Wanting to wash clothes by hand- need help please!

prairiegirl00(z6 MO)June 1, 2005

I am wanting to buy two square galvanized 15 gallon tubs and put on a stand- either one bought or one handmade out of wood. I am planning on buying a hand agitator like the one at Lehman's.com and a glass washboard. Eventually I would like to buy a wringer that sits on the side of one of the tubs. What I'm needing is help and any advice on EXACTLY how to wash clothes this way. Does anyone clean their clothes this way or could anyone give me step by step instructions? Also - how do you wring the clothes out with the water being so hot? **OH OH OH- I am also VERY interested in anyone who also washes their clothes this way in the winter. Do you use drying racks inside- if so how many? Do you do your laundry inside? - Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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Call or email the folks at Lehman's. They are very helpful and will answer all your questions. They sell to people who run households the way you want to run yours, so they know.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 5:05PM
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You gotta be kidding.
The way we did it seventy years ago on the farm: Began with me drawing water from the well to fill up the huge black cast iron pot while my dad built a fire under it with stovewood, and my mother chipped up lye soap into it. When the water began to boil, she dipped about half of it into two galvanized tubs (These were round but square will do.)
She then put the separated white clothes into the pot and boiled them while stiring occasionally with a battleing stick. Seems like maybe 10-15 minutes. With the stick she lifted the clothes out of the pot into the first tub, which had cooled somewhat by now, and scrubbed them one at a time on the rubboard till they looked very clean. Meanwhile dumping the colored clothes into the pot to boil. Wrung the soapy water out by hand and dumped them into the second pot for rinsing. Rinsed throughly and hand wrung again piling them into the dishpan to carry to the clothesline. Hung them on the line secured with clothespins,then went back and repeated the operation with the colored clothes. Oh I forgot , she made starch with a small amount of the hot water and flour. She starched the outer clothes after rinsing, before drying.
Next day was ironing day for all the outer wear clothes. using smothing irons heated on the woodburning cookstove in summer or in front of the fireplace in winter.
Any one who wants to return to those "good old days" is completely off their rocker. Those were two hard days work for mom and had to be repeated every week. I was glad when I got big enough to go work in the fields with dad instead of helping mom but that wasn't easy either.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 8:55PM
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Correction: I guess she didn't put the soap into the pot till AFTER she dipped out the hot water for the scrubbing and rinsing. Lol

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 4:17AM
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Pooh Bear

I can't imagine doing this outside of an exibit
or historical re-creation. No benifit to it.

I think if you will do a cost-benifit study
you will find that your time is more valuable
than any savings that would be realized by doing this.

In other words what does it cost to run a washing machine
and how much time would it take you to do an equivalent amount of work.
I think you will find the washing machine is cheaper and faster.

Pooh Bear

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 7:14AM
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And here I am thinking it's a drudge to do the wash in the machine - LOL!!!!!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 4:39PM
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huisjen(z5 ME)

You can get clothes quite clean by putting them into a five gallon bucket with water and a little detergent, putting the top on the bucket, and putting them in your car/truck when you go to town. The agitation is free. You still have to rinse them, of course.

How are you heating the water? I, too, have reservations about how much money or energy you will save doing it the way you are proposing.

We own a washing machine but no dryer. In the summer our clothesline can accomodate four large loads at a time. In the winter we do laundry more often, so that we only need a few drying racks. The easy way to find out how many you need is to buy a couple to start with (you'll need them anyway, and they aren't expensive) and hang your current laundry on them to see how it fits.

How many racks you need in the winter will also depend on your climate and method of heating. We're in winter-dry Maine and heat with wood, so clothes dry relatively quickly inside. I wouldn't have wanted to dry clothes on a rack in the winter when I lived in Western Washington with electric heat, though.


    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 6:52PM
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We have a James Washer which seems to work just fine for the two of us...summer sun dry, winter sauna dry.

How much work is it to agitate the load for a few moments and then let it soak?

Lazy...we've all become lazy...money over time...

I can listen to music, meditate...dream, whilst doing my laundry...without the noise and hub-bub involved with all the doodads and bills.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 12:36AM
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ruthieg__tx(z8 TX)

And surely she has a reason for asking...I don't recall her asking for anyones opinion on what she is doing just advice on how to do it...If she wanted to do the laundry by machine I suggest she would have asked for advice on how to do it by machine...

Believe it or not Pooh, people for hundreds of years have washed clothes by hand for one reason or another...and if that's what she chooses to do, I don't think she needs to "waste" her time doing any cost benefit study...

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 8:21AM
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Uh - lilacfarm - I don't think that any of us here who use a washing machine & dryer are "lazy" at all. If you want to wash your clothes by hand, all the more power to you.

But if I have a barn full of horses to take care of, fencing to put up, gardens to refurbish, & a fixer-upper farmhouse to work on, you can bet your a** I have far better things to do with my time than hand-agitate clothes in a tub or beat them on rocks down by the river so to speak. The very small amount of electricity it costs me to do so is very well worth the time it saves me.

That doesn't make me lazy, & I find your comment offensive.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 1:12PM
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wow...I wasn't going to say anything, but I just can't believe what I am reading. I joined this board because I thought it was a very kind group that thought of the "old time" style of living to be wonderful...not because of money or time...but because back then people had values and strong families and wonderful things that are missing from today's society (just watch the Waltons or Little House on the Prairie). Yes that was a hard way to live, but I think they were all better for it. Homesteading (at least in my mind) does mean doing things like laundry by hand...I looked at this message because I thought it would be great fun for my children to experience this...not as an every week event (I do enjoy my washer), but at least once or twice...and I never thought of money or time. I thought of a wonderful experience with my children. A wonderful time to spend together talking and enjoying nature. I'm sad to see that people felt such a need to give opinions when none were asked for. No one should judge anyone and I'm not judging any of you for your thoughts, I just wanted to add mine for whatever they are worth. I'm sure come tomorrow morning I will regretting posting this...because I don't like hurt feelings and I certainly don't like reading posts that hurt mine.

prairiegirl00...I hope you get your answers and you have a WONDERFUL experience! I would love to hear how it goes!!!


    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 11:37PM
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FlowerFan86(z6 WA)


I see that you are new to GW. Would like to give you a big welcome.

Do not have the answer for you. But I am sending you an email.

Good luck to you!! /p>

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 10:28AM
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Pooh Bear

If you want this stuff the Lehman's is the only place I can think of.


