Laundry Day. Or days, as the case most likely is, for the families I know anyway.
Me...I have a few heavy duty watering troughs from the feed store as my washing tubs, a stick agitator (aka modified plunger) and a washboard for the scrubbing of extra dirty things.
In another tub for washing, we begin the laundry day with the least of the dirties. By starting with the least stained items, you have the opportunity to get the most out of your hot water usage by washing multiple 'loads' before the water is too dirty or has cooled off too much. It's not absolutely necessary to wash in hot water, no, especially if you are utilizing a soaking or pre-wash tub for the dirtier items, but adding at least a bit of hot water to the cycle will help release stains and dirt and aid in dissolving your detergent.
The washing tub has a couple buckets of hot water added, a bit of laundry soap, a dose of garden hose water, and we plunge for several minutes. It's neat how much sudsing you can create with some serious plunging, even for relatively non-sudsing detergent.
Note: The first time or two that you handwash, you will notice alot more detergent than you will later on. Washing machines, no matter how good, still leave a bit of soap residue in place. Why? Detergents/soaps 'catch' dirt, and afterall, the quicker your clothing gets 'dirty' the sooner you'll wash again, and the sooner you will need to purchase more laundry detergent. It's quite the racket.
Our cycle of plunging, or agitating, the laundry and then allowing a rest (or soaking) time goes on for probably 10-20 minutes, depending on the amount of dirt and staining we have to deal with. We have a scrub board to use for stains, and to work in any additional soap we might need. I keep a bar of laundry soap (I prefer Octagon or Fels Naptha myself) handy for spot stain scrubbing, collars, etc. Soaking does a great deal, but sometimes working in a bit of soap and elbow grease is helpful.
My children actually enjoy hand-washing, and we're pretty quick at knocking out loads these days. My fancy washing machine indoors takes a full 54 minutes for a large load with fabric softener added. If it's something really stained, or thick like bath towels, where I would add the extra rinse cycle to ensure soap removal, we're up to 68 minutes. Heavy duty wash load plus all that stuff and it's 78 minutes. That's per load. Insane. Not counting the long soaking items we hand-wash, we can usually knock out the equivalient of 5-7 loads in 2 hours, from separating to washing and rinsing to hanging on the clothesline. A mornings' work and we have a fully loaded clothesline for the day, not to mention we have used alot less water, despite my fancy washing machine being one of those high efficiency mega beasts.
After the 'wash' cycle is finished in tub #1, the laundry gets wrung out and placed into the second tub (this one filled with garden hose water) and agitated again for several minutes for the first of two 'rinse' cycles. In this first rinse tub we have added a bit of distilled white vinegar to help as a fabric softener, usually no more than 1/4 cup for the whole tub. The rinse cycle is agitated several times, with resting in-between, then wrung out and placed in the next rinse bucket and repeated. It was surprising to me just how much detergent residue remained in the clothes, despite what I thought was some pretty intense washing and rinsing and wringing before we started using the plunger as an agitator!
Given the difficulty a handful of children and one momma with carpal tunnel can have with wringing out clothing thoroughly, I do the bigger and heavier things in to the washing machine still. Things like denim jeans, large bath towels, comforters and blankets, etc. The plan is to get a couple of good sized, sturdy wringers, but even then, I see the comforters being a washing machine item nonetheless.