Thread Number: 85657  /  Tag: Wringer Washers
Weird washing Ways
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Post# 1102122   12/27/2020 at 01:16 (814 days old) by Adam-aussie-vac (Canberra ACT)        

Hey guys, Has anybody heard of this particular method when it comes to washing blankets? I’ve never heard of this particular method or the ammonia came in blocks , Finally enough this book is from I think possibly the mid 80s as it said 38 edition 1986

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Post# 1102127 , Reply# 1   12/27/2020 at 03:29 (814 days old) by warmsecondrinse (Fort Lee, NJ)        

From the description it sounds like you wash outside and have a fire going?

Post# 1102130 , Reply# 2   12/27/2020 at 04:51 (814 days old) by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield, East Midlands, UK)        

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Well not so much outside - this refers to a time, long before washing machines, were you would have had a brick built boiler in an outhouse which you would have a fire underneath to heat the water, there was a chimney to take away smoke etc. Quite common in Victorian times and even into the early 20th century.

The video will give an idea of how it worked

Cannot imagine putting blankets in boiling water though

Post# 1102136 , Reply# 3   12/27/2020 at 06:44 (814 days old) by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

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Last night I dreamed putting clothes in the dishwasher.  Does that count?

Post# 1102137 , Reply# 4   12/27/2020 at 07:00 (814 days old) by gizmo (Victoria, Australia)        

Coppers would have been out of use by the time that was published, except maybe in some remote rural farmhouses.

Most coppers in Australia would have been enameled steel, with gas or electric heat. They were available until at least the 1960s.


My Dad was a carpenter and I remember him telling me in about the 1990s that Housing Commission homes in the 1960s still had an outhouse laundry room with a copper, not a washing machine space. He thought it was backward still installing coppers in the 1960s.

Post# 1102142 , Reply# 5   12/27/2020 at 08:43 (814 days old) by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

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I've heard of using ammonia only to wash blankets, but not boiling them. I think the block ammonia is washing soda/sal ammoniac

Post# 1102146 , Reply# 6   12/27/2020 at 08:51 (814 days old) by Kenmoreguy89 (Valenza Piemonte, Italy- Soon to be US immigrant.)        

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Ammonia came in blocks or crystals.
Ammonia crystals are alkaline, similar to Borax or Soda.
Salts chemically speaking.
Ammonia has been long known for its degreasing properties.
Ancient Romans for how disgusting that sounds used to wash clothes with fermented urine because of the ammonia in it.
Back then when soap was not a thing and properties of ashes were not discovered that is how they got rid of grease.
I guess the ammonia approach for washing blankets is because soda from ashes and soap would have been too harsh and alkaline on dyes abd that would make blankets bleed.
Whatever salts and especially ammonia salts are excellent fixative for dyes in fact in domestic dying products to use in washers is recommended to add salt to fix dye.
That of course is not good for machines with aluminum alloy spiders in fact you can tell when a machine was used a lot to dye clothes in.

Post# 1102221 , Reply# 7   12/27/2020 at 16:24 (814 days old) by Adam-aussie-vac (Canberra ACT)        
Funnily enough, I actually own a copper

It’s made by the same company that made sinks and laundry tubs,”malleys” Although I did change the original tap on the front as previously when I’ve used it that tap used to get quite hot, the tap I replaced it with was one off a different copper so all I need to do is turn the tap a quarter of a turn them now comes the water, although it would be nice to have one with that surround like what you see on gas powered coppers And the most recent thing that I used it for was to sanitise towels that the dog had peed on

Post# 1102233 , Reply# 8   12/27/2020 at 19:02 (814 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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Several factors together will cause wool to felt/shrink; heat and friction are common causes.

You can wash most wool at high water temperatures, but long as it isn't moved much or at all things should be fine. That is how dealing with lice, bed bugs and other vermin that infested woolen blankets, undergarments, and other items was dealt with before dry cleaning came along.

Taking wool from one extreme temp to another (from hot water to cold) will cause felting and or shrinking as well.

Suppose if one was quite careful about it could boil wash wool blankets as noted above, but won't catch me doing my St. Mary's that way.

Ammonia long as been used for cleaning woolens. Nearly every bottle of the stuff I've read since childhood gave suggestions for using it to wash wool blankets.

Post# 1102289 , Reply# 9   12/28/2020 at 10:47 (813 days old) by Kenmoreguy89 (Valenza Piemonte, Italy- Soon to be US immigrant.)        

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It is the tumbling and or agitation combined with hot water that makes wool shrink-felt.
Or sudden temperature changes.
That is how they make Borsalino hats near where I'm located. I visited the factory several times.
That is why whirlpool's and Miele's do a progressive cool down not only for wash and wear but also on knits/woolens cycles.
I'm just puzzled as to why whirlpool does a slow spin for woolens as well.
Contrary to common thought woolens do not suffer much high spin speeds but only the vigorous tumbling ahitation and friction.

Post# 1102305 , Reply# 10   12/28/2020 at 13:41 (813 days old) by thomasortega (El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles de Porciúncula)        
Weird washing ways

Toss the load (not sorting, not checking pockets) in the washer
Drop a Tide Pod (because powders are for old people, my arm will fall if i have to lift a scoop, not counting the time wasting, who has time to dose detergent nowadays?)
Select Normal cycle (actually, not because i want a normal wash, but it's a hassle to read the control panel, all those cycles and options... I'm normal, so let's use normal)
Select cold water (Because I read online that if you use hot water you will destroy the planet)

Yes, that's weird (at least for me), isn't it?

Post# 1102308 , Reply# 11   12/28/2020 at 13:54 (813 days old) by Kenmoreguy89 (Valenza Piemonte, Italy- Soon to be US immigrant.)        

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Laundry stink?
No prohblehmmmm!

Add like a pot of snuggle and about a bucket of unstoppables and you are set!

Post# 1102316 , Reply# 12   12/28/2020 at 16:06 (813 days old) by aussie-plugs (Melbourne, Australia)        
Coppers in AU

My grandmother's house (1920's Californian-style in Melbourne) had a wood-fired copper in a enclosed external laundry with chimney built to the same standards as those for the fireplaces within the home.

My parents first home (built 1951) had a gas-fired copper in the laundry, along with double concrete wash tubs. Mum also had a water-powered spinner/extractor which managed to crack the tubs once when it was loaded poorly and operated out of balance.

Mum also had a drying cabinet (not tumble dryer) for finishing things off.

This was all changed to a Bendix around 1962 after my father accidentally scalded my brother while emptying boiling water from the copper to the trough.
Those old ways of washing had many dangers we don't think of nowadays ...

Post# 1102358 , Reply# 13   12/29/2020 at 02:21 (812 days old) by Adam-aussie-vac (Canberra ACT)        

Yeah to be honest that’s probably much more weirder compare to boil washing a wool blanket, thank god I still have my original copper for boiling laundry

Post# 1102359 , Reply# 14   12/29/2020 at 02:22 (812 days old) by Adam-aussie-vac (Canberra ACT)        
Aussie plugs

Is that the same kind of Bendix that you currently have?

Post# 1102422 , Reply# 15   12/29/2020 at 16:25 (812 days old) by aussie-plugs (Melbourne, Australia)        

Alas, not anymore. That was an early 60's model, long ago replaced by my mum with a mid-80's Bendix and then a Bosch. About 20 years out of each, so quite good really.

I've had a late 80's Bendix, then an Asko set around 2001 and am now on a Miele set from 2018.

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