Bathtub laundry


One of the things I noticed when I was researching washing machines was that washing clothing required only a few things. There must be water, small amounts of soap, agitation and rinsing. When looking at how older machines worked and how people hand washed clothing, I came across a small group that washed all their clothing in the bath tub. This appealed to me for a few reasons.

They aren’t wasting money at a laundry mat
The soaking seemed to help get stuff out almost as much as the actual scrubbing
The amount of detergent that came out of even clean clothing in experiments was amazing.
This would allow me to see how much I hated or didn’t hate wringing out wet clothing before I bought a small washer.

Feeling ready to work, I loaded up a rather large load of laundry in my tub. I added about 2 tablespoons of detergent. Most items had only been worn once or twice and to work. I let them soak for 30 mins and then stood in the tub and swished them all around for a while. I let them soak a bit more and then heaved them in and down to help squish water through them. I then drained the tub. ( some of the water was collected and taken to the garden for my potted plants) I squeezed s much waster as I could out and then refilled the tub with clean cold water. I swished and let sit for anther 10 mins as a rinse cycle. I drained that and then spent about 10 mins actually running water through each piece, one at a time, wringing them out and tossing them into a plastic bin to go hang them. The hardest thing to wring out wasn’t my jeans as I thought it would be. It was my stretchy work out pants. They just didn’t want to be fully wrung out. My technique for jeans was to stand on the bottom and hold the waist in my hands and begin twisting. This worked well enough that they are hung in my living room mostly dry now.

I hung my clothes on a drying rack outside to dry for a while and kept. My delicates inside hanging the the rest room.

I brought in my clothing when it got dark and am letting it finish drying the the living room but, most of it is only slightly damp as of right now. It all smells clean and there are no crunchy socks as of right now.

This method works for me but would work better if I had a clothes line. I think I am going to try some towels if I end up with extra time during the week and see if I continue to enjoy bath tub washing. Even if I don’t like doing towel, being able to do basic clothing like this means I will be able to keep the space that the small washer would have taken up nice and open. (Happy happy)

As I wear these clothes, I will let y’all know if I they feel and smell clean still.

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3 Responses to Bathtub laundry

  1. Kay says:

    I think trying out washing clothes in the bathtub was a great idea. Is that your apartment bathtub? If yes is it going to be more difficult in the trailer? My trailer only has a shower stall so I would need to use a bucket if I ever needed to do laundry. The washer you were looking at buying really only gets you agitation (which isn’t even crazy fast) and not having to bend over into a bath tub. Plus if your clothes are never really even that dirty a wash in the tub is probably all they need anyway. How was the dripping water from the tub to your drying rack? That always annoyed me the most. I would get water everywhere!

    • Some Art Teacher says:

      Good Day Kay! I would use large plastic bins I have to do laundry in the trailer. I may in fact start that tonight. I have heard if your clothing soaks longer, It is easier to get all the ick out when it’s time. I didn’t have much trouble with dripping but I went ahead and wrung dry all the clothing first. Once I wrung them out, I slopped them into one of the plastic bins and out to the drying rack. I found the best way to do pants was to stand on the end of the leg and twist. I used the tub water to water my plants as well.. waste not want not!

  2. Zendelle says:

    I use an old wringer washing machine from the ’50s. You fill it up with water (whatever temp you like) pull the knob to make it agitate, put the clothes in one piece at a time. The agitation is amazing. The clothes tumble through the water…I love to watch it. It has only one speed. When you think they’re clean enough, you push the knob back in. I have a little foot pedal for the wringer. Been using it for over a year, and have only gotten my hand stuck in it once, LOL. (it has a release thingy just in case). But the most interesting thing is what you noticed with your bathtub washing. Clothes bleed out an amazing amount of dye. I never noticed this with a regular automatic washing machine because I never saw the dirty water. Before getting the wringer washer, I always mixed all the colors of laundry together. No wonder everything came out gray! Now I sort everything, and my clothes are much cleaner. Before this I had a very expensive new front loading machine. Used hardly any water, but took FOREVER to do a load, and the clothes never smelled clean, even when I hung them on the line. I hated it with a passion. Gimme low tech any day.

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