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BHM's Homesteading & Self-Reliance Forum
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Go Back   BHM Forum > Homesteading > Homesteading

Homesteading Talk or ask questions about homesteading in general, your homestead, or any other related topic.

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  #1  
Old 07-28-2009, 02:27 AM
michiganmom michiganmom is offline
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Default Using A Washboard

Well, my washer broke to the point of no return so i ordered a washboard and set my self up with wash tubs close to the clothes line and away i went. WOW do the whites ever seem cleaner but let me tell ya my arm muscles got tired quick LOL. I never felt more proud of my clean clothes in my life and now you all know where i have been LOL. We did find a used washer cheap but now i am set up for washing just in case. Have you ever used a washboard? I would love to hear your comments.
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  #2  
Old 07-28-2009, 08:03 AM
NCLee NCLee is offline
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My Mom used a washboard and a washpot out beside the clothes line when I was small. By the time I got old enough to help she had a wringer washer. Sure did my share of using that.

Today I have a washboard hanging on the wall in the utility room over the dryer. Her washpot is in the backyard and a couple of washtubs in storage. Like you, I'm setup to use them, if the need arises.

Congrats on adding another self-sufficiency skill to your list.

And, there's nothing like slipping between sheets that have been dried on a clothes line. I don't care how hard they try, as evidenced by the products on the grocery shelves, no commercial laundry product can duplicate that fresh clean smell.

Lee
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  #3  
Old 07-28-2009, 10:43 AM
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LeatherneckPA LeatherneckPA is offline
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My wife made ONE trip to the laundromat with our newborn and had enough of THAT adventure. We saw an antique washboard somewhere for $10 (1982) and she insisted we try it. For the next two years she did our laundry in the bathtub with that washboard and hung it out on the line to dry. One day it came up in conversation with the parents and in-laws. WELL, you'd think I was enslaving the woman! My father-in-law had a little sideline business going repairing/reselling used appliances he got for free from his job. We left his house next weekend with our first washer and dryer. But we still have the washboard, and Cindy still prefers to line dry her laundry.
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  #4  
Old 07-28-2009, 12:04 PM
vigilant20 Female vigilant20 is offline
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I have been doing mine on a washboard for a couple years. It's not bad, but it is rough on clothes. They start pilling up and wearing out sooner than normal.
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  #5  
Old 07-28-2009, 12:12 PM
bookwormom bookwormom is offline
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I have a washboard. It is not my first choice. but you are right, clothing gets cleaner. I prefer a brush , for one thing, it seems easier ont he hands and more specific. Mother had a slab bench about as wide as a pair of pants and comfortable height. You soaked the clothing over night. to wash, you lay the pants (for instance) flat on the board, you see where the worst dirt is, there you swipe over it with a cake of lye soap, then you take your brush and brush over the whole thing,work on the specific dirt spots, turn over and repeat. I don't mind washing, what is hard for me is the rinsing. Mother evtl, got a spinner and used that for years. It was just a little thing. looked like that little fellow from Starwars, R2 or what his name was. We all laughed when we saw it, "look, there goes Oma's laundry spinner".
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:25 PM
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CastIronCook2 CastIronCook2 is offline
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Sure beats poundin' 'em on a rock. ;-)
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  #7  
Old 07-28-2009, 12:25 PM
NCLee NCLee is offline
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Turn everything you can inside out. That'll help some with the abrading and it'll definitely help with fading from the sun.

Often, it isn't necessary to use the washboard for slightly soiled clothing and linens, especially if you're using warm (not hot) water. Just let them soak for a few minutes, agitate - plumbers friend, small boat paddle, broom handle, or whatever you have. Wring out the water, dip right back in and wring out again, just like you do a dishrag.

I remember there were some things Mom wouldn't clean with the washboard. One that I remember was a special tablecloth she used for the holidays. She'd wash it, as I described above.

Hope this helps, a bit.
Lee
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  #8  
Old 07-28-2009, 01:03 PM
AlchemyAcres AlchemyAcres is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCLee View Post
Often, it isn't necessary to use the washboard for slightly soiled clothing and linens, especially if you're using warm (not hot)
I totally agree, I let them soak at least overnight, rather than using the washboard on anything but the worst stains.

I use the Lehman's "Rapid Washer" it's faster and much more sensible than a washboard alone.

http://www.lehmans.com/store/Home_Go...ustomField1=W9



~Martin
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  #9  
Old 07-28-2009, 09:33 PM
Rick Rick is offline
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I saw where somebody, somewhere recommended using an industrial sized mop bucket with the built in mop squeezer as a wringer.
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  #10  
Old 07-28-2009, 11:00 PM
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alchemyacres. I have one of those I got at a yard sale but mine has a little handle that comes out of the upper middle of the large handle. It works like a champ. I think I paid 5 dollars for it. It didn't have a name on it so I call it my splusher
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  #11  
Old 07-28-2009, 11:19 PM
Texasbound Texasbound is offline
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How well does the 5 gallon bucket with a hole in the lid, and a plunger work? I've been thinking of using this method occasionally just to bring down the utilities bill. I would guess it wouldn't be so hard on the clothes, but will it get them clean? Also, what kind and how much laundry soap do you use when you do them by hand?
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  #12  
Old 07-29-2009, 09:00 AM
NCLee NCLee is offline
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Texas, that should work fine. And, yes it will get clothes clean. The principle is the same for a washing machine, just on a smaller scale. Water, soap/detergent, and agitation. If you let the clothes soak in the bucket it'll make the labor part of the process easier.

I can't give advice on soap/detergent amount for a 5 gallon bucket as I haven't used one. However, my advice is to use as little as possible to keep rinsing to remove easier. What you're currently using should be fine. Just start out with a very very small amount when compared to what your brand takes for the washer.

An alternative is Dawn dish detergent. Since it's a detergent it removes body oils better than a personal soap can do, as a general rule. Some hand soaps have ingredients to soften skin, which is the opposite of what you want to clean clothing. It'll only take a few drops of Dawn for a 5 gallon bucket. I have used Dawn and a little bleach to soak dishcloths after cleaning castiron cookware to get out the dark stains.

Once you get setup, experiment with your bucket and just a few items before you tackle a whole bucket full of linens and such. That'll allow you to adjust your soap amount. It'll help you determine how much you can do at one time. Overloading the bucket with fabric will cut down on the cleaning ability.

Finally, get yourself 3-4 buckets. One to soak. One to wash. One to rinse and/or bleach items while you're washing others. When you're finished, just stack them for storage. Won't take a lot of storage space, but will make doing the laundry easier.

Hope some of this helps.
Lee
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  #13  
Old 07-29-2009, 10:21 AM
Texasbound Texasbound is offline
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Thanks Lee

I've been wanting to try this for a while now. This may have been the incentive I needed. I don't have any power at my other place right now, and this would be a simple solution while I'm there working.
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  #14  
Old 07-29-2009, 01:50 PM
michiganmom michiganmom is offline
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What great advice, i did see that plunger thing at lehman's and thought about it. It seems like it would be easyer than scrubbing every thing on the washboard. I also see what you guy's mean about not every thing should be on the washboard and hanging things inside out. I have a green t-shirt that i wish i would have done that with LOL.
My husband and a few other people felt bad when they seen/heard of me using a washboard out side but i did not feel like it was punishment, i felt good about getting those clothes clean and figuring out a way to do it when the modern garbage fails. This used washer he bought me will be our 4th washer in 19 years (the other three were new), when ya add that up it makes me very angry and wanting a different set up.
michiganmom
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  #15  
Old 07-30-2009, 01:41 AM
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NCLee , A little addition to your reply-- When stacking plastic buckets , put a little cloth or just about anything that will drape over the edge (small piece of wire) so the side will not form a seal/suction. If you have ever tried to pull buckets apart it's a pain in the cazoo and then sometimes it is almost impossible to do.
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  #16  
Old 07-30-2009, 08:57 PM
bookwormom bookwormom is offline
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I have one of those plunger washers, an old one made of brass. it is fine for some things, but we always get so dirty, it is not up to the task for that.
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  #17  
Old 07-30-2009, 10:39 PM
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So y'all get really dirty do ya , well heck girl it don't won't work to shower with , it's for the cloths. (Sorry I couldn't resist that, smile )
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  #18  
Old 08-08-2009, 07:57 PM
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Yes sir, DW has one of those new fangled washboards and ringer, and if she is real goo, might git her another wash tub.
Save all those trips down to the river.



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  #19  
Old 08-16-2009, 03:21 PM
Suzy Suzy is offline
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I've heard that the "glass" washboards are easier to use and not as rough on the clothes. I don't have a clothes dryer and don't want one! They are really rough on clothes!
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  #20  
Old 08-16-2009, 06:24 PM
bookwormom bookwormom is offline
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thanks for the demo Mrs Hunter. Dry run, right? Where did you get that wringer?

I did not know dryers were hard on clothing. it makes sense, all that lint has to come from somewhere, off your clothing. well, I don't have a dryer and one more reason not to get one.

Last edited by bookwormom; 08-16-2009 at 06:28 PM. Reason: add to
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