Posted on Leave a comment

How to clean your washing line rope

Clean washing line rope

When spring comes around, it’s time to get the washing line rope out. But, is it looking a bit dirty and in need of a clean? Maybe you’ve kept it stored in a dark shed gathering grime and dust, or have you just found it in the garden, forgetting you’ve left it out for a year? No need to worry! Here’s how you can get it squeaky clean again.

Cleaning PVC washing line ropes

Let’s get the easiest of the washing lines to clean out of the way first. With PVC clothes lines (or any plastic or steel-core clothes lines), it’s a simple wipe down. For tough stains, a damp cloth or sponge with soap will do the trick, otherwise it’s pretty easy and quick to clean down the PVC lines. 

With natural and traditional washing line ropes, it’s a bit different. 

Cleaning a cotton washing line rope

As cotton clothes lines are of a fabric material, they just need a slightly stronger and more caring cleaning process. When dirt can soak in and stain, it’s no wonder they need a bit more of a helping hand. 

What you’ll need:

  • Bucket of hot, soapy water
  • Bleach (2-3 tbsp) or tea tree oil (8 drops)
  • Cup of vinegar
  • Rags, cloths or sponges
  • Protective, cleaning gloves


  1. Mix together the vinegar, bleach (or tea tree oil) and hot, soapy water in the bucket
  2. Soak your washing line rope in the mixture, leaving it for at least 30 minutes or until you see the water changing colour
  3. Wearing protective gloves, use your rag, cloth or sponge to wipe down the washing line rope in the mixture to remove stains, dirt and grime etc.
  4. Once you’ve wiped and washed the rope, drain the bucket and fill it up with hot, soapy water
  5. Use a clean sponge or cloth to wipe down the rope again, making sure to remove anything that may have got left behind
  6. Drain out the bucket again and fill with warm water
  7. Rinse the rope a few times until there’s no soap
  8. Hang the washing line rope up to dry 

Make sure the rope is completely dry before putting any clothes on it to dry. If you’re using jute clothes lines and don’t want to bleach it, use tea tree oil or a strong disinfectant instead.

You can also put it in a pillowcase or mesh bag to give it a run through the washing machine before hanging out to dry.

Keeping your washing line rope clean

No matter what the material of washing line rope, there is a handy tip to help keep insects and spiders off them. Use duct tape around the ends of your washing line with the sticky side up to deter or trap any creepy crawlies from getting on your line and into your clothes. 

For plastic and PVC lines, wipe them down regularly to keep them from collecting dust or grime. For traditional washing lines, you may want to do a little soak every so often. But, it may be that they just need a wipe down, too. If any stains build up, that’s when a soak will do the job or a more generous wipe. 

Advice has been guided by Mom with a

Need help deciding what washing line rope to get your hands on? Talk to Rope Source; we’re the experts in all things rope and lines! Contact us here, or call us on 01204 897642

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *