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Hand Washing Clothes

Updated on April 4, 2016

How I Started Hand Washing Clothes for My Family

I never thought I would be hand washing my family's laundry, but once I started I loved it so much I never stopped. Now I wash our clothes each day in my kitchen sink and dry them on a rack under the ceiling fan.

I started hand washing clothes for my family last summer. In my work as a door-to-door census enumerator, I noticed every morning some freshly laundered shirts and pants would be hanging on the porch rail outside one particular apartment. I realized that each morning, the lady living there was hand washing the clothes that her family had worn the day before.

As I thought about it, I realized this was a very efficient way of managing laundry. First of all, no mountain of dirty clothes ever piles up. The family takes off the clothes at bedtime and they are washed the next morning after breakfast. Hanging on the porch rail, they would dry in an hour or two on most days. Rainy days would take somewhat longer. No folding was needed, since she could just bring the clothes inside on their hangers and put them away.

When laundry is handled in this way, the family needs a lot fewer individual pieces of clothing. Every afternoon all items are clean and put away, so each family member really only needs two outfits: one to wear and one to wash.

Finally, money is saved on electricity, by not operating the washer and dryer. For those without machines, they save the time and effort of going to the laundromat as well as the costs of using the coin-operated machines.

I decided to try hand washing clothes myself. It took a few days of working out some kinks, but I was quickly hooked. I found it not only efficient, but strangely fun and satisfying.

Photo credit

hand washing clothes
hand washing clothes

The Top 10 Reasons I Love Hand Washing Clothes

10. I feel a connection to women and girls all over the world who hand wash clothes. Most people in the world do not have access to machines to do this job.

9. I use laundry detergent that I enjoy and it makes my kitchen smell fresh and clean.

8. My arms and hands are getting strong from wringing water out of clothes. I save money by not belonging to a gym!

7. It is a fun excuse to play in the water. I can even take the job outside on a nice day and do it on the patio with water from the hose.

6. I love seeing the dirt come out of the clothes right before my eyes during the agitation process. I feel like I am accomplishing something.

5. I save money on laundry detergent, because I use less.

4. It uses fewer resources. My electric and water bills are reduced.

3. I save money on clothes since we don't need as many outfits. When using machines you need a lot of clothes so you don't run out of clean outfits before laundry day.

2. I save money on clothes since they last longer. The washer and dryer are hard on clothes. Where do you think all that lint comes from? It is tiny pieces of your clothes that have come off in the machines.

And, the top reason I love hand washing our clothes: The clothes get cleaner. Stains are not left in clothing, since I can see them and easily take care of them with a little extra scrubbing. Since I started hand washing clothes I have learned that the washing machine does not thoroughly rinse all the soap out of the clothes. By hand washing I can control this also.

How Much Could You Save by Hand Washing Your Clothes?

I ran my numbers through this handy calculator and found out it costs me $1.00 in detergent, electricity and water to run a load through my washing machine. It costs about $1.26 to dry a load of laundry in my dryer.

Find out how much you could save by hand washing your laundry by clicking the link. You will need a copy of your utility bills to plug your numbers into the energy usage calculator.

Hand Washing Clothes is a Stress Reliever

After I started hand washing our clothes I discovered a benefit I was not expecting. Here are my Facebook status updates a few days after I started hand washing my family's clothes.

My status update on 8/26/2010 said, "Third day of slow (by hand) laundry. Unanticipated consequence...stress reduction! The fresh smell of soap. Playing in water. Washing away dirt. Peace and quiet. Wringing out heavy, wet clothes. A feeling of accomplishment as the rack is filled. Folding & putting away the clean laundry takes only minutes."

The next day I wrote, "Remembering 5 weeks in Ayacucho (Peru), where we washed our clothes by hand in the floor of the shower, then hung them on the roof of the hotel to dry. Someone once took a pair of my socks, but left me a pair of theirs in their place. Had not thought about it in years, but recalled last night that during that very stressful time, washing clothes by hand was therapeutic as well. Our brains need physical labor."

Detergent for Hand Washing Clothes

You don't need to buy any special detergent for hand washing clothes. This is the one I use. I can usually find it on sale at the local drug store or grocery. There might be something else you like better, but this is one that I especially like.

Purex Ultra Concentrate Natural Elements Laundry Detergent, Linen & Lilies 50oz.
Purex Ultra Concentrate Natural Elements Laundry Detergent, Linen & Lilies 50oz.

