Thread Number: 219
Maytag Wringers
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Post# 46360   10/5/2004 at 21:30 (7,129 days old) by geoffdelp (SAUK RAPIDS)        

Hi everyone ... I was able to get some photos posted of my small Maytag wringer collection. I know, I know ... you guys want automatic washers; well, I just wanted you to see what I've been enjoying for a while!!

The 1929 Model A is restored, but the other three machines I was able to purchase brand new. I've been the first person to put water in each machine.

The photo of the 5 agitators are as follows: back left - aluminum (heavy) used from 1939 to the late 1940's; next was the red bakelite agitator used from late 1940's to mid to late 1950's; the black bakelite agitator was used from the 1950's to the mid 1960's and was replaced by the turquoise to the end of production in 1983. The lint filter agitator (2nd from right) was used in the 1960's mostly in Model E's. It's the same agitator that was used in the automatic washers.

I have more photos of these machines in use, but had problems loading some. I hope you enjoy the shots!



Post# 46374 , Reply# 1   10/6/2004 at 00:04 (7,129 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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Excellent pics, Geoff! Those brand new wringers would be a thrill to find, most of us are usually happy to find the machines at all ;-) Congrats on a beautiful collection! Does the '29 model A have the "dish" type gyratator?

Thanks for sharing your collection with us - Greg

Post# 46375 , Reply# 2   10/6/2004 at 00:51 (7,129 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Very nice pics! I never would have guessed that 4th agitator was used in wringers!

Post# 46376 , Reply# 3   10/6/2004 at 01:46 (7,129 days old) by powerfin64 (Yakima, Washington)        

powerfin64's profile picture
what a awesome collection Geoff! Im glad some one else loves Maytag wringers like I do! I Love the pictures of all the agitators!!
I have 2 maytag wringers, which are: late40's-50's Model E2 with a black bakelite agitator(Im the 2nd owner)
and a 83 Model N2 with turqoise agitator(2nd owner also)
I would love to own a Model J2 wringer,with a Red bakelite or metal agitator to complete my set but, that model is hard to find.
Keep us posted!!

Post# 46386 , Reply# 4   10/6/2004 at 08:13 (7,129 days old) by geoffdelp (SAUK RAPIDS)        

Thanks for the great comments, guys! I do enjoy these machines. They represent "home and hearth" to me; which is odd in itself, because my Dad insisted that my Mom have Maytag automatics ... always. She has only owned two during all of her years of homemaking. Presently, Mom is with me and I have a 1998 Maytag automatic. She chuckles about my collection!

My aunts, on the other hand, always had a Maytag wringer around! I like the Model A because it reminds me of my Aunt Jeanette who had one on the porch of her lake home in rural Minnesota. She would have laundry going on the porch and tell us boys, "Be careful! That machine will eat your arm!!" We would run scared to death from there!! You know, she was right ... that is a powerful wringer on the Model A, but it seems safer to me because it's more exposed than the later models.

Greg ... yes, it's a dish-type agitator. Different from the one after which was more conical in shape. All of the aluminum on the machine needs to be polished. It was on display for a number of years in the local Maytag shop. Thanks for prodding me for photos! ;-)

Rich ... hooray! Another Maytag wringer affecionado!! Aren't they the best to use? Clothes get so clean. I rinse, not only twice through the tubs, but then I drain the machine and do a "power" rinse with Downy; not after every load ... but I will only wash 2-3 loads in the wringer before getting rid of the water. Everything is so clean. I have a Model J disassembled in the garage. It was my cousin's mother-in-law's who passed away a number of years ago. I remember it in her basement when I was growing up! It's a 1968 model. I used to use it all the time. It was Maytag's most quiet model, if you can believe that! Women didn't like it ... strange.

Post# 46387 , Reply# 5   10/6/2004 at 08:34 (7,129 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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Hi Geoff,

You collection is so much fun thanks for sharing. I've only used a wringer washer once to do an entire Sunday's worth of wash. I was drenched and exhausted by the end, but it was a lot of fun. Are you only interested in Maytag machines or are you looking for other brands of wringer washers too?

Post# 46402 , Reply# 6   10/6/2004 at 13:13 (7,129 days old) by geoffdelp (SAUK RAPIDS)        

Unimatic1140 ... your name is Bob, right?

Yes, you do get soaked ... until you get the hang of it! I use an apron, too, which keeps me somewhat dry. I always say I get the cleanest floor and hands in town when I wash with one of my Maytags!

Maytag is the only wringer that interests me and I think my collection is complete (unless another new one comes along; then I'd have to think about it!).

I am on the hunt for a late 1950's/early 1960's Maytag automatic set. I have some "feelers" out there; we'll see what develops. Right now, I don't have the space and/or time for it, so I will pursue further next spring/summer.

Post# 46403 , Reply# 7   10/6/2004 at 15:03 (7,128 days old) by duetboy ()        
Getting Drenched

My Grandmother and Aunt had maytags when I was little. I never really remember them getting drenched. Grandpa, who was the wash master had an old broom handle that he fished the clothes out of the washer with and fed them into the wringer. he also used the broom handle to swish the clothes in the rinse tubs and then use it again to feed the wringers. I never could see how he could get a sock out of that washer with that darned stick, but he was good at it! Mom can remember that the reason whites were so white in the old days (and the reason cotton's didn't last very long) was that on the start of wash day, you filled the washer up with hot water, your favorite brand of powdered soap and then you shaved homemade LYE soap into the water! It will eat the stains out of clothes but it also eats up your clothes!