Pooh Bear

Here is a link that might be useful: Laundry equipment at Lehman's

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 7:32PM
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As an addendum to the above...the women were in our back courtyard, which was shared by several families...the laundry facilities consisted of cast concrete sink and a cast concrete washboard next to it...more often than not, the stopper was a corn cob. Wash was hung on the line to dry...since it was an every day affair (except for weekends) there wasn't a huge load of laundry for anyone to do.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 10:22PM
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Somewhere in my stash I have one of those small washers that takes about a cup of water and you turn the handle so many times to wash them. (Y2K preparations) Never used it.

I know that doing it the way the OP wants to try is very hard on the body etc. But I think it would be an interesting experience and great if she has kids who can learn one of the old homesteading jobs.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 10:26PM
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I just looked at Lehman's and the small hand turned pressure washer is the one I have.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 10:28PM
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ruthieg__tx(z8 TX)

I never had to do it but an aunt of mine and two cousins did the family wash in big black pots sitting in the back yard...I'm sure they would have been happy to have the luxury of a washer and drer but at the time they didn't and they did the wash that way for as long as I lived close to them. They moved to California when the kids were out of school so it was a long long time that they washed in the back yard...I don't know what they did after they moved.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 8:15AM
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It seems that often people make something that can be a simple process into some arduous task...I don't dream of boiling water in cauldrons and stirring the mess with a stick whilst adding lye...

We rarely use hot water in which to wash our clothing.

I wish you all peace and the enjoyment of time.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 2:10PM
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lilacfarm - like I said, all the more power to you. If you enjoy doing your laundry by hand & find it a wonderful experience, that's great. But again - where the heck do you get off on calling folks who "commute" "lazy sheeple"????? My husband commutes. He commutes to A GOOD JOB so we can have a nice 21-acre place in the country & enjoy it. Enjoy our horses, enjoy gardening & freezing veggies for the winter. And yes - heaven save us - even enjoy sitting & watching a good movie on TV.

I have no problem with you doing what you find pleasurable doing. Why do YOU feel it necessary to tell me that what we find pleasurable or necessary are "mind-numbing experiences". You are one real piece of work.

I rather think that you are the more closeminded one between the two of us - regardless of your "wish for peace & enjoyment". Try finding a little tolerance for some of us who have to WORK and COMMUTE to enjoy our little piece of heaven, instead of denigrating us as "lazy" because we actually have to work for a living & don't have time to wash our clothes outside in a tub.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 6:12PM
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Again...I think you have a problem with something other than what I am saying about washing clothes in a simple, energy/water conscious manner.
Perhaps you could have a nice discussion with yourself about your priorities and just why you get so angry, so quickly...when someone points out alternatives.

You wrote:
instead of denigrating us as "lazy" because we actually have to work for a living ...

If you think we don't work to live, you are very mistaken. Our life on our homestead, and the manners in which we work...(including periods of time spent working for UNICEF and other organisations in Central America...Cheryl working on fly-in medical missions in Honduras)...are real and at times, hard...but it is our choice to be a part of our home now, not be caught in daily traffic...wasting fuel. That is only a tiny part of the current problems in the world.

I suggest you read or re-read Scott and Helen Nearing's books, especially "Living the Good Life"...how to live sanely and simply in a troubled world.

You're welcome to vent at me anytime you wish.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 7:56PM
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huisjen(z5 ME)

Lilacfarm, I question whether washing clothes in tubs is a good use of energy IF you heat the water. If you use cold water, then yes, it uses less energy than washing as I do in a machine in cold water (and hanging out to dry), especially if you take into account the embodied energy in the machine itself. I've never seen anyone using tubs who was able to use less water than I do in a machine for the same cleanliness result, primarily because of the lack of a spin cycle that makes the subsequent rinse really effective, but then I pack the thing pretty full.

Also, be careful holding up the Nearings as an example. While they did many marvelous things, for some reason they chose to stretch the truth somewhat in their books. Their diet was nowhere near as purely vegetarian as they made it out to be. (Scott had a weakness for ice cream, for example.) They don't credit the hordes of volunteers who, attracted by their earlier books, provided most of the labor for building their stone house in Maine (in our town). And the house itself, if you run the numbers on their construction methods, provided an R-value (insulation) of about 3, roughly equivalent to an uninsulated, somewhat leaky, stud wall. This explains why they spent most winters on lecture tours at other people's expense and hospitality. The interns (usually a couple) who sign up for a one-or-two year term living at the Good Life Center (the Nearing's Maine homestead) often out-Nearing the actual Nearings. My sources for this information include friends of the Nearings and members of the board of the Good Life Center. For an accessible-to-the-public version, I recommend you read Jean Hay Bright's "Meanwhile, Next Door to the Good Life" book. She lived between the Nearings and Eliot Coleman for a number of years.

Im not trying to denigrate what the Nearings did, for they forged a path for a lot of us in both philosophical and practical matters. Just take their writings with a grain of salt, and make sure that their "solution" will work in your situation before you commit to it.

Breezyb, compared to our parents and grandparents, we're all lazy. I'm grateful for washing machines, because they let me use my time in other ways that I prefer (this time of year, tending the market garden), but I recognize that they and many other luxuries (in your case, apparently, TV and pleasure horses) are available to us thanks to the hard physical labor of those who came before us. Please be mindful of the fact that the choices you make are just thatchoicesand that we should be grateful for them. You CHOOSE to watch TV, and tend your horses, and probably a hundred other "optional" activities, instead of washing your clothes by hand, just as most of the rest of us do. To say that you don't have time to wash your clothes in a tub is nonsense.

If your horses are working horses, please accept my apologies and respect. Keeping a team of horses fit and conditioned for work is day-in, day-out hard labor, over and above the work itself.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 8:22AM
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I'm not "venting" or "angry" - & you, my dear, quite frankly, are NOT pointing out alternatives. You are quite pointedly denigrating, in a very condescending way, anyone who isn't into your lifestyle.

Espousing your homestead & your medical missions & UNICEF work are all well & good. By all means pat yourself on the back. But that still does not give you the right to call anyone "lazy" or "sheeple" because they're not living the life you feel they should be.

I think you're the one who needs to have a talk with herself as to why she needs to try to make others feel their lives are somehow "wrong" when compared to yours. There's nothing wrong with pointing out lifestyle alternatives. However, it's also easy enough to do without the not-so-subtle barbs you feel the need to resort to get your point across.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 8:23AM
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Hey! Knock off this petty bickering.
Admittedly I had a few caustic comments but so far I'm the only contributor who answered Prairegirls original question.
" How to wash clothes using galvanized tubs and do you use drying racks?"

