bluebird

Washing clothes the old fashioned way

54 posts in this topic

I was surfing ebay last nite looking for washboards, etc and found this one

230239316705

Check out this antique washing machine on ebay

 

 

Do any of you ladies have a wringer washer? What are your plans for laundry WTSHF? SHTF

 

I'm mad at myself, as last year before we moved to this apt, we had a huge yard sale. I sold my wooden drying rack, a clothes rack on wheels, a big galvanized wash tub, an antique wooden ironing board and tons of old starch in boxes. I got rid of everything thinking I would never need these items and where would I put them! oops

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I have a hand wringer and a clothes line.

I did buy one of those 'rapid washers' but it rusted very quickly, and I can get the clothes plenty clean by just putting them in a filled washtub of soapy water and BEATING THEM WITH MY FISTS.

 

wring, rinse and repeat.

 

it's very theraputic curtsey

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Let's see. I have a stacking washer/dryer in the house, I use it during the winter and if we are really busy during the summer. I have a wringer washer on the front porch for summer, and dh promises he will hook up the newclothes line SOON. Then I have a washboard & tub if both of those fail. I really do like clean clothing.

 

Joyfully,

Cheryl

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I have a wash board and pan, a plunger, and a mop wringer!

 

water will be scarce... I need to use as little as possible.

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Oh, good idea for the wringer. I have been wanting one for mopping anyway! If it got really bad & we had to, we have a lovely stream that would work well with the scrub board, but a mop wringer would really help!

 

Joyfully,

Cheryl

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I have a scrub board,bucket, plunger and a clothesline.

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I have a 5 gallon bucket and plunger, clothesline and dh's great grandmothers washboard (dmil does not understand why I'd want it).

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wow ladies, I've only thought about washing clothes briefly as I was concentrating more on food, but I will certainly add this to my list! Love the mop wringer idea!

 

My laundry preps right now consist of clothesline and clothespins (want to get more of each).

 

 

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I'm putting a clothes line on my list....can't believe I still don't have one. silly me! And the mop wringer is a great idea.

 

Stephanie

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I need a wringer and a washboard. I have two large laundry tubs, a line, and clothes pins. I can survive with what I have on hand - but the wash board and wringer would make it more practical.

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I bought my washboard from the Columbus Washboard Company. They are the only USA manufacturer of washboards. laugh

 

Columbus Washboard Company

 

I really like mine!

Porchlaundry005.jpg

 

Porchlaundry004.jpg

 

Hiding preps in plain sight works, too. Everyone knows about my antique kitchen gadget & laundry collection. laugh

 

Joyfully,

Cheryl

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LOL I am the "Clothes Pin queen " I use them for everything...esp for attaching notes so I don't forget things. Clothespins are gonna be my barter item...that's my story and I'm sticking with it! lol

 

I have clothesline right outside my door, small washboard, and buckets. At present a regular scrub bucket is sufficient for pre-wash of my white 'everyday' sox. I would highly reccomend the plunger! I would HIGHLY reccomend using the plunger now so that you can tell if you bought a cheapo Walmart special that will peel into two pieces after using it for a month..... rollingeyes I sent DH back for an upgrade and I'm quite pleased now. Get one with a long enough handle so you don't have to bend over to do the agitating. Tall folks will have to raise the level of the bucket/tub...save your back for other chores! lol I write across the handle LAUNDRY ONLY, of course. I drilled a hole in the end of the wooden handle and strung a hand-holding loop of cord thru it. Can hang it up to dry with the cord too but it's mostly to keep the thing in my MS-weakeded grasp as I shove it up and down in the bucket. I find that pouring in hot water/soap...plunge a bit....soak...plunge again every time I go in the bathroom (bucket sits in my shower - the curtain keeps the occasional squirts of water from the rest of the bathroom)...dump out dirty water and begin with another soapy water soak..plunge periodically...etc This is less strain on my muscles-without-stamina. A disability adaption! laugh

 

WRINGING OUT:

For my sox, I presently don't rinse or wring cuz I dump them right into the washer to finish. In HooeyHitsFan times, DH is my wringer! smile Where can you get a reasonable price on mop wringers? But also, have you all heard of the old two person clothes twist method? Outside, I'd guess. Each person takes a hold of the garment and twists in opposite directions until it's wrung. Alternate solo technique: attach one end of garment to the porch rail or whatever and do all the twisting yourself. Be creative. rofl

 

MtRider [might pick up another plunger...come to think of it! ]

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I have clothes pins, outdoor clothes lines, folding indoor clothes rack, lots of clothes pins, buckets and a plunger.

