A Brine Solution Keeps Clothespins Working in Winter

Using this once-a-year simple brine solution keeps clothespins working in winter and make hanging laundry an easy task in the cold weather.

| December 2000/January 2001


I froze my hands fighting with clothespins that froze to my lines.


This easy to make brine solution keeps clothespins working in winter. 

Fresh air gives line-dried clothes the best scent I can imagine. During our long winter months, however, I froze my hands fighting with clothespins that froze to my lines. An elderly neighbor offered me a hint to my chilling problem: a brine solution keeps clothespins working in winter. Could it be so simple? Yes, it was. One soak a year in a strong brine solution keeps my clothespins working throughout our raw Vermont winters. It's a pure delight to have "fresh-air clothes" without frozen fingers or pins that "hibernate."

Debbra Provost
Sheffield, Vermont

joy depung_2
12/2/2008 12:01:03 PM

Dear mommy impact, Brine is a simple salt and water solution. It could be sea salt and water, ionized table salt and water, natural salt water or even the left over brine from crocking pickles (which of course would have vinegar in it); however all would work. Brine can hold 23.3 % salt lowering the freezing rate to -23 degrees C or - 6 degrees F. At most it can hold 26% salt successfully. MI, check out brine additionally for gargling and nasal rinses, eye wash (slightly different), soaking poultry and fish in, preserving meats and controlling many insects such as grubs. Good Luck Joy in Texas

joy depung_2
12/2/2008 11:44:53 AM

Dear Etta Most of us hang our clothes inside until almost dry and then transfer outdoors to snap out the wrinkles and have a fresh air smell. Although time consuming, well worth the effort. On a sunny day however, I bring them in, run a cool iron over them and they look as if they are brand new. My mother had a pulley system that started in her laundry area, pullied out the door close to the house for winter and then pullied back in. She could then still shut the door. It was a great system! If my laundry area was set up like that, I would do it. Good luck Joy in Texas

11/21/2008 11:52:11 PM

more details, please!!

etta perry_2
11/16/2008 10:12:02 PM

Seems that my clothes never get dry in the winter hanging on the line outside. I live in the Tennessee mountains. How did they dry clothes in the winter before clothes dryers?

prairie girl
11/16/2008 11:11:36 AM

Well laugh at me!! I thought you meant to put the clothes in a brine solution that lasted all year.???? I guess my brain is frozen. This is a very timely topic because I have been thinking about putting up a clothes line like my mom had. It was one of those umbrella type contraptions. She could put out lots of laundry in not much space. But I don't remember her hanging out in the winter. She told me that her mother, that would be in the 1920's and 30's, would hang the clothes up in the basement or garage in the winter. Well technically, my mother and her sisters hung the laundry in the basement. My mom also remembered the day that her dad brought home an electric washing machine! What a day that was.

cynthia michael
11/13/2008 9:14:05 AM

Take you pins in each time, if you don't they don't last very long and they do get moldy after a period of time. I made a bag that fits around my neck with one side a little lower than the other an a length that my hand will fit in easily. I just hang it in my laundry room and I have pins that I have had 25 years. The older ones are so much better than the new ones.

11/12/2008 11:03:10 AM

What?! That's it? Please expand on this...I would like to have directions for the brine solution! I live in Colorado, and love to put my clothes on the line, but our winters can be harsh with those pins!

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