For those who use a washing line for the drying of laundry, wooden clothes pegs or colourful plastic clothes pegs are must have items. However, springs do break and wood can rot or develop moulds and stains that transfer to clothing, so keeping clothes pegs in top condition is as important as using detergent to clean the clothes.
Cleaning Wooden and Plastic Laundry Pegs
Even the best cared for laundry pegs can fall in the dirt, develop stains from exposure to the rain and elements, or develop a bit of mould or mildew. Instead of tossing them in the bin, cleaning them is a great way to renew them. Fill a sink with warm soapy water to which you add a capful of household bleach. Wearing gloves, place the pegs in the bleach and water solution. Using a small, soft toothbrush, scrub the pegs lightly then allow them to soak for 15 minutes. Then, rinse them well with cold water. Pat the pegs gently with a towel to remove excess water and hang the pegs on the washing line to dry. Be sure to do this on a sunny day. If you would rather not hang the pegs on the line to dry, place them on a soft dry towel to dry beneath a sunny window. The sunshine kills moulds and mildews while it bleaches the stains out of wooden pegs. You can also hang small wooden pegs on a piece of string across a window to catch the sun to keep them out of the way.
Tightening the Springs in Laundry Pegs
If you have vintage wooden pegs that have rust around the springs, you can clean and tighten them. First, remove the loose springs. Next, using a fine steel wool, clean the springs to remove the rust, rinse them in warm water, and allow them to dry. Use spray paint that includes a rust retardant to coat the springs in either a clear coat or a coloured coat of paint. Once the paint dries, return the springs to the pegs. For loose springs, you can tighten them with two pairs of needle nosed pliers. Hold the peg with one pair, and use the other one to bend the spring back into place.
Storing Laundry Pegs
Store laundry pegs in a clothes peg bag or peg bucket between uses. Be sure the pegs are dry before placing them in the bag or basket. If you use large clothes pegs to hold jeans or other heavy clothing or plastic pegs, be sure to keep the plastic away from heat sources. To protect your laundry pegs be sure to keep the peg bag or basket clean. Toss the peg bag into the washer with a load of laundry a few times a year.