Things I choose to believe

On a fairly regular basis Joel and I wash our clothes. And we wash our clothes by hand. This exercise has taken me through various mental realizations about life, simplicity, resources, time and a whole host of other great life lessons. But sometimes it just makes me hot, sweaty, and tired.

In our world of internet opinions and resources I have done a lot of research about how to make washing clothes manually easier. And in my research I have found there isn’t a lot of consensus. So these are things I choose to believe about washing clothes that, even if you give me a convincing argument to the contrary, I will hold on to.

1. Soaking clothes for a really long time will remove stains or mud.

2. Most of the dirt in clothes comes out in the first minute of agitation.

3. The sun is a powerful cleaner, almost as good as soap and water.

4. Rinsing more than 2 times (oh, who am I kidding – 1 time) is for “clean freaks”, which, as I am sure you are starting to see, I am not one.

5. Plungers are not only for toilets.

If you have any other advice about washing clothes that will not shake my above fundamental beliefs please feel free to offer it.

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4 comments on “Things I choose to believe

  1. joel says:

    It should be noted that the “clothes” pictured in this post are actually household items (kitchen towels, tablecloths, curtains). I would hate for people to think that either of us have lost our keen eye for fashion.

  2. aga says:

    i could add few things… as i have had an extensive experience with washing clothes by hand (seriously, i do :)
    so…
    – hot water helps a lot! not only does it make the washing process more pleasant, it will be also most effective if you soak your clothes in hot water rather than cold;
    – my grandpa was (and still is at times) a firm believer in boiling socks and underwear (also white and extra dirty t-shirts) once in a while. it is a very effective method if something is very, very dirty or stained. he things that boiling tops bleaching. but watch out, not all materials can be boiled.
    – wash boards are good for small stuff like socks and panties. also, if not used for washing, it can be used as a musical instrument :)
    – my personal sock washing method: put a sock on each hand, then soap it with a bar soap (with your sock-hands) until it is very soapy, then scrub a little, and then leave it in the water for a little while, then rinse. and done!

    good luck!

  3. paco says:

    My tips:

    1. Using you hands and scrubbing and all that nonsense is only for major stains and people who like work too much. put the clothes in a large bucket or such like with water and soap and stomp it up feetwise. It makes you less hot (if the water is cold) and as a good side effect you can clean you feet well too. None of that hunching over and nonsense. a two or three rinse stomp and strain is all anyone really needs.

    2. This one might be gross to some, but use your underwear as a wash cloth when you take a shower. You basically will wash them without even really thinking about it and you will always have clean underwear without even trying! Of course yes like aga said, boiling them once in a while (along with kitchen rags and stuff) is a good idea. If its really dirty you can boil it with a bleach and water mix (if its white or you don’t care).

    3. Actually, if possible, I generally do laundry in the shower naked. That way i don’t care about getting hot or dirty and I’ll just shower off right afterward.

  4. I am also not a big fan of hand washing. The first few times of a trip it seems like a novelty, but when you have to do it every few days the fun wears off. I’m a fan of soaking it in the sun for a while (which also heats up the water) and giving it a quick scrub. I’ve seen people spend hours scrubbing one bucket of clothes, but I’d rather be sitting in the shade, chowing down on a mango.

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