Hanging out to dry

IMGP5161

snap!

There are some things in life that you don’t buy very often… not because they don’t get used, but simply because they don’t wear out very quickly. A particular example is clothes pegs (pins). It’s probably 20 years since I bought any new ones and at the time the problem of plastic waste did not occupy my mind, although I can remember cursing about my old plastic pegs breaking. I think I looked for wooden ones, but couldn’t easily find any and so bought a (plastic) basket of (plastic) pegs from Woolworths. The basket has long since disintegrated and I made a felt peg bag some years ago. Recently, however, there has been an outbreak of exploding pegs. The plastic is finally breaking down and I’ve been cut several times as a peg snaps whilst being squeezed to open it. Some pegs have even snapped whilst in place on the washing line – leading to even more cursing and some essential re-washing.

My very old wooden pegs (given to me by my mum about 30 years ago) are still going strong, although they probably need soaking in something to get them clean, as I think things may have started growing on them. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough of them. So, a purchase was required. In this case I did not need to do any research because I knew exactly what I wanted. Years ago I read about a company in Scotland that was selling a product called K-pegs – strong metal pegs capable of holding washing on the line in the windiest of conditions. A little bit of hunting around and I found the company (Exquisite Scotland) and placed my order. They arrived a few days later and I have been very impressed. I’ve already tested them out in windy conditions and to secure a heavy mat and I’ve had no failures. There’s no plastic and they are easy to keep clean, so I think I am on to a winner…. and will probably never have to buy another peg again in my life. Oh, and wonderfully they arrived in re-used packaging… a company after my own heart.

My laundry issues did not stop there, however. I also have some plastic ‘smalls’ driers. I really like these because it means that when the inevitable rain comes, all those little things on the washing line can be brought in quickly and with minimum effort. Like the pegs, though, these elderly plastic items were starting to disintegrate. One was thrown out a few years ago and the remaining ones have started losing pegs and arms:

IMGP5168

gradually deteriorating

Replacing these took a little more research, but I found that several metal options are available. In the end I chose a version that does have plastic cables to suspend it, but that is mostly metal. The pegs are good and strong and, although the hook does not grip the washing line, the new K-pegs can be used to secure it.

IMGP5171

lots of pegs

So, I’m now all set for many years of hanging the washing on the line – no matter how windy it is.

Previous Post
Next Post
Leave a comment

39 Comments

  1. I’m interested in whether the metal pegs will leave rust marks at some point?
    I’ve gotten quite the collection of wooden pegs and love them:)

    Like

    Reply
  2. You are WONDERFUL Jan! There is always a niggle in the back of my mind about wooden pegs that fall apart and get dirty and plastic pegs that are – well – plastic. I never thought to do anything about it – now you’ve done it for me – I’m going to get some right now!!! Thank you – you are a star!!!

    Like

    Reply
    • I think they will be quite useful for other things too as they grip so firmly… although I can’t quite think what at the moment. I wish I could remember where I originally came across them, but my memory isn’t that good.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  3. That was nice that you could find an alternative to the plastic pegs and inside hangers. I have some that I was going to use for crafting years ago. Don’t like the feel of the plastic pegs so I donated them and kept the wooden pegs. Only time will tell how well the metal works but I’m sure it’s a good solution.

    Like

    Reply
  4. I am still waiting for a day when it is dry, I have washing to do AND I can get it done early enough to be worth hanging it out (my wahing machine is very slow!). Come on Spring get a move on! Maybe the clocks changing will help.

    Like

    Reply
    • I often put ours on the timer overnight – a double benefit since we have economy 7 and it means I can get the washing out nice and early. Having said that there has been a lot of drying done in the limery this winter.

      Like

      Reply
  5. We have wooden too, but so far they have remained clean. Only the odd one that goes AWOL and turns up grubby a few weeks later, and they go on the fire. Nice finds, well done.

    Like

    Reply
  6. I love my wooden pegs and some of them belonged to my grandmother. When it’s windy I put two pegs each end of the sheets (for example).
    I’m wondering what metal your pegs are made of, and also if they grasp firmly will that mean that fibres are worn down more quickly, and do they leave an even more obvious peg mark? Apologies if I sound a bit negative… I imagine they would be very good for keeping blankets pegged together at the corners for when the washing line transforms into a den!

    Like

    Reply
    • I dud wonder about them squishing fibres, but two hand-knits pegged out yesterday showed no peg marks at all, which did surprise me. I have, in the past, noticed rubbing of fibres when the pegs don’t hold the washing firmly enough (we live in a very windy place) and this seems to be avoided with the new pegs. I will keep my old wooden ones in use too (once cleaned), but there will certainly be no more plastic – hurrah!

