Sometime last week the pump died on our clothes washer. ย We do three to four loads a day so this was not a good thing. Not at all. ย We made do and tried to conserve on towels while we waited on the new pump to come. We were able to make it two days until Susannah just took a load of towels into the laundromat ๐Ÿ˜€ ย Then on Wednesday I was in need of clothes, so I played around with the idea of washing them in the bathtub. ย I didn’t want to hang out at the laundromat while my clothes were washing ๐Ÿ˜€ ย Then I remembered that Daddy had bought a wringer-washer at an auction once, and it was sitting out in his shop! ย The idea sounded like a lot of fun to me and Anna also got excited about it, so she went and grabbed her laundry, too ๐Ÿ˜€

The first step was to carry twenty gallons of warm water from the bathtub, out the back door, down the sidewalk and into the shop ๐Ÿ˜€ ย Anna and I took turns, but my, that was a lot of water!

 

We poured in the water and laundry soap, put in our whites, ย figured out how to turn on the agitator,ย and watched it wash ๐Ÿ˜€

Next, we loosely squeezed the water out of all the white clothes and put them in a basket

Did I tell you it was lots of fun?! ๐Ÿ˜€

We put our dark laundry in next, in the same wash water (and added a little more soap) ๐Ÿ˜€ We didn’t want to go get another twenty gallons of water, and I figured they might have done it this way in the old days anyhow. ย I know why, too! ย That’s a lot of water to haul ๐Ÿ˜€

ย We squeezed the water out of the darks and set them aside, then we went for the towels ๐Ÿ˜€ ย We don’t have any pictures of the towels…I guess we were too engrossed in watching the washer or reading our magazines while listening to the music we brought out to the shop for while we were waiting for the laundry to wash ๐Ÿ˜€

We drained all the wash water out after the towels and Anna and I both couldn’t believe how dirty it was! ย The regular washer never gives you the chance to see the dirty wash water ๐Ÿ˜€ ย We then carried twenty more gallons of clean water to rinse the laundry in ๐Ÿ™‚

Now this is the best part. ย After we rinsed the laundry, we put it through the wringer. Anna and I were ‘fighting’ over who was going to feed the next item through the wringer ๐Ÿ˜€ ย There is just something quite amazing about seeing your dripping wet laundry suddenly squeezed out and ready for the dryer ๐Ÿ˜€ ย I told Anna that whoever it was who invented the wringer was one very smart person…but maybe not quite as smart as whoever invented the spinner. ย There were a few times that the wringer took a sock for a ride, around and around before we stopped it to pull it out ๐Ÿ˜€

Later when Anna and I kept telling everyone about how fun it was, Cassia was laughing and couldn’t understand what the excitement was all about. ย She needed some laundry done, too, so I went out with her (along with two more loads of dirty towels). ย We did the same thing as before. ย Whites, darks, towels, and then rinsed them and started to wring them. ย Cassia also got very excited during the wringing process and she suddenly knew why Anna and I liked it so much ย (what can we say? we’re easily amused ๐Ÿ˜€ ย you should try it sometime, then you’ll know why it’s so fun, too!).

I now have a new appreciation for what people had to do to get clean clothes in ‘the old days’ ๐Ÿ˜€ ย They didn’t have water already warm out of the faucet, and they also didn’t always have electric wringers ๐Ÿ˜€ ย I also know why, before wringer washers, people sometimes had their laundry hired out, and the laundry woman had to be strong. ย I was SO sore the next day from helping to carry all that water, then carry it again to dump it, and carry wet laundry back to the house to dry ๐Ÿ˜€

ย  The wringer washer has a pump on it to drain the water out, and Anna and I left it on after we were done with the first round of laundry. ย It was funny when Cassia and I started it up later on and I forgot the pump was still on. ย I plugged it in and water started shooting out of the drain hose! ๐Ÿ˜€ ย Thankfully we didn’t get the floor too wet!

