help keep it dry and protected.

Overall, this washing line is cheaper than many of the same size on the market. Quality may be slightly lower than some other options, but if you just want an inexpensive, basic rotary line, this one won’t break the bank.

Pros

  • Plenty of room to dry washing for a family of four
  • Weighs just 4kgs so light enough to move in and out of storage if needed
  • Durable and sturdy construction feels solid in all weathers
  • Small footprint makes it suitable for smaller gardens

Cons

  • May bend under the weight of heavier loads like duvets and quilts
  • Need to be careful using in high winds as it may bend
  • May be prone to rust if left outside and exposed for long periods

Livivo Rotary Washing Line

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Best heavy duty washing line
  • Excellent value for money
  • 100% weatherproof
OUR RATING
86
PRICE
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Livivo Rotary Washing Line Review

Appearance isn’t everything… but it can help. Which is why it’s a pleasant surprise that this LIVIVO Rotary Washing Line has quite a chic finish, along with being a good-quality clothes airer.

The powder-coated steel frame has a grey/black finish, which contrasts with the green PVC-coated line, to create a modern look. It also comes with a black, zip-fastening cover, with LIVIVO’s contemporary logo stamped on the front. It certainly has an aesthetic that’s more in keeping with the 21st century than other rotary lines.

There is 45 metres of line overall, and enough space to cope with approximately two loads of washing; however, the space between the arms is not particularly large. It will be difficult to fit king-size sheets on it – the outer length of line measures 146.5 cm.

On the plus side, it’s a decent height at 194.5 cm and the washing is not in danger of dragging on the ground. Plus, longer items can be hung with enough clearance so that pets don’t brush past them.

There is a soft grip handle, used to open and close the airer, and the mechanism works well. It gives a choice of four different positions which help alter the tension of the line.

In terms of price, this airer sits in a mid-range position, and the quality reflects that. It is generally sturdy, but may struggle with the weight and size of larger, heavier items like duvets. A ground spike comes included, to fit the 32 mm pole – this is narrower than the 40 mm pole of some other lines on this list.

Overall, this is one of the best rotary washing lines if you’re after something with a contemporary, smart appearance. Seeing as it’s relatively small, it may be more suited to a couple of people as opposed to a large family, and it’s better for smaller items, not large sheets.

Pros

  • Zip-fastening cover included
  • Good size for a family of two
  • Lightweight and easy to carry in and out of storage if kept in the shed or garage
  • Adjustable tension to prevent heavier items such as wet towels from sagging towards the floor

Cons

  • Lines are very close together so clothes may take longer to dry
  • Not enough hanging space for more than two loads of washing
  • Difficult to find enough space to hang larger items like king-size sheets

How to Choose The Best Rotary Washing Line

Rotary washing lines are a practical way to dry washing in the garden. They’re often more convenient than a long line – there’s no need to mess around propping them up and they don’t take up so much space.

Rotary lines can be collapsed down when not in use, and a range of sizes are available, so they’re suitable for both small and large gardens.

However, they can vary in style, offering different features depending on which model you buy. The following information details the pros and cons of different design elements, so you can choose the best rotary washing line for your garden.

Aluminium or Steel Rotary Washing Lines

The most common materials for the frames of rotary washing lines are aluminium or steel.

Aluminium lines are lightweight and rust resistant. These are their main benefits. They can be quite easy to carry in and out of storage, and don’t require as much strength to put up. Plus, aluminium is not prone to rust – although it can still corrode over time.

One of the main drawbacks of aluminium is that it’s not very strong. Therefore, rotary washing lines made from aluminium may be more likely to bend or buckle than steel ones. Of course, this also depends on the design and construction of the washing line, so it isn’t a hard and fast rule. However, when directly comparing the properties of the metals, aluminium is weaker than steel.

Steel lines are considered stronger and less likely to bend, warp or break than aluminium ones. This is their main advantage, and can be particularly useful if washing drying heavier items like duvets, blankets or towels.

Choosing a Line with Enough Space

If you’re a large family, you will likely want a rotary airer that has at least 50 metres of line, to give you enough space to dry all the washing. However, there is a chance that you will be limited on space outside, in which case you may have to compromise between the size of the line and how much room is available.

For smaller families, of just a couple of people, a rotary line with 30 – 40 metres of line should be sufficient.

Another consideration is the types of items you will be drying, and how big they are. Different lines vary in how much space they have between their arms, and therefore how much room there is for drying.

Check the specification for the washing line that you are hoping to buy to see how much space there is between each arm. If you want to dry large sheets, you will need the space between each arm to be wider than the width of the sheet.

Rotary washing lines with three arms, instead of four, have more space between them.

It will be a lot easier to hang a king-size sheet on a rotary washing line that only has three arms.

However, lines with three arms instead of four can be weaker, especially if they are not well made. This is because less arms are having to support the same amount of weight as a four-arm line.

For this reason, high-quality three-arm lines can be more expensive than four-arm models.

