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The “weekly affliction” – Laundry back in the day!

The “weekly affliction” – Laundry back in the day!

Did you know prior to the 1900s, washing was only done every few months…

In today’s modern era, doing laundry is surely a chore, but it is really quite routine. After all, you simply start the machine, add detergent, and insert your clothes. Voila- that’s the clothes washing process in a nutshell. It’s overall pretty simple and streamlined, right?

It wasn’t always this easy, though. Before the advent of the mechanized washing machine in the early 1900s, doing the laundry was so much a chore that washing the family laundry was often referred to as the “weekly affliction.” In fact, prior to the 1900s, washing was only done every few months in order to spare fragile materials and put of the arduous task of cleaning clothing!

What exactly was so laborious about doing laundry in the 1900s? Well, the process itself was clunky, not to mention incredibly time consuming. Here’s how it went:

Laundry began with a wash boiler in which soapy water was heated over a wood-burning stove or open fire. Dirty clothes were added and stirred, using a wooden wash stick known as a “peggy-stick.” Think of the peggy-stick as a sort of hand-powered agitator, swishing the clothes and loosening dirt along the way. Talk about using elbow grease!

Next came the wooden wash board with a corrugated zinc surface, perfect for rubbing dirty clothes against. This is how clothing was scrubbed clean of dirt and stains. After the tough and arduous work of scrubbing clothes clean, they were inserted into a crank-operated handwringer to squeeze out excess water. Then clothes went onto a drying rack or if the weather was nice, onto a line for drying.

Instead of a simple 40-minute wash cycle in a mechanized washing machine, this process took hours of intense and dirty manual labor. Even when the laundry itself had been washed, the washtubs and wringer then needed to be cleaned. The work was never ending.

Fast-forward to today, and it is clear to see how far we have come when it comes to automatizing the laundry process. Today’s washers and dryers are incredibly fine tuned and efficient, taking the toil and trouble out of washing the family laundry.

In order to save yourself the trouble of hand washing and drying in the manner of the early 1900s, it is important to keep your clothes washer and dryer in good working order. These machines are an investment, and you should always trust repairs to an expert.

Don’t get caught back in the dark ages of doing laundry. When you find yourself in need of washing machine or dryer repair and maintenance, call the professionals at Independent Appliance Repair for fast, friendly service from experts you can trust.

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