Ahhh, another trip down memory lane....


Post# 46405 , Reply# 8   10/6/2004 at 15:29 (7,128 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        
drenching and lye soap

gansky1's profile picture
I've used my Maytag wringer (and others) for a couple of my bi-weekly washes and don't remember getting too wet but I cheated and wrung the washed clothes straight into a Unimatic for rinsing and final spin ;-) When the people were here filming for the HGTV show, they were both stunned at the amount of work required with a wringer washer - "you mean you have to pick the clothes out by hand?? How did civilization survive?"

My grandmother used to make her own lye soap, it is strong stuff for sure but sure gets the stains and oil spots out of coveralls. I've heard stories about her rendering the lard for the soap (as well as cooking, etc.) what a horrible stink that must have been, I'll keep my box of Tide!

Post# 46409 , Reply# 9   10/6/2004 at 16:10 (7,128 days old) by geoffdelp (SAUK RAPIDS)        
Not TOO drenched!!

Everybody has their own way of doing this. I'm a firm believer in pre-treating and/or soaking clothing. It keeps the wash water somewhat clean and you don't have to use so many harsh chemicals. Also, your wash water does not have to be scalding hot to get clothes clean.

If I feel I need to bleach clothing, I do so before I wash them in a rinse tub with hot, hot water. It is usually white socks and rags. I've also bleached clothing in the first rinse. I don't keep articles in a bleach solution for more than 30 minutes.

Has anyone ever used a Fels-Naptha bar? We can still buy them here in Minnesota and they are FANTASTIC for treating grass stains and/or "mystery" stains on clothing. It's a little rough on your hands, so I wear rubber gloves. It cleans great and smells very good. I've grated it before and used it to wash my white sheets. After they've hung on the line to dry, they smell fantastic!!

I don't get TOO soaked when I use my wringer; but, I do get wet from rinsing - it's hard not to "slosh" the water. I believe that you have to thoroughly rinse clothing to make them clean. A lot of times I wring clothing into the basket and just put a few articles in the rinse tubs. You can be a lot more thorough that way. Towels are the worst! They soak up a ton of suds!! Like I said prior, I use the Maytag for a power rinse. That way, I'm sure.

Duetboy ... I hope a "happy" trip down memory lane!! Laundry is one of those comfort things we can do for ourselves. Wouldn't you agree? Everything turns out so nice and clean ...

Greg ... you're right; I'll stick to my Tide, too!! I bet the HGTV people were surprised at the wringer. Most people would never want to take the time. But, you know what? I'm done with my laundry within an hour and a half; usually 4-5 loads ... every Saturday morning.

Post# 46413 , Reply# 10   10/6/2004 at 16:39 (7,128 days old) by golittlesport (California)        

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Thanks for sharing pictures of your collection. I have a thing for wringer washers. Your aunt was right...those things could take your arm off...and my mom's Dexter almost did when I was two. I survived with my arm intact, although I have a few scars as a souvenier. I never got to use a wringer washer myself until several years ago when I visted Robert in Minnieapolis and Greg in Omaha and got to feed the clothes through the rollers on their machines. What fun! A real hands-on washing experience.

Post# 46414 , Reply# 11   10/6/2004 at 16:49 (7,128 days old) by geoffdelp (SAUK RAPIDS)        

golittlesport ... is your thing for wringer washers a good or bad "thing"? I hope it's good! I think a lot of people had an experience like you did. Those machines were tough on kids!! My brother, Tim, had his arm caught in a Model N (just like my 1963 one) up to his elbow and he kept the scar his whole life. A constant reminder ...

I think everybody should experience washing this way. There's "something" about it, isn't there? Definitely a "hands-on" experience!!

Post# 46416 , Reply# 12   10/6/2004 at 17:12 (7,128 days old) by fixerman ()        

For your brother it was almost a hands off experience.

Post# 46429 , Reply# 13   10/6/2004 at 21:07 (7,128 days old) by geoffdelp (SAUK RAPIDS)        

fixerman ... you're right! :-)

Post# 46504 , Reply# 14   10/8/2004 at 12:12 (7,127 days old) by laundramatt (Youngstown, Ohio)        


Thanks for the pictures, I love all washers, but have a special place in my heart for wringer washers. I was around them since I could walk, and never had a bad experience with them. My mom simply warned me about the wringers.

I would even love to have a DVD of your various washers if it was possible. The wash cycle is my favorite anyway. There's something hypnotic about all that back and forth motion that calms me.

Thanks again for the pics, and if you have a digital camera, go ahead and do some recording. Matt

Post# 46505 , Reply# 15   10/8/2004 at 12:36 (7,127 days old) by geoffdelp (SAUK RAPIDS)        

Matt ...

I've been thinking about making a recording of those machines. They possess a certain sound .

You're right about the hypnotic affect; it's hard to describe, isn't it? I think the soap suds only add to the whole experience! :-)

I'll let you know what I come up with.


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