The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Advantages of the wringer washer

Pumpkin on a wringer washerWhen we embarked on the East Wing project, Mark floated the idea of using a bit of the extra space opened up in the trailer to put in a modern washing machine.  At first, the idea seemed okay, but the more I thought about it, the more I clung to my wringer washer.

On summer days, doing laundry in the wringer washer is pure joy.  I sink my hands in the soapy water to pull out a shirt, pass it through the wringer into the rinse water, then back through the wringer into the laundry basket.  Later, I hang up the load in the sunniest spot of the yard, shared by our three bee hives, and the workers come to explore the damp clothing.  Now and then, a guard bee gets pissed off at me working five feet from her door and she buzzes me until I back off a bit, before trying again.

Snowy laundryIn the winter, laundry can be a bit tricky, but the experience is almost more enjoyable.  Once the laundry basket starts to fill up, I scan the ten day weather forecast looking for the most sunny, beautiful day.  Here in zone 6, there's generally at least one beautiful day per month, even in the dead of winter, and looking forward to laundry on that day makes it extra special.  Since we dry our clothes on the line, we need that warm day anyway to suck moisture from the clean clothes, and I suspect that if we got a washing machine, I'd soon be ignoring the weather and buying a drier.  Meanwhile, wringing each piece of clothing by hand reminds me to wear our clothes until they're truly dirty rather than dropping a clean sweather in the laundry basket after one light wearing.  Plus, the wringer washer drains completely by gravity, so it can be left outside all winter rather than taking up heated space in the house.

I know that Mark was trying to save me work by offering a modern washing machine, but right now I feel like I don't want to set foot on that slippery slope.  Maybe I'll change my tune in February....

Our homemade chicken waterer never spills or fills with poop.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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it would be cool to see lady with washer-extractor and twist to see the clothes. Did you ever get anything caught in a wringer?

Comment by Jullie b. Thu Dec 16 05:56:04 2010
If you ever find an extra wringer (especially one with rollers that are grooved lengthwise) you could use it to pulverize your charcoal.
Comment by Roland_Smith Thu Dec 16 16:01:00 2010

Jullie --- Our wringer has a safety feature where it pops open if something large goes in. The downside is that you can't wring out jeans, but it makes it safer and less scary, so nothing gets stuck. If I'm not paying attention, though, a sock sometimes keeps going around and around the wringer instead of coming out the other side, but I just reverse the direction and it comes right off.

Roland --- Great idea! We're definitely on the search for a good biochar crusher, and that sounds like a top option!

Comment by anna Sat Dec 18 20:23:11 2010

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