Did you ever use a wringer washer?

gadgetsAugust 22, 2012

Did any of you ever use a wringer washer? I did for a few months. I'd been using a used front loader automatic washer. When it conked out on me, we couldn't find another used one in our price range. My MIL loaned me her wringer washer, with rinse tubs. Once I got the hang of it, I found out I preferred it as it got my laundry out of the way in very short fashion. I'd start washing around 6am, and if it was a good drying day, all my clothes were folded and put away by 9 or 10 except overalls.

Anyone else have experience with one?


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Yes I did. When I stayed with my grandparents in the 40's that is what she prefered. I use to help with the washing and believe me grandpa's overalls were not easy for a 10 year old to lift to put thru the wringers. then hung out to dry. But lots of good memories.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 5:01PM
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OH, yes....a long time ago....many memories too.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 5:03PM
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Used to help mother. Always on Monday and bean soup always for dinner. I loved pushing the clothes up and down to help rinse them.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 5:07PM
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No. My mom always had an automatic washer as far back as I can remember, which was in the 40s. I do remember my grandma's wringer washer in the 40s. When something was really funny, my mom used to say "I haven't laughed so hard since ma got her tit caught in the wringer".

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 5:10PM
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I can remember my mother had the bulky washer with 2 round tubs, and the wringer in the middle when I was a kid in the early 50's (and no dryer, of course). Don't recall every using it myself--I was only born in 1950, so was no doubt too young. By the time I was 4, we had 3 kids, 2 still in diapers, so I imagine that was around the time Dad probably got mom an automatic washer.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 5:14PM
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My Mom had one & back then I think in every household Monday was wash day. I had very long hair & one time sitting next to the washer I got my hair caught in the wringer. It was a good thing my Mom was close by.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 5:33PM
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My mother had a washing machine with an attached spinning wringer tub. It was positioned next to the large stone double sink in the basement. We put the white clothes in first, washed them, spun them in the wringer and drained the soapy water back into the washer, rinsed them in the first sink, wrung them, rinsed in the 2nd sink compartment, and wrung them dry with the water going down the sink drain. Then the medium colors were washed in the same water, and finally the dark clothes, although if there was a lot of laundry to do, we might change the water. Certainly, we had to add a little more water as new loads were added. On nice days, the clothes were taken upstairs to the back yard clotheslines, and hung with peg type clothespins. Dad had made some clothesline props for mom, so that if the clothes line was heavy with wet laundry and dragging, we could use the props to lift the clothesline 7 or 8 feet into the air to catch the breezes. If it was raining or freezing outside, clotheslines were strung across the basement and we hung clothes down there to dry.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 5:51PM
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If you could do wash with a wringer that was faster/better than your front load...I'm guessing you had one of those early combination washer/dryer things with a small capacity. I used one at a vacation rental in the UK years ago. (I thought it was broken; it took so long to complete a cycle.)

Growing up I used my mother's portable wringer washer and the two big laundry tubs that were in our basement. It was hard work lugging heavy wash up the basement stairs and out the back door to hang on a rotary dryer! I remember my mother 'saved' the soapy water from one wash of whites to use on the second wash of dark clothes. The water was pumped out into one laundry tub; then the rinse cycle took place. Rinse water was emptied into the other laundry tub and soapy water pumped back into the washer.

Makes me tired just to think of the time and effort!

We also had a mangle -- *everything* had to be ironed. Oh, and how could I forget STARCH? (Blueing, anyone?)

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 5:59PM
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I did a post about this very topic a few weeks ago. It really surprised me how many people got hurt, using one. Either members here, or members of their family.

I sure remember this very one as a kid. My nan used it to do laundry.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wringer-washer

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 6:02PM
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Did you wash all the clothes in one tub of water. My mom had one when I was young. I think she washed everything in one load of water and it all looked clean. How ever she did it, my Dad's shirts stunk when they were ironed so I know they weren't getting clean. It's better than using a tub and wash board like she did before we moved to the big city.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 6:11PM
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My mother had a deep, deep fear of them, so no.

Her father and his brothers owned a commercial laundry in the 40's, and her father had his arm ripped off by the commercial wringer. He died a few days later. Mom was just 11, so this would have been around 1947 or so.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 6:19PM
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Yes, my Mother had one and I helped at times with hers, but her's was run by a gasoline engine. When I got married I had a used wringer washer and when our first was born, we got a new wringer washer. That was in 1957. I used that for several years. Then I got a used gas dryer to go with it. Later on I got my first new automatic washer, it was a Frigidaire and I like the way it washed but I had a lot of trouble with it. I did like using the wringer washer. Yes, I know about the little compact ones with a spin rinse side I think. I still have one stored away. I have also had the little portable one that we used to take in our travel trailer so I could do laundry on the road. I hate camping....


    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 6:29PM
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My mother used one when I was growing up. We did the bleaching, the blueing, the starching, the hanging outside, then ironed everything except towels & underwear. Of course the ironing had to "sprinkled" first.

