The Washboard Part 2

One day on Facebook I randomly posted this picture:
I wrote “Thankful for my mom’s washboard”

One friend expressed the desire of wanting one. Another said she couldn’t live without hers. The majority had never used one and couldn’t figure out how I have time to wash clothes this way. Honestly, I never really used to wash laundry this way. I have a working washing machine. I used to only hand wash diaper covers and other delicate items. I now do the majority of my laundry this way.

Well, there are several reasons.One is that it is cheaper. I use cold water and a bar of laundry soap. That’s it. Another reason is it is environmentally friendly. The last reason is it reduces the amount of waste going into the septic at the house we are currently living in.

How exactly does one use a washboard? First I fill up both sides of the sink with cold water. I add the laundry and the washboard to one side. I use a simple bar of laundry soap which can be found in the laundry aisle at the store.


Bar of laundry soap. You can find this in the laundry aisle.

I rub a bit of soap on the clothes and then scrub away. Some clothes need more effort than others; armpits always get a good scrubbing 😉 After the clothes are scrubbed I plop them into the other side of the sink; if you remember this is also full of cold water.




Once I finish washing the load I drain the sink, rinse it out, and fill it about halfway with cold water. Are the clothes clean? You decide:


Before. Can you tell Zen was crawling outside? 😉

I swirl the soapy clothes around in the water that they have been sitting in and squeeze them out one at a time and put them into the clean water. Once I am done I drain that sink and rinse it.

After. Pretty clean in my opinion :)

After. Pretty clean in my opinion 🙂

I then wring out each item one last time. If they seem a bit soapy I will rinse them again, but I use so little soap that this is rarely necessary. The only thing that would make this easier is a wringer. Oh what I would give to have a laundry wringer! I hang much of our laundry although towels are always put in the dryer because I hate crunchy towels.

I want to note I separate laundry very differently when I hand wash it. I tend to wash based on type and start with the lighter items. For example I wash all the socks together. Underwear and diapers are always washed separately and last.

Tell me, do you ever hand wash your clothes? Would you ever consider using a washboard?

8 thoughts on “The Washboard Part 2

  1. Hi there Midwest Yankee!

    I just began following your blog (ie. having the time to read it since I have been following it for awhile now) and I would LOVE to use a washboard for my daughter’s socks and one-sises as well as some of my intimates. It is on my wish list! I will (someday) be hosting a DIY party at my house with making homemade cleaners, makeup, home goods, etc….I may have to turn it into a washboard party and get my friends in on the goodness of wash boarding! Thanks for your posts! God Bless!

  2. Wow. All I can say is wow. Never used one… Probably never will haha but good for you. Sounds like you find a sort of peace when you use it. Memories…. That’s it! A fondness of your mother… Precious !

  3. I think I should pick up a washboard. I wondered if you ever wash jeans or towels with them? I hang towels out, but sometimes put them in the dryer for a few minutes to get rid of that crunchy feeling. I hang jeans also, but I use fabric softener in the washer so they’re not so stiff.

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