|A much younger Miss Calamity and|
Master Hand Grenade doing
laundry using our "James Washer"
We had no running water and no drains and it was the middle of winter, so my laundry methods had to be creative. The first thing I did was dig up and thoroughly clean my five gallon galvanized washtub. I started the generator, put the galvanized tub on my wood cookstove (over the firebox) and fill it with cold water from our garden hose. I added soap (the homemade kind that I had made with Fels Naptha and Borax) and started washing. I scrubbed the dark clothes first, because I could wash them in cold water. I had to work fast because the water heated up very quickly! Soon, I was scrubbing away at the whites in VERY HOT water! Sweat would be rolling off my face, my hands were red and rough and I have to admit, I felt very sorry for myself.
After washing all of the clothes in soapy water, I would toss them into a laundry tub on the floor. Then I would haul the five gallon tub of dirty, hot, gross water out of the house (remember, I had no drains!) and dump it off to the side of our driveway. Then I would rinse out the tub, fill it with clean water and start rinsing the clothes. Once again, I started with the darks (in the cold water) and quickly worked my way through to the whites. After I had rinsed all of the laundry, Maid Elizabeth and I would take the whole lot into the bathroom and wring each piece of laundry by hand. Here we were, living off the grid, doing laundry on the wood cookstove, and I had no wringer! I must admit, for as much effort as we put into hand wringing each item of clothing, they were still full of water when we were done.
|Sir Knight and Miss Calamity filling|
|Our "drying horse"|
|Our friends sweet children|
Laundry without electricity is a daunting task. It is, however, made a little easier with the right tools!