Simplicity by Choice

Off-Grid Living & Self-Reliance

Doing Laundry by Hand December 16, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — ourprairiehome @ 4:56 pm

Going to get my winter laundry area set up again. The days are getting too chilly to wash laundry outside. So, it is time to set up the washtubs on the side table again. My table is long enough that it holds 2 wash tubs and a laundry basket. The hand crank wringer is placed on the side of the wash tub in between the wash and rinse tubs. After I wash a piece of laundry, I run it through the wringer where it drops into the rinse tub. When the rinse tub starts getting full, I place the wringer onto the side of the rinse tub so that as I wring out the rinsed laundry, it will drop into the basket. I love it! So easy to manage this way. Much better than when I used to wring the laundry out by hand yeas ago. I have a wooden dowel drying rack that I am able to set up near the wood stove in the kitchen. Small items dry very well there. A couple of bath mats with rubber backing placed under the rack prevents water from making a mess on the floor under the rack.

In the winter, I have to place the laundry on the clothesline in early morning. If the temperature is cold enough, the laundry often will freeze on the line. On those days, I leave it in on the drying rack instead. Heavier items like my denim skirt may hang outside long enough to have the water stop dripping. Then, it is brought inside and draped over the drying rack to finish drying. I know some families that will hang their laundry in their basement in the winter or days with bad weather. One family has a large heating unit in their basement that puts out enough heat that their laundry dries just fine. The floor in the basement is such that the water drains out nicely.

Where the clothing is able to dry is not much of an issue. I am just enjoying the fact that I can still do laundry by hand even when it is cold outdoors. I enjoy washing the laundry by hand. With kids, I end up washing at list a little bit each day to stay on top of it. That is fine though. It is a matter of routine. By washing laundry each day, I don’t have much to do at any given time.

We have an old Maytag wringer washer that I will use one day. Mainly for the larger items like bedding. It has an old lawn mower engine to power it. Using it only for larger items, will work great. If I ever want to wash all of the laundry that way, I will. For now though, hand washing is more fun. Maybe I will desire to use the machine when I am older……much older!

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