This is one of the detergents I use for hand washing clothes. I like the fragrance and it is gentle on my skin. It also rinses out easily.

 

Hand Washing Clothes Poll

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Where do you stand on hand washing clothes? Vote and then leave a comment about your feelings on hand washing clothes.

Do you hand wash clothes?

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My Method for Hand Washing Clothes

I hand wash clothes in my kitchen sink after I wash the dishes (also by hand). I use straight cold water most of the year. In the winter I use some warm water, but just enough to take the edge off and avoid discomfort.

I put the stopper in and fill the sink about half-full of cool water. While the water is running I add about two tablespoons of liquid laundry detergent. It is possible to use a powdered detergent; I have done it before. It takes a little longer to dissolve, but it is not a huge problem.

I add the dirty clothes to the soapy water. The amount that I fit into the sink varies, but I do not overstuff it. I have found it is easier to agitate the clothes if they have room to swish. Usually I do two sink-loads per day and this fills the drying rack I keep in my kitchen.

I usually agitate the clothes a minute or so with my hands, making sure the fabric is thoroughly soaked and the water is swishing through everything. You can begin to see some of the dirt coming out into the soapy water at this point, which is gratifying. After this gentle agitation, I let the clothes soak in the soapy water for 10 or 15 minutes. If they are very dirty, I might let them soak longer, up to about half an hour.

After soaking, I come back and agitate the clothes in earnest. There are various ways to accomplish this. I usually just use my hands. I don't try to duplicate the action of a washing machine, because when you think about it, the washer is trying to duplicate the action of human hands.

The method I use for agitating is to swish and squeeze the soapy water through the fabric. I don't stir as much as knead the clothing under my palms, similar to kneading bread dough. I am sure people have different methods of agitating, but this one works well for me.

I have a washboard that I sometimes use, but it is not completely necessary. You can get your clothes clean without it.

After I have finished agitating, I drain the soapy water from the sink. I like to squeeze out as much of the soapy water as I can, then I use the spray hose to rinse the visible soap bubbles out of the sink. Then stop the drain again and run the rinse water.

While the water is running and filling the sink, I rinse smaller items like underwear and socks in the running water, turning it off between items. I usually rinse an item, squeeze as much water out as I can, then immediately hang it on the drying rack.

Hand Washing Clothes in Paraguay

Here is a lady demonstrating a similar method for hand washing clothes. She lives in Paraguay and has a special laundry sink with a built-in washboard on her porch.

Using a Washboard to Hand Wash Clothes - Works Better Than Chemicals for Getting Rid of Stains

I received my washboard as a wedding gift many years ago. I am sure the person who gave it to me had in mind that it would be a decoration and never dreamed I would actually use it for its original purpose! I am sure I never thought I would either! But I remembered it after I started hand washing clothes and a few months ago I found it stashed away in a box in the basement. I brought it upstairs and discovered it is wonderful at removing stains.

I just use the soapy wash water and rub the stains on the washboard. The first day I used it I was astonished and thrilled to scrub out a stain that had been on one of my favorite white tops for almost two years. This shirt had been treated with stain fighters and put through the washer numerous times and I thought the stains were permanent. My nice top had been an undershirt for two years. The washboard got those stains right out. I was sold!

Then I tried a pair of white socks my daughter had gotten stained walking around the house in her stocking feet. This is the kind of ground-in dirt that never seems to come out in the washer. A few scrubs and my socks were sparkling white again!

Even if you are committed to your washing machine, you might want to have a washboard on hand for stain removal. Works better than any chemical stain remover!

Columbus Washboard 2072 Family Size Washboard
Columbus Washboard 2072 Family Size Washboard

This washboard is one of Amazon's most popular items. I guess hand washing clothes is catching on!

This washboard has terrific reviews. It seems to be well made. One thing I appreciate about it is that it is made in the USA. I am all in favor of that!

 
Octagon All Purpose Laundry Bar Soap by Colgate - 7 Oz
Octagon All Purpose Laundry Bar Soap by Colgate - 7 Oz

The top of the washboard is designed to hold a bar of laundry soap like this. I do not use it this way, but you may want to give it a try. If you do, please come back and let me know how it works!

 

Buy a Washtub

This washtub would be great for taking outside on the patio to wash the laundry using rainwater or the garden hose. Use a biodegradable laundry soap and empty the water onto your flower beds.

