I woke up to a busted washing machine, so this was the perfect opportunity to get a badge bit! I took a heavy load of darks and washed them in cold water and some (fairly natural, nontoxic) detergent. I skipped my workout, and instead kneaded heavy towels and work pants like dough, basically using the same muscles I was planning to work anyway! I used the wash water for the rain-deprived lawn, and some of the rinse water on ornamental plants. Then I hung the load up to dry and folded it.
" Let the people, O God, confess to Thee: let all the people give praise to Thee:  The earth hath yielded her fruit. May God, our God bless us,  May God bless us: and all the ends of the earth fear Him." (Psalms 66/67)
We needed to do a load of laundry on vacation so instead of going to a funky laundromat, I washed a load in the cottage sink and took pics for this BB.
I did two small loads worth of clothes in the kitchen sink and used a biodegradable dish soap because that's what we had to use. I added rose petals to the wash water for scent since there were some almost spent roses growing on the property. I wouldn't recommend it since one of the petals stuck to my drying jeans and made a weird spot. I tried to use the little tongs in the cottage kitchen to stir the clothes, but they weren't sturdy enough. I ended up having to get in there and knead the clothing with my hands once the water temp was tolerable.
I got the bulk of the drying clothes into the pic. There are more lying on the deck chairs outside of the frame. The final pic shows 8 shirts folded to meet requirements. Undies and socks were left unfolded and everything else (a couple of skirts and a pair of jeans) was hung up in the closet.
“Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs” St. Francis of Assisi
Wash day was yesterday and I just got the clothes off the line.
I decided to do the old Greek grape press style and threw everything into the tub filled it with hot water and detergent and let it soak for 10ish minutes. Then I stomped everything out, rinsed, filled (this time with a cup of peroxide instead of detergent), soaked, and stamped again.
Wringing out clothes, jeans especially, is hard!
An interesting experience for sure, but one I would rather not repeat
"And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else."
1 Thessalonians 5:14-15
After installing my new laundry line I thought it would be appropriate to give hand-washed laundry a go. I have never really tried to wash my laundry by hand, so this was an educational experience for me. I timed this such that I could wash everything in the shower after some particularly dirty woodworking. I went out to do some de-barking and long-horned beetle larva removal of some loquat logs. Long-horned beetle larva eat the wood and spit out (or poop out perhaps) wood dust. So removing the bark is a very messy business. I say this because I wanted to try hand washing laundry at different levels of gross.
I collected some almost clean clothes that I only wore for a few hours. Some clothes that I sweated hard in. Some clothes with full on beetle larva grossness accumulated, as well as some work gloves, rags I had used to clean the bathroom, and some sheets from my futon.
I used a bucket to collect water while I showered off after doing the woodwork. Most of the wood dust floated to the top, so I just poured that off and then used the collected water for hand washing the articles. I used no cleaners other than water and elbow grease.
To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are:
- manual clothes washer, bathtub or large bucket - bucket in shower room - dry on a clothesline or drying rack - recently installed clothes line - at least “a standard load” (about eight large items and a bunch of socks and undies, etc.) - 1 sheet, 1 pillowcase, 2 shirts, 2 pairs of pants, 1 bath towel, 1 large hat, plus gloves, underwear, socks, cleaning rags, arm covers.
To show you've completed this Badge Bit, you must:
- post two pics of clothes being washed - "Round 1-5" Pictures - post pic of clothes being dried (needs to show it hanging or lying out to dry) - "Line Drying" picture - post pic of clothes folded - "Folded" picture
I started by cleaning the least dirty things, agitating them by hand for 30 seconds to a minute per article. I went through several rounds of this ending in the clothes with wood dust and the dirty rags used in cleaning.
Round 1 - Cleanest clothes being hand washed
Round 2 - Sheets being hand washed
Round 3 - Very sweaty articles being hand washed
Round 4 - Clothes covered in wood dust being hand washed
Round 5 - Cleaning rags being hand washed
I then emptied the water and took a shower again, because I was feeling gross already... I used the collected water again for the next round. I washed each thing again in the same order clean to dirty. This was enough for the cleaner articles, but the wood dust clothes needed about 4 rounds total before the water came out clear and the fabric was seemingly dust free. It took about 30 minutes to do it all.
I wrung the articles all out as well as I could, then took them out and hung them up to dry on my new clothes line.
Because I am manually agitating each article I can focus on the most soiled areas. I can also pick off small wood shavings and burrs from knit gloves that would have remained stuck on a regular machine wash cycle. I had no problems in using no detergent as none of the soiled articles were oily or otherwise difficult to clean. Sweat and general dirt is all pretty much water soluble. I think they came back a little stiffer than usual, probably because of hand-wringing them as opposed to having the water removed during a spin-cycle.
I'm now confident I can do laundry in the event of a power-outage or while camping.
Did some laundry yesterday!
Washed the woolen pieces without soap, the other pieces with a little soap. Rinsed them after washing and on the drying line they went.
Today I collected them, put my nose in every piece, and contently folded them :-) I LOVE woolen clothes!!