it's wash day again and you've got piles and piles of laundry that needs to
be taken care of right away! But you have no electricity! Now what? |
of all, don't despair! Great Grandmother did it, so can you! She had the tools
of the trade though, and you can too with a little ingenuity...
very first thing to do is gather all your equipment. You will need: 3 large
tubs, water tight. These can be made of any material. Years ago iron pots were
used for this, but I use galvanized tubs or even plastic for rinsing. Laundry
Soap. Of course, lye soap was used many years ago, but if you only have regular
laundry soap, so much the better! You can even use bar soap like Ivory. A washing
board. Yep, you really need this little contraption. Unless that is, you want
to take your clothes and pound the dirt out of them with a club! Yes, some
ladies actually did this to clean their clothes! Wore the fabric out pretty
quickly, I'd say. Believe me, you will get very tired of rubbing your clothes
on your hands, get a wash board. You might want to get a bottle of bluing for
the whites, and some fabric softener. You'll need a supply of wood for a fire
and a safe place to build a fire. One of your pans needs to be able to sit
over a fire. You will also need a long stick with which to move clothes out
of the hot water, and to stir them in the wash water.
you're ready to start!
a good hot fire. Wait a little while and let it burn down a bit so that there
are plenty of hot coals. Fashion a way that you can set the tub on the fire,
keeping the fire underneath the tub. It is really best to have a tub with feet
on it, but you can rig up a good set up using an old grill off of a BBQ or
something. Even cinder blocks or large rocks can be used. While the fire is
heating, you can separate your clothes, by color and by least to most dirty.
two rinse tubs with cool, clean water, away from the fire.
the wash tub about 2/3 with water. Let it heat until very hot, even boiling.
You may even want to boil very dirty clothes like work pants, jeans or white
socks. Add laundry soap. Remove carefully from the fire and to a table or to
the ground. This normally takes two people.
any stains as you normally would. Add your clothes to the hot water, starting
with the least dirty ones first like shirts and underwear.
careful of burning your hands in the hot water! Rub the clothes on the washboard.
Adding soap as needed. Rub then plunge, rub, then plunge.....remember Far and
the hot clothes out of the wash water with your stick, place them in the first
rinse. Rinse and wring as best as you can. Place the clothes in the second
rinse, adding fabric softener or bluing if desired. Don't wear yourself out
wringing, just hang up the clothes, dripping, outside. If it is in winter or
rainy weather, you will have to wring them as well as you can.
through the dirtiest clothes, re-using the wash water as many times as you
can get away with it. Just re-heat it until you have to start over with clean
water. You can use the second rinse water many, many times. The first rinse
water will have to be changed frequently depending on how much soap you use.
I get to the point that I need to change my wash water, I try to find something
I can use it for instead of throwing it out. Usually I end up washing the porch,
patio or outside of the house. You could wash your deck, boat, or dog kennel,
key to clean clothes is plenty of elbow grease and plenty of rinsing!