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Most ironing tables have perforated or metal-mesh tops that allow heat and steam to circulate and rubber-tipped tubular legs to prevent slipping or marring floors. Table heights are adjustable.

Other convenience features include built-in cord holders, outlets with extension cords, or flaps on both sides of the table that can be extended to convert it to a worktable.

Sleeve boards are especially useful for home seamstresses. Average dimensions are 21″ to 27″ long and 5″ to 7″ wide.

Better ironing table covers are made of heat-resistant, non-scorch material such as a combination of Teflon treatment and polyester, fiberglass or silicone-aluminum finished cotton. They are made of heavier material that wears longer than promotional grades. They are cut more fully and have sturdier ties.

Ironing pads, usually made of plastic or foam rubber, keep the cover from slipping, prevent damage to tabletop or to buttons and zippers and make a smoother ironing surface.


Major considerations in the choice of a drying rack stability, number of lines and smooth construction.

Smooth rungs, whether made of wood, aluminum, steel or plastic, are important in indoor racks which are frequently used to dry sheer fabrics that could be snagged. Collapsible racks that can be stored when not in use offer from 15′ to more than 50′ of drying space.

A post-type dryer on tripod legs, more suited to garage, basement or patio use, has individually strung plastic lines that provide up to 100′ of drying space. It can be folded for storage.

The most compact indoor dryer is one that fits into a shower. Steel racks are held against two walls by spring tips. The line holder is mounted on rack wall and lines attached to the facing rack. Lines retract when not in use.

An umbrella-style outdoor revolving clothes dryer is fitted into a permanent ground box. Lines are plastic coated and metal parts are aluminized or galvanized to resist rust. Drying capacity ranges from three to six average washer loads.

Quality indicators for all kinds of drying racks include the number of lines on each arm, length of arms, gauge of arms and post and type of metal finish.


Clothesline posts should be galvanized or coated with aluminum enamel to prevent rust. “T” and acorn posts are commonly used. “T” posts are embedded in cement or installed in a ground box. “T” posts have from four to eight line hooks which permit the line to be stretched between “T” posts.

Acorn (or round-hub) posts have pronged tops that hold four lines. These posts can be installed the same as “T” posts, but lines can be strung to trees, garage or house instead of to a matching post. “T” installations require two posts.

Disappearing clotheslines require one post. A metal case holding the lines is mounted on a wall. Lines are attached to a handle, pulled out, locked to desired length and fixed to a post, another wall or a tree. When not in use, lines are wound back into the case. They can be installed inside or out.

Pulley lines are strung through a pulley so the user can hang or remove clothes from one location by pulling the line through the pulley. Only solid braided line or multi-filament line is suitable for pulleys. Other types of line can be used but may not wear as well; wire line should never be used.

Other types of line include plastic-coated steel line which cleans readily but damages easily and tends to sag. Plastic line with a polyethylene core wears well and can be used with pulleys.


Most cleaning and laundry departments carry an assortment of accessories which ease washday chores.

Ironing caddies to hold freshly ironed garments have either single or double lightweight tubular steel bars and wheels or casters for portability. Some have height adjustments and all can be folded for storage.

Other accessories include laundry carts and sorters which combine fabric pockets with tubular frames to organize and transport garments for laundering.

Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.