Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Wash Day

When I first moved to the island in 1972 with two small children I washed all our clothes for the first two years with a scrub board in a washtub. Hard work. But I have never managed to get a pair of blue jeans as clean as a scrub board can no matter what sort of machine or fancy detergent I've used since. Not that I am keen to go back to washing that way, but it is nice to know that I can if I have to. Since then I have hauled my laundry to town, used a great old ringer washer, and a few years ago bought a used washing machine for $10 at a flea market. We had been seriously considering buying one of those really energy efficient Fischer-Paykel machines until I tried to felt hats in a friend's. They don't have an agitator but rather suck the water through the clothes. It is supposed to be really easy on the clothes but it won't felt hats. I ran my hats through three loads with no noticeable change in them. Good information if you accidentally wash a wool sweater in one. But I realized that if I were going to get a washing machine it had to not only wash my clothes but felt my hats. This one is great. Something about the way it agitates, I can get the hats the size I want in just one load. I have used friend's machines and had to run the hats through several times. So I am quite happy with this machine. It sits on our back porch and the hot water for it is heated by coils that run through the cook stove. That is pretty energy efficient because every time we cook a meal or heat the house we are also heating water.
And then for the solar dryer. Dryers are one of the heaviest users of energy and the sun does such a great job for free. In the winter we hang the clothes inside and with the wood stove going they dry quickly. Both are solar heaters, one directly from the sun and the other stored sunlight in the wood.


  1. I love that washing on the line Margaret - did you read my post on washing day earlier in the week - such a coincidence that your post should be so similar.
    I dry my washing out of doors - it is worth it for the lovely fresh air smell when you gather it in - and it irons so much easier.

  2. Margaret, What do you think of the two looms on craigs list--One is a norwood 54" in Poulsbo, and the other in Blaine is a counterbalanced hand built loom in Blaine? thanks for the critique of my first effort. bill