Saturday, February 20, 2010

Country Laundry Lore

Do you remember this old song? "Today is Monday, Today is Monday, Monday wash day, Everybody happy? Well, I should say so!"  I don't remember the rest of the lyrics, but anyone in the South knows that Monday is washday.  All your clothes clean and sparkling out on the clothesline.  The sheets are all together, next come the pillow cases (and they WILL be ironed later), shirts hung upside down from the side seams, towels and other linens by both corners, nice and smooth, and on and on. Of course the lady's unmentionables were NEVER hung on the line outsde.  Many of you reading this may not even know what is the purpose of a clothesline or seen one, much less clothes pins.  These days, I use clothes pins for keeping potato chips and other bags closed.
Did YOU ever use a wringer washer? They were highly entertaining when mama wasn't looking; especially when the socks got mangled into both rollers.  Many years ago, while visiting dear friends on one of the Indian Reservations out west, I had to do some washing.  These friends were school teachers, so they lived right on the rez. The wringer washer they had was vintage; I'm thinking it arrived on one of the wagon trains.  The dang thing had a mind of it's own and delighted in grabbing my hair. You haven't been in a real fight until a lumbering hunk of iron and water decides to scalp you on Monday.  I came away with all my hair, but I was sorely tempted to toss that Maytag TM into the lake of fire! I'm sure it was possessed!
Laundry is one of those things that will never go away.  The "hunk of iron and water" may be shiny new, fancy and computerized, but it still has to be "fed" .. Experience has taught me that when using a wringer washer one must always wash the whites BEFORE the reds and not the other way around. Husbands and brothers just don't enjoy pink underwear. A similar laundry law applies when washing the whites .. don't allow that lone red sock to join the water dance or the hubby will have pink shorts.
As for me, when some of my "pink things" get wimpy looking, I just wash the pinks and reds together. 
Grease spots and stains can be a permanent problem.  It's not necessary to buy those overpriced prior-to-washing sprays. Keep a bottle of Dawn TM Liquid Dish Detergent in your laundry room. Dab on the grease spots, rub the article 'together' and toss in with the load being washed. This is an easy and inexpensive 'fix' that works, compliments of my youngest daughter.
Watch your dryer closely and don't over dry anything. That appliance is an electricity guzzler so why feed your local power company? Need I remind you to keep that lint filter clear and clean?  Remove all of the lint after every load you dry, and scrub it well at least once a month with soap and warm water and a soft brush.
If you don't have a clothesline and, let's face it, most of us don't, you can still "air" dry the rugs, tennis shoes and other items of this nature. Remember REDUCE your USE ..
Have a country filled weekend!  © 2010 Cat Brennan

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