Wondering about wild grapes

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wandering back to old time clothes washing days.

I read Hermit Jim’s blog Coffee with the Hermit (http://hermitjim.blogspot.com) and I suggest you make him a part of your day, everyday, if you don’t already. His latest post brought back some memories of when I was a young kid about saving scraps of soap. I especially remember wash day. My mother had a wringer type washing machine in the basement next to two large rinse tubs; the first one with hot water and the second one with cold water. A long clothes line was taken out and stretched from pre-mounted hooks that were placed in multiple positions on the garage and the house. The clothes line was attached to these hooks and stretched back and forth between them all, making about six long runs of line to hang clothes on. Then the clothes line poles were brought out from the garage to be use to support the long stretches of line after the heavy wet clothes were hung upon them. Ah the fresh scent of clothes dried like that and the wonderful aroma when you climbed into bed that night between two fresh outside dried sheets.

My parents lived through the great depression and it taught them not to waste anything. This mind set was instilled in me, and I am grateful for their example. The one thing that my Mom did, which was what Hermit’s blog reminded me of, was to collect the small scraps of soap. She had a little wire mesh basket with a long handle. This basket would open up and the soap scraps and pieces were placed inside and then it was closed up and latched. This basked could then be submerged in water and whisked back and forth, adding soap suds to the water. This allowed us to use every last bit of a bar of soap.

Do any of you remember a gadget like that?

You all have a good day now, you hear?


  1. Do I remember a basket like that? Heck, I wish I could find one. I still save scraps of soap and the drawer is filling up.

  2. Dizzy - remember my mom's machine - also had a wringer (we called it a mangle) machine - yonks - the memory takes me back LOL

    Sharon - try sewing a facecloth into a pouch and putting your scraps of soap into it. That way when you have a bath / shower, the cloth is already soaped :-)

  3. Put the pieces of soap in the toe of a panty hose. Tie a knot above the soap chunks You got it.. Dizzy's moms project updated

    ( remove wife's foot from hose before attempting this!!! )

  4. All these ideas sound like they would work to me! Trouble is...I use that liquid soap!

    My aunt used to do her laundry in a big old cast iron pot in the back yard! Always hung on a line to dry!

  5. My grandmother had one of those washers. She didn't let anything got to waste either.

    I hang my laundry out on a line and do love that fresh air smell.

  6. Sharon, I think my Mom had a couple of them. Don’t know where any are now.

    Dani, What our parents had made wash days a lot easier than boiling clothes or beating them on rocks, but they would have never guessed how easy we have it today. Why, even this old guy can do a load of wash and dry it, too.

    Ben, Dang, you made me laugh too hard with that last sentence.

    Hermit, I still use bar soap for my hands and taking a shower. Guess I am old fashioned.

    Sixbears, I honestly don’t remember how my grandparents did their wash. But I bet that they didn’t waste anything. Today, we through away so very much., it is a shame.

  7. When my kids were little during the 1970's, someone gave me an old wringer washer (Maytag of course). I used it most of the time and thought the clothes were much cleaner than when washed in the more modern automatic way. I hung the clothes outside on the line and the sweet aroma from sun dried clothes filled the house. I never minded doing laundry and enjoyed every minute of it. And with babies in cloth diapers, I had plenty of minutes.