      Like

      Reply
  7. Ugh, I HATE plastic clothes pins. I swear they end up breaking within a season of use. My wood ones however (which are pretty easy to find in my area) hold up for years even though I leave them out in the sun and rain year round. The metal ones look pretty nice though. In the winter I use drying racks. Quality ones are hard to come by for some reason, so all mine have been snatched up at yard sales.

    Like

    Reply
  8. Best pegs I’ve ever used are ones that I made from hazel sticks, a strip of aluminium drinks can and two tiny nails. They didn’t last forever, but then need for regular replacement once provided an income for olden day travellers, so sustainable in another way.

    Like

    Reply
  9. You can still get wooden pegs here fairly easily, but in this horrendously humid climate they do tend to go black and slimy fairly promptly. Having read all the comments I don’t have any concern about the pegs marking the items, but perhaps their strength might result in my wire clothesline (I have a Hill’s Hoist) marking the clothes instead! In any case, it sounds as if they’d hang on even through a cyclone, always supposing I was mad enough to leave the laundry out during one!

    Like

    Reply
  10. I have used wooden pegs for ever, but did buy a bag of plastic pegs as I was seduced by their colour. (Some were the most wonderful deep purple.) Anyway, they are snapping like yours, and they are plastic. So I now only use wooden ones. The original ones are old and weathered, which I quite like, but not dirty or slimy. BTW, pegs are a great learning tool for early maths learners!

    Like

    Reply
  11. I use a (plastic) drying rack as I don’t have a usable clothesline. And a dryer in winter …. I know, I know…….

    Like

    Reply
  12. Pegs are not big in my life, I have to admit. I have a rack which gets used a lot, but in spring and summer here everything dries so quickly, I can even fold a sheet four times and lay it on top of the rack and it will dry right through. When Alex was at school and had to have a clean uniform and sports stuff every day, I would wash by hand, spin in the machine, and hang on a coathanger in the bathroom overnight. Since those days, however, I’ve only had my own laundry to deal with. Certainly keeps things to a minimum.

    Like

    Reply
    • Drying is a big deal here – it’s so damp so much of the time. I refuse to have a tumble-dryer so the limery has been really useful as a winter drying room.
      I don’t suppose you have any signs of rain yet? A friend in California reported that they were getting some, but I haven’t seen anything recently about how your water is holding out in SA.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      • Sometimes Alex would need something for school that was imperative to have washed and dried by the next day, so I did use the tumble dryer from time to time – but very seldom!!! Definitely not an essential item in this country, despite the Cape’s usually wet and cold winters.
        We have had a little rain, last week and again last night, but not exactly a downpour. It made no difference to the dam levels. However, other things HAVE made a difference: this article by the Premier of the Western Cape sums it up nicely:
        https://www.news24.com/Columnists/GuestColumn/4-things-that-helped-us-dramatically-push-back-day-zero-20180312

        There is much speculation about the politics behind all this but at the end of the day, after all the finger-pointing (and where everything gets politicised, at the national and provincial levels), we simply have to deal with the reality of permanent water restrictions. There has been much ingenuity and creative thinking, which is always a good thing. However, while the middle classes are able to invest in water-saving devices (some quite expensive), there are other communities and people who are overlooked. I’m busy working on an article about how “turning off the taps” in public areas affects homeless people. The council needs to work with NGOs, and the NGOs need to work together, to deal with this issue. Everyone has the right to be clean, to have clean clothes, and access to drinking water.

        Like

        Reply
  13. I need a ‘smalls drier’ – these had passed me by but your post has made me realise how useful one could be (including allowing for more space to hang other clothes on the line). I will therefore look out for a non-plastic (reduced plastic) one.

    Like

    Reply
    • I find mine even more useful now I’ve started using cloths rather than kitchen paper more – especially when you need to get them in quickly when it starts to rain. Also, I quite often hang everything on them indoors (hooked on the curtain pole as shown in the photo) and then take the whole thing outside, thus avoiding getting cold fingers.

      Like

      Reply
  14. Laurie Graves

     /  March 24, 2018

    Wow! Metal clothespins. Never heard of him. In Maine, it is easy to get wooden ones, and that’s what we have. Looks like your all ready for the drying season. I know this sounds weird, but I love hanging laundry on the line. The first spring hanging is always an event. Still too much snow in my backyard for me to get to the clothesline. But soon!

    Like

    Reply
  15. Metal clothes pegs- genius. Please tell me they weren’t made in China but in Scotland.

    Like

    Reply
  16. I miss the days when I had a line to hang my washing, nothing beats that outdoor smell. I shall try to remember these if I ever find myself with a washing line again, they look great!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  17. Returning to the subject of metal pegs. For the past years I have been, unthinkingly, using plastic cable ties in the garden for many small jobs. No longer. Determined to oust plastic, I’m finding these metal pegs a great substitute for jobs such as pegging fleece to bamboo canes, holding down netting and even on accession joining two canes together. So far they are proving strong and very easy to use.

    Like

    Reply

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: