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LaLa
True Blue Farmgirl

233 Posts

Laura
Hickory North Carolina
USA
233 Posts

Posted - Mar 14 2014 :  12:52:20 PM  Show Profile  Send LaLa a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
In an effort to save money while also lessening the power and water usage in our home, my husband and I have begun hand-washing all our clothes. So far, I LOVE this. It is gentler on my clothes, and because we are doing smaller loads, more soap soaks into the fibers and keeps them smelling fresh longer.

I do not have a washboard (for scrubbing), though. And my husband works breading at the local PDQ (a fast food restaurant). The flour gets stuck to his black uniform slacks, an we can't seem to get it out, even when using a washing machine. Do we need a washboard or something similar?

I use Tide Pods currently as our soap, if that matters. Also, if you have any other hand-washing tips, I would greatly appreciate them. I haven't been doing this for long (3-4 weeks maybe?) so I could certainly use any advice you may have.

http://lalauland.tumblr.com
http://lalauland.etsy.com

Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7005 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7005 Posts

Posted - Mar 14 2014 :  3:48:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Laura - We purchased this as a back-up for when our electricity goes out (happens all the time with all the storms we get in the summer) ... https://www.lehmans.com/p-4444-breathing-hand-washer.aspx . It works like a charm! I know for sure you can get this cheaper elsewhere online, under different names, too. We picked up ours for around $15, but I can't for the life of me remember where! 'Hope this helps! Hugs - Nini

Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!

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LaLa
True Blue Farmgirl

233 Posts

Laura
Hickory North Carolina
USA
233 Posts

Posted - Mar 14 2014 :  5:23:16 PM  Show Profile  Send LaLa a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you for the suggestion :)

I must be honest, I had to laugh a little, because this looks quite similar to my bathroom plunger, but I can definitely see how it would make sense that this would work. We'll find it and let you know how it turns out.

http://lalauland.tumblr.com
http://lalauland.etsy.com
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prayin granny
True Blue Farmgirl

1874 Posts

Linda
Kansas
1874 Posts

Posted - Mar 15 2014 :  06:05:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For power outages, etc , have done that many times as well. Found it a bit relaxing actually.
For the longest time didn't have a dryer, either and soooo enjoyed hanging laundry on the clothesline :)

Blessings,
Linda

http://grannysbirds.blogspot.com/
Country at Heart
'For I know the plans I have for you......'
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LaLa
True Blue Farmgirl

233 Posts

Laura
Hickory North Carolina
USA
233 Posts

Posted - Mar 15 2014 :  5:36:08 PM  Show Profile  Send LaLa a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
It really is rather calming. I find it greatly enjoyable.

http://lalauland.tumblr.com
http://lalauland.etsy.com
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lovingewe
True Blue Farmgirl

212 Posts

marlyn-neleh
norwood Ontario
Canada
212 Posts

Posted - Mar 17 2014 :  7:13:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My wash machine rusted out this winter. So I don't have a wash machine at present and never owned a drier. I use a toilet plunger in my wash water. I too enjoy doing it by hand. I listen to soft music and work away, however my hands get blistered when wringing out. I will say my whites are whiter, without adding anything to it!

Marlyn
www.cherishedelegance.blogspot.ca
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LaLa
True Blue Farmgirl

233 Posts

Laura
Hickory North Carolina
USA
233 Posts

Posted - Mar 18 2014 :  10:46:49 AM  Show Profile  Send LaLa a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
That is awesome!

http://lalauland.tumblr.com
http://lalauland.etsy.com
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Annika
True Blue Farmgirl

5602 Posts

Annika

USA
5602 Posts

Posted - Mar 18 2014 :  11:51:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Goooood morning! Good topic Laura! We share a well with our landlords and the well is not producing as much water as it should, either their well system is going kapooters or it's low on water. Either way, I don't like wasting the water using the machine and end up going to town to use a laundromat every few weeks for big loads. In the mean time I've been hand washing a lot of our day to day clothing in the sink. I've got tendonitis in my wrists so I have to be careful with wringing. I've found that you can tightly roll some clothing and press the water out to some extent though. I am one of these odd ducks that actually likes when the power goes out or we get snowed in with candle light only. I like the hands on aspect of keeping the home, shop, garden etc with out power. I like doing laundry and weirdly enjoy the kind of zen peace of it.