Big job. Not anything I would want to return to using.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 6:54PM
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Yes, in the early 60s in UK. Ex was in the Air Force and we lived on the economy for 1 1/2 years. Heated water with a coal stove in the kitchen, just enough to fill the washer once. Started out with the first load hot, second luke warm, then cool. Not my favorite but better than beating the clothes on a rock by a river ;-)

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 6:56PM
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Good grief, you are all young 'uns!! I used a wringer washer while all of my kids were home. I think I got the automatic, probably, when the last two were in high school. I had a dryer before I had the automatic washer.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 7:15PM
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My Mom had one in the early 1950's and she also used a wash board.

I was one of the lucky ones because I nearly had my arm crushed by the wringer. My Mom had just come home from the hospital after my younger brother was born. My Grandmother and I were in the basement and Grandma was doing the laundry. She let me help - but my fingers got caught and as my arm started going into the wringer my Mom came downstairs. She screamed at Grandmom who just stood there in shock. My Mom came over and hit the release arm - my elbow would have been crushed.

Two months later we bought a washing machine.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 7:18PM
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My mom (now 95) says she had one when she was first married, a hand-me-down from someone in the family. I don't think I remember it.

My mom's youngest brother got his arm caught in a wringer when he was a kid and it broke his arm. It seems like someone in that family was always getting hurt. My mom was pecked by a rooster when she was two and still has a faint scar on her lip.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 7:59PM
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No but I remember my mother having one. I would like to have a wringer...not a washer. I wash things out by hand sometimes and with my crippled hands, I have a hard time wringing them out.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 8:02PM
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I grew up with one and had one when my yungest was a baby. I remember the other thread too

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 8:24PM
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I used one until my third child was born. That wasn't as bad as the drying lines on a pully. I did like the speed, of getting laundry done,
in a short time.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 12:31AM
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Oh my yes, my Mother had one and I helped her with the laundry for our family up until I got married in '61. She never did have an automatic, used the wringer washer until she went into a nursing home in the early 80s.

I had one when we moved back here to MO. and used it for several years until the late 1980s when we got an automatic.

My MIL ran a boarding home for the elderly and did all their laundry in a wringer washer up to 1980, when she gave it to us when we were moving back here. She then got a new automatic, but she still preferred the wringer washer.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 12:49AM
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I grew up with one like Azzalea described, with 2 round tubs, and the wringer in the middle. My mom didn't get an automatic until I was in junior high and I had time to get plenty of experience with the old wringer washer :-)

Yes, it was heavy work. Yes, we started with the lighter loads of clothes and saved the water (which was sometimes in short supply on our farm as well) and used it for multiple loads, finishing up with the dark denim work overalls and such. Clothes were washed in one tub, put through the wringer, and rinsed in the second tub, then through the wringer again and out to the clothes line.

In the winter, clothes froze on the line, then we'd bring them back in the house. Mom strung up clothes lines in the dining room and they'd finish drying there. Sometimes we'd lay some damp items on top of the fuel oil stove to finish drying (towels and wash clothes).

I love the scent of towels dried (in the summer) outdoors on the clothes line. I don't miss the scratchiness, but I do miss that smell. Ahhh... and the smell on freshly washed sheets!!!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 3:36AM
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I do remember how wringer washer and put rubber diapers through that wringer diapers and explodes and I ruined a couple of shirts
Did you ever get anything caught in a wringer?or ruined a couple of shirts?

Tell me the stories of you have,
the clothes you have washed with wringer washer

Here is a link that might be useful: HOW TO USE A WASHER WRINGER

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 8:37AM
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The wringer washer was great but also a danger.My friend almost lost his arm in one.To this day his arm is flat and shorter than his right arm.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 12:01PM
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WAAAAIT a minute! Y'all are taling about an *automatic* wringer? Something powered? The wringer on our washer was cranked, sometimes by me until we got an automatic washer. (Around 1948?) I didn't know there was such a thing as a powered wringer. (Now I understand better why people were afraid of getting caught in a wringer!)

I love my front-load washer that SPINS the water out of the wash -- even better than a wringer, and nothing is creased.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 12:22PM
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Never used one, but my "country cousin" Joyce had on in her house. When I was first married, we had a small portable electric washer in our apartment. Better than a laundromat. . Worked great-but only small loads, it hooked up to the kitchen sink with hoses and was a lot of work-not "automatic" like I have now.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 12:57PM
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We had one, in the early 1940s.

Heated water in a large copper tub on the wood/coal-fired kitchen range on Monday morning, don't recall how we carried the heated water from the tub to the washer, which was in the back, or "summer" kitchen. Round tub, "Beatty" washer, with agitator that turned back and forth.

Grandma's widowed sister had a washer called an "Easy" that had two or three inverted cups about 8" across, that were pushd up and down in the water, so it was claimed, I think possibly correctly, to be easier on clothes.

