Monday, December 4, 2017

Wash Day

     Wash day used to be a day to look forward to. We used to have a huge kettle outside, under some trees. It had a built in firebox that we used to heat water to do the laundry. On Monday evenings John and I used to use the garden hose to fill it up.
     Mom would sort the weeks worth of dirty laundry and we'd put each pile into a five gallon pail and then fill the pails with water yet too and let them soak overnight.
     On Tuesday morning Daddy would get up early and start a fire in the kettle, and by the time we were done with breakfast the water would be boiling. He would fill the washing machine before he left for work.
     We would hurry with the dishes and then head out to the washing machine, Mom would check the gas in the little Honda engine and start it up. She would put the Sunday clothes in first and let them wash for a few minutes and then got a long wooden stick that Daddy had made for her and lifted the clothes out and let them drop into the rinse water. She would add some more soap and turn the wringer to the side of the machine and lifted a 5 gallon pail that was filled with the soaking dirty clothes, up on a backless green chair and start feeding the clothes through the wringer into the washing machine.
     Once the pail was empty she would go to the rinse tub and take one piece of clothing at a time and plunge down into the water as deep as it could go and then lift it up and let the water run off a little and then plunge it in again. She would repeat this three times with each article of laundry. John and I helped with the smaller pieces. We didn't mind getting splashed as we all rinsed the clothes with energy, singing the entire time we were doing it.
     As each piece was rinsed it was put through the wringer and into a pail and then we'd head for the clothes line where we would hand the clothes to Mom, which saved her from having to bend down for every piece she hung up.
     And so it continued until every batch of laundry was done, and all the clothes were flapping merrily in the breeze.
     We would eat a quick lunch and then head out to check to see if the first few batches were dry already. Mom would take the clothes off and John and I would stand beside her with our arms stretched out and she would fill them with the dry clothes. We would run in and put them on the table and then run back outside to get another load.
     There used to be a big mountain of clothes on the table by the time Mom got back inside. and we would all start folding. John and I got to pair the socks and fold the smaller things while Mom did the rest. She made up a little song that she sang whenever we were folding and putting everything away.

Thank you Lord for this nice day.
Bless us as we put away,
All the garments clean and bright
That were dried by wind and light.


  1. Such fun memories. Although ours didn't have a gasoline engine, we also had a wringer washer and helped Mom with the laundry. Our day was Monday though. Tuesday was ironing.

  2. It sounds so lovely... but at the same time... It makes me thankful for a modern washer and dryer. :)

  3. Sounds like some good memories for you and John. I can remember my granny telling stories about how they washed clothes like this when she was young. Oh I praise the Lord for washers and dryers. LOL! Of course we hung clothes on the line forever. My granny actually loved her clothes coming off that clothes line. She said the pure natural sun (son) of God was the best smell ever! Thanks for sharing. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  4. I enjoyed reading about washing day and I also can remember my mother using a gas powered wringer washer. Later she had an electric one. The first years that we were married I used a wringer washer and was very happy to switch to an automatic one!

  5. I was so grateful for my wringer washer as I was washing clothes out by hand in the bathtub. What a blessing. Brings back wonderful memories. Susan


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