Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday was Wash Day

Monday was laundry day.  That was determined by the Old Farmer’s wife. 
Tuesday was the alternate if it happened to rain on Monday, but in the winter the clothes were hung in the basement so the weather did not matter.
So by Monday morning, each member of the family was responsible to bring to the laundry room their hamper of dirty clothes.  The laundry room was just the backroom of the house where the laundry tubs were, definitely a multi-purpose area. 
 (Sometimes the tubs were used for bathing dirty children.)
The washer was electric, but each step was manual.  The washer had to be filled with water and soap, the clothes put in and then turn the swisher on for 15- 20 minutes depending on the dirty-ishness of that particular load.  Then the swisher turned off and the clothes lifted out to the spinner (or wringer) and spun.  Then the clothes were lifted into a laundry tub filled with water to rinse.  Then the clothes were lifted back into the spinner and spun as dry as possible, then lifted to the basket to be taken outside (or to the basement) and to be hung.
Somewhere in that procedure, when the wash water or the rinse water were dirty, the tubs were emptied and refilled with fresh water.  And for items that were bleached, such as sheets and towels, bleach was added to the tub and then when the items needing bleach were finished, the tubs were emptied.
In earlier days a hand cranked wringer was used, and a washboard and a bar of Fels Naptha soap (A strong bar soap) rubbed on ring around the collar and cuff and other stubborn stains and scrubbed.
One thing the Old Farmer’s wife always said as we drove past a home with the laundry hanging out to dry, “You can always tell how a woman keeps her house by the way she hangs her laundry.”  And then there was the old joke –
“I heard there was a hanging at your place.”
 Ah, such was life on the farm.
(Contributed by Old Farmer''s Daughter #2 with some inclusion info from Old Farmer's Daughter #1)



rozeguy said...

I forgot just how much work it really was. No wonder my Aunt was tired at the end of the day.

Past Pieces Vintage said...

Monday was wash day. All. day. long. Sometimes there wasn't enough clothes line. To this day, I can still see the dark blue-tinted water from the overalls and dungarees. Thank goodness I was too young to participate. Do I miss it? Oh, hell, no.