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I must admit that up until I moved to my current home in August last year I hadn't actually hung washing out for over 20 years. I used to do it when I had my very first flat and when I lived at my parents' house but once I moved to London I didn't have a line outside at any of the homes I had and things remained that way when I moved to Edinburgh, leaving me to rely on the tumble dryer. When I moved to this house however I found I had no tumble dryer but three laundry poles and a line outside in the garden.
I don't really like drying laundry indoors but needs must sometimes and fortunately my current home is well ventilated so condensation isn't a problem here but nothing beats letting the sun and the wind dry your clothes in my opinion.
After all this time I am reacquainting myself with laundry lines and clothes pegs and in the 8 months since I moved here I have experimented with a few types of pegs before finally settling on these pegs from Eco Force.
It's obviously far more environmentally friendly to hang your laundry out to dry than to use a tumble dryer - which was my main method for clothes drying for 20 years - and the packaging for the Eco Force pegs reiterates this. Apparently each load you dry in a tumble drier can release up to 2.6kg in CO2 - versus the small human effort of hanging the clothes on the line for air drying.
The pegs themselves are very eco friendly too. They are made from 93% recycled plastic and from what the company calls "a mixture of pre and post consumer waste". The pegs are also manufactured in the UK, which saves in transporting them from some far away factory in China - never mind the fact that making recycled plastic apparently uses 70% less energy than manufacturing virgin plastic.
I suppose there isn't a lot to be said about the humble clothes peg - except I have found there are some designs I like and some I really don't like. My sister swears by wooden pegs but I don't find them particularly durable or easy to clean. I had been using some plastic pegs with springs but found they didn't grip my clothes too well on my (admittedly rather thin) laundry line.
A few months ago I was in Morrisons and spotted the Eco Force pegs inside a green plastic basket on sale. The set was reduced to just £3 and I liked the look of the pegs - particularly because they don't have springs. I have found the springs on my previous plastic pegs could be unreliable and some of them broke, so I fancied trying a different style of peg.
I got 24 pegs with the set I bought in Morrisons but was so impressed I bought some more - having to go to Sainsburys this time. The pegs are sold in bags of 24 and cost £2.
In each bag you get 12 yellow pegs and 12 green pegs. I must admit neither are really colours I would originally choose but at the end of the day it's a clothes peg - the colour is probably the least important consideration when buying - and at least green and yellow blend in nicely with most gardens.
The pegs are V shaped. At the top of each peg you can see the plastic venting which operates as a spring - to open up the peg you press the top ends together - which are grooved for ease of use. The gripper part of the peg is at the bottom and is in three distinct parts - at the bottom each side of the peg is grooved to aid hold and then there is a large hole to accommodate thick fabrics and a thick clothesline, with a smaller hole smack bang in the middle of the peg.
At first glance the peg looks a bit paltry and the claim on the packaging that they have "Hurricane Force Grip" seems a little optimistic. This is perhaps unfair however - I have always associated pegs with having springs but thanks to some very clever design, so long as these pegs are available I doubt I will bother with spring operated pegs again.
The packaging does claim that the pegs have more grip than a standard peg and I must admit I was sceptical about this claim but having used these pegs for several weeks now and had washing out in very blustery weather I have to say they really do have more grip than a standard peg.
Because of the small gripper hole right in the middle of the peg I find my washing stays firmly in place on the line, instead of bunching up. When I first started using these pegs I was using them in conjunction with my spring operated pegs and the difference between the washing hung up with the Eco Force pegs and the older pegs was astonishing. The Eco Force design works brilliantly with my washing line and the only bunching I have experienced is on small items made from thin material - everything else has stayed put.
In the interests of writing this review I decided to test just how much grip these pegs have by opening one up and placing my finger inside. Stupid as this might sound, you really can feel how much pressure the pegs apply to whatever they are attached to by doing this and trust me - you feel the pressure!
I was concerned that the design of the peg might make it difficult for me to open and close them. I suffer from arthritic fingers on my right hand and feared it would take rather a lot of pressure to open and close this style of peg but my fears have proved unfounded. They are just as easy to use as my old spring operated pegs and don't require any more pressure from the user to open.
Keeping pegs clean can be a chore in itself - I am a bit picky about this but the Eco Force pegs can easily be washed in a bowl of soapy water or in the dishwasher or washing machine. I don't think I would use the dishwasher myself but I have washed them in the washing machine inside a mesh bag and they came out beautifully.
I don't consider myself an overtly "green" shopper but I have been hugely impressed with these pegs. They are very well designed and also very well made, with the recycled plastic proving to be both tough and practical. I have used the pegs many times now and there isn't even the slightest sign of wear on any of them and there certainly doesn't seem to be any danger of them breaking any time soon.
More importantly they offer fantastic grip on the washing line, which aids speedy drying. To be able to hang up a king size duvet cover using these pegs and be safe in the knowledge it will stay firmly in place on the line is brilliant.
So all in all I highly recommend these clothes pegs if you are looking for something that is both eco friendly and incredibly practical. They may cost a little more than some other pegs but they offer far better quality and will last you longer too.