Crawford retractable laundry reel

retractable laundry reel

What’s more retro than hanging your laundry up to dry, outside or in? I bought a vintage Crawford laundry reel last year – I loved the graphics – and now I’ve discovered you can also still buy one new. The most energy-intensive part of doing laundry is running the dryer. If you’re game – use this instead. $18 at


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  1. says

    I just saw some 1940s reels on Etsy that I’d love to have. For indoors though, I use a folding rack. I like hang dried clothes so much better…and its cheaper when you’re paying coins for each load!

  2. sumacsue says

    We’re fortunate to have a clothesline in our backyard, on the original metal poles. My neighbors get a kick out of seeing me actually handing laundry on it. But dry your 100-percent cotton sheets on the line, in the wind and sun, and you’ll sleep like you’re an angel on a cloud.

  3. Darlahood says

    I’m a clothesline Nazi. You wouldn’t believe how much I saved on my electric bill after the first month where I zealously hung laundry outside to dry instead of stuffing everything automatically in the dryer.

    Allowing clothes to dry outside in the sun and fresh air will also naturally disinfect them.

  4. Kat says

    I have another way to use this! I run a child care business and I have one that I attached to one wall and a hook to temporarily attach it to
    another wall and I pull it out to hang art work to dry!
    Does a super job and it is high enough so the kids can’t touch it.
    I live where the winters are very cold so hanging laundry out to dry this time of year doesn’t really work but I love that I found another way to use such a simple device 🙂

  5. scurl says

    I own two of the newer ones. I bring them inside in the winter and hang our clothes in the basement. We don’t even own a dryer, and all our wash is done in a Maytag wringer washer made in 1957. It’s a little more effort, but we save a TON on water and electricity. Clotheslines are, in my opinion, an absolute necessity for a retro house.

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