My musings, thoughts revelations and humorous observations on my life and life in general
While I was in Haiti last for my DTS, the only way to wash our clothes was by hand. There was a washer in our dorm, but it was reserved for housekeeping and staff purposes only. My fellow classmates (who were Haitian) tried to teach me how to laundry their way, but then decided that my laundry washing skills were not up to their standards, and continued to wash my clothes for me. I made sure to keep them well stocked with soap, they would do my laundry in no time flat, and it was a happy little circle of laundry doing goodness.
Now that we are staff, we have been granted access to the washer in the dorms, along with another washer that is much closer to where our apartment is. (I did the math, its about 1/10 of a mile to walk to the dorms from our apartment, plus a flight of stairs to get to the washer and about 1/4 of that distance and only the stairs to our apartment to get to the other washer. So, much closer)
Welllllll..... About a week after we arrived, the closer washer broke. So, as you can already assume, we were down to one washer..... the really far away one (#firstworldproblems) After a few weeks of lugging laundry and baby to the washer and back, I decided that I was going to attempt to wash our laundry in the guest bathroom. (What was I thinking?????)
After reading up a bit on the subject, and remembering my (failed) Haitian laundry lessons, I have developed my own method.
So, without further introduction.... here is my tutorial for washing clothes......
Step 1: Sorting
I'm not a really big fan of sorting clothes. Yes, I know, its Laundry 101, but when you live with a coin operated machine that costs $2.50 to wash and dry an entire load of laundry (in the States), you kinda forget about this kind of stuff. But, alas I went back to my proper laundry-doing roots and sorted everything out, which i was actually kinda glad for. It helped make manageable loads that I could wash no problemo.
Step 2: Pre-Rinse
So, this step is basically to rinse all of the visible dirt off of the clothes. You don't really want to wash clothes in super muddy water, so that is where this step comes in (In hindsight, I wish I would have sorted Jay's work pants into another load, the water got a bit TOO muddy, so I ended up doing this step twice)
Fill up a tub/ bucket/sink about 1/4 of the way with warm water and stick your clothes in. Here comes the fun part....
Remember that episode one of I Love Lucy where Lucy and Ethel are stomping the grapes? Do your best impression. Seriously, pretend that you are mashing up a bunch-o-grapes, but instead of getting yummy grape juice.... you get....ummm... muddy water juice!!
After you have stomped your clothes like a crazy person, stack it all up on the far side of the tub, and drain your water.
Step 3: Washing
As you fill your tub your tub again, show off your superpowers by opening up your laundry detergent. Oh wait.... thats just me.....
Take a small handful of soap ( I would guesstimate about 1/4 of a cup) and sprinkle it over your clothes. Do your little grape stomping dance again for a little bit, and you are ready for the Haitian-esque part of washing.
Grab a piece of clothing in two hands like so...
And pull these two sections apart. As you do this, squeeze your fist. If you do this all right, you should hear a squishing sound
The point of this is to create friction and pull the water through the clothing, and the dirt with it. You want to repeat this in multiple places on your garment. This method is a bit harder to do with jeans, so I use a scrub brush to get them clean.
Step 4: Rinsing and Wringing Out
After you are done with all of the washing, drain your water again. You can fill up your tub again for this step, but I liked using running water. You want to rinse out your clothes until the water runs clear, and there aren't any soap suds. You can use the same squishing clothes method you used to wash the clothes. When the water runs clear, you want to wring the heck out of your garment. The better you wring it, the less time it will take to dry. As for your pants and other things that are hard/to big to properly wring out, I figured something out. I simply used the little bar they put in tubs to hold your washcloth on.
Step 5: Dry
This is the part I get to brag about my husband :D So.... our friends and previous habitants of our apartment left a futon frame that was broken and repaired a couple times. Well without a mattress to use on said futon, we (read I) decided that we (Read Jay) would take it apart to use as clothes drying racks. Right now they lean up against the wall, but the hope is to eventually hang them from the celling.
So, back on track.... Hang clothes on a clothes line, rack, over the back of you chair, whatever, until dry! Tada! You are done!!
Sooo... its a bit time consuming, and not as easy as popping clothes into a washer, but it works, and I can wash it all at home while Isaac is napping (heh)
Though.... when they do get that washer fixed......
We shall see....