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 12:12PM
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As I stated in my original posting:
We use a James Washer to do our laundry, we summer sun dry, and in the winter we have a pull out clothesline in the sauna...we use cold water, or water that has been pre heated in a solar heater...we use the same wash water for several loads, as we do the rinse water. The wringer gets the water/soap out of the clothes fairly well.

I am no one's "dear", which I find truly condescending...had I, a man, said that to a woman in such a looking down my nose manner I would have been flamed.

I am aware that the Nearing's had much help in their later years on their Maine homestead...I am speaking of their book and their philosophy of time being broken up into "bread labor", "social activism", "relaxation/spiritual fulfillment" (ie, playing your own music...perhaps with others.)
No one person or group of people should be held up as "ideals" or "gurus"...
My problem is with some folks who call themselves "homesteaders" whilst living in a huge home, shopping at WalMart, and commuting 100 miles or so to avoid the rural economy of which they should be a part.

I have friends that have a staber washing machine that they run off their solar electricity...more power to them. It is a luxury I prefer to not afford. They also have a dryer which uses both electricity and propane...again a choice I choose not to make. The sun does a great passive job...the sauna is an example of cogeneration (since it is hot all winter, the heart(h) of our home...the plenum that distributes the heat)...

Our life is not done as a cost benefit analysis...what got me going, and I now apologise for ranting on, was this:

"I can't imagine doing this outside of an exibit
or historical re-creation. No benifit to it.
I think if you will do a cost-benifit study
you will find that your time is more valuable
than any savings that would be realized by doing this.

In other words what does it cost to run a washing machine
and how much time would it take you to do an equivalent amount of work.
I think you will find the washing machine is cheaper and faster."

I find myself agreeing with huisjen and with Kelly_28...that time spent in our tasks is what is life to my definition of a 'homesteader'...and doing things slowly brings more joy than rushing through something and thinking of the task as distasteful.

Again, my apologies for any offense. I am not living a historical recreation nor am I in an exhibit.

We can all learn from one another.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 1:01PM
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I apologise if I came off sounding like "I know what a homesteader is...why don't you?"...

That wasn't my thought. Usually I'm fairly good with the English language, but apparently I failed in the tact department, this time.

I'm investigating the slow movement right now, trying to make it fit into my life. Everything seems to be increasing in speed as I grow older, I'd just like to drag my feet a bit.

There's more information than this on-line, but here's a start:
[URL=http://www.slowmovement.com/]slow movement[/URL]

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 1:13PM
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huisjen(z5 ME)

Dan here rather than Katey.

I think Lazy and Sheeple are two different things. Someone who wouldn't dirty his hands with manual labor but spends hours in the gym is not necessarily lazy, but certainly sheeple. And I'm sure there are as many different kinds of sheeple as there are different kinds of sheep. Our Jacobs are very inteligent and independant thinking, for sheep.

As far as lazy goes, I believe it was Abraham Lincoln who said, "My pa taught me to work hard, but he never taught me to like it." Lazy is a matter of what you're content with, and what you foresee as needing to be done now in order to be prepared for whatever comes down the pike later. You might say that motivation is sometimes based on fear of the future. A lot of people, IMHO, have too little fear of the future, and are therefore lazy. Sometimes that includes me too.

Interesting that a discussion of doing laundry in a bucket has degenerated into one of those "sin vs. lifestyle choice" arguements. Life has decisions and trade offs. In Ecology, these are called "life history strategies". One strategy is not necessarily better or worse than the other, but depending on how the future unfolds, one may lead to a happier, longer, more secure life than the other.

Personally, I believe that some day the lights will go out and never come back on again, and knowing how to do wash without electricity, while not a big thing, will be nice to know. Knowing how to commute to a city job would be irrelevant.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 1:33PM
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That may well be true Dan, & I commend you for the way you put it.

My disagreement with "lilacfarm" is with her apparent inability to describe her homesteading lifestyle without stepping down off her pedestal.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 1:50PM
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Pooh Bear

Let's see,
Wash tub, scrub board, wringer, clothes line,
Time consuming and hard work.


Washing machine and dryer (or clothes line).
Faster, less work.
I can go do other things while the WM does its thing.

Oh yeah, you should pick the one that is hard work and time consuming.
I got better things to do with my time.

My goal is easier and cheaper.
If that causes you to call me lazy then so be it.
I prefer being more efficient.

Washing machines replaced wash tubs/boards for a reason.
They aren't called "labor saving devices" for nothing.

Pooh Bear

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 2:53PM
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breezyb wrote:
"My disagreement with "lilacfarm" is with her apparent inability to describe her homesteading lifestyle without stepping down off her pedestal."

I rather like my pedestal and what we've accomplished...but I'm a he, not a her.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 4:24PM
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Prairie Girl. . .are you sorry your asked?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 11:11PM
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ruthieg__tx(z8 TX)

I'm embarassed that someone new can come to this board and ask a simple question and have the kind of answers she got...

especially when you consider she asked such a simple question... not anywhere in her post did she ask any of you for opinions on what she was going to do nor did she ask you to critique what she had chosen to do...

Could you figure that she might have a reason for not using a washer...whatever that might be...and as far as I'm concerned, it's rather presumptious for any of you to try and tell her what she should be using...

She wants to do it her way...get it....for a reason not known to us...but for her reason anyway...

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 7:54AM
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Pooh Bear

You are 100% correct on that Ruthie.
She asked a valid question and here we are squabbling over it.
She didn't say what she wanted it for and we all jumped to conclusions.

So where can you get the stuff to do this.
I think the only place named so far was Lehmans.
Are there any other places.

Also, she asked for instructions on how to do this.
Those of you that have done this can you educate us how it works and how to do it.

She mentioned a glass washboard. I'm curious. Why glass.
I know probably nothing about washboards. but why glass.

Anyone got any answers for this.

Pooh Bear

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 11:07AM
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TedP2 wrote: "Any one who wants to return to those "good old days" is completely off their rocker. "

PoohBear2767 wrote: "I can't imagine doing this outside of an exibit
or historical re-creation. No benifit to it.
I think if you will do a cost-benifit study
you will find that your time is more valuable
than any savings that would be realized by doing this. "

To which breezyb wrote: "And here I am thinking it's a drudge to do the wash in the machine - LOL!!!!!"

