Tuesday, August 10, 2010

It may seem strange

All of a sudden it dawned on me that simultaneously looking up the tracking number for my iPhone and reading reviews on galvanized wash boards might seem a bit ironic.

Can you picture me on the back porch hand scrubbing cloth napkins while listening to music from my iPhone? Getting a call while stringing up unmentionables on the laundry line? It does seem odd.

But it's all about finding a balance. Embracing technology while revitalizing the antique. But why am I looking up hand washing implements? Because I'm sick of my HE fantastically expensive beautiful blue gray washing machine tearing. up. my. clothes. It really and truly ruins them. Shredding bra and sundress straps. Eating holes- holes- in pillows, ripping jammies and tearing apart cloth diapers and then having the audacity to not even get them clean. They come out caked with grime needing to be rewashed. What is the point of having it? It's costing more money and trouble than I care to handle right now. The dryer is practically out of the picture already and they are a matched set.

Yes, the tubes have been cleaned out. Yes, I bought the expensive "HE machine washer soap" to wash the inside of the machine because it smelled. An entire wash cycle just to wash the machine. Eghads.

Washing machines have been in production for a couple hundred years. Different modes of agitation, soap concoctions and rinsing methods have evolved astronomically over the past oh, hundred years or so. Do I want to hunch over a tub of murky wash water pounding out stains? Not particularly. I mean the majority of clothes come away from the wash unscathed but its the ones that don't make a clean getaway that get me riled up.

I think of the piles of clothes that accumulate in a week and just know bone deep we have too much. There is too much waste. It's too easy to let those ruined garments go because there is just so much still in drawers, stacked in clean laundry piles or waiting to be washed. The kids don't give more than a passing glance when they soil a shirt or drip on their pants.

They don't see it. They don't clean it. It goes in a machine and magically gets back to their rooms ready to wear. They have become divorced from the reality of clothes care. So, perhaps we scale back the clothes. Perhaps, we invest in a wash tub and wringer. Maybe the kids lend a scubbing hand and see just what it takes to get their clothes clean.

I'm still unsure, this might be one of those idyllic things that reality just isn't cut out for. Though, I'd like to have the tools on hand incase we loose power, something breaks or we head to the land for any amount of time. I'd like to hear others opinions on shifting to manual washings (especially with so many people!). Do you have a washer? Dryer? Would you rather not?


Taryn Kae Wilson said...

We've lived without a dryer for years and we love it. We still have a washing machine. Sometimes I dream of washing our clothes by hand since we have problems with our washing machine as well. Let me know how it goes if you do! :)

Conny said...

I love your thought of new and old technologies being used simultaneously: iPhone/washline.

It'd be good to have a wash board on hand for those power outages or for use on the delicate items that have been getting shredded. Think how much you've saved your clothing already by not using your dryer - all that lint (that used to be fabric) just drives me crazy. If you find that wash board you're looking for, I hope that you'll post pictures of your find and where it came from. :>)

Cheers ~

Crystal said...

I'm thinking of completely redoing the girls wardrobes and mine with long ankle length or at least calf length skirts. It's too hot for pants and I just can't wear shorts -too self concious.

They'd be quick drying on the line and if I get good quality cotton they'd be more durable than the thin knits that the machine trashes.

I also found plastic double utility sinks at the hardware store for about $130. A little pricey but they have drains and legs tall enough to put a 5 gal bucket under to catch gray water and deep enough to soak towels and sheets. I'm still researching though and will definately update.