Soap for the Washing Machine

Old washing machine in Bunratty, Ireland - Soap?

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Is granulated soap for the washing machine absolutely necessary?

When I was growing up, soap for the washing machine wasn’t thought of because the wringer washing machine was quite new. A wringer was a machine with rollers to squeeze water out of the washed clothes. Our machine had the wringer to the side and sitting just above the washing machine. We guided the clothes out of the washing machine through the wringer into two different tubs of water.¬† A vast improvement over scrubbing¬† the clothes by hand on a wash board and then wringing them by hand.

Soap for the Washing Machine?

There was not much special  soap to use in the washer. What soap there was, was expensive. So we used bar soap. Dad in his usual ingenious manner, figured a way to keep us amused and at the same time make use of our labor.

Making Soap for the Washing Machine

On a quiet Sunday evening he would give us each a piece of old newspaper, a paring knife and a half of a large bar of soap and tell us we could carve anything our little hearts desired. It was always a fun evening! It must have pleased me immensely. As I write this I can see myself sitting contentedly at the table carving away on the soap with the knife.

After we went to bed Dad collected the scraps to be used Monday morning to the clean the piles of dirty clothes.

We were so fortunate not to have granulated soap!


One Response to “ Soap for the Washing Machine ”

  1. Willow says:

    I love this story, Everybody is part of the big picture. As you grow up you become aware of the interconnections and importance of little things. People want to be doing things. I just heard an interview with a Japanese fellow in a shelter after the earthquake and his only complaint was that there was nothing to do.

    Thank you for sharing your stories and tips!

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