Then my comment came on the ease with which you can actually use a handwasher...a jameswasher in this case...
by the way, the site below can explain more about it and other water conserving items.

Here is a link that might be useful: green home building water conserving items

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 12:12PM
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prairiegirl00 in response to your question...

It takes me about 15 minutes (not including soak time) to wash and rinse a large load of laundry (about twice what will fit in most washers), without power....

I use two tubs as you described...I wash and rinse with cold water most of the time...i use the rinse water to wash the following batch of clothes, this saves on water...

When I use hot water it's heated in black plastic pails in the sun in summer or on the woodstove during winter...

I use homemade laundry detergent...
1 cup Bar Soap, Grated into fine flakes. (I recommend Fels-Naptha. Half of a bar.)
1 cup Borax (I use 20 Mule team Borax.)
1 cup Washing Soda (Not Baking Soda)(I use Arm&Hammer Super Washing Soda.) Available in the laundry aisle of most supermarkets.

A little goes a long way......

1 Tablespoon per load. About 56 loads for pennies per load...

I let the clothes soak for several hours....I use a Rapid Washer, a plunger type hand washer from Lehman's.....it works better than a washboard...
i use it to wash and rinse...link below

I use homemade fabric softener on some of my clothes...added to rinse water...
2 cups cold water
1 cup baking soda
1 cup vinegar

1 Place baking soda in LARGE bowl and pour vinegar over it; while it's bubbling, pour cold water in and mix.
2 Store in sealed container and shake before using to combine all ingredients.
3 Add 1/4 cup of mixture to rinse water.

You may be able to find a wringer at an antique or second hand store....

Hope this helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rapid Washer

    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 12:02AM
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I forgot to mention......
I have a glass washboard for clothes that are extra dirty.
I have a wringer on both tubs.

Summer...I hang the clothes outside.
Winter...I use accordian-style wooden racks to dry the clothes near the woodstove.

PoohBear2767...In response to your question about the glass washboard...the glass board cleans better and will outlast the metal ones.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 12:17AM
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That is some useful information I haven't seen posted before. Thanks AlchemyAcres

    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 12:20PM
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1 cup Bar Soap, Grated into fine flakes. (I recommend Fels-Naptha. Half of a bar.) AlchemyAcres, my mom used Fels Naptha and American Family soap and soap chips for years before all the powerded stuff came out.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 6:59PM
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cherig22(MO 6a/6b)

I remember when I was younger and had to hand wash my clothes cause I could not afford the laundramat...The one thing I do recall, is that if you don't use some kind of softener, the clothes are scratchy, kind of stiff.

I soaked then washed, then hung on the line. But the first couple of loads were stiff and scrtchy. Either use the softener mentioned above, or add a small amount of commercial liquid. It doesn't take much....


    Bookmark   June 9, 2005 at 6:51PM
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Have Y'all noticed that Prarie Girl has not posted an entry since her first questions? No thank yous nor explanations.
I guess we scared her off with our bickering.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2005 at 9:43AM
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I wished I had one of those Rapid Washers today. (I'm too lazy to get the box down with that little portable washer) I bought a three piece dress set at a yard sale today and it had that musty old smell to it. Of course the tag said Dry Clean only. I soaked all the pieces and did a lot of rinsing and wringing etc and finally got them out to hang and dry. It would have been so much easier to just use one of those rapid things. Prarie Girl come back!!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2005 at 12:10AM
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prairiegirl00(z6 MO)

Well I bought a double washtub with stand the other day. Ordered the Rapid Washer and Glass Washboard through Lehmans and they arrived within 3 days after they were shipped. I've done about 5 loads of laundry by hand. I realized that I'm going to need the Best Hand Wringer also by Lehmans so I ordered it today! Should arrive this next Monday!

Today I stood at the end of my garage and did the laundry as all was quiet- except for the cars driving by. It was so nice. I watched the few white clouds go by. The sky was a beautiful blue color. It's rained here for about the past 7 days straight so today was a gorgeous day for doing laundry. How I would have once again missed nature today if I would have been inside doing my laundry.

I do have to say that I am very shocked at the amount of bickering this question has brought. All I am going to say is this: the last time I checked this was still a free country and I understood it we all have what is called free speech. I am floored that someone would come on here- get their feelings hurt and go off on a tangent. Do we expect to have every single person to wake up every day worrying about each and every word that is said so that everyone will have the warm fuzzies? If someone doesn't like what is said- you made the choice to read this and you can just as easily make the choice to click the back arrow key and look somewhere else.

Happy laundring to everyone. Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 12:27AM
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I'm glad to hear your enjoying the new laundry experience.

: )

    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 8:09PM
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prairiegirl00(z6 MO)

I bought the "Best Hand Wringer" from Lehman's and it arrived today! It works great! Thanks again to everyone who helped me!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 5:45PM
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FlowerFan86(z6 WA)

Nice to hear that it has worked out for you!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 9:54PM
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I'm still thinking about that Rapid washer.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2005 at 1:31PM
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huisjen(z5 ME)

At the junk shop today we got a bag of used clothespins. The bag is cloth, with a wire holding the top open. The wire also forms a hook so that you can hang it on the line for convenience while you work. The clothespins themselves are old and slightly rounded from use, but show very little weather, and are all put together straight. They're better made than what we seem to get bought new lately. Katey thinks they're maple.

And I thought of this thread and all of you.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2005 at 9:19PM
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Great information. More power to you. I think having that wringer would help. I've seen them from time to time at thrift stores. I'd look for an old wringer washer--even if it didn't work and use that wringer on it. You could wash in a tub then rinse in the wringer washer.

Wish I'd thought of washing my clothes in the bathtub when I was poor. I hear you can use a clean plunger and it works great.

When I have had to wring things out myself, I've rolled them up then applied pressure (kneel on them if thick) to squeeze the water out. Maybe a board placed at an angle in the tub so the water flows downward?