 

Hmmm. I'd like a wringer, too. I'll have to keep an eye out at the flea markets this summer. Then there's always Lehmans.... happy02

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I always line dry the wash so I'm all set there, and have plenty of extra line and pins. We also have 2 wash tubs, hubby says he can knock together a stand for them and would love to have a wringer to use. Just have a washboard now, but that wringer would sure come in handly!

Oh yea, that 2 person wring team...washer recently broke with a big load of jeans, of course, it would be the heavy stuff. Daughter and I did the twisting and we both agreed we'd be looking for a wringer to make life easier when it happens again...and it will happen!

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Many years ago, I lucked into a brand new wringer washer no one wanted. I promptly found out what happens when a lady leans too close to the wringer, and it does hurt like nobody's business!!!

 

It's electric, but extraordinarily stingy on the water and electricity use. I have also used the tub part as a washtub, with a new toilet plunger to shove the water through. We have a short, clean clothesline inside, and a somewhat mildewed long line outside that I say needs replacing but hubby doesn't think needs any work at all.

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the one person wring method...

 

wrap around a pole .. grab both ends.. wring!

 

or the No wring method! hang up.. it will drip dry.

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oh there is always the no wash method.. assign the task of washing to one of the 'quests'!

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Here's how clothes were washed the old, old fashioned way. I stole this excerpt from my blog because it fits this thread so well.

 

 

 

"Wash Day on the Bayou" is Part Two in a trilogy that I wrote. Part One is "Red Beans and Rice, Old Time Creole Style: A Story and a Recipe", http://purecajunsunshine.blogspot.com/2007...ime-creole.html . Part Three is "PureCajunSunshine's Red Beans and Rice Recipe", http://purecajunsunshine.blogspot.com/2007...s-and-rice.html .

 

 

Wash Day on the Bayou

 

 

 

Early in the morning, before most of the birds were fully awake, Mamere would already have the fires blazing under two huge black kettles of water that were set up outside. Those who lived near the bayous usually set up their wash day contraptions near the water's edge, to make the job of hauling water easier. The large kettles were set up on bricks over the fire. One kettle was filled about two thirds full of water, and was designated for washing and boiling sheets first, then a succession of clothes. Another kettle was filled with clear water to be heated and used to fill smaller wash tubs. A long poke stick or two, a few cakes of lye soap (or store-bought Octagon soap), some wooden benches, wash tubs, and a washboard were set up. The addition of a wooden deck was always nice because it helped to keep the place from turning into a messy mud-wallow after countless Mondays of laundry.

 

Mamere's washboard was a beautiful old one. Its gleaming hills and valleys were carved from a single heavy block of cypress by her grandfather's hand. The newer metal washboards became the minou's meow back in the 1850's, when the new-fangled inventions made their first appearance in the stores. But Mamere stubbornly clung to the old family washboard. Mais, cher! The old ways are good.

 

While water heated in the kettles outside, Mamere would hurry back into the kitchen to prepare the morning meal and to get the tradtional Monday's Red Beans and Rice started. After the breakfast dishes were cleaned and put away, the pot of beans was given a final stirring, and was moved to the back of the stove. There, it would gently simmer for the next several hours while Mamere washed clothes.

 

Although the same basic steps were always followed, Mamere, like countless other women of the day, had her own way of doing laundry. She would pour hot water into four wash tubs that were arranged on the benches. Two of the tubs were reserved for rinsing only. A third tub was filled two thirds full with hot water and enough soap flakes to make a mild soapy brew. Soap flakes were made by shaving off thin slivers from a bar of homemade lye soap or store bought Octagon bar soap (Ivory soap can be used this way, too). Enough soap was added to the big kettle that was filled two thirds full of boiling hot water, to make a very strong soapy brew. A fourth tub of water on the bench included liquid starch that she made from potatoes. In later years, she admitted that powdered store bought Faultless Starch from a box worked almost as well as her potato starch. Imagine that.

