15 responses to How do Amish women wash clothes?
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    Karen Pollard
    How do Amish women wash clothes? (August 4th, 2011 at 19:42)

    I used to help my grandmother wash clothes on a Maytag wringer washer. I thought it was a lot of fun. Her Maytag was in the basement. She used a stick to fish the clothes out of the rinse tub and then I was allowed to feed it into the wringer. Then we hung them outside on the line to dry. I loved the smell of the dry clothes when we took them in. There’s nothing better than sheets that have dried on the line!

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    peggy
    I could never do it (August 4th, 2011 at 20:56)

    I could never do it

    I have 6 kids it seems like I am always doing wash. It is never ending. I so admire these ladies. It is 9:00pm and I just put a load in. 3 of my kids do their own but itis still never ending.

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    Nicole Z. Harrison
    laundry wash day(s) !?!? (August 17th, 2011 at 07:21)

    laundry wash day(s) !?!?

    I assume the Amish use cloth diapers…just assuming that if they do, there is NO way a mother can wait a week to launder cloth diapers, nor ever have enough to go an entire week…Are exceptions made to add to the laundering ‘allowed days’ when there is a baby in the family who’s diapering & clothing needs must be attended to several days a week? Also, does anyone know what type(s) of cloth diapers they use? Might it be the cd’s of old, like flats or prefolds with pins (or snappis) & plastic pants, or more modern cloth diapering methods like fitteds & snap or velcro covers.

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      Kelly
      Cloth diapers (March 18th, 2012 at 20:04)

      Cloth diapers

      @Nicole – Though some Amish mothers do use cloth diapers, many use disposables as well. Mostly what I saw in living in Lancaster county, they will use any diapers and diaper covers, as long as they’re plain. I saw many heavy prefolds with white Bummi style covers back then, but if all they could afford was plastic pants, then that’s what they used. But you wouldn’t find any cute prints on those covers.

      And laundry isn’t really “restricted” to Mondays – it’s just that it’s SUCH a heavy chore that it’s traditionally tackled after the day of rest, Sunday. If they have a diaper emergency, they do more laundry.

      At least, that’s how I heard it!

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        Nic
        How do Amish women wash clothes? (March 19th, 2012 at 10:15)

        Thank you Kelly for your reply/answers. I really wish there was a benevolent ministry for the Amish that I could donate to because I have found that so many non-Amish mommas that I have given cd’s to, even after marking cdf on them, have been dishonest & will try to resell even when they are not supposed to! These are Among many other items that I’d like to donate to a group of folks such as the Amish that I know are honest & would only take/receive items that they would use.

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          Kelly
          How do Amish women wash clothes? (March 19th, 2012 at 11:18)

          Funny you should say that – I sew CDs to donate to Morning Star pregnancy centers. I figure that way they’re the ones who decide who gets what. And besides, while my diapers are serviceable, I doubt they’d sell well since the absorbent parts are made from old t-shirts, so I don’t really worry about that! :) Giving Diapers, Giving Hope is a nationally recognized cloth charity, and they distribute cloth diapers to applicants.

          Sorry we got off topic here! :)

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            Nic
            cloth diapers & the Amish (March 19th, 2012 at 13:34)

            cloth diapers & the Amish

            What is ‘Morning Star pregnancy centers’ ? I actually had a thought immediately after I commented about maybe just contacting an ‘Amish friendly’ midwife &/or birthing center about donating directly to them & let them gauge the needs of their clients & they could distribute them as they see the needs.

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      Ruth miller
      How do Amish women wash clothes? (April 5th, 2014 at 22:40)

      Amish women actually wash every 2 to 3 days and they can do 5 or 6 loads in about 2 hours or less so it is faster than using a washer. They use what’s called “blueing” in the wash water to whiten whites and also bleach. Also most women use snaps on their dresses but I’m pretty sure if men had to use snaps or pins for their pants they would not be strong enough to hold the pants closed when they are working.

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    Kelly
    How do Amish women wash clothes? (March 19th, 2012 at 14:49)

    That would work too!

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    Roberta Klooster
    How do Amish women wash clothes? (June 16th, 2012 at 12:54)

    We are not Amish, but when I was young our water was spring fed. So. . no water pressure to speak of. A wringer washer was a necessity. Ours looked just like the one pictured on our Facebook pages. I used to get scared when I got something caught in the wringer and it became all wrapped around in there, but my Mom seemed to always be able to save the day. Pictures of these washers give me nostalgic feelings about “home” now.

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    Carolyn B
    How do Amish women wash clothes? (June 16th, 2012 at 20:18)

    Sexist/gender questions incoming. Thanks in advance for all replies:

    a) If a man can use electricity in the barn/shop as needed, why isn’t the woman allowed the same level of electric usage in her “workplace”?
    b) For those orders who pin their dresses to wear, do the men pin their trousers closed? I almost feel I have seen an answer on this in another blog. Please feel free to direct me to one if applicable.

    Not meaning any disrespect, I’m coming more from the Biblical standpoint that Christ died for His church so the Christian head of house should want the best for his wife, even more than he’d want the best for himself.

  • Amish trousers and technology

    Carolyn in answer to a), that is an interesting point, and you might find Amish women wondering the same. I think the rationale is really that men need the higher levels of tech to make a living in a changing world and economy, while women in the home can get by with less. That’s a generalization but probably some truth there. Also, the home is seen as more sacrosanct in terms of allowing the world and its gadgets in. So you’re going to see the highest levels of tech in shops and off-site work places.

    b) The broadfall trousers are closed with buttons.

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      Carolyn B
      Erik, thank you (June 17th, 2012 at 14:55)

      Erik, thank you

      Thanks for the answers, Erik.

      Re: broadfall trousers — what’s sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose or shortened to “what’s good for the gander is good for the goose”. If men are allowed buttons, women should be allowed buttons.

      I understand about the home being sacrosanct from technology. But some things would change quick, I believe(jokingly :-D ), if the husbands had to do all the housework.

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    LouAnn Hance
    keeping so white (October 9th, 2013 at 17:07)

    keeping so white

    I know how amish women do their laundry, but I wonder how they keep all the whites SO white ? Would love to hear their secrets.
    Thank you

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      Lee
      How do Amish women wash clothes? (October 10th, 2014 at 21:25)

      Number one,
      Clothes are washed in HOT water. I mean boiling hot, at least when you wash the first white load. With a wringer washer you proceed to darker loads of clothes ending with washing the scatter rugs. By then the wash water looks like sludge.

      A wringer washer gets clothes cleaner than an automatic. My Quaker mother has used one all her life and still does after 55 years of marriage.

      You add washing soda or borax to the water, this helps get things clean. Then white clothes are bleached. Bluing is added to the rinse tub water in the second tub or final rinse. Bluing makes yellowed clothes appear whiter.

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