One more thing, if you hang out wash on a windy day, things are less stiff.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 10:05PM
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TexasWeed(Z8 Tx)

This thread reminds me of I Love Lucy. Dont come between a woman and her washing machine! The process does not matter.Its the end result.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 1:22AM
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Texas Weed, you should hear my husband lecture me when I do the laundry... then hear me lecture him when he does it... we finally agreed to do our own clothes separately, as we are each set in our ways. Laundry is more contentious than you'd think!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 7:10AM
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I think it's great you enjoy yourself while doing laundry! I too, am going to get one of the rapid washers, as I feel hand washing does better than the machine. I use cold water. The key to hand washing (I think) is to SCRUB for as long as it takes, sometimes I soak-scrub-soak-scrub-soak-scrub to get the really ground-in dirt out. Soak overnight for the really tough stuff. Make sure to rinse until ALL the soap is out. (Drain the "extra rinses" water to a CLEAN NEW trash can or something reserved for this use and you can use it to wash other stuff). I like the outside clothesline best. I wish I had a wringer -- it's on my wishlist. As for soap, I find the "old fashioned" works best. Even some of the "natural" stuff is based on "old" ideas. Enjoy! Have a happy day!!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 10:53PM
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Good Heavens! I stumbled into the Homesteading Forum out of curiosity and what I've discovered for my folly is people who are so in awe of their own voluminous, extraneous expression---ah---hold on here I'm thinking hard---uh---WORDS! There! My PhD almost in languages almost failed me. :O
BTW, if anyone would like to borrow my above mentioned degree, it digs post holes at an unbelievable rate of speed... ;D
Reading all this has been hilarious! Go to it GALS (yup, GALS! I'm one of 'em too, but not like you!). See ya later SWEETIES! LOL LOL LOL

    Bookmark   July 16, 2005 at 2:25AM
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...And touche' Prairiegirl. The same to you nice ladies who offered up woman talk and recipes for soap. So nice to see there are such decent folk here afterall. Maybe I'll stay awhile.

In much younger years I used to stand cuddled up to my Aunt Elsie's leg while she scrubbed and rang the clothes and hung them to dry. I was very small and she seemed so sweet for one so grown up. I loved her with heart and soul and I know she loved me the same. She was good to me in all ways and she taught me a lesson that has stayed with me throughout my life so far-EVERY PERSON MATTERS-She lived a simple, humble life all of her life, yet she was GRACIOUS and she carried the embodiment of KINDNESS itself as though it was as natural a part of her make up were as were thumbs, fingers and toes. She was a lady who taught me to watch the clouds and the blue beauty of the sky and how it changed in tone and color as the day progressed.

Prairiegirl, enjoy what you do each day. :)

    Bookmark   July 16, 2005 at 3:16AM
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Why must you assume only ladies do laundry? : )

    Bookmark   July 17, 2005 at 6:36PM
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Millie_36(Z6b MO)

Here's the way it was done prior to having electricity. We used only a scrub board and it was made of wood and a galvenized type metal that had corregated ribs that had smooth little curved groves. There was a cross piece at the top of the board where your bar of laundry soap would rest. When working with very dirty clothes, you would rub the bar laundry soap (usually homemade lye soap) directly onto the dirty spot and scrub the heck out of it.

OK, from the beginning. We had an old woodstove in an outbuilding at the back of the house. It was fired up before breakfast and a large boiler of water was filled and left to heat. (I was water-girl) The tubs were round and I believe they had their own legs. We actually did this part outside. Part of the hot water was taken out for the "wash tub"...then lye soap was peeled off (like a veggie peeler would do) into the boiling hot water left in the "boiler"...bleach may have been added...not sure...all white clothes were cotton, so they were put directly into the boiling soapy water for a period of time. I believe they were lifted out with the wooden paddle that was used to stir them while in the boiling pot. They were placed in the hot water tub that had been cooled with water from the well. Once the clothes were cooled enough to handle, they were hand wrung. (We never had a wringer with a crank handle.) There were two women in the house so if it was a large item, they simply grabbed hold of each end and worked together to wring the water out. It was then rinsed in water that had bluing added. The clothes were sorted acording to colors as well as how dirty. Lighter colored clothes went into the wash tub next and were lightly scrubbed, rinsed and hung on the line to dry. Rinse water was changed several times during the day, but the wash water was not. We usually ran out of clothes line space about the time we got to the jeans and overalls...they were laid over the grape vines to dry. I should be able to remember the name of the powdered starch that we had to cook before using, but it has slipped my mind even though I did uniforms for my husband all through 20 years of Military service...good grief...must be a mental block. :O)

Next day was ironing day, as stated above. Clothes were sorted and folded on the dinning table. Next morning, early, the clothes to be ironed were sprinkled, by hand, and set aside until after breakfast. This was a hard day because you had to have a fire indside the house to heat the darned iron. No electricity meant not even a fan. This continued until 1947. The war had stopped the manufacturing of transformers, so we could see the end of the power lines, but had none ourselves for the duration.

The first time I went to Europe (1955) with my husband I did laundry this way knealing in front of the bathtub...not something I would be able to repeat. We had an 18 month old and no laundromats were to be found.

Yep, I know...we walked a mile to school and it was uphill both ways. LOL That was the world we were born into, so it wasn't hard to us at the time...just the way it was, and most of our neighbors were all in the same situation. Less time to get into trouble.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2005 at 10:11PM
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Hi Alchemy.

That's an entertaining name: Alchemy Acres. I suppose I'd have to call my place Chaos Crib or something...if I were to change the name.
This is just Maggie's Farm. Bob Dylan stole the idea from me! ;)

Hey, I know that not ALL people who do laundry are "Ladies" or "Gals" or "Girls" or "Women" or anything else equally feminine in origin. How do I KNOW this? My husband does most of the laundry around here. He's just as masculine as can be. How can I be so sure about this? I'm female and have been married to him for almost 34 years. We have 2 children and 6 grandchildren. We even made the 2 children ourselves--all by ourselves. I've checked the dictionary and manuals related to health and the human body. The description fits him. It's all there! ;)

Thanks for your humorous observation. I'll be more careful the next time I make an erroneous assumption. :)

Maggie chickenmama1

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 2:12PM
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I forgot to add that when I was a young school girl, about 1964, my mother did not have a washing machine. Since we lived in town she didn't do laundry outside, except to hang it on the line-year round-it was so funny to see the frozen clothes come in through the kitchen door! She used our old roll top bathroom tub to wash and rinse the clothes. We had a glass and wooden wash board for scrubbing and she bought a toilet type plunger to wash an entire tub full of clothing. All white clothes were done with the wash board and the hottest hot water she could get from the faucet as well as water that she boiled in a big pot on the kitchen stove. I spent such a long time with that scrub board scrubbing my white socks for school.
Wringing out the clothes was my least favorite part of the job. We would hand wring all of it. I thought my Aunt Elsie's crank wringer was the best thing around! I don't remember the year or how old I was when Mom finally got a washer and drier, but I can tell you that it was a happy day for everyone!

