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-   -   How simply do you live? (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=163801)

I-Like-To-Bike 06-23-11 04:22 AM


Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 12828430)
Get a big bucket, wash tub or use your bathtub or sink. Fill with dirty clothes and warm soapy water, put the plunger in and plunge up and down against the clothes, them move them around and continue for a while until A) you are worn out or B) the clothes are as clean as they are going to get :P

Aaron :)

Wouldn't taking clothes down to a stream (preferably in a basket carried on top of the head) and beating them with rocks be even simpler and just as effective?

nash4343 06-23-11 05:03 AM


Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 12828430)
Get a big bucket, wash tub or use your bathtub or sink. Fill with dirty clothes and warm soapy water, put the plunger in and plunge up and down against the clothes, them move them around and continue for a while until A) you are worn out or B) the clothes are as clean as they are going to get :P

Aaron :)

LOL sounds like a lot of work. Could end up with great looking arms though. I will settle for my good ol washer and dryer. Here is Spain we wash in washing machine but most hang clothes to dry.

Nash

Roody 06-23-11 09:27 AM

I wash bike clothes (quick dry fabrics) by hand when I get home at night and they dry by morning hanging in the bathroom. You have to rinse them and wring them out very well.

I only do this for very small loads when it's definitely not worth using the washing machine. It's a fair amount of work for even a couple items. I don't know how women (mostly) did it back in the old days when they hand cleaned a whole family's laundry! :eek:

Platy 06-23-11 09:45 AM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 12829519)
I don't know how women (mostly) did it back in the old days when they hand cleaned a whole family's laundry! :eek:

They boiled the laundry with home made lye soap in a big iron kettle by the side of the house, stirring and pounding it with massive wooden plungers. This harsh treatment was necessary to kill lice and other bugs. There wasn't as big of a quantity of stuff to be laundered because outer garments were typically worn for days or weeks between washings. Washing and hang drying a week's laundry was considered to be a full day's work. Traditionally it was done on Monday. Ironing took most of another day. I don't think ironing was strictly necessary from a health standpoint, but most people at the time would have been aghast at the thought of wearing wrinkled clothes in public.

Roody 06-23-11 09:55 AM


Originally Posted by Platy (Post 12829636)
They boiled the laundry with home made lye soap in a big iron kettle by the side of the house, stirring and pounding it with massive wooden plungers. This harsh treatment was necessary to kill lice and other bugs. There wasn't as big of a quantity of stuff to be laundered because outer garments were typically worn for days or weeks between washings. Washing and hang drying a week's laundry was considered to be a full day's work. Traditionally it was done on Monday. Ironing took most of another day. I don't think ironing was strictly necessary from a health standpoint, but most people at the time would have been aghast at the thought of wearing wrinkled clothes in public.

Interesting, and shows how exhausting this work was. (Actually I didn't mean "how" they did it literally, I meant how did they find the time and strength to do such exhausting and tedious work?)

Platy 06-23-11 10:12 AM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 12829697)
Interesting, and shows how exhausting this work was. (Actually I didn't mean "how" they did it literally, I meant how did they find the time and strength to do such exhausting and tedious work?)

They had no alternative and it really wore people out. Modern fabrics and detergents, along with indoor plumbing and sanitation, makes hand laundry easy in comparison. I don't use a laundry plunger myself, but I do hang dry my clothes.

Newspaperguy 06-23-11 10:21 AM


Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 12828443)
Wouldn't taking clothes down to a stream (preferably in a basket carried on top of the head) and beating them with rocks be even simpler and just as effective?

That depends. What happens if the stream freezes in winter?

wahoonc 06-23-11 11:40 AM

Saw a paper/study a while back the claimed that labor saving devices in many cases really aren't if you factor in the time required to pay for them versus the time spent doing work the manual way. I didn't completely agree with the conclusions but they were interesting. One was the cost of a vacuum cleaner versus not having carpets and beating rugs a couple of times a year.

Aaron :)

Smallwheels 06-23-11 04:32 PM

Somewhere on an RV site I found a story about a guy who uses a modern day version of the plunger and bucket system. If I recall properly, it was a three bucket system. One was for washing and two for rinsing. Each bucket was a five or six gallon tall plastic design commonly used for paint and other things. The plunger looked more like a bell than a plumbing drain cleaning model.

