doing laundry : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Been reading the 'thread' on hanging clothes out on a line. My one sis in Pittsburgh feels she's wasted a day if it's dry and she hasn't hung out at least one load to dry! Oooh that smell. So clean and crisp, with some of the sun's warmth captured. And I don't think it's my imagination that the sun really does brighten the fabrics. Do any of you wash clothes by hand? My mom did when I was a child, using a ribbed scrubbing board. By the time I was in my teens we had a wringer washer. It was haaard work. Changing the water twice. Rinsing by hand and then running the clothes through the hand cranked wringer. about an earobic work out. That's why people could eat 'real' food with no guilt. They worked it all off the next day! Just like you homesteaders do nowadays, right? (: stef

-- stef (, June 18, 2001


No, we dont have to work that hard. If we did, none of us would be sitting at our computers to chat on here. I do wish for the good old days sometimes, thinking back to my childhood, and that old wringer washer. But it never got them as wrung out as our modern washers spin them. Those wrung out towels would take all day to dry, and then were as hard as boards. Nothing like a good back-scratching rubdown after a bath!

-- daffodyllady (, June 18, 2001.

I have a washboard and use it often for clothes that have stains. Even though they're often just work clothes I like to get the stains out if at all possible. I soak the clothes in a large bucket of soapy water for a couple of hours and then scrub the stains out. I then wring them and wash them in my automatic washer.

-- Grannytoo (, June 19, 2001.

Where can I get a washboard?? My 10 & 12 year old sons will soon be doing their own laundry on one, if they don't stop leaving their disgusting socks in a tight ball & throwing clean clothes in the dirty hamper. I mean it!!!!

-- Shannon at Grateful Acres Animal Sanctuary (, June 19, 2001.

I have been hand washing for about 6 years now and, for me, it's almost a spiritual experience. No washboard needed with today's detergents. I read two interesting articles on the physics of laundry. Just a small scoop of powder in a clean trash can--out on a bench in the flower garden so that it's definitely not a back- breaking operation. I love doing it and would do it every sunny day but only have to do it about once a week for the two of us. No need for fabric softeners as a good shake when hanging on the line removes wrinkles. The sun is a natural bleach and disinfectant so why buy chemicals? And it just smells SO GOOD! The water is then recycle in commode flushing or watering perennials. Only about 4 gallons are use for a weekly load, with about 9 gallons use washing ks bedding and an assortment of rugs. The whole process is very earth friendly and non- comsumptive. Why waste resources?

-- Sandy Davis (, June 19, 2001.

This might sound funny but I've seen washboards in MUSIC SHOPS!!! I have also seen them at hardware stores.

Wishing you enough.

-- Dianne in Mass (, June 19, 2001.

I would look in Lehman's for a washboard, my daughter just looked and they have a bunch!

-- Lynn (, June 19, 2001.

Lehman's sells wash boards.

I think my cleanest clothes were after I first got married. I used the soap my father - in - law made, and washed in a wringer washer. Used 2 rinses and hung them on the line. They smelled wonderful and if it was windy, by the time I finished hanging the clothes, I could take them down. Nothing can beat the smell of clothes dried outside! said your children put clean clothes in the laundry. I love when my youngest (17) puts clothes in the laundry that are still folded from last weeks laundry that she has not put away!

-- Cordy (, June 19, 2001.

We've always had a clothes line and used it a lot. When our drier broke down about 8 months ago, even tho I know hubby can fix it (because he is a Handyman you know) I told him not to. If the drier is not operable then we aren't tempted to use it!

So we've been hanging out clothes all the time ever since. On rainy days we hang things on hangers in the washer room. They dry pretty quickly there.

I'm trying to convert a room adjacent to the washer room and kitchen into a large pantry and plan to have an indoor clothes line in there for this winter~~~

-- Suzy in Bama (, June 19, 2001.

One of my favourite jobs is to hang laundry out on the clothes line. My husband just loves the smell of fresh air & sunshine on the clean washing & he always comments on it. Wish we could do it all year long but with our severe winters we have to stop when the snow flies. I have a friend who doesn't have a clothes drier & doesn't see the need for one. In the good weather they go outside & in the bad they are hung in the basement with two large square fans blowing on them. Thought that was a neat idea. I have another friend that told her husband that if he didn't install a second clothes line for her the hydro bill would be going up. She has figured that she saves about one month's hydro bill by line drying her clothes. Jan

-- Jan Sears (, June 19, 2001.

Not bored enough to wash by hand, but everything gets hung out on warm or windy non-wet days. I think the dryer still works, but I havn't used it since it warmed up. I don't like the stiff clothes, but there is something deeply serene about hanging out clothes.

Just make sure you have good pins, or you'll have to pick your clothes up off the ground on windy days! LOL.

-- Marty (, June 19, 2001.

I hang most of my clothes on the line because I love the smell and it is free. My 7 year old granddaughter has started helping me so I know she will know how. I also make my own detergent that I use on towels and bed clothes. I use a liquid detergent for the rest. I remember helping my grandmother on washday. We had a pitcher pump and had to bring the water in in buckets to fill the machine. I know it is crazy but I sure miss those days.

-- Faye (, June 19, 2001.

wow other hand washers! I wash with a wash board and hand wringer and love every minute of it. Not sure what i will do come winter!

-- renee oneill{md.} (, June 19, 2001.

I, too, love to hang out my clothes. You can't beat the smell and, to me, it's a relaxing and enjoyable job. I always thought I was weird for liking to hang them out so it's nice to know I'm not the only one. I do wash by hand some, but usually only when the water level in my well gets really low. I have one of those little barrel- type hand washers from Lehman's and sometimes I just use the sink. I have seen washboards at hardware stores but haven't gotten around to buying one yet.

-- Deena in GA (, June 20, 2001.

I do.... Mostly because I won't pay the price for a washer - nor for the laudromat. I only wish I could find a hand-wringer that I thought was AFFORDABLE!!!! I also line-dry - even in the winter. Can't beat it!!

About that 'real' food though.... I GAINED weight since I moved here, lol!! (Don't forget... muscle weighs more than fat, lmao!)

-- Sue Diederich (, June 20, 2001.

My favorite wash day memories are from my grandmother, she had a maytag wringer washer and more than a 1/4 mile of clothes line. {on a 5 wire post} that clear cold, cold, well water on the hottest summer days, I would keep my hands down in the water until my fingers would not move and then warm them on my face and neck, then hanging the clothes out, it was joy to stand between the close set rows of wet fabric, only the one who washed could touch the clean stuff so as to keep it clean, even to this day I like to watch the clothes in the machine while it runs. My mother taught us to wash clothes in the bath tub, grape stomping style, and I have a rub board as well, The best compliment I remember, was when my grandmother spoke of how white my babies hand washed cloth dipers where,I didn't use bleach, I used peach tree leaves and some times layed them on the green grass to dry, as I had learned from her.

-- Thumper (, June 20, 2001.

I use a 5 gallon pail along with a plunger that I fitted with a longer broom handle. Let the clothes soak in soapy water for a couple of hours. I leave it overnight sometimes. Wringing water out is the difficult part. It's good for doing socks or underwear. You can do it in a bathtub , shower anywhere with a drain.

-- Fred Spek (, January 05, 2002.

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