I still prefer to hang my clothes on the line rather than putting it in the drier. I have the time to do things however I want to, though, since I am a stay at home person. I know many of you don't have that kind of time.

My daughter will be thrilled to have these soap recipes. It's one of her many interests. We visited Colonial Williamsburg when she was about 14 y/o and she's been interested in all things Colonial ever since.
She (and I) also use a lot of recipes from the depression era for cooking. Our favorite has been Cowboy Cake. I just pulled out the old cookbook I thought it was in and it's not there. Must have the wrong cookbook.
If anyone knows where I can find that recipe, I'd be so grateful if you'd let me know.

Maggie chickenmama1

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 3:23PM
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I did a google on Cowboy cake and came up with this page. Let us know if you find it!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Google Search: Cowboy Cake

    Bookmark   July 23, 2005 at 12:32AM
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huisjen(z5 ME)

Put it in quotes and you go from a million hits to around 700.

I see one on the first page that includes dates and chocolate chips, which doesn't sound "depression" to me. What was the cake like?


Here is a link that might be useful: Google Search:

    Bookmark   July 23, 2005 at 1:31PM
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led_zep_rules(5 WI)

Was reading this topic because at various times I have done laundry sans machine. Also grew up with a thrifty mom who used her old wringer washer until, well, sometime in the late 70s I think, when it must have broken. In high school I remember learning in history class about how people used to use such machines, and whispering to my friend that we used that kind of machine still.

My first job in 1974 was housecleaning and babysitting for a neighbor where each parent had their own business. The daughter had to teach me how to use a 'regular' washing machine because I was clueless! But we were modern at home, our wringer washer was electric. So you washed the clothes in the machine, whites first because you used the same water for all the laundry. Then put it through the wringer into the stationary tub of rinse water, and put more clothes in the washer (which had an agitator.) Agitate by hand or stick in rinse water, and wring out again and hang up.

I used a washer and dryer for years, but started using the dryer less and less. In 1991 stopped using the dryer completely. I have some great drying racks. Lived in Ecuador for a year, where my laundry was done by a woman on the roof who used a concrete washboard. She was vicious with clothespins, so that they got holes where she put them , and she had no clue how to hang up clothes (would fold 2 socks over the line and pin them, so there were 8 thicknesses of cloth on the line hanging together, etc.)

Lived in England and France for some months, had a small washing machine but no dryer. Dried the clothes on things in the apt. and 1 small rack, but it took forever because England is damp! Also in France dried the clothes on things and remember drying sheets on the kitchen table, only place big enough to spread them out. Many (most?) Europeans don't use dryers, and have efficient washing machines that do more soaking and less spinning and use less water.

Lived on a sailboat on and off over 4+ years for a total of 15 months or so. SOmetimes on rainy days would catch water off the bimini (cockpit cover) into waste baskets and our bucket, and wash clothes in there by hand. Wring out by hand and dry on the lifelines. Never realized before how interesting my laundry history has been. :-)

I dry clothes outside in the spring/summer/fall. In the winter I use my drying racks inside, and they dry fast usually because when the furnace is on the air is dry. Oddly enough I still don't mind laundry although I hate most housework (due to the evil woman at that first job who yelled at me about everyting.) The washing clothes with my mom and the wringer and hanging it all up, that took time, but it was sort of a pleasant time. I especially liked hanging the clothes on the line in the summer. My best trick to share is to hang all shirts on hangers, and hang up the hangers on pipes or clotheslines or over the bathtub, etc. Once dry then they just get put in the closet. It is less work than moving them to a dryer, drying, then getting the wrinkles out and hanging them up.

Marcia, not quite a homesteader but living in 'voluntary simplicity' a great deal

    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 1:24AM
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madspinner(z7 WA skagit)

What an odd thread a simple question has become!

I found the many Laundry recipies very interesting. I'll have to try them. I'm more of a pretend homesteader. I suppose some folks would malign it, but it is what I think I am. I like to learn to do things from scratch, but I certainly don't do things that way all the time. I enjoy the luxury of being able to choose when I want to bake bread, or jam, or wash by hand. I admire those who do it themselves all the time, but honestly I probably AM too lazy to do it that way all the time.

When I was in highschool my mother and I lived in a school bus on a bit of property without power for about half a year, most of it in summer. (we actually lived in the bus much longer than that, but this was just the time without power or sewer). I washed all my own clothes by hand down at the well, in cold water, and dried them on the grass. Not my idea of fun. I would have been thrilled with hot water and a washboard and wringer! But now I am glad of the experience. There is something to be said for knowing you can do a thing when it is needful.

I've always been of the mind that the washing machine was one of the most liberating machines ever invented... as the wash used to take up so much of people's time. This in an age when folks owned far fewer clothes, and of better quality. It is amazing to me how much work used to go into the simple act of keeping a family clothed. I am in awe of anyone who could do that, especially considering so many also had a large family of children as well.

Currently, I choose to use a washing machine. I'll admit being too lazy to do it by hand anymore, except for special items like wool sweaters or such that need to be cleaned by hand. I almost always wash in cold water. In the summers I like to use a clothes line... I find the act of hanging clothes enjoyable, and I love the sight of a full clothes line. I'd likely do it more, but alas, Washington State is not a good place to dry clothes outdoors. They'd likely mold first. I sometimes dry small amounts indoors, but my single wide mobile home is so small there is really no room for the amounts of laundry we go through.

My only concern about doing laundry by hand would be the wear and tear on the clothing. If the clothes are made of good quality materials by hand or at home, they might do fine. But I know how shoddy many new garments are... half the time I've bought anything I have to remove and resew on all the buttons or they fall off! The fabrics are often of cheap quality, and the stiching poor. I have doubts how well these items would stand up to serious washing. And of course, so many things these days are only made to be dry cleaned...(a total scam as far as I am concerned) and won't even hold up half the time for a hand washing.

Other than concerns about how modern clothing will hold up to past washing methods, I think it sounds like you have things covered. I'm glad you got the wringer. I remember how that hurt my hands, to wring by hand. People of the past were tough! I can't begin to imagine. Although, I do think folks forget that labor used to be really cheap, and that people who were even just middle class used to have servants who did the less pleasant things for them. One of my very old cook books from 1914 is for young wives of the middle class, and talks about what to have your servants do and how to treat them. This is NOT a book written for the rich, but for fairly average young women, who have maybe one or two servants who come in during the week. Things have changed a lot, and of course now we only expect the very rich to hire their own staff. That was also something I noticed in my family tree research when looking at census records, was how often a servant or two was listed as living with them. And my family was certainly NOT rich. Although one part of the family started out as miners in CA during the goldrush, and ended up with a Hotel/store with a decent size staff...