 

Into the strong soapy brew in the big pot over the fire, went the big stuff like bed sheets. The sheets were stirred and poked with the long poke stick until Mamere was satisfied they were clean. With a deft sweeping motion of her poke stick, Mamere would lift the sheets out of the pot and plop them onto a bench to drain and cool a bit before wringing, rinsing, and wringing them again. After the sheets were hung on the clothes line, then the dark colored pants, shirts and dresses were washed in the same hot soapy water. They were stirred and poked in the same manner as the sheets. Lastly, after the previous batch of clothing was removed from the pot, the grubbier work clothes were thrown in, and given a real good workout with the poke stick.

 

If it was a warm breezy day, Mamere didn't have to wring the water out of the clothes as much. Drip dry is nice. On very humid or freezing cold days, she would wring out as much water out as possible, so that the clothes dried better. There was a trick to wringing bed sheets and other heavy items by twisting them with the poke stick, but she used to wring just about everything else by hand. Later, after she bought a hand-cranked wringer, she wondered how in the world she managed to do laundry without it.

 

The lighter weight whites and very light colored items such as shirts, pants, dresses and underwear went into the washtub on the bench with the mild soapy mixture.

After the clothes soaked for a few minutes, the whites were scrubbed on a wooden washboard that was set up inside the tub. It went something like this: rub and plunge, rub and plunge. One area at a time, each article of clothing was rubbed on the washboard, then plunged into the soapy water...rub and plunge, rub and plunge... Often she hummed or sang a catchy tune in time with the action. It looked like a right good time to all the little girls, who wanted so badly to hurry up and grow big enough to help. Duh huh. Little did they know...

 

After much rinsing, wringing and singing, the cleaned shirts, pants and dresses were dipped into the starch pan, and wrung out a final time. In the days after Mrs. Stewart's Liquid Bluing was invented, a small amount was often added to the final rinse water for making whites look brighter and whiter. Mrs. Stewart's familiar blue bottle can still be found on store shelves to this day, near the laundry detergents.

 

True to South Louisiana tradition, nothing is ever wasted. At the end of the washday, the pot of hot soapy water was poured on unwanted weeds in the driveway and walkways. This worked fine and dandy as a weed killer, or it could be used to scrub the porch. The rinse water from the washtubs was poured into the flower beds.

 

By the time the last of the clothing was dried and taken off the line, the Red Beans and Rice that simmered all day had reached the peak of goodness and was ready to enjoy! To many in South Louisiana, it is a delicious comfort food that evokes fond memories of our mothers and grandmothers from a time gone by.

 

(see the links given above for recipes)

 

 

 

This may be reprinted by you for noncommercial use, if the following credit is given:

 

This is an excerpt from Mrs. Tightwad's Handbook #4 HOW TO COOK AND LIVE LIKE A REAL CAJUN: Jazz Up Your Kitchen Without Setting Your Mouth On Fire. For more information, see the left sidebar on this site: http://purecajunsunshine.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

 

 

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Here's a trick I learned about washing clothes with very little water...'tis another one stolen from my blog:

 

http://purecajunsunshine.blogspot.com/2007...-is-little.html

 

How To Do Laundry When There Is Little or No Water

 

Whether you are camping or in a crisis event such as a natural disaster, laundry can be a challenge when water is in short supply. This cheap and easy no-soap, no-rinse way of getting your clothes clean really works!

 

Here's how it's done:

 

Add about 1/2 cup of ammonia to a sink or bucket of water, swish things around, let the clothes soak for up to a half hour. Scrub where needed, swish the clothes around, and repeat scrubbing and swishing until the grime is lifted. Remove the clothes from the water, wring out, then hang dry. No rinsing is needed. Use a little more ammonia for heavily soiled clothing. Repeat if needed.

 

Somehow, the ammonia seems to help prevent redeposits of dirt and grime onto the clothes. The ammonia smell will evaporate as the clothes dry, and they come out smelling and looking fresh and clean.