Dover Parkersburg 62  15-Gallon Square Tub
Dover Parkersburg 62 15-Gallon Square Tub

This is similar to galvanized tubs we used growing up.

 

Rinsing Your Hand Washed Clothes

Getting the Soap Out

Several readers have asked about getting all the soap out when hand washing clothes. This seems to be a common challenge for people, so I thought I would say a few words about it.

First of all, your washing machine was not getting all the soap out either! If you don't believe me, put a load of laundry in your washer, don't put any soap in, just fill it up with water and let it agitate. Watch the soap come out of your clean clothes! Quite shocking, huh?!

By hand washing you can control this better than with your machine. There are a few things you can do to get the soap out.

One, use less soap. Use only the amount of soap needed to get your clothes clean. You do not need bubbles. You have your hands in the water and can see the dirt coming out of your clothes. If you need more soap, add it, but do not put in too much. You only need a tablespoon or two depending on how hard your water is. You certainly do not need an entire capful of liquid laundry detergent. The less soap you use, the less you have to rinse out.

Two, you will need more than one rinse. Some items will be harder to rinse than others. I rinse underwear and socks under the running water as I am filling the sink, leaving the heavier items to soak. When the sink is full of water, I agitate the remaining items. The water gets soapy and I drain it. If you have another container for rinsing, you can save this soapy water for washing another load. Continue rinsing in fresh water as needed. You may need up to 5 rinse cycles to get all the soap out of heavier items.

A little vinegar in the rinse water helps remove remaining soap and acts as a fabric softener. Detergent left in clothes makes them stiff after line drying.

Wringing Out the Clothes

How do I get all that water out?

After handwashing your clothes, you will probably want to wring your wet items in some way. There are various methods for accomplishing this. Some require only your bare hands, while others will make use of additional equipment. There is no right or wrong way to get the job done. It is a matter of personal preference and resources.

When I first started hand washing my clothes last year, I did not wring them out very well. I believed if I were to wring out the fabric vigorously, that I would damage my clothes. I thought they would tear or stretch out of shape. So I would gently squeeze out as much water as I could. I always ended up with a lot of wet, dripping clothes and would have to put pans and towels under the drying rack to catch all the water. It was a mess!

I do not do that anymore. Now I wring every garment out with vigor. I fold the item into a manageable length and then twist one end in one direction and the other in the opposite direction, then using my fists I squeeze and twist and milk all the liquid out until I cannot force out another drop. Sometimes this requires refolding to get a different angle. Sometimes certain areas, such as elastic waistbands, require additional attention.

After I get all the water out that I can, I straighten and shape the garment back to its original proportions before hanging to dry. Using this method I no longer get drips on the floor, but my clothes do come off the line more wrinkled. I find most of the wrinkles fall out during wear, but I do end up ironing some things. I don't think I am doing more ironing than I did when using the dryer. If you hang things with care, I find they usually come out nicer than they did after sitting in the dryer. I never was very good at rushing to the dryer to hang things up as soon as the bell rang.

Another option is to purchase a wringer. This device consists of two rollers that press the water out of the clothes, either by hand-cranking the clothing through or with the push of a button if you buy an electric wringer. This looks similar to the wringer on a mop bucket, but there is quite a bit of difference between the wringer on mop bucket and a laundry wringer. You are never going to get enough pressure on a thin piece of fabric from the mop wringer, because it is just not made for that. There will be too much space between the rollers. So, do not waste your money on that. Go ahead, if you are going to go this route, and invest in the tool that will get the job done. Get the tool that was made to do the job.

Someone asked if she could use the spin cycle on her washing machine to remove the water from her handwashed clothes. Of course you can do that! Just set the machine to spin and turn it on. It should work fine.

You can also purchase a machine that does nothing except spin the water out of wet clothes. This machine, called a centrifuge, is actually also handy if you machine wash clothes, because it will get out additional water that your washer spin cycle left in. This will save work for your dryer, if you use one, or allow your clothing to dry faster if you hang to air dry.

Finally, you can take your wet items out to the yard and beat them against a large rock, your patio or the brick wall of your house. In my opinion, this is probably hard on your fabric, but it would be great for getting out your aggressions! Be sure to watch the video of the lady in India beating the water out of her clothes in this manner.

