I recently heard that a number of Amish in the Lancaster County community have begun using regular electric washers (like any English home might have, except powered by the diesel generator).

traditional washer amish

A traditional washer used by Amish

With the widely-used wringer washers (ie, the old Maytag style), the clothes are still pretty wet when you finish. Β Using a regular washer, the spin cycle forces a lot of that extra water out, cutting hours off of drying time.

On damp days, or during freezing temps when you need to hang clothes in the basement, it makes a difference (you may know the subtle stink that attaches itself to clothes that dry too slow!).

The Spinner is a tool that has become accepted among Amish in some communities. It is a large cylindrical device which basically does what the spin cycle does, which is whirl clothes at high speeds and blast out much of the water, speeding up air drying.

Is there really a difference between using a spinner and using the spin cycle of an electric washer? Some would no doubt say that yes, there is.

amish laundry spinning machine

An Amish laundry spinner ad (taken from The Connection magazine)

This was interesting to learn, but not completely surprising. Β This isn’t all of the Lancaster community, still a minority, but apparently a pretty sizeable one.

I’ve also been hearing about a more creative use for the conventional electric laundry machine.

It seems they come in handy for produce growers. A few minutes on spin cycle and your previously-damp lettuce leaves are ready to pack!

More on how Amish wash clothes.

Amish washing machine photo credit: Mary Brandenburg

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