For decades, people have been using colourful plastic clothes pegs as their go-to for hanging up the washing. They’re cheap and cheerful, but tend to become brittle and faded after a few months in the harsh New Zealand sun. They’re also not particularly strong when it comes to securing heavy laundry. And, if the springs aren’t made of rust-proof metal, they can quickly discolour and stain your clothes.
With an increased focus on sustainability and a drive to reduce the use of plastic, pegs made of alternative materials are making a comeback. Below, we take a look at some great alternatives to the plastic clothes peg.
Wood clothes pegs
Wooden pegs are strong and sturdy and come in two main varieties – two-piece spring-loaded, or traditional one-piece. Usually, these are made of light-coloured hardwood so that the tannins don’t mark your laundry. As with plastic pegs, they will weather over time and the springs need to be good quality so they don’t rust. A pack of wooden pegs will cost you about the same amount as a pack of plastic pegs, so they’re an economical option.
Bamboo clothes pegs
Bamboo pegs are a great alternative to plastic, as they are very light and strong. In fact, bamboo has a tensile strength that is greater than steel! Because bamboo has a lower amount of tannin than wood, there is no risk of the pegs staining even light-coloured clothing. Another benefit of bamboo is that it’s very sustainable to produce – technically, it is a grass and can grow to harvestable size in just a few years without the need for pesticides and chemical fertilisers. Bamboo pegs will still weather over time, but they are eco-friendly to dispose of and not expensive to replace.
Stainless steel clothes pegs
If you’re looking for a peg that will last as long as your washing line, then stainless steel is your best option. But it’s important to realise that not all stainless steel pegs are equal. Different grades of steel will suit different applications, and some cheaper stainless steel pegs will rust in seaside environments or get burning hot to the touch on a sunny day. If you’re investing in steel pegs, it’s worth getting a marine-grade 316 variety that has a lifetime warranty. They’ll be super strong, extremely long-lasting, keep their grip, and over time will work out no more expensive than several packs of less durable pegs.
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