Hand Washing Clothes in India

Here is a lady in India demonstrating another method of hand washing clothes. I find it interesting and informative to see how women wash clothes by hand in other parts of the world where they have never had washing machines.

This lady soaks the clothes in soapy water, then scrubs each one on a large flat stone with a small scrub brush. She beats the soapy water out and then quickly rinses in clear water.

Additional laundry items

Best Hand Clothes Wringer
Best Hand Clothes Wringer

A genuine wringer like Grandma had! This will squeeze the water out of your clothes and save you from having to wring them all out by hand.

 
Lightning Cable, iPhone Charger 3PACK 3FT/6FT/6FT Nylon Braided 8 pin Charging Cables USB Charger Cord, Compatible for iPhone X / 8 / 8 Plus / 7 / 7 Plus / 6 / 6 Plus / iPad and more
Lightning Cable, iPhone Charger 3PACK 3FT/6FT/6FT Nylon Braided 8 pin Charging Cables USB Charger Cord, Compatible for iPhone X / 8 / 8 Plus / 7 / 7 Plus / 6 / 6 Plus / iPad and more

An electric centrifuge you can put on your counter. Just put your wet clothes in, turn it on and it will pull the water out with centrifugal force. Helpful even if you use your washer as it is more effective than your washing machine's spin cycle.

 

More About Hand Washing Clothes

For more information about hand washing clothes, check the links below.

If Hand Washing Clothes Is Too Much - Try the Wonder Wash

If you are not ready to make the leap to hand washing clothes, you might like to try this little gadget. Set the Wonder Wash on the countertop next to your sink. Fill it with water and add about two tablespoons of laundry detergent. Put your clothes in. It will take about 5 lbs. of clothes at a time.

Agitate by turning a crank for a few minutes. Drain the soapy water and fill with rinse water. Crank a few more minutes to rinse.

The Wonder Wash does not have a spin cycle, so you will still need to wring your clothes out, or use some kind of spinner to remove excess water before hanging to dry. I believe if you hang them outside or in the bathtub, you can just let them drip. Items that have been hung up wetter often come off the clothesline with fewer wrinkles.

The Laundry Alternative Wonderwash Non-electric Portable Compact Mini Washing Machine
The Laundry Alternative Wonderwash Non-electric Portable Compact Mini Washing Machine

This little machine is a great alternative to going to the laundromat.

 

Please leave a comment with your thoughts and your experiences with hand washing clothes.

Thank You for Stopping By

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    • Demaw profile image

      Demaw 4 years ago

      I too hand wash clothes similar to how my mother did. You become more aware of weather. On damp days I wont do laundry or only lightweights and use the fan. Sunny days its on the wooden dryer without the fan. One neighbor places her clothes on the fence around her house, another on the bushes. If something is too heavy and dirty I have no problem going to the laundromat.

    • profile image

      marsha32 5 years ago

      Liked, pinned and blessed!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @lilblackdress lm: this is Annemarie .I have to cope with wet sheet every day two or more .I have to rinse three times and put it through my good old wooden handwringer to get rid of the nasty smell and by making the pressure as high as I manage I get strong arms.

      My husband can not beat me.

    • Mortira profile image

      Mortira 5 years ago

      Fantastic lens and some great tips. Blessed!

    • profile image

      sherioz 5 years ago

      I would have thought that it is harder work than it seems the way you describe it. I might try it. Great article.

    • Rosetta Slone profile image

      Rosetta Slone 5 years ago from Under a coconut tree

      I really enjoyed reading this. My mum always hand washed to keep clothes lasting longer, and I still do delicates by hand. You may have convinced me to do more, though.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Like some of us, I also have to handwash some articles of clothing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      i too hand wash but i use a 5 gallon bucket with a lid, i cut a hole in the lid the size of the handle on a plunger, then i cut 4 diamond shapes in the rubber part of the plunger and then i put the plunger handle through the hole in the bucket, fill bucket with water add detergent and the plunger is my agitator, works wonders, i call it my poor mans washer, but i love it.

    • ofwdin lm profile image

      ofwdin lm 5 years ago

      Great lens. Hand washing is still very much done here. but I still learned from the vids of women from other countries. Very nice lens, thanks.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 5 years ago from Vermont

      You made me remember the many years I washed diapers and all our laundry using a wringer washing machine. One saving factor was I could reuse the wash water for certain loads - lightly soiled whites first, then darks in the same suds on the second load. I don't miss those days ...