And so that was the end of our lovely old fashioned wash-day ๐Ÿ˜€ ย  As much fun as all of that was, I am so glad to have a regular washer. ย It is no wonder they used to have a whole day of the week devoted to laundry ๐Ÿ˜€ ย The good news is, the new washer pump came in the mail yesterday, Daddy installed it, and we’re back to washing laundry in the house!

jessica

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Laundry Day the Old Fashioned Way
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24 thoughts on “Laundry Day the Old Fashioned Way

  • November 30, 2013 at 5:43 pm
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    Wow, this brought back memories. This is the kind of washer we had when I was a kid. We didn’t have to carry water, though… it was hooked up to the plumbing, as I recall. We had a double tub that served as the rinse tubs. We would send the clothes through the wringer from the washer to the first rinse tub, swish them around, then send them through the wringer to the second rinse tub, then finally through the wringer into the basket ready to be dried. We were reminded OFTEN not to get our fingers too close to the rollers, and what to do if we would happen to get them stuck in the wringers. It scared me to death to think of that happening, as we heard stories of children who were careless and had their arms caught in the wringer and all the skin scraped off. ๐Ÿ™ Thankfully it never happened to me, but having socks caught in the rollers was pretty common. I enjoyed reading about your experience with this “antique” washer. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    • November 30, 2013 at 6:08 pm
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      Now that’s an idea to have a rinse tub! I really enjoyed reading about how you did laundry, Peggy! I’ve heard lots of stories about people’s hands and fingers getting stuck so I was using the stick to push the small items up there, lol! I did NOT want to get my hand stuck, although this wringer has a safety feature so that if anything too bulky goes through it pops apart and stops. I wasn’t going to test it with my hand though ๐Ÿ˜€
      โ™ฅJessica

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  • November 30, 2013 at 9:35 pm
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    This is so neat! Thank you for sharing this neat experience. We’ve had our washer go out a long time ago and we washed clothes in the bathtub for only a day or so. Water is really heavy! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Blessings,
    Janet… mamachildress

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  • November 30, 2013 at 11:44 pm
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    I do remember how wringer washer and put rubber diapers through that wringer diapers and explodes and I ruined a couple of shirts
    Did you ever get anything caught in a wringer?or ruined a couple of shirts?
    EXAMPLE : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onfiYh9s8t8

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    • November 30, 2013 at 11:56 pm
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      Oh dear! No, thankfully nothing got ruined when we did it, but I can see how it could mess up your laundry if it got caught the wrong way!

      Reply
  • December 1, 2013 at 8:14 pm
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    Wow, that looks like fun! Hard work, though! When did this machine first come out?

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    • December 1, 2013 at 9:09 pm
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      I guess that they were first advertised as early as 1904 (the electric ones) ๐Ÿ™‚ It was interesting reading about them over at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washing_machine#Wringing_by_machine I’m not sure how old our machine is though ๐Ÿ™‚ I did not know that people were trying to design wringer washers (non-electric of course!) as early as the 1600’s! ๐Ÿ™‚
      -Jessica

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  • December 2, 2013 at 6:20 pm
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    That looks like fun! And a lot of work. I also love your dress/outfit!! It looks so old fashion. ๐Ÿ˜€

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    • December 2, 2013 at 10:07 pm
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      It was, Hope! And thank you! ๐Ÿ˜€ A friend recently showed me how to wear a shawl, so I’ve been enjoying it quite a lot lately ๐Ÿ˜€
      -Jessica

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  • December 3, 2013 at 10:05 pm
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    Looks like you girls had fun!!! Good job! ~ Sarah

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  • December 8, 2013 at 12:07 am
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    This is a random question that has nothing to do with laundry, but I don’t know where else to post it. You all seem so happy and content with your lives, and I envy that. I am 24 with no job and still living with my parents, and I really struggle with being content with where I am. My question is, how do you stay happy and fulfilled even when things don’t work out the way you want them to? Have you ever had this experience? Maybe you could elaborate on how you find contentment in your everyday lives, even when things don’t happen as planned. Just an idea. I love your blog! I wish I was your 8th sister! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • December 8, 2013 at 11:35 pm
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      Hi Leah ๐Ÿ™‚
      I definitely understand your struggle…I don’t think there is any young person who doesn’t struggle with this ๐Ÿ™‚ I go through times of being perfectly happy with my life to being discouraged because things aren’t going the way I think they should go ๐Ÿ™‚ Perhaps we can make a blog post out of it sometime, but the answer is so simple, that sometimes it’s hard to understand ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been learning that when my focus is on Jesus and how much he loves and adores me and that He has good and perfect plans for me, I can rest happy and content and feel safe. When I look at what I think I should be doing or want to be doing and focus on myself, that’s what gets me in trouble and I start to get discouraged. When I start looking to myself, I begin to believe that He doesn’t really know what He’s doing with me ๐Ÿ™‚

      The good news is, He uses the least, the last and the lost. He told Gideon a mighty man of valor while Gideon was hiding in fear. And when Gideon said, “But if the Lord is for us, why is all of this happening?” God told him to go in the strength of what He had told Gideon. Feelings are real and we do have to deal with them, but truth must always trump feelings ๐Ÿ™‚ The truth is, He adores you, Leah! So much so He practically spins for joy when He sees you ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Zephaniah 3:17)

