Hi there, my washing machine has recently broken and I have had to think of alternative ways of washing our clothes. I was saving for another but have been without one now for a few weeks and we are coping, but it is Summer time, which makes it slightly easier to dry (she says, looking at the rain out of the window)! My electricity bill is way too high at the moment and I am looking at ways of reducing it. My children are 8 and 11 so not babies anymore. I am interested to hear of others experiences.
My instinct is that you could easily use a lot more energy and effort in washing by hand. I think minimising laundry and choosing an energy efficient machine is a good compromise. I remember my mums days of hand washing and how it ruled the household.
yes, and the last thing I want is to be chained to the kitchen sink constantly. We have done a great job of minimising laundry since not having the washing machine which has been really positive. Will look into energy efficient machines. Thanx TheProfiteroleTheif
I wonder whether the laundrette is a more eco-friendly option? depends how energy-hungry and water-hungry their machines are, and whether you have one in walking distance. If you had to drive to get there it wouldn't be very green.
I seem to remember my mum only doing washing once a week (apart from nappies). This was a single tub where you had to put each item through a wringer by hand. We had less clothes though and probably didn't get q change of clothes each day. I think it is very easy to get in the habit of chucking all the clothes worn each day in the wash basket when you have an automatic washing machine, even if they could be worn again the next day. But then standards of cleanliness have improved since I was a child so people might look askance at a child with slightly grubby clothes? And I think people value their time more now so we all want things that will save us time...
Fibonacci, good idea, unfortunately the laundrette is a long way away.
Grapefruitmoon - I like the idea of washing by hand and putting through a wringer but we would have to change less which we have already started doing. (not smelling yet)! I suppose the bedding and the towels which would be much more time consuming.
Well I have managed without a washing machine, but its not my favourite thing.
my method is to put all in the bath, let it soak for about 20 minutes, then get a good book and walk up and down in bare feet on teh washing for another 20 minutes, thus mimicking the tumbling it would get in the machine. then open the plug and leave for 30 minutes. fill with cold water, walk up and down a bit, open teh plug and leave for 30 minutes repeat. then check / scrub each item separately. then put all through a spin dryer.
I made do for 2 years without a washing machine, only taking bedding and towels to a friend's for a "proper wash" every now and again. It was annoying, but doable, and I got used to it. I don't think I'd want to be doing a whole family wash like that though. It was def. easier being just 1 person. If I was in that situation again, I would look into getting an energy efficient w/m, possibly to share with someone else...
Not sure that really helps you, but thought I'd add my experience anyway!
Good God dont do it, when I had DS 30 years ago, I didnt have a washing machine.
I boiled nappies in a 'copper' washed clothes by hand with a board and then spun them in a spinner.
It took up half my life, and I hated it.
Mum and Dad bought me a old twintub, which was brilliant, washed once a week, it took all morning, but was so much easier, and I would have thought more economical, as you only filled the tub once, you washed the white first, then the coloureds went in, and finally the darks,
I love the idea of sharing a washing machine. Brilliant, my best friend lives around the corner and hers is on the way out. Brilliant, thanx. I need to be realistic as well, i couldnt cope with the washing situation when the machine was working. My house will be one big washing pile with me filled with dread every morning! I love mumsnet for helping me work through this, thanx
emsy - I did it for a couple of years. We weren't metered, and I did one bath-full per week.
I don't think it used that much more water than the machine, actually, because I only filled the water to the minimum, ie just above the clothes when they were squashed down.
but I don't recommend it, as I hated hand scrubbing the clothes, and some things never got really clean. Id rather economise on heating than on the washing machine! have you got all low energy light bulbs to save on your leccy bill?