Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Non Electric Wash Day

Several (ok 2 of you) have asked if I would post on my washday as its electric free. Hope this post will help you and not change your mind about doing a non electric washday. A few years ago I was in Lanier's Hardware in Lexington, NC. If you can't find it anywhere else you can always find it there but anyways I happened upon a double washtub. Gave William a call and of course he said yes so they came home with me. At the time we lived in a large 3 bedroom/ 2 bath house with a nice laundry room that didn't need washtubs. So they sat in our fancy livingroom that no one used.

Now I couldn't have the washtubs without a way to wring out the clothes so I went in search of a handcrank wringer. We got ours from Lehmans but there are all kinds of places to purchase them. Ebay is one or you can even use a towel wringer. They are really easy for everything but jeans. Jeans will go through them it just takes more muscle power to crank . Here is a link to a forum I belong to that talks about handmade washers. Just be patient and keep looking till you find what you really want. We finally moved back here and I knew I would get to use my wonderful washtubs and wringer. William mounted my wringer between the 2 tubs so I could wring the clothes after washing and let them fall right in the rinse tub.

Of course when wringing them out after rinsing You have to make sure you hold them so they don't fall back into your wash water. You can use a wash board

to wash your clothes or you can use a rapid washer

. Whatever you use its exercising your arms. Instead of paying to go to the gym just wash clothes and work those muscles. Its also mentally relaxing. Hearing the water swishing about knowing you are getting clean clothes without the electric meter running round and round is very relaxing to me. Using the handcrank wringer is very easy. Also works your arm muscles but isn't hard at all as all my grandchildren wash their own clothes while here and had no problem using the wringer.

I keep my washtubs on the back porch and fill them with the garden hose. Each tub has its own drain and can be drained in a bucket to use watering the flowers, etc or if you are like me and have flower beds all the way around the porch you can let the water run off the porch into the flower beds. Doesn't take much water to fill the tubs.

I wash my white clothes first with a little bleach and my handmade laundry soap.

I usually use the water for one more load before emptying and refilling the washtub. My rinse tub I add 1/4 cup of vinegar and that keeps the clothes and towels soft even after hanging out on the clothesline. It also keeps lint off your clothes. As I mentioned above I wash then wring the clothes, rinse them, then wring again and hang out. Once you get comfortable using the tubs and wringer it goes really fast. Your clothes are much cleaner this way. The colors stay fresh longer and the clothes don't wear out as fast. Washtubs aren't for everyone but if you are looking for a frugal way to do laundry this is it. If you are wanting to go back to the simple ways of living this is for you. If you are looking at ways to conserve energy (Perri don't let Billski see this post) this is for you. If you just like doing laundry this is for you. Hope this has answered your questions and helped a little. Email me if you want more information and I will be glad to help.


Perri said...

Oh, Peggy - this brought back SO many memories of laundry day at my grandma's. Although we had a washer and dryer, she always did it by hand with her wringer washer. And we hung the laundry out.

amelia said...

I used to do my laundry this way for many years living in England. I did it through the birth of my two daughters, my son was born here in Canada, and when I came here I thought I'd died and gone to heaven with all the automatic washers and dryers!!!! I still appreciate having them although your way is much more eco friendly!!

PEA said...

You amaze me Sis, you truly do! You're my hero, do you know that?! hehe I think it's super wonderful the way you wash the clothes by hand like this. I remember my mom having a wringer washing machine and I loved pulling on the clothes when they came out the other side into the basket. Love ya sis! xoxo

Lib said...

Enjoyed the post!
I make my laundry det. but mine is liquid ,I have my Moms wash board.
We are such a Spoil Country!
I Love the simple side of life.

Rosa said...

You are just too precious for words. I still have my mom's old wash board hanging in the laundry room. To the day she moved, it stayed up in her bathroom where she washed all of her clothes by hand. After we all left, there was need for a washer and dryer. Now, the question of the hour is, when are you going to start selling your laundry detergent?? Hugs.

Jeanette said...

OHHH Peggy This bought back many memories, When Mum used to use a wash board and a hand ringer attached to concrete troughs.I remember boiling my bed linen & babies Nappies in a copper then rinsing by hand then putting them through the ringer, The whites always stayed white adding a little blue to the water...

Eve said...

I helped my Grandmother do this. One time I got my arm caught up in a pair of pants and she had to hit that release thing on the side. It actaully only bruise me a little. I guess I was protected by the thickness of the pants. She let her water out into the yard on her flowers too.

And then we hung them on the clothes line with wooden clothes pins. I actually enjoyed helping her.
I just love that little lacecoverd head when I come here. So sweet!

Anonymous said...

How fun, we leave near Lehman's hardware in Kidron, Ohio, my Mom and Dad and I were just there yesterday to get a clothesline to hang up our laundry outside;)

Homemakerang said...


I used a bucket, my cabbage mallet and my wringer on my mom bucket and then hung them to dry! it was easy surprisingly... the trouble i will find with it is the volume of laundry i have to do around here... i will have to have everyday be wash day and not just mondays i guess!

it was fun to be outside doing it and not cooped up in the laundry room.. thats what i loved about our month stay in alabama as people have the washer and dryer outside where we were. it was so refreshing!

thanks so much for this post as i learned a lot. the vinegar will be a must as my towels were hard as boards yesterday!

although i am not crazy about doing laundry, this my just be the ticket to enjoying it as i really did yesterday!!!
my camera is broken or i would have photographed the procedure!

i use a 1/10 of a cup of my laundry detergent for each bucket. how long do you "stir" or use that plunger thingy on each load?

thanks again for this wonderful post as you are in the midst of birthdays, (HAPPY BIRTHDAY) grand kids and goat kidding! oh yes, gardening too!


Homemakerang said...

to the old goat, the birthday wish goes to :) i linked to you also

Ron said...

Hey, Peggy, I enjoyed getting caught up and really enjoyed this post. Very informative! You've planted a little seed... if I happen to see one of these around here, I just might pick one up. Sloshing clothes around in a bucket outdoors sounds much more enjoyable than listening to the temperamental washer go into spin cycle, worrying that it just might actually fly apart this time...! :)


Homemakerang said...

have you ever thought of grating your own homemade goats soap into the mixture rather than store bought? just a thought. I plan to do that when i make soap... havent attempted soap making yet. mine will be on the earthy side, not as beautiful as yours!

debi said...

Peggy you are amazing. I found a double wash tub in an old aunties back yard. I wanted it to put flowers in. I never considered actually using it. I am considering it now,,,well I don't think with all the laundry around here that I will ever be up for it but maybe someday.I think I would like to get the wringer just in case.How long have you been doing this? Were your kids all still home? I love this post.

Robyn said...

I love it. Thank you for sending me the link.

That looks like my dream laundry set-up, just need to save up for a wringer, now. :-)