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Greta Young

Yes my Mum put BLUEO in with the whites! When I was a child she had an old front loader. That thing lasted over 2o years. And iron - I iron nothing she ironed EVERYTHING - underwear, sheets towels.. EVERYTHING - if it could be washed , it could be ironed!

Geralyn Gray

eeeek.....first of all my mom had help when we were little......she also had her mothers big pressing machines.....oh that machine made the sheets perfect......can you imagine pressed sheets.....things changed we had a front loader that was also a dryer when that had to be replaced----we only had a washer then we had to go to the laundrymat to do laundry..........yuk.....we went backwards and I usually went with her to help carry. I hate to do laundry....I found your post funny. Yesterday, I decided every piece of clothing in this house needed to be washed and folded.....I accomplished a lot yesterday. But, now I still have three loads of laundry to do today, while I am waiting for each wash to dry I am going through my clothes and giving to the poor what I don't wear any more. Tip for whites----goes back to my waitressing days wash clothes in dishwasher Cascade use about a cup and soak for about an hour in the washer before running the wash.
Ok back to the clothes piles......


I remember laundry day like what you described with my grandma on their farm. I loved hanging the clothes on the line and then running through the sheets as they whipped in the wind.

I often wondered about that no clothesline clause in the homeowners association rules. But with all the dust in the air in AZ, I wonder how clean the clothes would really be once you hung them outside if you could hang them outside. Of course, in the heat though they would probably dry pretty quick and stiff as a board I imagine. LOL.

CeCe DuPriest

Funny, Carol, that this is your post for today. Just yesterday I was thinking about Mondays being laundry day. My mother died last Friday and so, of course, memories are on my mind. Like Greta's mom, my mother ironed everything and I mean everything. Up until about a year ago she still ironed everything. When she could no longer do it, her caretaker took over the job. After all, my dad could certainly not wear underwear that was not ironed! Smile.
I miss the hanging of clothes on the clothes line. I am not sure if I really miss the act itself or the emotions the memory evokes. I love seeing pictures in books and magazines, of clothes blowing in the wind, on clotheslines. For many years I liked lots of the restrictions involving homeowners associations. There are still some I like---people having to mow their grass and take care of their lawns being one such rule still appealing to me. Back in the day of hanging clothes on the clothes line, families, from what I recall, would never have not mowed their lawns.
You know, I don't think there is a rule against clothes lines in my Pinetop neighborhood. Think I will look into this and might ask my husband to put one up for me. Yes, I am liking this idea!

NotSoccer Mom

i don't recall my mom having any kind of ritual, other than just get it done. guess i'm like that too. i will do anything to get out of ironing, though, so i jump up as soon as the dryer is done to hang things up! i'm with you on running the washer and dryer only certain hours; here is CA, esp on spare-the-air days, it's 7-7. which only makes sense, since it heats up the garage so much. hey i love that photo. very well displayed.


Hi Carol. This is bringing back such good memories. I have 3 sisters and my mother actually taught us how to hang clothes on the line so they looked proper. She also sprinkled her whites, put them in the fridge and then ironed them the next day. I do remember the Blue stuff too. My mom refused to have a dryer until she moved in with my sister in her 70's. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.



I don't remember my mom having a specific ritual about getting laundry done, but I do know my dh used to insist that all the laundry get ironed before putting it away therefore I had to have an ironing day. Well, 15 years later he does all the ironing when he wantes something ironed, and with 5 kids in the house he understands that that is just not going to happen unless we hire someone, which we can't afford, so laundry gets done on an almost daily basis and the older kids help put it away.

Leonie - Australia

That post brings all the laundry memories back Carol, My Mum did (& still does) wash on Mondays. Mum had the old wringer washer machine for years & years & put blue into the rinse water & yes it did work.Mum also had a huge boiler that she would boil up & put really dirty clothes in & I can still see her standing there poking the washing with a big stick that was kept just for that job. We lived in the country so all the washing went straight on the clothes line & if it was wet it hung under veranda's etc until it dried, in fact I am not sure if Mum even has a dryer now. When the washing came off the line Mum would sort the ironing (which was just about everything except undies,& then she would lightly sprinkle water on the things to be ironed roll them & put them into the ironing basket. Mum said this made it easier to iron if it was slightly damp. Then she would spend hours ironing everything & to this day everything she irons is immaculate, with NO wrinkles left in anything :-) Wow it really took up a huge part of the day, I am glad things have become easier, but thanks for the memory jolt!

Leonie - Australia

Bye the way Carol, I am amazed by the fact that clothes line are not so common over there, Just about everyone in Australia has them, & I only ever use the dryer when we have lots of rain, can't beat the outdoors to dry your clothes, & kinder on our resources to.


I recently saw a similar laundry story and how times have changed! I remember in the story it mentioned hanging "unmentionables" in the middle so no one will see them, put sheets or towels or shirts on the outside of the clothes line, modesty issues, you know... Speaking of modesty, what a contrast, now the teens wear as little as possible, showing as much skin as possible, wearing complimentary colored "unmentionables" so everyone can see them... always breaking the rules... Times DO change...

peggy forma

i was just telling some girls in my class i taught on saturday all about "hand ironing"
my grandmother (my most favorite person in all the world - she died when i was 16 and i still think about her all the time....) taught me how to hand iron when i was a little girl. Up to the day she died my grandfather believed she actually ironed all of his underclothing as well as the rest - can you crack up!!!!! she was the best. my mother went back to work full-time when i was in third grade and we lived in an apartment building. so we started taking our laundry to a laundromat that did it for you. NO - IT WAS NOT LUXURIOUS!!!!! it did not cost that much more than putting all that change in the machines.
this is what life is all about - memories. thanks again for always inspiring......