Powered wringer, fed clothes through two rolls pressed together, then they dropped into a round tub of rinse water which was sitting on a foldable bench. Then we'd lift a plunger and swing the wringer around, which was fastened to one side of the washer, and feed the clothes from the first rinse into another tub of rinse water, the second rinse, then swing the wringer around farther and wring the clothes into a clothes basket, then took them out to hang on the line outside in summer, or in the basement or a bedroom or two in winter on foldable dryer with wooden rods stretched between wooden arms that would fold into a pile about a foot high, or about 4 feet or more high when extended.

That washer had an arm just above the top roll which would disengage the pressure that held the two rollers together, if it were pushed, so that a hand that had begun being fed between the rollers could be pulled out easily. Sometimes it would be tripped automatically, or one could use the other hand, as usually both hands were involved with manipulating the clothes. But it didn't stop the rollers turning.

I don't recall having heard of people being injured while using those wringers.

We had an old wash board that we'd used in tubs, before getting the powered washer.

I don't remember how we did our washing for three or four years after we moved to share-crop a farm in Saskatchewan, when we didn't have elctricity, until Dad bought his own farm. I spent most of that time away at University, or on summer ministry or other work.

ole joyful who occasionally needs a winger to squeeze certain thoughts out of his dirty mind

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 3:41PM
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Yes..My mother had one and I can remember helping her put clothes in the wringer with a stick. Of course she was watching me like a hawk.

As the story goes in our family....my mom's mother got one of her "girls" caught in the ringer....that's what you get for not wearing a bra...or did they not have them back then?

I miss my mom...she has been gone now for 50 years.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 9:20PM
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I remember my mother doing laundry in one of those and using bluing too. We built a new house in 63 and I don't think it went into the new house, but I also don't ever remember having and automatic in the old house.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 9:25PM
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Oh yes! And I have wonderful memories of our wringer washer.

I was born in 1956 and raised by my Grandmother. We used the wringer washer until after I graduated in 1974 and moved away in 1975.

We had a utilatarian, enclosed back porch. That's where the washer stayed except for the coldest parts of winter when it would be rolled into the kitchen. The two round rinse tubs hung on nails on the outside wall of the porch.

We did laundry on Saturday, but not every week; there was just the two of us. We normally did a big laundry every couple of weeks, give or take.

When I was very young we carried buckets of water from the large kitchen sink to the washer and tubs, but by my 'tweens Grandma had gotten enough garden hoses to hook up to the kitchen sink to fill everything that way.

While one of us was filling the tubs, the other sorted the laundry. I was doing 90% of the entire laundry - filling tubs, washing, hanging, empting tubs, and cleaning up - by age 10. Grandma had the store to run.

To this day I love doing laundry, but I do love my automatic washer and dryer. I still soak extra dirty or smelly items in the mudroom sink, and hang clothes out on a line in the summer.

Anything especially dirty or stained was set to soak in a bucket and was rubbed out on the wash board before being put in the washer. The washer and tubs were filled with hot water. Bluing was added to the first rinse and Downey softener to the last rinse.

We "normally" had three or four loads - whites, colors, darks, sheets, and towels. We started with the whites and light colors, and then the darks. Depending on how soiled the loads were, we'd then empty the washer and refill it for the sheets and towels. Sometimes we had to refill the first rinse tub, too. All the clothes were always spotlessly clean, fresh smelling, and soft.

We had a "washing plunger" used to agitate the clothes in both rinse tubs. We'd plunge it up and down and swirl the clothes around until we knew they were well rinsed.

After Grandma got the hoses it was much easier to empty the washer. It had a hose connection and we could run the hoses out more than 200 ft. from the house to drain into the gravel road. She wasn't about to have "dirty" water poured out to stink in the yard.

Doing the "laundry" didn't stop with the clothes. After everything was washed and hung on the lines the last rinse tub water was used to wash the dog, if he needed a bath.

Then that tub was emptied - through the washer's tub and hoses - washed with a bucket of hot water, dried out, and hung on its outside nail. We'd hang the rinse tubs "face out" to the sun for a few hours and then turn them "face in" by nightfall.

The first rinse water was then used to mop the plain board floor of the porch, wipe off the window frames, and generally tidy-up the porch. That tub was washed, dried, and hung in the sun.

The washer was then rinsed out with a last bucket of hot water, wiped down, dried, and rolled back into its corner. It was kept covered with an old sheet or blanket.

I remember the wringer, too. We were careful, but ours must have had a "safety feature" of some sort. If you tried to put something too hard or bulky through it, it would stop. I caught my fingers/hands a couple of times and while it wasn't fun, it did not "injure" me. The wringer stopped and I popped the release bar. I wasn't about to tell Grandma how careless I'd been!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 2:44PM
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Yes, I used one in my first year of marriage and I've been married 51 years.

I don't miss it.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 2:54PM
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I used one,along with the wash tubs,from 1978 thru to 1985

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 10:38PM
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Grew up with one. My dad was afraid of automatic washers. Someone told him they walk across the floor so he was having no part of that!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 11:30PM
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