There was a formula for creating the soap. One ingredient was white vinegar. To me adding that would seem to make the whole process more expensive, maybe not. The person using the system said that the clothes came out cleaner than they would using a commercial or home washing machine. The article said that such a kit was sold on ebay. I found the plunger on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQurD1JXHy8

This kit would seem like a good thing to have for an RV dweller that didn't want to move his machine around town looking for a laundromat. It wouldn't be needed for the people who only park in RV parks.

I also remembered the Wonder Wash: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yk-CK_2OmHk

Would these things make life simpler? They might for an apartment dweller who didn't have a washing machine. On Amazon.com (where I go to read product reviews) several apartment dwellers loved the money savings and not needing to walk down several flights of stairs to the cold basement.

This post made me also realize just how much the internet has simplified my life. I can learn about so many things so much faster than ever before. Without the internet how long would it take for me to come across somebody who owned a Wonder Wash or Breathing Mobile Washer?

I-Like-To-Bike 06-23-11 05:59 PM


Originally Posted by Newspaperguy (Post 12829844)
That depends. What happens if the stream freezes in winter?

Beat the clothes with blocks of ice?

wahoonc 06-23-11 05:59 PM

I use a 1/4 cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle rather than a commercial softener. It strips the soap out of the cloth and leaves it soft without the perfumes, wax and silicone that the commercial softeners do. I also try to hang my clothes out to dry rather than run them through the dryer. It saves energy and isn't as hard on the clothes. Lint is from your clothes disintegrating. :eek:

Aaron :)

Roody 06-23-11 06:07 PM


Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 12832131)
I use a 1/4 cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle rather than a commercial softener. It strips the soap out of the cloth and leaves it soft without the perfumes, wax and silicone that the commercial softeners do. I also try to hang my clothes out to dry rather than run them through the dryer. It saves energy and isn't as hard on the clothes. Lint is from your clothes disintegrating. :eek:

Aaron :)

Do the clothes smell of vinegar?

Artkansas 06-23-11 07:18 PM


Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 12828443)
Wouldn't taking clothes down to a stream (preferably in a basket carried on top of the head) and beating them with rocks be even simpler and just as effective?

Assumptions, assumptions, assumptions.

In many communities there isn't a stream nearby. I lived near to Bear Creek for 8 years. Barely saw a drop of water in it. Sometimes none at all for over a year at a time.:crash:

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Ekdog 06-24-11 01:24 AM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 12832156)
Do the clothes smell of vinegar?

I do the same. No vinegar smell.

Regarding washing clothes by hand: I imagine that using a washing machine requires less water. I know that's the case with dishes. A dishwasher is much more efficient than washing up by hand.

wahoonc 06-24-11 03:57 AM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 12832156)
Do the clothes smell of vinegar?

No vinegar smell at all. I had a chemist friend explain how it works one time but I missed most of it...I was a biology major.

Aaron :)

I-Like-To-Bike 06-24-11 04:08 AM


Originally Posted by Artkansas (Post 12832417)
Assumptions, assumptions, assumptions.

In many communities there isn't a stream nearby. I lived near to Bear Creek for 8 years. Barely saw a drop of water in it. Sometimes none at all for over a year at a time.:crash:

:lol: :lol: :lol:

You are assuming the stream has to be nearby. Whatz da matter with riding or walking to the nearest stream no matter how far away it is? Or don't wash clothes until you do see a drop of water. Sounds pretty simple to me.

Whatz wid dis clean clothes fetish anyhow?

Roody 06-24-11 12:43 PM


Originally Posted by Ekdog (Post 12833510)
I do the same. No vinegar smell.

Regarding washing clothes by hand: I imagine that using a washing machine requires less water. I know that's the case with dishes. A dishwasher is much more efficient than washing up by hand.

It doesn't take much water to wash clothes by hand, but it sure takes a lot to rinse them. Hand washing is not recommended if you want to conserve water.

Roody 06-24-11 12:45 PM


Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 12833663)
You are assuming the stream has to be nearby. Whatz da matter with riding or walking to the nearest stream no matter how far away it is? Or don't wash clothes until you do see a drop of water. Sounds pretty simple to me.

Whatz wid dis clean clothes fetish anyhow?

Down by the river
Mama washes my shirt.
She has to use a stone
To knock out the dirt.
The river is shallow
The kids splash about
And when it's time for supper
Mama has to pull us out!

bluefoxicy 06-30-11 07:06 PM


Originally Posted by Alekhine (Post 1996621)
As for a bed, I prefer to sleep on the floor with my Thermarest and a couple of comfy blankets because my back likes a very firm underlying surface. My time spent in tents put this oddball thing into me. I'm going to be getting a kakebuton and a Japanese futon (shikibuton) soon though, because I've grown fond of them. (It's not what we think of as a futon in the US - which is a sort of hybrid couch/bed. A Japanese futon is a thin wool-filled cotton mattress that trifolds and stows in a closet or large cupboard, with a big, heavy, warm quilted comforter that does the same.)