Pam Black

I too grew up with very similar structured Mother. She had cleaning day and laundry day and ironing day and grocery shopping day and I can't remember what Fridays were for but I'm sure it was a particular chore.
The funny thing is, every week she had the same exact routine. God bless her for teaching me to be clean and neat,but I certainly don't operate on a weekly schedule. When would I have time to scrap book??!

Lori Hunsaker

I remember my mother would iron everything. I mean everything. I would love coming home from school and I would smell the homemade starch as I walked in the back door. She mixed her own starch and had it in a really cool red spray bottle and she would spray everything, shirts, skirts, shorts, dresses, and get this, sheets, yes sheets were starched and ironed. I absolutely loved the smell of that starch and to this day I sometimes just dilbertly keep my clothes in the dryer too long so that they come out wrinkled so I can iron them. I love to iron. I wish I had more time to just iron. I love the smell of hot material and occasionally I will starch Doug's dress shirts just for old times and so that I can remember that memory more.

Karen Greenfield

Friday was baking day with my Mother--so there would be fresh cookies, coffee cake and such for the weekend visitors. My Mother had a wringer washer too and one of my big disappointments was that she sold it before I was old enough to use the wringer--she was so sure I'd get my arms or my waist-lenth hair stuck in it. She did not get rid of the 'mangle' (I think that was it's name)--a large cream-colored ironing machine where she did everything from sheets to tiny hankies and dress shirts. I did 'get to' learn how to use it and never got my hair or arms caught (mercifully!!).


Wow, that sounds like a very interesting book!

I grew up with a grandma who had a ringer washer....I remember feeling so sad when she got rid of it many, many years later (I was married at the time and had no place to keep it!)...and, she always hung her sheets and towels outside on the line...they smelled sooo wonderful!

As for me, I'm the basic laundry doer too...sort, toss in the washer, toss in the dryer, fold and put away..nothing special!


Ann Mabee

A couple of laundry rituals that I recall my mother doing are....she didn't have a dryer until I was an older teenager. She would (or have one of us kids) hang the clothes on the clothesline. I remember hanging diaper after diaper after diaper on the line. Sometimes there were so many that we'd hang them four thick on the line! Being the oldest girl of six kids, someone was always in diapers it seemed. I also remember that in the summertime in AZ, the clothes dried so quickly in the hot sun that by the time the last items were clipped to the clothesline, the first ones were already dry! Didn't take nearly as long as a dryer does today. One other ritual that I remember is back to before there were steam irons. We had an electric iron, but it didn't have steam capabilities. So we had to "sprinkle" the clothes prior to ironing. My mother would sprinkle a "batch" of clothes that she thought she'd have time to iron in one session. If she got interrupted and couldn't finish that batch, she would bundle the damp clothes in a plastic bag and toss it into the freezer so the clothes wouldn't mildew before she could get back to them. I always thought it was funny to see a big bag of frozen clothes in the freezer! Sometimes I would like to go back to that time and to the fresh smelling clothes that came off the clothesline. There's nothing quite like that!


I love doing dishes and laundry, but laundry is my favorite! It's all about the smell of clean. I use dryer sheets to cut down on static--clothes always smell so good when they come out of the dryer. I've tried hand-hanging outside, but never liked the hardness of the clothes dried that way or the bugs...can you imagine finding a scorpion inside one of your shirts?...plus, there's no way i'm gonna display granny undies publicly! Tide has a new detergent for cold water wash with blue in it--smells good too. My Grandmother had huge metal laundry T lines in Phx, but i couldn't reach it when i was growing up. Interesting topic, thanks. Teenage girl that stayed with me was taught by her mother to use towel 2 times before putting in laundry--ridiculous and wasteful in my opinion. She'd have 10 loads of laundry every weekend...no concept of water or electricity conservation. She had more laundry every week than me and my 2 sons combined!

Recie Sullivan

I remember my mothers hands actually cracking and bleeding from being put in detergent water and hanging the clothes on our backyard clothesline. I, also, remember her sprinkling the clothes taken fresh from the line with a lavender scent that was held in, believe it or not, a glass coke bottle that had a sprinkler top that fit the coke bottle perfectly. Years later my Father bought her a clothes dryer which she refused to use unless we made mention of it. Everything was ironed back then and I do mean everything......sheets, underwear, even my dad's dress socks. My mom would iron our blue jeans and after ironong them several times they formed a permanent crease. How times have changed. This makes me realize just how old I am. LOL.....It's nice to take a trip down memory lane.

laundry chemicals

I remember laundry day like what you described with my grandma on their farm. I loved hanging the clothes on the line and then running through the sheets as they whipped in the wind.

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  • "Gratitude is not only the greatest of all virtues, but the parent of all others." --Cicero
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