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This is a review for the 15 metre retractable clothesline made by Minky.
When I spied this clothesline for sale in Aldi I became more excited about it than perhaps is normal. It seemed the perfect solution to my clothes drying problems.
Where I live I share a very wide balcony that leads to the front doors and is pretty much the only outdoor space I have. For years I have had the rigmarole of gathering in a clothesline after each time I put washing out to dry, so as to avoid garrotting my neighbours in the dead of night as they return home. This was then left coiled up hanging off a nail by my front door: an eyesore indeed. A whirly-spinney rotary type dryer was a non-starter. Firstly, making a hole into the ground to accommodate it would severely compromise the roof of the properties below, and secondly, it gets so windy with me being high up on a hillside that the lump of concrete needed to steady a rotary dryer would be ridiculously large.
The main attraction of this dryer is the fact that it retracts into its housing, thus keeping it nice and neat and accessible.
The quality of this product is fantastic. I find it amusing to also note this manufacturer carries a Royal Warrant. My two bed flat and Buckingham Palace have sooo much in common. Mainly dog hair problems and bigoted relations. But at least we all have to wash our smalls, eh, your Maj?
There are not a great number of components to this product when you take it out of the box. The main unit, some mounting screws and rawl plugs and the instructions.
To mount the unit to the wall will require a drill and, because it will be mounted quite high up, stepladders will be required. Obviously, care should be exercised here, especially with regard to having someone foot the ladders. Into the four holes go the four rawl plugs and into these the mounting plate is then screwed. The main unit is then mounted to this plate using a long rod that serves as an axis enabling the whole unit to swivel through 180 degrees - a good feature as this means the line itself can be aimed at any suitable mounting position in the garden. One thing I was surprised with was that I actually trusted and used the plugs and screws provided with this as I normally use my own for peace of mind.
What you attach the line to at the other end is, of course, very dependant on your own set-up. Just ensure it is also secure as there will be a hell of a lot of tension and weight on the line when in use.
To use the line it is just a simple matter of pulling out the flying end and attaching it to wherever you choose. There is a hook type plastic thing on the end of the line to use. You then go back to the main housing unit and tension the line by looping it back around a peg that traps it securely. It may be an idea to tension it loosely while you put the washing on so it is at a suitable height for you to peg and then re-tension it so it lifts the washing up higher.
When you are done you just reverse the process and the spring inside the main unit reels the line back in. Don't let the line go, as this will just jam the mechanism. Just walk with the line in your hand as it slowly gathers the line back up. Simple.
The main advantages of this retractable washing line is the fact that it does retract, thus keeping the line neat and contained. Also, it is fantastic at keeping the line clean; I used to get so annoyed at dirty lines on my washing if I left the line out in the weather and forgot to wipe the length of it before using it again.
The only negative I can gripe about is that the plastic coated line is very slippy and the washing can have a tendency to slip and 'gather' together. This is a real problem when washing bedding but I cure this by going overkill with the amount of pegs I use along the length of the sheet. This is the only drawback and the reason why i cannot award all five stars to this otherwise brilliant product.
I paid £3.99 when I got mine from Aldi back in March (?) but these can be had for £9.99 from Argos (including free delivery) or £10.45 (including delivery) direct from Minky.
All in all, it is the best solution if you use a washing line and would have no hesitation in recommending this. I love it - again - perhaps a tad more than is normal.
FOr many years, I have had a large rotary washing line. Due to building works this has had to be removed a we bought this low-cost alternative as a stop gap. However, i find it so useful that I am seriously thinking of not returning to the rotary.
It was very easy to install and set up for use. I have not had it long so cannot comment on its durability. I was hoping for something with a bit more of a solid feeling about it but so far seems to be adequate. I made the mistake of fixing the reel a little low (about 5ft) I would put it higher if I were to be fitting it again.
At full length it needs a clothes prop.
Compared to the rotary it doesn't take as many clothes (but I am only washing for 3 now instead of 5) however being on a single line the clothes dry so much quicker. The Minky line is also much easier to put away when it isn't laundry day.
When I first moved into my first house about 5 years ago, I thought it would be a good idea to buy a rotary washing line, although I find it difficult to explain why, other than that I just really liked the look of them.
After just a few months of use, I realised that it had been a bad move, for a few reasons, but mainly because it was very difficult to clean all the separate sections of the washing line each time I needed to use it, and secondly because it was a struggle to fit bedding onto it, unless the sheets were folded several times.
I persevered with the rotary line for a few years, before buying a minky retractable washing line, and ever since the minky was installed, the rotary line has been folded up and covered up and left redundant!
I would be lying if I said that I could remember exactly what I paid for the minky retractable washing line about 3 years ago, but it was somewhere around the £10- £15 price region.
Installation was very simple, so simple that I didn't even have to make a phone call to my dad to check out the procedure before I started.
All it involved was holding the metal bracket (supplied) up against the top of the fence post that I wanted to fit it to, and marking off the screw holes with sharp screw driver, before using the screws (supplied) to start screwing them in just a small way to get the holes started, then unscrewing the screws, putting the bracket in place, and fixing the screws into place nice and firmly.
The beauty with the minky retractable line is that the bracket is on a hinge, and so the 2 brackets do not have to be fixed on directly opposite facing posts.
It is important to note that the minky retractable line is 15 meters in length, and so the distance between the two fixing points has to be less than this for the line to reach, but as mine was only a smidge over 10 meters, then this was of no concern to me.
