Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 23, 2017

Wash days of yesteryear

By Jean Six | May 17, 2017

To the editor:

This morning on Trading Post on KMCD, they advertised a single Dexter washing machine and wringer, with a single drain tub.

Most people would not remember or know how to wash that way. First, you must fill the machine with hot water, often times heated on a stove. Fill the rinse tubs with lukewarm water, another with cold water.

Gather up the clothes and sort in piles. All whites are washed first – cool colors and towels next – until you get dark colors and then jeans or work clothes. Might even do a small throw rug last.

After the first batch of whites is washed, you would carefully fold and hold them, through the wringer into the rinse tub. Then turning the wringer around so you can rinse and run these clothes into the cold rinse water. Having rinsed them well, you would adjust the wringer so you could wring them into a basket, doing this process to each load.

When you have time, you carry your basket and clothes pins outside to a line - hopefully, three or four long lines which you remembered to wipe off before starting to hang the washing.

Many times, all the neighbors and children were out and around visiting and having fun. But you weren’t done yet. You must empty the machine and drain the tubs. Also, gather clothes as they dried and carry them back into the house.

I was thrilled when in 1955, we were able to buy an experimental model Dexter Automatic washer from my brother-in-law, Jim Wade, who worked in that department for many years at the Dexter Company. Not long came a Dexter drier. Wash days have never been the same. Weather didn’t make any difference either.

Kinda miss my old clothes lines and the mornings we enjoyed as neighbors doing the washings!


– Jean Six, Fairfield

(from a journal dated May 15, 2003)


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