Finally, it is clothes washing day! We had such a great response to our wash tub post but it has taken a while to actually get to the point where we could wash our clothes. Life has a way of getting in the way, especially if you have one foot into the rat race and another on a homestead.
First, my mother got very sick right after I posted my daughter was excited about washing her clothes in a washtub with a wash board. Mom was in hospital with double pneumonia that turned into ARDS and was transferred to a specialist hospital over an hour away from where we live. It was very scary for a while, but she is out now and doing great! My daughter and I were commuting back and forth to be with her, and spending more time away from home then we were actually here. (At least that is the way it felt.) My mom is one of the most important people in the world to me, I have no regrets being there for her. It just put our clothes washing day on hold.
Second, my boss let us borrow her washboard that she says is around 150 years old. Mrs. C is in her 70s (you would not know this if you met her) and it was her grandmothers when she was a child. It was passed down to her, but she remembers it being used regularly when she was a child. But as it goes for busy women, when I was able to go to work in between doctor and hospital visits, I would forget to remind her to bring in her washboard, and she was working and taking up the slack for me not being at work, so she would forget to bring it. Yesterday, we were surprised to find it sitting on her desk.
And then, there is the soap issue! Mrs. Joyce is our adopted grandmother and we were treated with a story about when she was my daughters age. On Saturdays, she was allowed to wash her own clothes in her own little washtub. It made her feel grown up and special. She remembers using the homemade lye soap, washing, rinsing, and hanging her clothes to dry. Homemade lye soap? Well of course we had to Google it! After reading an article on Mother Earth News, I decided this was not a project I wanted to embark on that project on my own just yet. We have a family friend that owns a soap and herbalist shop that is not too far from us. Unfortunately, she does not make lye soap. We will be able to come watch and help her make soap at a later date, but for now, we were still on the search for lye soap.
At one of our little hometown country feed/ building materials stores, we finally found what we were looking for. Sort of. The lye soap they had was from a little small business, but it was a bath and body bar, and not for clothing. Maybe if it smelled good, we would have still used it, but my daughter did not like the unscented version and did not want to use it. Then, I spied the Fels-Naptha bar. We smelled it and it was lovely. So Fels-Naptha it is! AND, the best part for me is that we are going to learn to make our own regular laundry detergent, so we will get double use out of the same little $1.49 bar! Can't beat that! (Amazon is a lot higher, look for it locally to save money.)
Before we get started, we will be reviewing the videos on YouTube we found for washing your own clothes the old fashioned way. Mom With A Prep had a lot of different ways, links and sources for washing your own clothes including a video of a lady that washes her own on a regular basis. Another one we are watching is of a little girl that shows you how to wash using a wash board. You can see the video HERE.
So now here we are, all set and ready for her to wash her own clothes.
Wish us luck!
Wish us luck!
This is a 3 part series! See also,
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