Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Washing...the old fashioned way

~Above photo is from Flickr~
Last weekend we participated in a Living History event focusing on house servants during the 1800's. Along with cooking and chores, one of the things we did was to set up our washtub, clothesline, washboard and homemade soap to demonstrate the "old fashioned way" of washing clothes. As my sister washed, I frequently ran back and forth into the house to fetch boiling water. It was a great experience, and we enjoyed sharing facts about the time period to those who stopped by. While my Mother was cooking, one of the tourists from Britain asked,{insert accent} "Is that made from scratch? That potato soup is made from scratch!? That's how they used to do it, eh? and look there--I'm used to my auto-matic washing machine at home!"

So today I decided to wash one of my skirts by hand--it had a large grease-stain on it, and although I've used the washing machine many times(to no avail), I was curious to see if washing it the old fashioned way would make a difference.

Using hot water, I scrubbed the skirt and basically washed it for about 15 minutes. (I used regular soap powder & baking soda) I rinsed in cold water, and dried it on the line...

The grease stain is *gone*! For months, I've washed this skirt repeatedly in the washer, and the grease stain has still been there. So I guess it was the hard scrubbing that removed it? I hope this encourages you to try washing by hand if you have hard-to-remove-stains on your clothing.
I love this picture--It's a kindergarten class
learning how to wash clothes and iron!~

'And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us,
And establish the work of our hands for us;
Yes, establish the work of our hands.' Psalm 90:17


Stone Bridge Farm said...

I agree! Sometimes you just cannot beat the olden ways!

Kendra Logan said...

How cool!


Diane said...

I have had to wash things by hand for one reason or another. I am glad my Mom was from the old school of doing things. Yes the years went by we got all the modern appliances, but if all breaks down...I know what to do.
Thanks for a lovely post...blessings!

Regan Family Farm said...

I just finished making another batch of laundry soap, and for "fun", Jenna bought her sister a glass washboard for her birthday. True confessions...I haven't yet tackled the idea of scrubbing all the laundry for ten of us!

Lindsay said...

Wow, that's neat, Mia! Sometimes the old-fashioned way is the best. :) Thanks for the post!

~ Love in Christ,

Clara Van Nattan said...

My mother taught me to wash by hand when necessary, so I've been doing it basically for my whole life! It really does work when all else fails!! :)

L.H. said...

Hubby and I lived in Ghana, West Africa for a few months and had to wash our clothes like this! It took some major arm strength!

The experience made me appreciate modern technology in a whole new way:)

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving your comments!

Anonymous said...

Modern conveniences come with a price. Sometimes the old-fashioned way is best.

We get a lot of British tourists at our 18th century re-enactments. I love talking to them.

I sometimes wash my vintage clothing and delicates by foot! I'll put the necessary water and gentle soap in the bathtub, lay the dress in and gently walk on it to agitate. Works great and saves my back.

For heavy stains though, you need elbow grease. :)

Mrs. June Fuentes said...

What a beautiful and peaceful blog! My daughters and I enjoyed looking over it and are going to try some recipes.

Many blessings on your journey in beautiful home-making!

Shelley said...

Being pretty poor as my children were coming up,washing our clothes ,etc. by hand was something I had to do out of pure necessity. I had a set of washtubs on a stand that were my MIL's and put them to daily use doing our families wash...I didn't begrudge the work,I just did it willingly as my duty as keeper of our home. I do now however have a washing machine and use it happily as a blessing from our Lord....
Thanks for sharing this post...blessings to you

Emily said...

How wonderful you were able to get the stain out!!! Yea!! That's too cool! Thank you for sharing that with us ~ I would love to try my hand at washing the old way. :)

Paulina said...

Thanks for sharing! I've often wondered what it would be like to wash my own clothes the old fashioned way.

Becky said...

Wow, I need to try that. I have a shirt with a grease stain that I just can not get out!

dukygurl said...


love the post! I am sorry the pic-nic has been rescheduled.

I have a link you may like if you haven't already found it.
My husband and I vacationed in VA this week and there is a neat place to visit.

I hope you like it :)


Mia said...

Ms. Trish,
Thank you for understanding about re-scheduling! I appreciate the link :)


Summer :) said...

I love all the old photographs you find! :) And the artwork. I am an art therapist and it is wonderful for the eyes! :)

Kia said...

This is great! I've been hoping to stumble upon a washboard during one of my secondhand rummages.

Kansas Milkmaid said...


I have been using a manual washer for several months now. I am so pleased with how clean the clothes are. The added benefit is that it saves water, electricty and so much more. I just posted information for my readers on how to acquire one of their own washers like this. It is such a joy.

We are getting ready for a move and I will have to retire the washer for a while, but it has been a tremendous blessing to use it.

Love this post.


Anonymous said...

one way to get a grease stain out of something by using an washing machine is put dish soap on the stain, rinse it off, and then wash it. :)

sarah in the woods said...

I love the kindergarten picture too. The kids are so focused. Where did you find the picture? It looks very Montessori.

Miss Jen said...

Dearest Mia,
Yes indeed.... there is nothing like
doing things the old fashioned way! :)
Isn't hanging clothes on the clothesline
simply bliss?!!! :)

With Much Love~ Jen

Did you receive my email?

The Sisters said...

Hello Mia!
I'm Abigail from "Amazed By Grace". I really like your blog! The blue Dawn dish soap also gets grease stains and just about everything else out of clothing. Baking soda is also one of my secret weapons when it comes to getting dirt and stains of of surfaces. I enjoy your tips!

Aunt B said...


Enjoyed your post. I would like to own a clothes line to hang my clothes on.

Thanks for sharing how you got your grease stain out. Love your pictures.

Your blog is such a blessing and I thoroughly love the music.

Aunt B