How to Remove a Clothesline Pole

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Using a clothesline is a great way to save energy and prevent wear to your clothing. Unfortunately, because these metal poles are typically embedded in concrete a few feet below the soil, removing a clothesline pole can be quite a challenge. Whether you want to remove the pole because it has broken, you stopped using it, or you want to renovate your yard, the best way to remove it is not to dig but instead to pull it straight out of the dirt. Here's how to remove a clothesline pole.


Loosen the Soil

If the concrete surrounding your pole is already above ground, you are already one step ahead. When the concrete is below ground, though, you need to loosen the soil before removing the pole. Run your hose next to the pole for five to 10 minutes, giving the water time to soften the soil around the concrete. Once the water has loosened the ground, dig down to the concrete block until all the edges are visible.


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Prepare the Pole or Block

You'll need a jack to lift the pole out of the ground, but the jack needs something to grab. If enough of the pole is intact, you might be able to use a pipe wrench secured to the pole. If not, you'll need to fasten the concrete block to a chain.


When the concrete has a bit of a lip around the top, you can often loop a chain underneath it. If this won't work, use a hammer drill to put a 1/2-inch-wide hole in the cement block. Remove dust from the hole and nail in a drop-in anchor. Secure a forged eye bolt to the anchor and loop the chain through it.

Remove the Pole

If you have a post puller or a high-lift jack, secure the jack to the chain and immediately jack the block and pole out of the ground. If you're lacking these tools, you must create a rig to use your standard car jack for the project. The first step in creating a rig is to set up a cinder block on each side of the concrete block.


To use a wrench on an intact pole:

  1. Set the cinder blocks on their side and lay a sturdy wooden board over them.
  2. Place the jack's saddle on the middle of the board as close to the pole as possible and then secure the pipe wrench to the pipe.
  3. Jack the pipe and concrete out of the ground, pressing down on the wrench as you go to maintain proper leverage.


When using a chain to remove the pole:

  1. First secure the chain around a 4x4 board.
  2. Place one cinder block on its side and the other on its end so it is as tall as possible.
  3. Put the jack's saddle on the lower cinder block and then stretch the 4x4 between the jack and the cinder block as close to the pole as possible.
  4. Jack the pipe out of the ground.


If necessary, add additional wooden blocks to the cinder blocks to raise the jack and increase leverage. Take care when lifting the pole and cement block out of the ground, as they may be very heavy.



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