I think that even when we get our own property and well, I'll do some of the laundry by hand.

You must do the thing you think you cannot do
-Eleanor Roosevelt

She with the most chickens wins

Annika
Farmgirl & Sister #13

http://thegimpyfarmgirl.blogspot.com/
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texdane
Farmgirl Legend Chapter Leader Chapter Guru

4361 Posts

Nicole
Sandy Hook CT
USA
4361 Posts

Posted - Mar 24 2014 :  09:48:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Neat post. When our electricity went out a few years ago for a week with the big hurricane that hit, I washed our laundry by hand and hung it up to dry. I have a vintage/antique washboard that hangs on the wall of my little laundry room as decoration. I pulled it down and used it. It was great! Now I use it when I do hand washables, or to pre-treat stubborn stains before our clothes go in the washer...like ring around the collar on dh's work shirts. I use a little bar of laundry soap and the washboard. Then back on the wall it goes. Picked mine up originally for decoration only at a flea market very inexpensively. I have also seen the hand washable "plunger", and have thought of picking one of those up. I think MaryJane recommends it in her book.

Nicole

Farmgirl Sister #1155
KNITTER, JAM-MAKER AND MOM EXTRAORDINAIRE
Chapter Leader, Connecticut Simpler Life Sisters
Farmgirl of the Month, January 2013

Suburban Farmgirl Blogger
http://sfgblog.maryjanesfarm.org/
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Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7005 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7005 Posts

Posted - Mar 25 2014 :  4:15:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Laura - when I first saw it, I laughed, too!

Nicole - I think it will be a lot easier on the hands, wrists and arms to use this plunger washer, for sure! :)

Hugs -

Nini

Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!

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LaLa
True Blue Farmgirl

233 Posts

Laura
Hickory North Carolina
USA
233 Posts

Posted - Apr 05 2014 :  12:05:57 AM  Show Profile  Send LaLa a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I just revisited because I have another question. Is there a way to avoid or at least partially reverse pilling? I have a few shirts that pill, though I noted that hand-washing has prolonged their wear, and kept clothes from pilling the first several washes. However, I recently encountered a pair of pants... you know that annoying / embarrassing wear pants get in the crotch? Well, I've washed them 3 times to date, and they're pilling really bad in the crotch area. I've only ever hand-washed them. Bad brand, or is there something I can do other than sit pretty and never walk in them again?

http://lalauland.tumblr.com
http://lalauland.etsy.com
Follow me on Twitter: @lalauland
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madhousefrau
Farmgirl at Heart

1 Posts

Erica
Craftsbury common Vermont
USA
1 Posts

Posted - Jul 15 2014 :  04:24:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I started doing this myself when we lost our laundry facility privileges at the nearby college. We live in a shoebox, so we have no option for in-house facilities. I started just using a washboard and a big stock pot haha. I havnt tried doing pants yet, but we have a rule in our house about pants, if they dont stink to high heaven and cant walk on their own, they're clean enough. that may sound gross, but it saves time, water, soap, and wear and tear. This is much easier on our clothes, but I still need to send off to the laundromat to do things like pillows and comforters and other poofy things.

"yes that is a woodchuck, no I dont know how it got in there"
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Rosemary
True Blue Farmgirl

1820 Posts


Virginia
USA
1820 Posts

Posted - Jul 15 2014 :  06:41:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Laura, it sounds as if your husband is coming home with "flour glue" on his pants! When I was a kid in school (when dinosaurs roamed the earth), kids made a kind of Play-Doh out of flour and salted water (I think). You'd roll and press the dough into different shapes for the projects like topographic maps, pioneer cabin models and so on. You'd let it dry and then paint and assemble it. Point is, once this stuff was dry, it was hard as a rock. I think your husband's pants are basically coated with the same thing and by the time he gets home, it's reached that indestructible stage. You could try cracking the floury parts and soaking the pants for a couple of hours to "melt" the flour before washing. Hand-washing might not be tough enough. You might have to break down and take those guys to a laundromat for the kind of brutality only they can mete out!