Anyway, sorry to go off on another subject. Just an aspect of the past I think sometimes gets forgotten.

I hope all your washing goes well. I'd love to hear if you find any tricks that make your clothes cleaner or the process more pleasant for you.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2005 at 10:23PM
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Hi, interested in alternative ways of washing cloths to save electricity and money.

Those laeman wringers are very expensive, I wonder what they are made of to cost that much.

Anyways, do you think one could ring out cloths with a rolling pin or putting something flat on top of the cloths and pressing down or putting something heavy on top of that?

Any of you have experience with that wonder clean item and whether it has managed to clean as good or better then a washing machine? Or had any problems with it? http://www.laundry-alternative.com/washing.html

    Bookmark   September 5, 2005 at 3:44AM
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Do I have to make this a new topic that I might get a response?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2005 at 5:48PM
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I washed all our laundry by hand in Ireland for several years, having no electricity. I used cold water and had to do it outside, choosing dry days. For wringing I would hang the clothes/bedding etc on the line, or drape stuff over the line, and twist it round until the water ran out. For getting work jeans etc really clean I used a scrubbing brush, it got stuff cleaner than a washing machine does, I found! And as long as I had rubber gloves I didn't mind doing the job at all . . . . outside, looking around at nature while I was doing it, it was pretty nice. Once the stuff was on the line I would return now and again and squeeze the water out from the bottoms of the items, where it had drained down. A wringer would have been nice, but I managed perfectly ok without one.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2005 at 8:37PM
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paulyn(z 8 NW OR)

This thread reminds me of a visit I made to see my Swedish grandma when I was 16 years old. She didn't speak English and I didn't speak Swedish. She motioned me into the back room and invited me to go do laundry with her. We washed my father's shirts on a glass washboard and found ourselves communicating non-verbally and very pleasantly enjoying the day. She had an electric wash machine and my mother thought it was ridiculous for us to be out there doing laundry by hand. It was one of the highlights of my life. I learned to love this grandma over a washtub.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2006 at 12:29AM
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Washing machines are abominations.
Hard work is salvation.
All mankind ought to go back to washboards.
I live in a low cost housing deal, and the entire community shares two washing machines and two dryers.
This is unclean, unsanitary and disgusting.
Most people don't think about these things, when they become stupid american purchasing units, with as much importance to themselves and their neighbors as a bucket of waste water...
Want to remain healthy and clean in our latter-days?
Return at once to the ways of our first settlers and pioneers...
Less is more, abominations clutter and stain and rust and shame remain in vain...

Pro 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 1:57PM
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Hand washing is easier and cheaper. People who hand wash their clothes, are not normally obese. It's easier for a healthy person to hand wash clothes than for an obese person to put clothes in a washer. I initially used an antique wringer but little pieces of rubber would break off of the wringer due to age. I now use a big plastic mop wringer, but am saving up my change for one of those 200 dollar wringers. Automatic Dryers tear up clothes more than hand washing. I have learned that putting clothes on a line is enjoyable and I like to think of it as a statement to the world. I won't bend in to peer pressure just so that the world can be destroyed a little quicker.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 10:54PM
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Ok so I'm the newby around here but I love this thread you started (apart the squabbling) because if someone has a reason for hand washing they should have somewhere to discuss it.

There are plenty of reasons to hand wash things:

Travel, Unexpected Trips, Unexpected Delays, Loss of Washer/Dryer, Lack of Access, Global Concerns, Minimalist Living, Avoiding Chemicals.. etc.

I have long stints where my only access to washer/dryer are in a communal situation where many of the people have quite a different lifestyle than I do. The management is good about replacing the units as needed but being the one coming behind the sick person or the guy who partied/smoked all weekend is out of luck.

I really enjoy the idea of doing things on my own terms in my own time and that is greatly affected when you have a few hundred other people to work around. It's more fun to take one's self out of that hectic/annoying equasion. I'm highly chemically sensitive as well so imagine the courage it takes me just to walk down to that laundry room praying that no one is running chlorox in their loads. (It could be months before I could come across a time when that isn't going on.)

After seeing various shows about what lives in the water of most any washer (even privately owned ones) I can't imagine doing my laundry with anyone elses now. Dust mites, Fecal Choloforms among other things are just some of the common things found in water that cause rashes and other problems even on supposedly 'clean laundry'. Because of that now, I don't wash anything without Grapefruit Seed Extract because it's the one of the only things that kills that stuff.

I was drawn to the thread also because I was looking for an easier way to handwash items with a low footprint ie.. In a small space to have multi-purposeable items that are easily stored goes a long way.

My biggest concerns are:

* Avoiding CRUNCHY or STIFF laundry (after all that work).
* Finding a way to adequately spin/mangle the water out (without killing the hands completely as I have early onset arthritis)...

I am currently using a 6 gallon drink tub with a handle and spiggot so I can move it around and do it wherever I want to and drain most of the water out before moving again. I realize I'm going to need to find a hose of some kind to hook to the sinks though. (Not as easy in the bathroom...) I also want to get a rolling plant stand or something for it so I can move around easily enough, which might actuall work out for agitation of some kind. The lid fits very tightly so it winds up having a wider opening than the WOnder Washer and holds more as well.

AGitation? I'm going to look at the agitator on the Lehman's page but for right now I have one of those 'grabber' devices that people use to reach things when they can't bend over safely.

Spinner verses Wringer/Mangle?

Does anyone have any ideas on which is better in the long run? I've read extensively about two 'small' electrical spinners as well as the 18 inch type hand wringers and I just wonder about the benefits of either item. BOth wind up being a little pricy (@ $150 or more) and I can't imagine spending that kind of money on things that will not work on towels or sheets... Where does all that water go? Do you literally sit inside your tub?

As for hanging to dry I have a single pole curtain rod from Ikea but I may go get the double one and put a rod on it without a curtain to drape the larger items over when I wash them. It allows for about a 1.5 inch space between curtains so I figure it will not affect the light weight curtain much if at all. It's right near the cieling fan as well so as long as it's well wrung it should dry quickly.

I may post this kind of thread as well under another type of title about being chemically sensitive to see if more people who relate to that might have some experience with what to do.