    • CottageHomestead profile image

      CottageHomestead 5 years ago

      How wonderful, just now saw your lens on this, I see we have something in common! :) Wonderful lens.

    • ecoguy lm profile image

      ecoguy lm 5 years ago

      Thanks Frischy, this is really helpful and I really appreciate the time you have taken to put it together!

    • lilblackdress lm profile image

      lilblackdress lm 5 years ago

      Wow you have really taken the extra step here! I can't imagine handwashing all my clothes.How many family members do you have? Do you handwash sheets also?

    • Frischy profile image
      Author

      Frischy 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      @Helene-Malmsio: Thank you so much, Helene!

    • profile image

      Helene-Malmsio 5 years ago

      @Helene-Malmsio: Love this lens so much that I have nominated it for LoD ... read about it here:

      http://www.squidoo.com/lenses-I-nominated-for-lens...

      Hope you get some kudus!

    • profile image

      Helene-Malmsio 5 years ago

      @marsha32: I also have problems with arms etc so I just let the washing stay in the sink/bath and let it DRAIN until nearly all the water has drained off the items.

    • profile image

      Helene-Malmsio 5 years ago

      @RachelDillin: Should tell us your laundry detergent recipe so we can give it a go!

    • profile image

      Helene-Malmsio 5 years ago

      @puppyprints: yes, this is a brilliant way to get 99% of liquids out of clothes, especially the stretchy jumpers etc that can be pulled out of shape if hung up too wet.

    • profile image

      Helene-Malmsio 5 years ago

      Many years ago I went through a stage with no washer, and limited access to a laundromat, and I really got used to hand washing everything. But I used the bathtub! I would dump towels & sheets etc in there with some laundry detergent, let it soak for an hour or so, agitate it a bit, pull the plug to let it drain, and then added some rinse water, agitate & drain. I found that if I just left it in the tub for a while all the water would eventually drain out of the items and I would need little wringing before hanging them up. Ditto above for smaller clothes items.... it was surprisingly easy to do a couple of times a week. I air dry nearly all of my washing on hangers, and in winter over the central heating ducts... You have me thinking about the benefits of handwashing again... at least for the smaller clothing items....

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 5 years ago from Scotland

      i have a few items I hand wash as they are delicates, I also find it theraputic, doing this, and I see someone already gave the idea to wringing out the clothes, using a towel! Fantastic water and earth saving tip too! Blessed

    • Frischy profile image
      Author

      Frischy 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      @anonymous: Oh dear! It sounds like you had a rough time. You started with the very hardest thing. I would not want to handwash something as heavy as a bath sheet using the technique I described here. I think I may make a separate lens about how to do heavy items such as bath sheets & blankets. There is another way to do those. Try with smaller items, such as your summer clothing, first. Build up to those bath sheets. Don't give up yet! :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My opportunity to try hand washing came sooner than I expected-my washer broke! I viewed the videos to get some pointers to try out tomorrow! Thanks for the tips!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Okay, I tried it, out of necessity, because I didn't want to spend the money for the laundromat. Besides after reading through this lens, it sounded like such a good idea. However after today, I realize I need some more practice. First I need a good wringer because I had trouble ringing the water out of my heavy bath sheets. Second, my laundry rack was too small. I let the laundry partially dry there so the sun could help evaporate the water, then tossed them into the dryer. I still had trouble drying the towels. Any savings I had from hand washing was lost by the overuse of the dryer. So all in all a great experience, but it did take more of my time. The clothes smell great and I'm glad I tried it!

    • puppyprints profile image

      puppyprints 6 years ago

      Here is a good way to wring out a few clothes....lay a towel down flat, then lay your clothes down flat on top of the towel, then roll up the towel with the clothes on the inside...like a big tootsie roll, then stand on the towel (or put in on the counter and lean into it with your hands), unroll the towel and most of the water will be in the towel and the clothes are wrung out pretty well.

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 6 years ago

      Good Lens, I thought I was the only one hand-washing some of my laundry; now I don't feel so alone.

    • profile image

      mumsgather 6 years ago

      I used to help my mum hand wash our clothes when I was young. For towels, we had to each hold on to one side and twist, wringing it together that way. That was fun. :)

    • RachelDillin profile image

      RachelDillin 6 years ago

      This is neat. I make my own laundry detergent and hang to dry, but I only hand wash a few items.

