Have you ever washed clothes by hand, wringer washer, used a clothesline to dry?

Wringer washer - This is a picture of a wringer washer like my grandmother's old one.
@schulzie (4068)
United States
July 1, 2009 3:03pm CST
I am only 42 years old, however as a young girl I used to wash clothing with my mother. We washed our clothes in my grandmother's old wringer washer. (My grandmother was born in 1897). We used to wash our clothes in the washer until one day in the 1970's it broke down. After that, we were forced to wash our clothes by hand with an old washboard. I mean the washboard was from the 1940's so it was an old washboard. We would was the clothes and then dip them into dishpans to rinse. After they were rinsed enough then we hung them out on the clotheslines to dry in the sun. The most aggravating thing is that the clotheslines were right underneath a very large Eucalyptus tree. The tree was very popular with both pigeons and sparrows. Usually those birds' favorite targets were our bedsheets hanging out there. They seemed to especially like the white items or lighter colored items in our laundry. When they would poop on the sheets my mother would get so mad! She would go out there and pull the sheets off the line and then start hand washing them again. Man, I remember how dry and chapped our hands would be after laundry day. Also, we did our dishes by hand but that's a whole other thing! I bet a lot of you are wondering what the wringer washer is still! Ok here it is, in a nutshell... A wringer washer had two rollers that were under spring tension and would squeeze water out of the clothing. You would then feed each piece of clothing through the wringer separately. The wringer would then be swung over the wash tub so that we could reuse that water for the next load. It a was a real pain doing laundry like this. So, how many myLotters out there have ever washed your clothes with a wringer washer or even know what I am talking about? How about washing your clothes by hand? Or drying your clothes out on a clothesline? Have a great day and happy myLotting!!!
6 people like this
14 responses
@marguicha (70643)
• Chile
2 Jul 09
I wash part of my clothes by hand and I haven´t used my drying machine in maybe 20 years. I use a clothes line in summer and hang them to dry in the bathroom in winter. My clothes last a lot morethat way. I have a washer, of course, for the sheets, towels and such. But those, too, are hung to dry. For me it´s easy. It´s the kind of things that I do with what I call the automatic pilot. I don´t even think about it
@schulzie (4068)
• United States
9 Dec 09
Honestly, I think the worst thing to wash by hand for me was the towels and the sheets. It was just so hard to rinse the items out of soap and it was hard to wring them dry. Thanks for your comment and have a great day!
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
2 Jul 09
Well I do not know much about wringer washer but hey believe it or not I am still washing clothes with my hand these days! Only when I am at college as a student. I live at the college residence where lots of people use the public washing machine and there are always queues to use them, and I find it a lazy thing to do to wait for others and also to bring about so many clothes from my room to downstairs where the machine is. I still find it fun in a way, at least when I wash them I will be able to make sure there is no dirt left :)
1 person likes this
@schulzie (4068)
• United States
9 Dec 09
Wow! I think it's great that you still wash your clothes by hand as that is defintely better for the environment and all. I can't imagine doing everyone in my household's laundry by hand myself as I have a family of 6! Thanks for your comment and have a great day!
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Jul 09
I have washed many cloths by hand when I was younger but now I use a washer and a dryer to clean my clothes.
1 person likes this
@schulzie (4068)
• United States
9 Dec 09
I use a washer and dryer as well now. Ever since I got married and moved out on my own with my own place I have always made sure that I had a washer and dryer. Thanks for your comment and have a great day!
1 person likes this
@Shellyann36 (7097)
• United States
1 Jul 09
My granny had an old wringer washer just like the one in the picture! I was very young but I can still remember her and my mom and my aunts washing clothes in it. It would make such a loud noise and get water all over the floor. Those were fun times though. You have brought back quite a few memories for me. Thank you for that. I do not know exactly what happened to that washer though. Makes me wonder now.
@schulzie (4068)
• United States
8 Dec 09
Honestly I don't remember what happened to my grandmother's washer either. It just stopped working one day. Then we washed everything by hand. Thanks for your comment and have a great day!
1 person likes this
@SomeCowgirl (32273)
• United States
1 Jul 09
There was one time that the washer was either broken or a friend had their clothes in it. This was when I was living with friends. I needed a clean pair of underwear and so had to go to our bathroom sink and clean the underwear that way. I used a bit of bleach and rinse it out with water real good. Actually I think it was watery bleach already as I had added water to it. We were going out that night so I needed the clean pair, lol. No, other then that I have not cleaned my clothes like that. I don't think it would be a bad idea and would definitely save on money and the environment. I remember hearing about washing clothes and one's self in a tub, but never witnessed it for myself.
1 person likes this
@schulzie (4068)
• United States
8 Dec 09
I really don't like washing stuff by hand myself. There have been one or two times when I have been on vacation and run out of clean socks or underwear. In those cases I used the hotel's shampoo and washed it in the hotel room bathroom sink. Then I hung it up to dry in the shower overnight. Thanks for your comment and have a great day!