      Maybe that doesn’t really seem like a good answer, but I’ve been discovering especially over the past year or two, that somehow when I just focus on His goodness, somehow everything else falls into place. It doesn’t make any logical sense, because we humans like to DO things and especially do the right things so that right things will happen. But God is so much bigger than our logical selves and likes to do it for us, and all we have to do is rest and delight in Him ๐Ÿ™‚

      Hopefully, maybe, that helps a little? I’ve been praying for you, ’cause I know just how you feel ๐Ÿ˜‰ Maybe we can meet our ‘eighth’ sister in real life someday ๐Ÿ˜‰
      โ™ฅhugs!
      Jessica

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      • December 8, 2013 at 11:35 pm
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        p.s. I just realized what a long comment I just wrote…hopefully you don’t mind long answers, lol! ๐Ÿ˜€ -Jessica

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  • December 8, 2013 at 7:16 pm
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    Looks like you had a lot of fun! It brings back memories of when I used to wash my clothes completely by hand!
    I really like the shawl! Did you make it?

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    • December 8, 2013 at 11:01 pm
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      Wow! That would be quite the job to always wash your clothes by hand! Thank you! Yes, I did make the shawl ๐Ÿ™‚
      -Jessica

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  • December 8, 2013 at 9:42 pm
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    You girls probably have plenty of good ideas in your brains, too. Those ideas can take shape if you attend school and get an education. Then you can make contributions that help the world.

    Why not look into higher education?

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    • December 8, 2013 at 11:12 pm
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      Thank you, Sandy ๐Ÿ™‚ Higher education doesn’t have to be in a school though, and isn’t always the best way to pave the way to making contributions to the world ๐Ÿ™‚ We already have many opportunities to reach out to our world that probably wouldn’t be available to us (or we wouldn’t be available to do them) if we were tied down with college educations. We aren’t against college educations of course, we just would only want one if it helped further our goals ๐Ÿ™‚ For example, my sister Susannah was able to get her CNA certification in a few weeks so that she could work on what she really wants to do, which is to be a midwife’s assistant. We shall see what the future brings each of us girls ๐Ÿ™‚ We are all about ways to save time and money to get to do what we really want to do ๐Ÿ˜€
      -Jessica

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  • December 14, 2013 at 9:42 pm
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    That was an excellent idea girls! Good thinking!

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  • December 17, 2013 at 11:16 pm
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    Reminds me of when we washed our clothes in a wringer washer! Sweet fun memories! Thanks for posting that.

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  • December 30, 2013 at 1:04 pm
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    Hi there, this is Mary I just wanted to thank you for your encouragement about my harp recital, it went WAY better than I thought it would! I would actually go so far as to say it’s been my best one yet. But, that might not say much as I’ve been pretty awful at times on previous ones. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s sort of sad though right now, not practicing Arabesque any more-I have to break in a whole nother song! Oh well.
    All to say, thank you again!
    ~Mary
    P.S. Looks like you had a lot of fun washing!
    I always wanted to use a wringer :).

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    • December 30, 2013 at 1:10 pm
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      Yay! That is super good news! So glad it went well ๐Ÿ˜€ Yesterday I played for offertory on my harp and I was kind of nervous about it. I don’t know about you, but sometimes my hands get shaky from being nervous, and then I can’t play well ๐Ÿ˜› So anyway, I asked Jesus to calm my hands, and you know what He did? He calmed them ๐Ÿ˜€ So neat!

      I know what you mean about feeling sad that you’re ‘done’ with one song and have to break in another, lol! Do keep up your Arabesque, though! Especially after all that hard work ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks for letting us know how it went ๐Ÿ˜€
      Happy New Year!
      โ™ฅJessica

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  • July 20, 2015 at 10:30 am
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    On your post ‘Laundry Day the old fashioned way………………I would love to know where I could find the pattern for your pink crocheted criss cross vest in the photo where you are putting in the dark clothes first………

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    • July 20, 2015 at 4:19 pm
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      Absolutely! It’s a free pattern at Lion Brand.com called ‘Sun and Sea’ Shawl. You may have to have an account to download it, but it’s all free. I used the Simply Soft brand of yarn, and made mine a little longer than they did. I think I used 2 skeins of yarn. Then to wear it, you just criss-cross it and tie it behind your back. A friend showed me that trick once ๐Ÿ™‚

      โ™ฅJessica

      Reply

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