19 responses to Amish and electric washers
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    Anne B.
    Comment on I do remember how wringer washer (December 14th, 2011 at 08:14)

    I do remember how wringer washer

    I do remember how wringer washer and put rubber diapers through that wringer diapers and explodes, and garments sometimes get stuck going around and around and around those wringers. I remember having to disassemble the whole wringer head to get something untangled. and I ruined a couple of shirts
    Did you ever get anything caught in a wringer?or ruined a couple of shirts? Thanks for the reminders .

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    Comment on Washtubs and Spinners (December 14th, 2011 at 08:52)

    Washtubs and Spinners

    I used washtubs and a wringer for quite a while, until we moved into houses that had laundry appliances. I still prefer them, but I don’t have a big family and diapers to wash, either! I don’t think that the wringer does such a poor job, but it takes a lot of time. The replacement wringer washers have gotten pretty expensive, and a second hand electric spinning washer can be had much cheaper. I can understand the switch.

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    Alice Aber
    Comment on Amish and electric washers (December 14th, 2011 at 10:07)


    We used an old washer like that when I was a kid. My what work that was on a Saturday to do the laundry for a household of 7. I must admit I am spoiled today with my electric washer and dryer but I do love to hang my clothes out on the line in good weather. They smell so much better. 🙂

    Blessings, Alice who really does not know what to say about the changes in some Amish communities, LOL.

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    Comment on Amish and electric washers (December 14th, 2011 at 10:15)

    We have an electric spinner in the communal laundry room in my building. It looks pretty much like the one in the picture but older. I have only used it to get the water out clothes that I have had to hand washed. It works!

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    Alice Mary
    Comment on Head spinning! (December 14th, 2011 at 12:37)

    Head spinning!

    We had both a wringer washer (growing up)and a spin-dryer (washer with separate spin dryer next to it, in the same housing). I think we were the only ones in my extended family (aunts, uncles, a few within the same neighborhood)that had such a “primitive” laundry “arrangement”. Everyone else had electric washers & dryers. The washer/spin dryer was labor intensive to use, as you had to haul the heavy, wet laundry up out of the tub and plop it into the spin dryer. Since the spin dryer was smaller than the wash tub, you could only put a limited amount of laundry in to spin at a time. I used to help my Mom, but she was afraid I’d get my long hair caught in the spinner & it would break my neck! (It had a cover, but I liked to watch it spin without the cover on.) We’d hang clothes outside sometimes (when the commercial laundry next door wasn’t spewing black smoke from their coal-fired boilers—this was before the EPA). The rest of the time (MOST of the time) we’d hang clothes to dry in the basement. Sometimes (humid, summer weather) they’d take forever…mildew would set in, and, as Erik said, they’d scent the air with that “subtle stink”.

    I sometimes still dry things indoors, but only “delicates” or other hand-washed, fragile items (I use my grandma’s old circular wooden air dryer).

    What can I say? Laundry never ends, and has to get done, somehow. I wish my mother would have known she could get a separate spin dryer. Maybe she’d have had more time to paint her watercolor landscapes…which makes me wonder what the Amish do with the time they save on doing laundry (those who are allowed to use electric spin dryers, that is).

    Alice Mary

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    Al in Ky.
    Comment on Amish and electric washers (December 14th, 2011 at 21:08)

    I remember when my mother stopped using a wringer washer and
    bought an electric washer in about 1960. My aunt down the road
    used a wringer washer until well into the 1970’s. Clothes were
    often dried in the house (especially during the winter) on
    the same type of folding clothes racks that are still sold in Amish variety and hardware stores.

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    Joan Sheldon
    Comment on wash day (December 14th, 2011 at 21:53)

    wash day

    The picture at the top of the article shows how the Old Order Amish in Unity, Me do their laundry. They get what water they can out with the wringer before hanging the clothes outside (mostly) tho’ some do dry their clothes inside in poor weather.
    When I was first married in the 1960s I did my laundry in a wringer washer, and had 2 kids in diapers, so know well the work it is.

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    Comment on Wrung Out (December 14th, 2011 at 23:19)

    Wrung Out

    Mom was glad when automatic washers came along circa 1950. This was because she got her hand caught in the wringer.