    • DreamsBloom profile image

      DreamsBloom 6 years ago

      I remember watching a Korean tv drama where they were in a more rural area and washing laundry in a tub on the ground, but the women would "stomp" on the laundry like I've seen people stomp on grapes to make wine. I thought it was a good idea and think it would be easier for me to use my legs and feet rather than my hands and arms. (Although I would rather use my hands for underwear and such.)

    • mel-kav profile image

      mel-kav 6 years ago

      Viral on Facebook?!!! How Awesome!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Viral on facebook!!! Awesome!!!

    • Coreena Jolene profile image

      Coreena Jolene 6 years ago

      I have hand washed delicates. This is good info to know in case of a disaster with no electricity available for long periods of time. You have a ton of information. Great lens.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I hand wash lots of items using my own homemade laundry detergent. Adding this to Laundry Tips for Small Spaces lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Wonderful info! I am already mixing my own laundry detergent so maybe I'll try hand washing!

    • profile image

      marsha32 6 years ago

      The wringing would be way to much for my wrists, elbows and shoulder's I'm afraid, but often times at yard sales you see those old washer wringers so that would be another idea for wringing.

    • profile image

      TheDeeperWell 6 years ago

      So far, this lens is one of the most interesting, quirky and practical ones I have come across on Squidoo...I would give you a big award if I had one! I hand wash a few of my clothes, and have done so for years. I also love drying most of my laundry on a clothesline. What I love about your lens is the connections you write about with other women who handwash laundry because they have to, not by choice. Now, you have me intrigued by this lens and I am on to looking at your other ones. Thanks for taking the time to do this one....what a valuable use of Squidoo.

    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 6 years ago

      Outstanding lens! Thanks for the useful info. Also enjoyed the videos of how other people wash their clothes by hand.

    • Charlino99 profile image

      Tonie Cook 6 years ago from USA

      Great information about how to handle dirty laundry.

    • profile image

      Ruthi 6 years ago

      Bravo for you for hand washing your laundry. I have done so when I had to but did not enjoy it and I do believe my clothing had more wrinkles. Of course, I do not own an iron, either. I do line dry my clothes (weather permitting) but even then, sometimes need to de-wrinkle in the dryer for a few minutes.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

      The Wonder Wash would actually work great for motor homes and others who travel frequently. What a handy little hand crank non electric washing machine.

    • jadehorseshoe profile image

      jadehorseshoe 6 years ago

      Nice Lens! But, I still like my W/D.

    • hysongdesigns profile image

      hysongdesigns 6 years ago

      I used to handwash for a family of 5, including 2 in diapers. It took up a lot of my time, especially all the baby stuff. I was overjoyed when I got a wringer washer for $25 ;-) Now that it's just me, I might start handwashing again.

    • Glenn619 profile image

      Glenn619 6 years ago

      My dad is a real inspiration for me when it comes to hand washing clothes, he washes more than 100 different clothes a day, now can u believe that.

    • profile image

      momsfunny 6 years ago

      I do hand wash clothes but i have never liked it. I enjoyed reading about your experience though. Thumbs up!!

    • profile image

      myraggededge 6 years ago

      I have a lens on hand washing laundry but yours is better! I had to handwash for nearly 4 months this year after my washer broke down and I loved it! You are so right about washing a little each day. Unfortunately our manky British weather has forced me back to my machine. Oh... and I use less than half the manufacturer's recommended amount of detergent. Works just as well and less soap left in the clothes.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Who would have thought that there was so much information on hand washing clothes. This was a very interesting read. Enjoyed!

    • profile image

      TravelingRae 6 years ago

      I do my laundry with a Wonderwash and a spin dryer. Why give the laundromat my loonies? I love your lens because it's not just about doing laundry by hand. You also explore your connection to other eras and cultures. :::blessed:::

    • profile image

      prettyonlinemommy 6 years ago

      I hand wash our clothes especially the ones for going out..i never thought there are a lot of ways to hand wash.This is a very good lens!

    • profile image

      MintySea 6 years ago

      neat lens I need to get back into handwashing clothes again

    • profile image

      poutine 6 years ago

      "$1.26 to dry the clothes" in the dryer...that is expensive.

    • profile image

      redleafloans 6 years ago

      You have an awesome lens. Thank you so much for sharing this. This is really cool. Take care...:)

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 6 years ago

      The WonderWash machine is pretty cool.