Thanks for any thoughts. I'm so tired of things coming out stiff - like socks, etc.

Thanks GG

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 4:02PM
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True Purple:

So far I fold everything in flat sections and twist from the middle and ends as tight as I can. It works for the smaller items and even the bigger ones but I wouldn't say it's the best plan for long-term.

Like you I'm looking for a unit that will help wring out the clothes without it taking so long that half the clothes are dry while I'm still wringing the others. I also do not wish to pay that much for it - unless it does miracles and can spin / wring anything I need it to.

I'm seriously considering a new way of doing bedding.

I'm getting a few 2 dollar sheets and cutting them up into smaller sizes - ones that fit my approximate body footprint on the bed and use them like a 'liner' so they can easily be hand washed frequently and then the fitted sheet doesn't need to get washed that often.

Target has these microplush blankets that feel like the softest thing ever and the thinner ones melt down to nothing wet and dry so I got two of those.

I figure anything I can do to cut down on the 'bulk' of the laundry is going to be a learning experience. That will make it less complicated to spin/wring out.

I was at the store and saw the old bucket mop wringer and it was $50 US and I thought geeze, this is cumbersome and I'm not going to buy a bucket to put it in if it doesn't fit on the one I'm already using. I"ll have to do more research on them... It closes up to about 2 inches and stops so smaller items would need to be packed in together.

That makes me wonder though... if there is a way to cynch up something so that when you pull it tight it mashes the water out - might be a good idea too. One idea might be some kind of mesh bag. Another idea might be like a heavy duty salad spinner or steamer basket/insert with holes. If you could use something to mash/tamp the laundry down and the water went out the other side or squished the water out somehow it might be easier than rolling pining it.

Has the rolling pin idea worked for you so far? If I was you I'd try the marble kind of rolling pin since it's not as pourous etc as wood. I'd also fold the items over a few times to give it some thickness to press. I don't currently own a rolling pin or I'd try it.

I wish someone would make a large heavy duty salad spinner hehe. I have a large one that I got at Target for $2.99 US and it works fine for the small weighted delicates. I haven't tried anything else in it because I don't want to wreck it.

You know what I mean by salad spinner right? It rinses the water off lettuce/greens etc. I mentioned it to someone and they thought it was a device to cut veggies with.

Let me know how it's going for you - I also think we should be able to do this with less expense and at least a multipurposing of items! (I mean if I'm going to spend $150 on something I want it to do at least five things lol.)

What are your bulkiest items and are there other inexpensive ways to bring that bulk down? I may still wind up doing a couple loads a year in a laundry machine but if everything else is done simply and inexpensively without too many single-use items taking up my space that's pretty good. Finding a way to de-bulk the laundry might be easier/ cheaper in the long run than finding the perfect spinner.

All the best!

PS: I just tried to send this and it said that we couldn't respond more than once - what is that about?? People were arguing earlier and making multiple posts I don't see how that would be possible if we're only allowed to post one comment to each thread. GOod thing for me I already knew to copy/paste my response before pushing Preview/Submit or I'd have lost all that...

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 4:54PM
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I don't have any money to buy any hand washing equipment, but I've been getting by so far. What I've been doing is using a (I think) 25 gallon Sterlite tub. I'll fill it with warm water and do a combination of stomping on it and agitating it with my hands for 10 minutes, switching every 30 seconds or so. Then I change the water and do the same for 5 minutes, for the rinse, two times. After I rinse I'll usually shower myself, then I move the shower curtain to the middle of the tub, and hang everything on hangers. The underwear and bras lay over the top.

I live in an apartment complex, and for a wash and dry it costs me $2.50. Water and power are included in my rent so the cost of washing my own laundry is nothing to me, except for detergent, which is cheap because I make my own. So I'm saving $2.50, and doing it in half the time, and I don't even have to leave the house.

I am obese, and I am trying to live healthier and simpler. I also just found out I have high blood pressure. I am trying to lose weight and instead of spending more money and going to a gym, I decided to practice a little physical labor instead. It's not fun, but I do feel like I'm getting a workout, and getting my laundry done at the same time. It's a win/win situation if you ask me.:)

Here is a link that might be useful: My Blog

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 7:41PM
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Dear Praire Girl, If you live neat East Central Mo. you are welcome to a free concrete laundry tub with legs(28Lx24Wx34H). I am negotiaing with a plumber to undo the fixtures from the pipes and cap it off. I use an automatic washer and dryer but someone living here before me was a hearty soul and must have had a wringer washer. BTW-you will need a truck and several large men. Good luck with your chosen life style.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 2:17PM
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I really can't believe what I'm reading. I am new to this forum. I have been washing my our clothes (5 of us) for a few months now out of necissity. It is pretty easy and our clothes are clean. I use a home made detergent and fabric softener(also on the frugal side) -Most of my recipies I have gotten from forums such as this one but usually tweak them .
1. Fill 5 gal bucket with a lid that has a hole cut in it for my plunger with hot water
2. Add clothes and detergent
3. agitate with plunger 5 mins.
4. let soak for 15 mins
5. agitate with plunger 5 mins.
6. move clothes to rinse bucket (if water is too hot I use metal tongs
7. add fabric softner -see recipie I got it from here and tweaked it
8. agitate that for a bit then wring it out
The part where you wring it out really is the most work if you are doing it with out a wringer. your hands will toughen up to the task though.
9. Hang to dry either out side or on something that is mounted above the tub such as this http://www.lehmans.com/store/Home_Goods___Laundry___Drying___Accordian_Wall_Dryer___63ACD?Args=

you can also use your tub but I use the buckets so I can clean the kids at the same time. I can wash while they play

I say good luck to you and let me know how it goes. I will add that my recipies have helped with my daughter's excema 100% and even ran it by our dermatologist and he thought it was a great idea

here are my recipies
Detergent I use 1/4 C of detergent
1 bar soap grated (I use Ivory or Zote)
1 C. Washing Soda
1 C. Borax
1 scoop oxy clean (optinal) I use this cause the baby is a spitter
I usually make 3 batches and put it in a 1 gal rubbermaid tub with a large mouth and shake it up (thats the part the kids like to help with)

Fabric softener
1 C Baking Soda
1 C Vinegar
2 C Cold water
4 dropps essental oils (optinal)

in large bowl pour in baking soda then add in vinegar
stir and then add the water. stir it all together then put in a container you can eaisly pour out of use 1/4 C in rinse water

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 9:56PM
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