Articles Comments

Shepherds Hill Homestead » Homekeeping Recipes and Tips, Homemaking » Handwashing Your Clothes

Handwashing Your Clothes

Recently I had a lady write and ask about handwashing clothes.  We do have a regular washing machine that we use but when it kicks the bucket we will not replace it and go exclusively to handwashing.  I have a scrub board that is glass, we purchased from Lehman’s and does very well.  We have had it for many years now.

 The only hold back to doing our clothes by hand now is that we do not have a wringer and that is something that is a must.  When we do clothes it is nearly impossible to wring out all the water by hand – and takes far too long.  Otherwise, the process is simple so I will share that with you.  First, I fill my wash tub with hot water and dissolve some of my homemade soap powder in it.  Then I fill the tub with the items to be washed. I do dresses and shirts first, then towels and washcloths, then pants and socks. Undergarments are done separately.  Everything soaks for about a 30 minutes to an hour in the hot water bath.  Then I put in the washboard and I scrub – it depends on how dirty things are to how long I scrub.  I put the wash board into the tub and rest the top of it against my upper stomach and hold the garment in two hands and scrub and plunge, etc.  After each item is scrubbed I put it into the waiting tub of rinse water.  Once I have all the clothes in that particular batch done I agitate the rinse water (with my hands or a clean plunger) and make sure everything is free of soap – very important – and then we wring each item out by twisting it.  Once the wringing is done it goes on the clothes line to dry. 

 Yes, it is a tedious process but the clothes are so exceptionally clean and smell wonderful.  I think one of the things to remember is that the soap doesn’t actually do the cleaning – the soap softens the water so that it can lift the soil from the fabric.  With that in mind you won’t add too much soap that will be difficult to get out of the clothes.  Just enough soap to soften the water.  If you live in an area where you have very soft water, then you might possibly need little to no soap at all.


Written by

"It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him." Lamentations 3:22-24

Filed under: Homekeeping Recipes and Tips, Homemaking

One Response to "Handwashing Your Clothes"

  1. MrsWheeler says:

    I have done clothes by hand when my washer was out. My husband’s jeans were the hardest. I did all mine in the bathtub. My children sure loved stomping the clothes clean! Now that we live out in the country though I use the washer for most everything. One way to save on washing is to use the same large washer full of water and soap for everything. You do have to ring it all out by hand but you can really reuse the same water. Our well is drying up so we try and save water in every way possible!

Leave a Reply




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.