Friday, March 26, 2010

Laundry in a Bucket Day here...

Yeah, I know.  I keep saying that.  And then I never post another thing about it.  And I get countless emails from my mom, short and to the point...don't you dare make those poor children wash their clothes by hand.


Well, today is the day.  I had planned an earlier start, but that's life.  It's windy, overcast with too many clouds but there's a promise of sun today and this is it.

The pups got out of their pen last night and I swear emptied bladders ALL over the only carpeting in the house.  UGH UGH UGH  Trust me, walking in to wake up children and being hit with the scent of slightly aged dog pee just is not the thing you want daily.

And, in the household break-down that seems to be a vicious circle around here, we had, of course, laundry clean from a few days ago, ON THE FLOOR.

Today is laundry day.  Today is HAND WASHING day here.  Every stitch of clothing in this house that can be SEEN is getting sloshed through the buckets, plunged with the "new toilet plunger" and hung outside to day.  Yes, I'll toss it in the Cabrio monster machine to rinse and spin, just for good measure.

I was reading through some pages on hand washing, just seeing if there was something 'new' and 'improved' in the way of tips and thoughts. Cracks me up, honestly, that every single page on hand washing, bucket washing, etc makes a special point (some in bold even) that you want ot be sure to get a brand new toilet plunger before attempting the hand laundry.

Ahem...'scuse me?  Is that necessary?  No no...not "is that necessary that I need a new plunger" -- is it necessary to tell me it has to be NEW and UNUSED?  Isn't that sort of a no-brainer there?  I mean, really...wouldn't EVERYONE get a new plunger to do their laundry?

Eeeww.  Don't even answer that.  I probably don't want to know.

Anyway, laundry in a bucket.  That's the plan today.  I have a new black garbage can, about a 13 gallon.  I bought it because my selection of 5 gallon buckets here are all taken...with feed and what-not, tools, etc. and the rubbermaid tub selection is packed in the closet full of other things.  I need to do some more purging here, I know.

I bought a new one mainly because it has handles.  Easy dumping into the washer for rinsing I thought.

Yes, I bought a new plunger, too.  She's a beauty :o)  Think we'll name her Mabel or something old-timey like that.

And I read a few links.  Aside from A Frugal Stretch sharing some good thoughts that I cannot get open now at all (Liz?  What's up with the disappearing blog pages?)...I read about a family living on a boat, and some Prince Edward Island Preppers (this was a good all-around tutorial really), of course there are Wiki's on this, a MegaHowTo page, .  Trust me, there are far more folks doing laundry by hand than you might suspect.

It's a good skill to have.  Sure, it's just some soap and water...and that new plunger...but there's a muscle thing to it, plunger or not.  Waiting until the world comes and end probably isn't the best idea.  At least that's what I'm telling the assorted children today while they prepare for Laundry in a Bucket 101 here on the homestead.

Fthis on a forum somewhere:
You need: A 5 gallon bucket or one of those bucket mop wringer combos, a mop wringer (if not using the combo), and a clean toilet plunger. To make it really easy, some people have 3 five gallon buckets.
1st bucket: Fill with hot or warm water, add some soap, add a few articles of clothes (you want them to be able to agitate easily). Take plunger and plunge 5 times. Pull out clothes and wring them a bit.
Then add to2nd bucket (or 1st bucket emptied & rinsed) filled with warm or hot or cold water. Plunge 5 times. Take out & wring.
Then add to3rd bucket (or 1st bucket emptied & rinsed) filled with warm/hot/cold water & plunge 5 times.Then take your clothes & place them in the mop wringer & squeeze a few times.
Then hang up to dry.
This removes a lot of water contact, gets the clothes really clean and uses a LOT less water than the bathtub method or a washer.

This is one of those things I should have done a long time ago.  Aside from simply getting far less clothing, we need to do this to learn a lesson.  Yes, there is a washing machine here.  Yes it holds a lot of clothes, and when used properly, could save us in the short term.  But I have children who just don't care about things like that.  They have closets they don't use -- or they've built forts in -- and they obviously believe that clothing grows on trees around here and everything is disposable and easily replaced.  So, I'm going to remedy that with a hands-on object lesson using that 'new' plunger, some water, a bar of Fels Naptha, and a 13 gal. garbage can.

Suppose I should get back to it before the children run amok without me.


Dawn said...

I had to giggle. You have the same thing at your house. I call it folded dirty laundy syndrome. They tell you it is dirty, but it is still folded. But, covered with dog hair, spilled drinks, or assorted other mishaps. My children try to convince me that they wore the offending garment. I use a wringer washer exclusively. I have used up several top loaders, and a heavy duty front loader. But, for the life of me I can't break this wringer washer or wear it out. Letting them do their own laundry and hang it to dry in the antique, I mean wringer washer cures them for a few months at a time. Still working on a total cure though. Enjoy the sunshine!

Plain Pam said...

Truly enjoyed your post! Growing up in very "rural" Kentucky area as a child in the early 50's I witnessed and helped in doing laundry in a similar form to which you described. To this day I don't think I've found a machine as good as handwashing in a tub, and there is simply no dryer as good as the great outdoors. Come to think of it no store bought softeners can make laundry smell as good as sunshine and breezes.

Thanks for the reminders of precious childhood memories. I'm looking forward to my next handwashing day!
Plain Pam

Suze said...

I have washed by hand many many times. My favourite was to fill the bath tub, leave the wash to soak. Later I would get the children to march on it. My ex husband used to be so dirty from work.

Stephanie said...

When my husband and I were first married and had my daughter, money was extremely tight. I used to do laundry in the bathtub. Saved us a bundle at the laundromat.

LizBeth said...

I'm catching up. The disappearing links moved to the "file." Hubby has been pretty sick. Gotta get back in the groove. Sorry you have had so much grief with insurance. What a pain.

Laundry by buckets:


Thanks for all the good links. ~Liz


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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