Sunday, November 27, 2011

Practical Life: Using a Washboard

Okay, these days using a washboard probably isn't considered so much practical life as it is hands-on history, but if you've got anything in your wardrobe that prefers to be hand-washed, or washed on the delicates setting in the washing machine, then I assure you that a washboard is the way to get those clothes the cleanest while keeping them the soundest with the least expenditure of effort.

And so, when the baby's ballet togs begin to look dingy, I send her into the bath with leotards and tights, a bar of my hot-process soap, and the washboard:

I generally do a quick pre-wash and rinse of the dirtiest parts of the uniform myself--the feet and knees of the tights, the belly and butt of the leotards--using a bar of Fels Naptha and the washboard in the sink, before passing it all over to the kid, and in the past I would give each item a second rinse, as well, as she passed it to me, before wringing it out and hanging it over the shower curtain rod, but this last time Syd had rinsed everything so well that I didn't find any extra suds, so next time that's just one less job that I'll have to do for her!

I think that I could hand-wash each of Syd's ballet uniform pieces in a couple of minutes, flat, and the fact that Sydney takes an hour in the tub hand-washing them just means that she enjoys the job so much. In fact, I'm imagining that in the summer, when she can take the washboard outside with a bucket, a bar of soap, the garden hose, and the clothesline, I could probably trick permit her to wash all our white T-shirts and handkerchiefs and what-have-you's independently out there and hang them right up to dry.

Don't you love it when the play that is a child's work is actual, you know, WORK? I sure do!

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