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Jul 09
When I was growing up we used the clothes line every chance we had but we still had a wash machine. We ONLY used it once a week though but its not any different from what I TRY TO do now but usually it happens i have to do laundry at least twice a week which costs money. Its funny you should mention that because I just started washing certain articles by hand, I have a big plastic pail like what you get from a paint store, and I use it to wash socks seperately, right now our bathing suits from the beach are in it, I use it for my lingerie or my jacket--stuff that can be washed easily and doesn't take long to air dry, that is how I prefer it now and Im finding now that extra load of laundry is not necessary anymore--my socks get cleaner
@schulzie (4068)
• United States
8 Dec 09
I don't know but for me it seems like the clothing washed by hand doesn't seem to be rinsed enough. Also, it is never soft to the touch but crunchy. That would probably be due to the leftover soap in the fabric. Thanks for your comment and have a great day!
1 person likes this
1 Jul 09
Well I have never used a wringer washer but certainly know what one is as my Grandmother used to have one. As for washing clothes by hand, I've done this quite ofen and still do when I have just a few items that I want washing immediately. I would rather hand wash than put the washing machine on for just a few items. As for hanging the laundry on the line, I always do this. For me it really makes your clothes smell fresher when they have been hung outside to dry, well except when the neighbour has a daytime bonfire.
1 person likes this
@schulzie (4068)
• United States
8 Dec 09
Yes, I think a bonfire would definitely make the laundry smell like smoke and who wants that? I always have so much to wash that it is never just a few items for me. But I see your point on not wasting all that water or electricity for just a couple items. Thanks for your comment and have a great day!
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Jul 09
Yes I have washed clothes by hand, also learned how to use a wringer washer from my grandmother when I was young. Had one when I was in need of a washer and we found one in the trash that worked, that was years ago. I have dried my clothes outside on a clothes line for many years. If it hadn't broken last winter I would still be hanging mine outside. I washed clothes by hand either in my kitchen sink, or in the bathtub, there I did the clothes that needed to soak because of stains and such and then go from there. It is work to do this, still seemed like the clothes were cleaner once done by hand. Washers make it easier to do laundry, yet by hand you can get a much cleaner wash. I am only doing wash for myself now since my girls are all grown up, still I will take some of the clothes and let them hang dry. It saves on the bill more than people realize..
1 person likes this
@schulzie (4068)
• United States
8 Dec 09
Yes it does. I just remember how tired I was after doing them by hand and also it took up so much time. I think the most aggravating thing is when the birds would poop on my dried laundry on the line. But yes, you are right it does save on the electricity bill to do laundry by hand. Thanks for your comment and have a great day!
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Jul 09
I have heard of a wringer washer before and I think I saw one at the Smithsonian Institute. No, I am fortunate enough that we always have had a washing machine. I can't imagine how much work that really must have been to do that by hand.
@Wizzywig (7860)
2 Jul 09
Yes, used a wringer and an old boiler. The wringer (or mangle) was over the boiler to reuse the hot soapy water and then everything would be rinsed and mangled again. I still do some of my washing by hand and roll it in a clean towel to get as much water out as I can before pegging it out on the washing line. I hardly ever use the tumble dryer - which we bought 28years ago to get nappies dry!! All the dishes are always done by hand in our house.
1 person likes this
@deebomb (15347)
• United States
4 Dec 09
This brings back memories. I had a wringer washer for many years after I got married. but had to wash out my clothes by hand for a few of those years. I hated it because I never seemed to get them really clean no matter how much I scrubbed them on the wash board. When I finally got the washing machine we had to heat the water on the stove and carry it to the machine and the rinse tub. Then after the wash was finally finished it was carry all that water out into the yard to dump. It was hang up the clothes after each load. You figured on it taking the whole day because of having to carry and heat the water. It was a real blessing when I finally got the automatic washer. I don't think young people could get along doing things the way we used to. I wonder how many could cope?
@worldwise1 (14890)
• United States
2 Jul 09
I'm a good deal older than you, schulzie, and I remember very well our old Maytag that sat out on the back porch when I was growing up in Tennessee.I rather enjoyed the mundane chores associated with wash day(Monday), even the job of hanging the clothes on the lines outside. The washer would be filled with hot, sudsy water, and there was a huge #3 washtub placed in close proximity that was filled with cool rinse water. It made the process a bit time-consuming, but we were always rewarded with sparkling, freshly air-dried clothes!
@tundeemma (896)
• South Africa
2 Jul 09
most times i wsh my clothes with my bare hands and i don't like taking them to the washing machine, i like to wash them with my hands and detergents as see where dirts are hiding in an around the clothes, sometimes washermen do mix up clothes and sometimes they use bleaches which may damage clothes, i dont like that
@jaisundar (216)
2 Jul 09
I always washed clothes with my hands only right from my school days.