Clothes Pulley – The Ultimate Ancient Way to Dry Clothes

When I say ancient way to dry clothes the clothes pulley has probably been about for 150 years – not that ancient but ancient enough.

A clothes pulley, also known as a ceiling airer or a laundry rack, is a device that hangs from the ceiling and allows you to dry your clothes by using the natural heat and air circulation in your home. The “Pulley” as it’s known in Glasgow has been around for a very long time approximately 150 years. Every home would have one when I was a bit younger but were removed for the preferred new tech – the tumble dryer. 

They have been used in homes for very good reasons especially when you compare them to the tumble dryer. 

Clothes Pulley in action

Benefits Of a Clothes Pulley

Some of the main benefits of fitting a clothes pulley are:

  • A pulley saves energy and money by reducing the need for a tumble dryer, which is one of the most expensive household appliances to run.
  • Pulleys reduce the environmental impact of your laundry by avoiding the carbon emissions and waste associated with tumble drying.
  • A pulley can preserve the quality and lifespan of your clothes by preventing them from shrinking, fading, or damaging in the high heat of a tumble dryer.
  • There are no maintenance costs – once fitted there is very little to go wrong and it does they are easy to fix
  • A pulley uses no energy
  • A pulley takes up no floor space 

Why Fit a Clothes Pulley?

You might want to fit a clothes pulley in your home if you:

  • Have limited space for a tumble dryer or a clothes horse, as a clothes pulley can be raised and lowered to the ceiling as needed.
  • Want to save on your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint, as a clothes pulley uses no electricity and relies on natural drying. .
  • Care about the quality and durability of your clothes, as a clothes pulley avoids the harsh effects of tumble drying.
  • Appreciate the aesthetic and historical value of a clothes pulley, as it can add a touch of charm and nostalgia to your home.

The cost of a clothes pulley compared to a tumble dryer depends on several factors, such as the size, type, and model of the device, as well as the frequency and duration of use. However, based on some average figures, we can use the following as a rough guide:

The initial cost of buying a clothes pulley ranges from around £30 to £150, depending on the quality, design, and features of the product. 

The initial cost of buying a tumble dryer ranges from around £250 to £1000, depending on the energy rating, capacity, and technology of the product

The running cost of using a clothes pulley is negligible, as it does not consume any electricity or require any maintenance. 

The running cost of using a tumble dryer varies depending on the type, load, and cycle of the device, but it can be anywhere from £0.17 to £1.76 per use, or £0.56 to £1.43 per hour

The lifetime cost of owning a clothes pulley is low, as it is likely to last for many years without needing any repairs or replacements. The lifetime cost of owning a tumble dryer is high, as it is likely to need servicing, parts, or replacement after a few years of use, as well as adding to your energy bills and carbon footprint. 

Fitting a clothes pulley can be a much more economical and eco-friendly option than using a tumble dryer, as it can save you hundreds of pounds and tonnes of CO2 over the years. However, the choice ultimately depends on your personal preferences, needs, and circumstances. 

In a country with a climate like Scotlands a pulley is essential for drying clothes. It can be expensive to dry clothing especially for a large family. The pulley offers an almost free way to get your clothes dry. 

I have personally used one for the last 15 years and have never missed the tumble dryer. We have positioned ours above a radiator and most clothes will dry overnight. 

Here is a video about how to fit one if you are interested.