12 March 2010

Hand Washing Fun

Sorry it's been a loooong time since the last post but I was busy finding work then busy juggling jobs. All is settled now so let the blogging commence!! (blogging shows up as not in the dictionary, surely it should be by now? Its what I'm doing!! lol - oh and lol hehehee)

Anyway... our washing machine died last week, R.I.P. and bless it's little over-used motor. I haven't rushed to the second hand store to buy another, no no noooo, I have instead taken this moment to learn how to wash clothes by hand. I must say, I'm enjoying it a lot more than I think I aught to be :D

I thought I'd share my experience and Internet findings for those of you interested in this path or maybe who also have a washing machine emergency.

First I had to decide which container to use and I chose our bath as it needs a clean and I could wash more more clothes at once. I used our usual budget laundry powder though I'll be switching to something bio-degradable as that stuff kills your hands. Yes I could have used rubber glove IF I owned them which I don't because I am then more inclined to solve my problems in a more eco friendly way if only to save my own skin! Call it a reminder. You can use a plunger to agitate the clothes but I prefer to get right in there and do it all myself.

Right so, bath 1/3 full of warm water I added only about a 1/4 cup of powder and washed 2 1/2 loads of washing starting with white and filtering to black. Slowly adding clothes and agitating as I went, then wringing and puting in a laundry bastket awaiting rinse.

Next step empty bath, re-fill 1/3 not-as-warm water and repeat process minus the powder. I found this one rinse was all that was needed. Next I put it all out on the line et voila... one very happy clean-clothed Squirrel was I :) (I like squirrels so shhh or I'll start throwing acorns :P)

Now to the comparison...

  1. I actually used less laundry powder than I would in the machine for over twice the load. That's my stupid fault though for always adding more. Still I did get double the wash out of what I should be putting in the machine.
  2. I've washed another 2 loads since then and both have been pretty much the same, they only take an hour from start to finish for 2-3 wash loads, I don't think the machine was ever even finished by then with one lot!
  3. Added exercise and I felt really good about my achievement. I could do with a couple of tubs out in the garden though - much more relaxing.

  1. I used a non-bio-degradable powder so I couldn't use the water for my garden.
  2. duvets... hmmm not sure what I'm going to do about them, and thick or heavy things. Heaviest was one of my cozy jumpers and that was a pain!
  3. I used (in total) approximately 54US/46UK gallons by hand as apposed to a supposed 42.5US/35UK gallons. I can't believe I actually used more water :( Bath measurements calculated using this page (((59*23)*14)= 18,998 cubic inches then convert to gallons). Though, I estimated 1/3 of the full bath and it could be 1/4 I guess? Can't find washing machine manual but online says 65L per load average. Meh, estimations *pouts*
  4. the clothes are dripping wet when you put them on the line so 1 day out there might not be enough, not to mention trying this in winter!

I also found this awesome thread (a little drama in there but ignore it and chew through) where a lot of options are discussed and powder recipies. I recommend you look out for - or 'find' - the post by BikeWarrior.

Good luck in your washing ventures. Please do comment and/or ask questions!

1 comment:

Art Mama said...

Hi there, we (that's my daughter and I who live alone together) once tried going washing machine less when our old one died. We used a Wonder Washer and would do a small wash at the end of the day after we'd put our pjs on. It was great fun, we put the wonder washer in the bath, but the problem was that it was not very stable on it's stand. The other issue was wringing the clothes out. I wished that we could come up with a pedal powered wonder washer, as it was quite a good contraption, and we bought an old wringer off Trade Me, gosh, they go for an arm and a leg though. All the best for your washing machine-less adventures. xx


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