Anyway, once the main body of the retractable line is fixed into place, there is just the big hook to fix into place at the proposed destination for the washing line, again a simple case of fixing the bracket using a screw driver.
I must add that if either (or both) of the brackets needed fixing to wall, then this would make the installation a little more difficult, and an electric drill would be required.
Once both brackets are fixed into place, the washing line can be pulled out from the housing, and fixed to the other bracket using a nice big loop at the end of the line. Once this is done, the washing line will look a little bit droopy, but it is just a simple case of winding a little bit of the surplus line around the bottom of the housing into the designated holding area, and hey presto - a nice tight firm washing line is in place.
I do find that because of the length between the 2 brackets, the line will still droop a little, especially if there is a heavy load of washing on the line, and so I always use a washing line prop to help the washing stay nice and high in the air.
To detract the line simply unhook the line, and the line automatically retracts back into it's housing, leaving a nice empty area in the garden again.
My Minky retractable line has been a really good buy, and I wish I had bought this in the first place instead of the rotary line.
The housing and hooks are of a good strong quality, and the line has worn really well. It is a nice simple straight line to wipe across when it comes to cleaning it, and when it is retracted, the line goes back into the housing without any effort, kepping the line clean and dry in the winter, and leaving a line free garden.
Overall a great product, which is effort free to use once the initial installation of the brackets has been completed.
A quick look on the Internet shows me that these retractable lines are now available for just under £10 from Amazon, and a Minky retractable double reel washing line is just £15 from Marshall Ward.
Thanks for reading.
© L500589 2011
We are somewhat unusual as apartment dwellers in that, as we live on the ground floor, we have a small private garden outside. Our place isn't huge so when we wash our clothes we have the eternal problem of where to put those cumbersome drying racks; far better, we decided, to stick up a washing line outside and take advantage of any and all nice weather. To this end, we purchased the Minky Retractable washing line. These come in 2 varieties; the single line (pictured), and also a double line. However, as there are only the two of us we thought that two lines would be excessive, and so bought the single line. Minky has a reputation for producing high quality items which unfortunately are often quite expensive; not so with this, as you can find it online at Amazon for less than £4. Bargain.
The washing line itself is stored on a reel within the outer case; a rather boring grey colour about 6 inches in diameter and about 2 across, so it is small and easy to store, and it weighs just under 2kg. When mounted, it extends about 7 inches from the wall. The line is extendable to 15m, and can carry quite a bit of weight - I don't know the exact load bearing abilities, but suffice to say I have had two sodden, extremely heavy mattress protectors hanging from it to dry without any problems. The line is coated in white PVC which can be easily cleaned, and has a small blue clasp at the end of the line which attaches to a retention hook. The mounting case also comes with a small pivot at the bottom; this is to tie the washing line around once you have extended it to prevent it from retracting.
What's in the Box:
You get a 15m line in a grey retractable casing; a bracket and pin for attaching the product to a wall, a hook-ended retention screw, two countersunk cross-headed screws and three 8mm rawlplugs. Instructions are printed on the outside of the box.
This is designed for use outdoors. To put it up, you will need an electric drill with an 8mm drill bit (if you are installing the bracket on brick then you will need a masonry drill bit; if you are attaching it to a wooden post then a standard drill bit will do), and a cross-headed screwdriver. Firstly, measure out the distance - make sure that the space between which you will be hanging it is 15m or less. Choose a suitable height for the product - ideally you would want it at least 1.8m off the ground. To install the bracket, hold the bracket against the wall and mark the drill points using the holes in the bracket as a guide in order to get the spacing right. Drill a deep hole at both points, and clean out any dust etc (holding a vacuum cleaner nozzle against the holes is an easy way to do this!). Then, insert the rawlplugs. Now, you can screw the bracket onto the wall using the screws provided. On the opposite wall, drill another hole for the retention hook (ideally at the same height), insert the last rawlplug and screw in the hook-ended screw. The washing line is attached to the bracket using a removable metal pin, so when you have finished using the washing line you can remove the pin simply by sliding it out and you can then remove the washing line. I store mine indoors when not using it - it is weather-proof, but I don't want it swinging about on the bracket in the wind when not using it.
To use the washing line, extend the line and fasten it over the retention hook. Wind some excess line around the pivot at the bottom of the housing case to prevent the line from retracting. Once your washing is dry, take the line off the hook, unwind the line from the pivot and guide the line back into the case. The line does retract very quickly, so keep a hold on it as otherwise it will whip about!
You might also want to consider using a prop with the line to provide a bit of extra support.
This really is an excellent product; ergonomic and affordable. The installation is easy enough as long as you are comfortable using a drill, and the product is very sturdy - we have been using ours for over a year now and have not had any problems with it. It is designed for the smaller garden and it is a nice alternative to having a clothes tree or even just a regular line strung up, as it is discreet, and can be easily taken down so it won't take up any of your precious garden space. We have ours extended to about 14m, and that is long enough for a full machine load of 6kg+ to hang out with some space to spare, and I have yet to find a maximum load capability - the line itself is very strong, and the wall fixings are very secure. If you do need a washing line, I would highly recommend this, as it is an excellent solution for the smaller garden, and I really cannot think of any flaws.
This retractable washing line, extends up to 15m and rewinds into its housing. Ideal for smaller gardens or patios where a rotary washing line is too large, its easy to install and comes complete with rawl plugs and screws. The housing can also be easily removed from the wall if required.