 

 

NO WATER AT ALL?

 

Brush off the worst of the dirt and grime. Turn underwear items inside out. At night, lay the clothes outdoors where the dew will fall on them. Early in the morning, hang the clothes up in full sun for a few hours.

 

 

I originally picked up the ammonia idea years ago from an internet message board catering to boats, and the people who live on them. Some of the folks lived full time on yachts for years. They know all kinds of tricks to abbreviate laundry chores, food preparation, etc. I lurked around a few of these boards, and picked up a few new tricks such as the one I shared with you.

 

Ammonia is a common laundry room product. I've used it for years, and notice nothing but cleaner clothes. A little goes a long way!

 

To keep my supply of ammonia fresh-dated, I rotate my stock. About once or twice a week, I like to use 1/2 cup of ammonia in my washing machine as a laundry detergent booster to help remove detergent or grime buildup. Ammonia is especially good for greasy clothes (auto mechanics, farm workers, etc.). Kills odors like nobody's business, too.

 

There's a gazillion other things ammonia can be used for. Google it and be amazed.

 

I also use ammonia to EZ-clean BBQ grills!!!!! All you need is a garbage bag, and a several ammonia-soaked rags. After the last of the Baby Back Ribs have been scarfed down, and the grill is cool, remove the cooking rack and put it inside the garbage bag. Toss in a few ammonia-soaked rags, shut the bag securely and leave it overnight. The next day, all the gunk should be magically lifted enough to simply wipe away. Very little scrubbing action is needed on your part.

 

No ammonia? Pitch the grill on top of an antbed. Let them do the grunt work. After they've done their job, I give the grill a quick wash, and it's good to go.

 

 

 

This copyrighted material may be reprinted by you for noncommercial use, if the following credit is given:

 

This article is an excerpt from Mrs. Tightwad's Handbook #1: HOW TO SURVIVE DISASTERS AND OTHER HARD TIMES. For more information, see the left sidebar on this site: http://purecajunsunshine.blogspot.com/

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Thought I'd add a little homemade soap recipe to go with this, not sure if I got it on this forum a while back but thought it was good for those wanting to save money . I also love the whole mop bucket thing too. Great Ideal. thanks

 

The Recipe

 

Now that you have assembled all the needed ingredients here is the recipe:

Homemade Laundry Soap

1/3 bar Fels Naptha or other type of soap, as listed above

½ cup washing soda

½ cup borax powder

~You will also need a small bucket, about 2 gallon size~

Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan. Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel. You use ½ cup per load. laundry

 

 

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I just spoke to someone who is using her first clothesline to cut the summer electricity bill. She didn't know to turn the red and black items inside out, or hang them in the shade, to prevent sun-bleaching. If you haven't thought of that, thinking of it before you hang might save you some annoyance.

I have also hung small items, like little kids' clothes, inside a pillow case.

 

 

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Ambergris, I had forgotten about this. Thanks for the reminder! Kelly

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Ambergris, why don't you start a thread on drying your clothes on a clothesline? A lot of people haven't done this before and could use an explanation on the hows and whys of doing it correctly.

 

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Do you know that one of the things I asked for for Mother's Day was a clothes line. I'd like to read a thread about that myself.

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Here is a pattern for an apron that has a wonderful clothes pin pocket..

 

http://www.motherearthnews.com/top_article...opean_Style_Cl\

othespin_Apron

 

http://tipnut.com/vintage-apron-bonnet-pattern/

 

 

photo of clothespin apron

http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/3817/14...n%20apron.0.jpg

 

A yard of fabric will do it, as well as some double fold bias tape. The back piece starts as an 18" square with the bottom corners rounded (if desired). The pocket piece is cut as directed from another 18" square of material. Pocket openings are bound in tape as well the sides and bottom of the apron.

 

or if you rather..

 

a clothes pin bag

http://sewing.about.com/od/homedecprojects...othespinbag.htm

 

http://www.allfreecrafts.com/sewing/peg-bag.shtml

 

here is a darling idea for a clothes pin bag

http://www.createforless.com/Needlings+Was.../pid106144.aspx

 

 

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