Simplicity by Choice

Off-Grid Living & Self-Reliance

Laundry Day, the Low-Tech Way May 11, 2012

Filed under: green living,homesteading,off grid,old fashioned,simplicity — ourprairiehome @ 6:36 pm

I love laundry days.  I feel blessed to be able to wash the laundry while enjoying the early morning breeze and sunshine.   I have 2 wash tubs.  They are the large plastic type that have rope handles.  They are set up on a little trailer that we use with a lawn tractor.  Eventually, I will find or build a bench that is the right height.  For now, the trailer works well.  I set it up near the clothesline.  On the trailer, I attach the hand-cranked wringer that I had bought from Lehman’s.

I use fels-naptha laundry bars to make my own laundry soap.  You can easily find the recipe through a google search.  It is basically 3 ingredients: grated bar of fels-naptha laundry soap, washing soda, and borax.  All are found in the laundry isle of the store.

I add a bit of the soap to the wash water and start with the least soiled laundry first.  This prevents having to change out the water as often.  The last to be washed is always the most soiled laundry.  If the kids have been having way too much fun playing in mud after a rain, I will presoak their laundry overnight before hand washing.  This helps to make the washing much easier.  If I do it right away, I often can avoid having to use the scrub board as much.

Often I hear people talk about how hard it is to wash by hand.  In my experience, I have found that I can hand wash a load of laundry faster than doing it by machine.  If you wash things in order of how soiled it is and presoak when needed, the job goes rather quickly.

The other complaint that I hear is how stiff clothing is if dried on a clothesline.  This is true, but can be lessened.  The higher the cotton content in the clothing fibers, the more stiff the clothing will be.  Part of the reason is because the 100% cotton fabric is truly dried by the sun.  You do not have the humidity of the clothes dryer keeping a small amount of moisture in the fabric.  The clothes dryer also softens the cotton fibers by the tumbling action of the rotating drum.  You can achieve a measure of that same effect by choosing a windy day to do your laundry.  The action of the wind blowing the laundry will help to prevent the stiffening that occurs on a day without wind.

 

 

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