Have you tried making your own laundry soap? It saves an enormous amount of money and it isn't difficult. Some farm girls make it as liquid soap, but I find that hard to use and messy. I just make powder and scoop out what I need for the washing machine. For hand-washing, you might want to dissolve the amount you're using in a some warm water before adding it to your washtub. The recipe is easy-peasy: a cake of Fels Naptha soap, grated; a cup of washing soda, half a cup of borax, and a handful of baking soda. Run this through a food processor to get it nicely granular, and store it in a big jar in your laundry area. Sometimes I mix in a few drops of an essential oil, but that's your call. You won't need more than ¼ cup of this stuff for a whole washing machine load, so maybe only a tablespoon for your hand-washing "loads."

On the other end of the soap spectrum, in terms of price, is something I found at my yarn shop, intended for gently washing woolies but it works beautifully on silks, too. It's called Ucalan (sp?) and you don't even have to rinse it out. It treats fibers very gently, gets them clean and won't fade dyes as some soaps will. It's pricey, but for your most precious things, it might be worth it. You don't have to use much, so a bottle will last a long time.
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rueniekins
Farmgirl at Heart

1 Posts

Patricia
Lynchburg Va
USA
1 Posts

Posted - Jun 22 2015 :  08:45:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I really enjoyed reading this thread. My DH and I live in an apt in Virginia, the laundry facility doesn't clean our clothes well, so I've been thinking of this...great read!

go check out my business Facebook page: facebook.com/rueniekins
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loribeck
True Blue Farmgirl

585 Posts

Lori
Alvordton 36
USA
585 Posts

Posted - Jul 29 2019 :  4:42:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I used to hand wash baby clothes when I was just a young mother. I haven't thought of doing that for a very long time. It didn't take much laundry soap at all and the clothes came out so nice and clean. I should try that again on the clothes that aren't very dirty. My husband and I both get pretty dirty when we are working outside. When we went to Amish country there was a store that sold the old wringer washers that did not use electric. It had a handle on it to agitate it with. I might check into one of those.

Lori Beck
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Krissel
True Blue Farmgirl

207 Posts

Vicki K
Sturbridge Mass
USA
207 Posts

Posted - Jul 31 2019 :  7:55:32 PM  Show Profile  Send Krissel a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I've been trying to adjust my thinking on the laundry! I want to hand wash - bucket and plunger all my small weekly things and cut down on the cost of going to the laundry mat! My SO just found a cool clothes line thing you can pull out of the wall mounted unit and hook to far side of yard 15 feet or in the tub! It's spring loaded with a lock button! I'm going to start now for sure! My neighbor is a young gal and very friendly so I can make it go between our cabins! She isn't here often and isn't minding at all!

Farmgirl#7588 Fishgirl Farm Chapter member.
Laughter makes the heart strong!
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loribeck
True Blue Farmgirl

585 Posts

Lori
Alvordton 36
USA
585 Posts

Posted - Aug 02 2019 :  5:34:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Vicki, that sounds handy. I have also been thinking about doing some hand laundry. I desperately want a clothes line out here. I have plenty of room for one. It would cut down on the cost of using the dryer. I have a rack I can hang clothes on but with 3 dongs and 2 cats I am constantly washing blankets and sofa covers. A clothes line would come in real handy.

Lori Beck
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Krissel
True Blue Farmgirl

207 Posts

Vicki K
Sturbridge Mass
USA
207 Posts

Posted - Aug 07 2019 :  2:28:37 PM  Show Profile  Send Krissel a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Well I am doing all my undies and small towels, white napkins ,dishcloths in the bucket with plunger! I'm loving how clean they are and the not going to laundry mat every week. I hang them in the warm room/ loft and the fan for circulate air directed at them dries them good!
Very pleased. For towles I wrap them around handle of plunger and hold it down while I twist up the wet item and wring it out.

Farmgirl#7588 Fishgirl Farm Chapter member.
Laughter makes the heart strong!
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loribeck
True Blue Farmgirl

585 Posts

Lori
Alvordton 36
USA
585 Posts

Posted - Aug 07 2019 :  5:32:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Vicki, what a wonderful idea. I thought about getting a plunger to use, too. I priced the wringer washers that don't use electricity and they are way too costly for my budget. Never thought about using a handle to help wring them out. Thank you for sharing

Lori Beck
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