    • profile image

      mockingbird999 6 years ago

      I don't hand was unless something is really delicate. I do line dry though.

    • turtleface profile image

      turtleface 6 years ago

      I've been wanting to wash more and more of my clothes by hand because the machines are too rough on them and I'm only bringing them up to dry in my place anyway (cuz I don't like the dryer). I'm also not liking how I have to separate clothes to wash them in a load and wait for enough of that color to wash with. Hand washing would be so much quicker

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 6 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      You sold me to hand washing clothes. I am going to try first on a few items with stains that have been there for months. Not having piles of dirty clothes around is another good point too. Blessed

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      JennySui 6 years ago

      I wash my clothes by hand sometimes.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I do not hand wash (i have before but the family has grown). I use my washer but I do hang out to dry. Thank you for sharing your info!

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      annamari 6 years ago

      Growing up, we had the wringer washer and I did use the washboard for some things. Your lens is so original and makes one think. Now, I want to make some changes in how I do the laundry. I would eventually like to get a washboard and I like the wonderwash. My highest compliments on your wonderful lens!

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 6 years ago from So Cal

      I love the wonder wash. When we are camping, I fill a bucket with a lid with dirty clothes, water and soap and put it in the back of the truck and when I have to dash off to the store, it rolls around and agitates the clothes that have to be cleaned before I get home. Somethings just have to be washed but I am not going to waste time at the laundromat when I can kick back in the campground. Good Tips!!

    • hsschulte profile image

      hsschulte 6 years ago

      I love your point about needing fewer clothes if you manage laundry by washing daily. I know so many people (and I've been guilty of it too) that have so much stuff that they can no longer find what they have. Simplifying makes sense!

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      SurvivalFoodStoragePreparedness 6 years ago

      I had to hand wash, and hang dry clothing for a few weeks after a fire in the laundry room. It was a lot of work BUT there was a lot of good stuff in it too. This is a nicely done Lens!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      It sounds like you have hand washing down to a science and really enjoy it....you must have some pioneer spirit in you! You make some good points here about hand washing being a more green activity in that you are using far less resources and it is less wearing of the clothes. The best part is that you enjoy it and that theme is carried out here from start to finish. Well done!

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      I really enjoyed reading and participating in this lens. My mom and I used a wringer washer when I was a kid. Delicates we used a washboard and some Ivory snow soapflakes. I do use my clothesline to dry my clothes, but haven't hand washed in years. I bet your arms are reallyt toned now! I do think the little handcrank washing machine looks promising.

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      ShellB 6 years ago

      I'll be sticking with my washing machine but in a pinch I will wash clothes by hand. In the summer I line dry all of our clothes, I love fresh lines dried clothes, towels, and blankets.

      Great lens!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Really good information! This is a nice way of thinking about cleaning clothes. We used a wringer washer my entire childhood and I loved that thing!

    • profile image

      bossypants 6 years ago

      "I don't try to duplicate the action of a washing machine, because when you think about it, the washer is trying to duplicate the action of human hands." Haha! Simply insightful! I enjoyed your lens and it sure made me think. Sometimes our modern conveniences come at more of a price than we realize. I would definitely consider this!

    • Wedding Mom profile image

      Wedding Mom 6 years ago

      This lens is really enlightening. I am considering hand-washing clothes, seems like hand-washing is a lot beneficial, It may take some time but at least this is doing great stuff not only on us but to the environment as well saving up energy use. Thanks so much for sharing this great info! Great Lens

    • Rockett LM profile image

      Rockett LM 6 years ago

      What a great story. I hand wash my more delicate clothing, but never thought to handwash the rest. I never even knew they still sold washboards! I'm amazed. I always hand wash my dishes and love it ...now I will give clothing a try.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

      I try not to use the clothes dryer all summer in New Hampshire. Clothes smell so fresh after being outside in the sunshine. (how about a separate lens on best ways to dry clothes) Maybe I need to expand and do some handwashing too.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 7 years ago from Colorado

      You have a fabulous perspective on how traditional processes connect one with women worldwide. Taking time to do things by hand is very Zen. Really brings me into the moment, which I find peaceful. As one who lives off the grid, I take great pleasure in using natural resources, like the sun, to accomplish daily tasks. Everything smells so wonderful after soaking up the sunshine. More power to you!

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