Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Laundry day

Today was laundry day and I decided to do an update on how laundry is going in the DR. Since I am at a new site and in a new house I do things a lot different than I used to. I'm working on a house update which will hopefully be available in the next day or two.

For now laundry.

My laundry day actually started around noon when I decided to go into Puerto Plata to find a plunger. My friend Conner told me about how she washes with a plunger and I've been interested for a few months. I also came across this method on YouTube on the many homesteading and cloth diapering channels I watch (Don't ask. I promise you don't actually want to know.) It actually took me three stores to find a plunger, but since I wanted a casual day in the city to meander around and find different stores I wasn't upset.

When I made it home I was ready to wash. Michelle had already washed some laundry today so the house was in full cleaning mode. I boiled some water and while the pan was heating I ate some leftover lentil soup I had made the other day.

I gathered my soap, laundry hamper that doubles as a washing machine, dirty laundry, and of course my brand new plunger.

I added some cold water, soap, and clothing to the hamper and started plunging away. When the water had boiled I added that to the pot too.

It should be stated that I like to heat water a lot. I boil water to shower. I boil water to do laundry. Sometimes I even boil water to wash dishes. I just think hot water gets things clean in a way that cold water can't. Plus... It feels better!

Okay, back to laundry.

So I was plunging away. As I was plunging I realized my clothing was super absorbent and I needed to add more water if I was going to agitate anything.

So I boiled another pan and added some more room temperature water. This allowed the clothing to be more evenly dispersed and the bucket, plunger, rope, combination to provide me with an in home, man powered, washing machine.

I was listening to "This American Life" and "Radio Lab" podcasts, while eating papaya and plunging my laundry, so it is safe to say I was a little distracted.

After I plunged everything I rang it out and put all the clothing into another tub. I filled the basket with water again and added the clothing to rinse. I used the plunger again for this first rinse.

I rang everything out one more time and put it all into a final basket to rinse. Rang everything out really well, and hung it to dry.

Now I am a fan of skipping as many steps as possible so I hang my shirts on the line on hangers, and I match my sock and hang them next to each other on the line. This way I don't have to do a lot of extra work later.

My stuff is all on the line now and since it was evening when I hung it I will have to wait until tomorrow afternoon for it all to dry, but it's done.

I'm finding that there are a lot of things that I prefer to so by hand. I'd rather take a bucket bath somedays, because the pressure in my shower is nothing to talk about (even though my new house has a FUNCTIONING water heater) and I think most days I would rather just hand wash my clothes. I like making my own food, and I would bet that if I ever have kids I'll probably be a "crunchy mama". It's not bother though. Laundry day is laundry day and I'm actually getting pretty efficient at it.

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