At the end of the day, you can only buy as big a line as you can fit in your garden, so you may ultimately have to buy one that is smaller than the items you want to dry. However, there are always ways to drape larger items over more of the line, it just might not be the most efficient way of drying.

Ground Stakes – How to Secure Your Line

You will need to install a ground socket to hold your rotary washing line.

If you already have one from a previous rotary line, you can avoid having to remove it and put in a new one as long as you buy a line that fits the existing socket.

Quite a lot of washing lines either have a 40 mm pole, or a 32 mm pole. If there’s already a socket in your garden, check its diameter and make sure to buy a washing line that’s the same size. This will save a lot of hassle. If the product’s specification doesn’t say what width it is, get in touch with the manufacturer. It’s definitely worth knowing because it can save a lot of time.

If you don’t already have a washing line socket installed in your garden, check to see if the washing line you’re looking at comes with one included. Sometimes this is the case, but not always. You’ll have to buy one separately if it doesn’t come with one. Again, make sure that the socket you get is the correct size for the washing line.

When it comes to installing a socket, they can either be positioned directly into the soil or concreted in.

If placing the socket in soil, it can be difficult to get it into hard ground, especially at the right angle.

There are a few steps that will make it easier to install a socket directly into the soil:

  1. Soak the ground for several days before attempting to install the socket. The softer the ground is, the easier it will be.
  2. Use a spade to mark a deep X into the ground, with the central point being where the socket will be positioned.
  3. Place the socket in the middle of the X and cover it with a piece of wood to protect it. Use a mallet to encourage the socket into the ground.
  4. After every few hits with the mallet, put the washing line pole into the hole. Use this as a test of whether the socket it going in straight. Push on the pole until the socket is straight.
  5. Remove the pole and continue to use the mallet to get the socket into the ground.
  6. Repeat steps 4 – 5 until the socket is flush with the ground.

Taking Care of Your Rotary Washing Line

It’s a good idea to close and cover the washing line when it’s not in use to keep it clean and dry. Some washing lines come with covers included, but if yours doesn’t you may want to look into buying one separately.

Ideally, you should put the whole washing line away in very bad weather to protect it from strong winds.

Rotary Washing Line FAQs

My rotary washing line has gone a bit saggy. How do I tighten it?

Rotary drier lines can sometimes stretch over time as a result of UV damage and the weight of heavy washing. However, it is easy to tighten the line. Firstly, your line may have a couple of height options, if you’ve been using it on the lowest level, pushing it up further will tighten the line. Alternatively, you can manually tighten the line:

Start by setting the rotary line at a low position. Starting at the centre of the line, pull each section until it is reasonably tight. Do not overtighten otherwise you will not be able to close the drier. Once you pulled the line through on each section, and are happy with the tightness, you can put the rotary drier into the higher position. It is likely that the last section will have excess line. You should tie off and remove excess washing line at the end; however, before you do this, ensure that the line will easily open and close.

The line on my rotary washing drier has broken. Can I restring it?

Yes, it’s quite easy to restring a rotary washing line. You will need some patience and a couple of hours, but it is simple to do and requires no special tools.

Ascertain how much washing line you will need by measuring all of the line in one section and multiplying this number by three or four (depending on how may arms your drier has). Add a little bit extra for threading and tying. Buy a good quality washing line of the same diameter as the previous line.

Have a good look at the current line to see how it is threaded and tied – taking a few pictures at this stage can be very helpful – then remove the old line. To restring the line, start with the middle. Thread the new cord in the same way as the old one and tie it off to finish. You can do this in two sections if necessary, tying off after the first section and then beginning again on the second half of the line if it makes it easier.

How do I fix my rotary washing line into the ground?

Rotary washing lines need to be fixed into the ground with a socket. These are usually called either lawn spikes or sockets. This socket can be positioned directly into the lawn or concreted in, depending on personal preference.

To fix the lawn spike into the ground:

  1. Soak the ground for several days before attempting to install the socket. The softer the ground is, the easier it will be.
  2. Use a spade to mark a deep X into the ground, with the central point being where the socket will be positioned.
  3. Place the socket in the middle of the X and cover it with a piece of wood to protect it. Use a mallet to encourage the socket into the ground.
  4. After every few hits with the mallet, put the washing line pole into the hole. Use this as a test of whether the socket it going in straight. Push on the pole until the socket is straight.
  5. Remove the pole and continue to use the mallet to get the socket into the ground.
  6. Repeat steps 4 – 5 until the socket is flush with the ground.

To fix a spike into concrete:

  1. Dig a hole approximately spade-width wide and as deep as your ground socket.
  2. Place the socket in the hole and pour in a bag of dry post concrete while holding the spike upright.
  3. Check that the socket is level with a spirit level, and add water to the concrete according to the instructions on the bag.
  4. Keep checking that the socket is level until the concrete is dry. Have a long piece of wood on hand in case you need to nudge the socket straight. It should take between five to ten minutes for the concrete to dry sufficiently.
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