4 May 2010

Hestia hangs a good washing....

There is an unwritten requirement when you are attempting to reach Hestia status, certainly in Scotland: you must be able to hang a good washing.

Believe me, you can keep your home cleaner than a nun's joke book, but if the hanging out of your washing is shoddy, you will be persona non grata on Olympus and the subject of gossip in the super market.

My Auntie B hangs out the best washing you will ever see.

First of all - you need to clean your line - scrunch up a damp cloth and draw it right along the line. If you are anything like me, this will result in a frightening dark smear down your cloth and a couple of dead spiders - better on the cloth than on your clothes :-)

Next comes the hanging out of the smalls: socks hung in pairs and by the tops (you DID check them into the washing machine in pairs, didn't you? It's the only way to keep the Washing Machine God appeased, otherwise he sneakily eats one)

Knickers hang singly from a single peg.

I recall when Hubby and I moved in together, it came as quite a shock when he realised that I was not the sort of gal who ironed socks or knickers.  I have been known to only iron the front of a shirt.  What can I say? I'm feral.

Jeans/trousers are hung by the waist - it is worth tugging at any crushed material to get it as flat as possible at this point.  Saves any sweary unpleasantness when attempting to steam iron later.  Remember to pull pocket linings out to aid in drying process.

Tops/Shirts - hung by their tails.  Again, make every effort to pull collars, pockets, sleeves etc straight as you put onto the line.

Knits/Silks etc - sandwich them between two tea towels so that there are no peg marks directly on the fabric.  I know, it sounds a faff, but it's worth it.

Towels/sheets etc - do not need to be hung flat, but can be pegged in an attractive pouch effect. Auntie B swears that this helps with the drying - that because it can rub against itself quite easily, it makes your line-dried towel softer.  I'm not sure whether that's true, but it does save space on the line.

As important as the hanging up is the taking down.  Fold all items as neatly as possible - this cuts down (and can even eliminate) on ironing.  Sure, you look a daft fool trying to fold a school shirt neatly in a stiff breeze, but if it means you can watch Lark Rise to Candleford without having to stand behind an ironing board, so much the better.

Of course, your ironing board should have some kind of lightly padded reflective cover on it - to reflect the heat back into the garment (GARMENT???!?!?! - get me!). Use of a laundry spray is optional - but who needs a scoot of lavender when you've got the glorious scent of outside dried clothing?!

Bird on a wire clothes pegs from pedlars - check out their site, they've had Aardvark make them a manifesto of their own!


  1. I am clearly not that good- i do most of the hanging the way Auntie B says, but I don't have pants or socks out, they go on the clothes horse, and when I'm taking stuff in it gets chucked over my shoulder, and the pegs go in my pocket.

    I also don't iron unless I actaully have to - weddings, funerals and job interviews are the only thing I iron for!

    My husband has wisely decided that if the choice is me doing his ironing or cooking his dinner, he can iron his own clothes!

  2. If I can get away with it, I don't iron either! However, small boy school uniform MUST be crease-free. At least until he arrives at school :-)

    Your husband sounds very enlightened (ie sensible!)

    Ali x

  3. Ah, but our Home Owners Association rules strictly prohibit hanging out wash. Not that I would, anyway - between the holly tree and the acacia dropping sap and berries, I'd just have to re-wash it all!

  4. Top tips! I'm not a household Goddess - I just iron the front of shirts/tops too. When Mr TNMA moved in, he couldn't believe I didn't have an ironing board. I just iron things on the bed, it works for me!

  5. My friend once put her shirt on, and then her jumper to go to placement, and 'ironed' the collar and the bottom bits that stuck out with her straighteners. I think she is a genius!

  6. Hair straighteners - that IS Genius!

    Ali x


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