U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Green Living
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Old 12-16-2017, 07:58 AM
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
2,772 posts, read 1,041,234 times
Reputation: 5955


That other thread about repairing underwear got me to reminiscing a little about childhood in the 50s and brought to mind "wash day." Ma would do the laundry with an electric machine that would agitate the wash, then drain it and rinse it twice, but she had to take each item and run it thru the wringer individually. My bride, at age 5 got her hair caught in that menacing device once. Luckily, her ma was on the spot and yanked her out before she got trapped. No damage done. Severe injuries were not uncommon from an adventure like that-- crushed fingers & hands or hair caught so deep the only remedy was to cut it off.

Then Ma had to lug the wet, heavy laundry out to the back yard and hang it with wooden clothes pins (also made good toy soldiers or two crossed together as a war plane) on the clothes lines. The lines, sagging with the heavy load, were then propped up with notched clothes poles. Playing with those polls and leaving them in outlying hiding spots was a capital offense, as I recall.

As an adult I lived for more than a decade in a ritzy neighborhood where hanging your wash outside to dry was actually outlawed!

Anybody here using "solar power" the old fashioned way and hanging your laundry out to dry? Nothing like that crisp, clean feeling of fresh clothes & linens treated that way.
Quick reply to this message

Old 12-16-2017, 08:16 AM
Location: Virginia
3,904 posts, read 2,001,832 times
Reputation: 10725
Although I do love the smell of linens hung outside to dry, I don't miss hanging sheets and towels outside in the wintertime. I remember having to do that as a kid in the 50s, and then having to fold the frozen sheets and put them back in the basket to bring inside. It also wasn't any fun being outside on cold days with the wet wash either. My Mom hung every bit of the wash outside, since we didn't have a dryer, and I can still remember her getting furious with me for hanging some items of my Dad's undergarments at the far end of the clothesline, near the alley. Hey, I was only 8 years old - I didn't know what a jockstrap was!
Quick reply to this message
Old 12-16-2017, 11:23 AM
Location: Minnesota
2,042 posts, read 835,017 times
Reputation: 3606
My sister hangs clothes up to dry. She go one of the umbrella styles, you can fold it down when not in use. She hangs a lot up to dry in the winter in her basement when it's below freezing. She like that it increases the humidity it her home in the winter. I've been tempted to get one that is similar but can fold up and put away after summer. My mom had a ringer washer. I got one hand in the roller once, luckily mom was right there and turn it off.


Found washer on YouTube

Last edited by Izzie1213; 12-16-2017 at 11:36 AM..
Quick reply to this message
Old 12-16-2017, 12:09 PM
Location: Dallas
5,599 posts, read 4,912,254 times
Reputation: 16446
My dryer conked out earlier this year - had it fixed, and it finally died. I haven't replaced it. Although it is more inconvenient to hang clothes out, it's doable and is saving me money, both in replacing a major appliance and electric costs.

I had a very hard time finding pulleys and clothesline tightners, though. Used to be you'd see them everywhere....I went to Walmart, Lowes and Home Depot and none of these stores had them.
Quick reply to this message
Old 12-16-2017, 01:25 PM
Location: East of the Mississippi and South of Bluegrass
4,453 posts, read 3,736,406 times
Reputation: 9592
I was just thinking about this the other day. For a kid it was a tough job to get the clothes all pinned on the clothesline properly and then drag out the bamboo poles and prop it up. I will say the clothes sure did smell beautiful when they were dried out in the sun all day.

Laundry was an all day project, my father's uniforms had to be placed on these wire stretch frames and hung up so as not to be too horrible to iron.

Yes, I did get my right arm caught in the wringer. My dad heard me screaming from upstairs (we had a walkout basement) and was there lickety-split and hit the release brackets.

Yes, there aren't many suburban areas that allow for clotheslines and laundry anymore.
Quick reply to this message
Old 12-16-2017, 01:37 PM
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
18,057 posts, read 8,141,377 times
Reputation: 10461
I remember my mother's wringer washer - with terror, because I was about 3 years old, and she made sure I knew that wringers just loved to eat little girls, starting with their hair...

Anyway, she got a dryer about 1953, when I was 6. But we still hung most of our laundry out on the line - rather I hung most of the laundry out on the line when I got tall enough, including my baby brother's diapers - most of the year, since we lived in southern California. Interestingly, most of the neighbors in our brand-new subdivision did this too.

Yes, I remember pant stretchers. I also remember learning to iron by ironing my dad's red and blue paisley hankies, which he used in the traditional way. He never wore a pocket square in his life.

To this day I usually only put my clothes through the dryer until they are just past the dripping stage, then hang them to finish drying, either outside or inside, depending on the weather. It cuts clothing erosion (i.e., lint) and smells better. I assume it saves money on the utility bill too, but that's not my primary reason for doing it.

No one knows if you hang your clothes to dry inside.
Quick reply to this message
Old 12-16-2017, 01:38 PM
6,410 posts, read 4,025,372 times
Reputation: 16497
We're not supposed to have visible laundry hanging out, but as all yards are fenced, it's not too hard to work around that.

I have two medium-sized folding racks. One has narrow bars to drape clothes over, and the other has wires so you can use clothespins. Plus, we have a metal railing around our vegetable beds (to keep our pets out), and I drape things like jeans over that. I don't hang up towels, sheets, or rags--those go in the dryer. Most everything else, I hang up.

We don't have much inclement weather here so excessive cold, snow or rain is not a problem. I do sometimes have a problem when it gets windy and a few items blow away!
Quick reply to this message
Old 12-16-2017, 02:10 PM
6,088 posts, read 2,809,893 times
Reputation: 15432
Indeed! Fresh aired clothing . Rarely a burden unless I run an errand and a quick storm rolls in. It blows my mind that folks have this underlying social shame if they are hanging there clothes out to dry. My towels do go in my gas dryer...Otherwise I have a nice clothes line
My grandma was my role model. And I loved every memory of her and I hanging up the laundry...And I'd beg to be allowed to iron . To this day I enjoy that task. My uncle dries his clothes innhis basement since that is where his heat boiler is...Good way to utilize the heat coming off that apparatus.
Quick reply to this message
Old 12-16-2017, 03:02 PM
Location: East of the Mississippi and South of Bluegrass
4,453 posts, read 3,736,406 times
Reputation: 9592
Yes, hard to imagine but those are all good memories for me as well, thanks for sharing your memories!
Quick reply to this message
Old 12-16-2017, 05:11 PM
219 posts, read 88,921 times
Reputation: 612
One of the first things I did when I moved into my new-to-me house three years ago was install the base for my umbrella clothesline so it would be ready to go for the first good drying day in the spring. There were hooks in the joists in the basement that likely dated to the original owners of the house (built in 1958), so I had those strung with new cotton clothesline in short order. The basement is heated, so overnight is all it takes to dry even the heaviest of clothing.

The idea of *not* being permitted do hang out washing is utterly alien to me as I grew up in a neighborhood where just about everyone did--young or old; middle or working class. I lived in a tonier area before I bought this house, but I was able to hang out washing there because there was not an HOA that could do anything to prevent it. I just made sure that I was relatively discreet about it so as to not annoy the neighbors too much.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Green Living
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top