Thursday, January 26, 2017

Wringer washers

We saw these at a store in Shipshewana in 2015....I would have sworn that I posted them.  But have looked and looked and cannot find them.  I wish I had taken note of the price of these.  They were used and the price was high...or at least I thought so.  I think one of them was a bit over $1600 and the other was even higher.

Someone posted a pic of one on Facebook the other day, a bit different to these.  When I grew up we used one most of the time.  I was in school before mom ever got an automatic washer and dryer.  and even after she got them, we almost always used the wringer and hung the clothes outside.

Ours had the red the one on the left.  If you were to catch your hand in the wringer, the idea was the push the red release....but I never knew anyone to get caught.  But many is the times my mom told me to be careful when she let me feed the clothes through.  Every now and then for some reason, I can remember having to press the release to get something 'untangled.'

We had a pantry, I guess you would call it....we didn't call that though.  It had shelves at one end for the jellies mom made and for canned goods, and under the bottom shelf was this big tin can that mom kept sugar in.  A big chest stood on the other side...and in the middle we kept the wringer washer.  We didn't have a clothes hamper...we just threw our dirty clothes on top of the washer.  We never threw anything wet on the clothes...if it was wet, we hung it on a line to dry rather than pile it with the others and get them damp.

We never had a certain day to wash that I remember.  When we washed, we just rolled the washer over to the sink.  We had a short hose that we could screw on to the faucet...and then ran it over to the washer and filled it with hot water.  Then add the detergent.  Mom placed a regular dining chair on the back side...behind the wringers.

We didn't have clothes baskets.  We had metal dishpans...similar to the following.

At least one was sort of shiny like this and one was a bit deeper and was aluminum.  I know we had two, and maybe a third one.  And I  know when we first washed clothes they were piled in them..rounded up.  But I still can't see three being enough, but for the life of me I cannot remember using anything else. We would always have to run the clothes through the wringer and guide them down and make sure they go in the pan.  (When I was real young, that was my job.)

We started out washing sheets and towels, followed by came shirts and dresses, and that was followed by jeans.  I don't remember how we did if we had a quilts or blankets to wash.  They would have been either before or after the jeans.

Mom always had a different pan with bleach water in it,  had lye soap on hand, and a washboard and used it for tough stains.  I can only remember having to use it a time or two.  But mom always used it on some things.

After everything was washed, we ran that water out into the sink, and rinsed the tub out.  We re-filled the tub and proceeded to run the clothes through the rinse water.  Now this time, soon as we got a load ran through and put the next load in, we took the clothes we just ran through outside and hung on the line.  When little, my job was to hand the clothes up to mom.  In the order that she wanted them.

By the time we were done with a load, it was about time to run the next load through the wringers and put in another load and start the process over.

I remember gathering the end of the sheets in my hands to start them through the wringers, and I remember trying to fold the shirts or anything with buttons till the buttons were to the inside.  But I don't know if mom did that or if that was just something I did.  I enjoyed laundry then, and I do now.

Though I am thankful that I don't have to use a wringer washer all the time,  I sure wish I had one.  They would save so much water. 


Ginny Hartzler said...

We had one of these too. And like you, we did not get a newfangled washer till I was in school. I can still remember the machine in the cold dark basement with warnings not to put my hand near it! Ours was not near this pretty and did not have any color to it. Why are these so expensive? Are they for a showpiece? Surely not to actually use??

Henny Penny said...

Rose, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post. It brought back memories of helping my Aunt Berlie on wash day. It's funny, I can't remember mama ever using a wringer washer, but I loved spending a week with my aunt. Her wringer washer was green and sat on the back screened-in porch. I remember her keeping after me to be careful. She let me catch the clothes as they came through the wringer. Aunt Berlie's clothespin bag hung on the porch too and one time little Wren built a nest in the bag. Thank you for bringing back these good memories. I would LOVE to own a wringer washer!

Denise inVA said...

This post brought back a lot of memories. I can't remember when Mom had one of these new-fangled washing machines. Fun to read. Thanks Rose!

Deb said...

With a few variations, I could have written the same post! Good memories of our childhood and helping mom with the wringer washer.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

I am 65 and know that my mom never used one as long as I lived. Actually my mom went to the laundromat always. I don't ever remember her owning a washer and dryer. I can't imagine why. We were not "poor" by any means. My dad worked in the steel mills in South Chicago and I know that we were much better off than my husband's family was, though growing up I never thought of it and we never acted like we were. My dad didn't drive and we didn't own a car. I walked everywhere or rode the bus. I imagine plenty of homes in Shipshewana still have these wringer washers. When we travel the country roads here, I often look at the houses to see if there are electric wires attached to the homes. I often thing I am glad I was not raised Amish.
xx, Carol

Cheryl @ TFD said...

Oh this post sure brought back some memories! I remember helping my mother hang clothes on the line. And there was so much ironing to do back then. I was married before my mother ever got an automatic washer and dryer. She finally gave up the wringer washer and took their clothes to the laundromat.

Sandra said...

I am smiling at all the fond memory comments plus your fond memory. I could have written this post, we had the one with red, we did not use the pans, we had a stand with two square tubs, one for rinse and then to catch the clothes. this is not a fond memory. I hated every moment of doing laundry, but I did it. I fussed if daddy was not home. I hated hanging them on the line, I hated taking them off an di hated ironing all the flat stuff and because of this I prayed until I was 12 to turn into a boy so I would not have to help mother. my brother did NOTHING. I love looking at these and seeing them.. I remember the sheets frozen stiff and trying to get them sprinkled so we could iron them... ours was outside on a carport shed thing and 3 years in a basement when we were in KY.

Linda Gross said...

When I was a little girl, Mom had a wringer washing machine.

Michelle said...

My grandmother used one of these. I was always amazed how flat the wringer got the clothes. lol

Ruth Hiebert said...

Oh this brought back so many memories.My Mom always had a wringer washer, until well after I married and left home.I used to love getting the clothes out of it and running them through the wringer.When I first got married we didn't have hot running water, but had to heat it on the stove.I did laundry that way for years.Now I am so thankful for my automatic washer and dryer.

Tom said...

The Amish around here love those square Maytags.

Small City Scenes said...

I don't remember what kind of washer we had when I was young but I do remember hanging out the wash. I like clothes on the line. I liked taking them down but I did not like ironing. sprinkling them--ugh! When I first was married we had a wringer and I like washing and rinsing the clothes. I still like clothes hung out. I did get a dryer when I had children but I still hung out the diapers.
Neat post, Rose.

Paula said...

Like this post very much, so many memories.