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    Comment on Amish and electric washers (December 14th, 2011 at 23:59)

    My first apartment was a studio apartment with a washer like that in the basement for tenants to use. And I always used it, rather than paying to go to a laundramat. It seems to me it was enjoyable to use, and the wringers did a fine job of getting the water out of the clothes. Of course at the time, I was only washing for one person, & it was a relaxing way to spend a bit of time. There were clothes lines in the basement to hang the clothes at the time, & I also have lines now. It seems clothes stay newer & last longer when hung to dry. In the winter, with the furnace running, clothes dry quickly and the added moisture in the air is welcomed. My rent then was $35 mo. for the furnished apt. That amount won’t pay to shovel my walk & driveway today.

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    Comment on Amish and electric washers (December 15th, 2011 at 15:11)

    I have a washer and dryer but hang my clothes out when weather permits. I also use racks in the winter time instead of dryer.
    Clothes dry overnight and I save money on electricity and clothes last longer.

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    Comment on Amish and electric washers (December 15th, 2011 at 19:48)

    Amish and electric washers

    My great-grandparents had a wringer/washer machine like the one you show in this photo. My grandmother inherited a wringer from her mom. I remember using that and thinking it was so much fun to use 🙂 🙂

    Damp lettuce in a spinner? Well, if it works 😉 🙂 Greetings from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂

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    Mona (Kentucky Lady).
    Comment on Amish and electric washers (January 25th, 2012 at 12:41)

    I remember using one of these….these were the best washers ever.Washing in the summer was fun, but definitely not in the winter….when you had to hang them out on a line. BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR….Love my washer & dryer now……..and I still hang up a lot of my wash in the laundry room of course…saves on electricity……..

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    Comment on not too old (January 25th, 2012 at 22:44)

    not too old

    I’m just 49, but my mom had a wringer hooked to her laundry sinks…we would use that sometimes for hand washables….broke a few buttons though….and jeans were a bugger with the metal button. I love to hang clothes out on the line even with a large family. They smell fresh, and I can dry multi loads of heavy jeans, and work clothes so much faster on a warm day. I love the in house washer n drier for winter though. I do remember mom hanging clothes inside in the basement in the winter even with electric appliances to save money and add moisture to the air. My Grandma remembers not only using them for wash days, but also for shelling large loads of peas! That always amazed me….The peas popped out one side as the pod was taken in by the wringer. I also used the drying racks and one of my sons uses them to economize as a newlywed on a tight budget paying electric along with rent….his wife had me hunting garage sales for extra racks so she could wash more than one load at a time.

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    Comment on ugggggg wrinker washers (January 27th, 2012 at 10:24)

    ugggggg wrinker washers

    I was reading the other comments, one ask about getting things caught in them. Yes I got my hand caught in it and broke several fingers, no fun. I hated doing laundry with it after that.

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      Comment on Ouch! (January 27th, 2012 at 10:39)


      Sorry to hear about your fingers Sara. Another “unglamorous” aspect of Amish life! They’re not too quiet either with the generator going.

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    Comment on Amish and electric washers (June 24th, 2012 at 18:09)

    I would love to have one of those.
    I am looking into a scrub board…

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    Donna Hamm
    Comment on Used a similar machine in Mexico about 5 years ago (August 3rd, 2013 at 18:43)

    Used a similar machine in Mexico about 5 years ago

    I stayed with a wonderful family in Guanajuato, Guanajuato about 5 years ago while learning Spanish and learning about Mexican healthcare. My hostess had a traditional washer and dryer on her rooftop patio, but she preferred her manual washer with an attached wringer. The clothes lines were in the same are on the roof. I spent several afternoons up atop this wonderful house doing laundry (the tub had a timer) , rinsing and spinning out my clothes and the hanging them to try. Granted, I only had to do my own personal laundry, but it was a very satisfying time. I would love to locate such a washing machine!

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      Comment on Amish and electric washers (August 5th, 2013 at 12:03)

      Some Amish communities have washer shops where they do repair and may sell the old versions as well. I understand there are also replica models available.

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    Comment on we are high speed spin dryer in china (April 9th, 2014 at 07:51)

    we are high speed spin dryer in china

    we produce this kind of high speed spin dryer in china. web www.codelchina.com if ou need such high speed spin dryer you can contact me

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