Monday, 20 February 2012

Old Fashioned Laundry

Felt the urge for one of my 'living history re-enactments' today. Decided to boil wash my dish cloths and tea towels the old fashioned way, instead of in the washing machine. (Although, technically, it only goes up to 95 degrees.)

First I got myself a bucketful of rain water (which has been collecting in my tin bath outside) and put it on my cooker to heat up. This took a looooooooooongggg time! Eventually I realised it would be quicker with a cover, so I used the lid of the bread bin.

I used my late mother-in-law's oven glove to lift the lid to add grated soap (Fairy household bar soap).

After boiling for a while I used a pair of wooden tongs to get the tea towel out - just like I remember my Mum and Nan using.

Squeezing out the excess water.

Rinsing the soap out in a sinkful of cool water. I like the reflection from the window in this picture.

Look at the condensation on the window! The kitchen was full of the distinctive smell of a boil wash, bringing back memories of being off primary school, unwell, watching Mum use the twin tub to wash and hearing Jimmy Young on the radio - "What's the recipe today, Jim?"

After wringing out the water (by hand, since these were small things) I hung them on the line - using wooden dolly pegs of course!

Do you like my 1940s wrapover apron?

Thoroughly enjoyed myself today - but I wouldn't want to do that all the time!


  1. Hooray! I like to boil mine the old-fashioned too; tea-towels, dishcloths, flannels and - above all - DIRTY HANKIES!!!

  2. I LOVE your apron! Looks just like mine. Except mine has a hole in the pocket! Sweet post!

  3. Hi Beautifully Veiled! Good to 'meet' you here. My wrapover apron is my favourite. The other day my 18 year old daughter and her friends decided to bake a birthday cake. It was so quaint to see them all in such lovely, old-fashioned aprons. (And one of mine has a hole in the pocket too....)