I've thought about going japanese-style a lot, and I have no furniture; sit in seiza in front of computer. Problem is I was using air mattresses and they died, and then I bought a $1000 bed after not sleeping for like 4 days :notamused: and now my parents bought me this bed frame (bed was a box spring + mattress on the floor), which has made the bed harder to get into as I have to climb onto it.

bluefoxicy 06-30-11 08:22 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 12835654)
It doesn't take much water to wash clothes by hand, but it sure takes a lot to rinse them. Hand washing is not recommended if you want to conserve water.

I use a Laundry Alternative spin drier, and do one rinse in a few gallons of water. The spin dryer removes most of the water (and detergent, which is dissolved in the water, and which oils are dissolved into), so I get soapy water out. A washing machine does the same: toss clothes from the front loader into the damn thing and it'll squeeze out soapy water.

Smallwheels 06-30-11 10:39 PM


Originally Posted by bluefoxicy (Post 12863707)
...bed frame (bed was a box spring + mattress on the floor), which has made the bed harder to get into as I have to climb onto it.

Are you just two feet tall? I use a mattress without a box spring or a bed frame. It makes it easier for my miniature dachshund to jump on and off of it. I don't climb into it. I just squat way down to get on it.


Originally Posted by bluefoxicy (Post 12864074)
I use a Laundry Alternative spin drier, and do one rinse in a few gallons of water. The spin dryer removes most of the water (and detergent, which is dissolved in the water, and which oils are dissolved into), so I get soapy water out. A washing machine does the same: toss clothes from the front loader into the damn thing and it'll squeeze out soapy water.

What type of spin dryer do you have? Is it electric or powered by hand? How many pieces of clothing can it hold? Is it portable and small like the Wonder Wash machine?

Platy 07-01-11 12:27 AM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 12864604)
Are you just two feet tall? I use a mattress without a box spring or a bed frame. It makes it easier for my miniature dachshund to jump on and off of it. I don't climb into it. I just squat way down to get on it.

I'd like to comment on this because I have to stand on tippytoes to climb into our bed. Mattresses have become very thick over the past 15 years. At the Bed Bath & Beyond online store, the majority of fitted sheet offerings are for mattresses that are 18 inches thick. Add 8 inches for a standard box spring and 8 inches for a bed frame, and you get a sleeping surface that's 34 inches off the floor. The average American male inseam is 34 inches, so there are a very substantial number of people who could have a bit of difficulty getting into that kind of bed.

One result of this situation is that low profile box springs with a 4 inch thickness are becoming more popular. You might wonder, what's the point of making mattresses thicker and box springs thinner. I guess it's just one of those marketing fashions.

bluefoxicy 07-01-11 06:47 AM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 12864604)
What type of spin dryer do you have? Is it electric or powered by hand? How many pieces of clothing can it hold? Is it portable and small like the Wonder Wash machine?

Electric, I got the larger model. 3200 RPM spin speed, pretty small. 400W, clothes go in, run for 3 minutes, shut off, remove clothes. They hang to dry for about an hour or so.

It won't hold a queen sized comforter, just barely too small. It'll hold quite a bit, though. The power usage is minimal, far less than running a window AC unit or a vacuum cleaner.

Floor to the top of my mattress is about 30-32 inches. My feet hang about a foot off the ground if I sit off the edge, so I have to jump down. Getting a knee up on the bed or whatnot isn't doable without lifting my entire body mass... there's no way to get on the bed without lifting myself. Mattress + box spring on the ground was pretty level, to the point that I'd just slide onto and off of the bed with no lifting and no impact with the ground.

bluefoxicy 07-01-11 06:49 AM


Originally Posted by Platy (Post 12864819)
One result of this situation is that low profile box springs with a 4 inch thickness are becoming more popular. You might wonder, what's the point of making mattresses thicker and box springs thinner. I guess it's just one of those marketing fashions.

More expensive, same margin %, more total profit. Of course marketing lets you bull**** people into thinking they can feel the bottom layer 3 feet down. Well, maybe because you have two 350lb fat lardasses on the mattress now, versus me at 143 by myself....

I-Like-To-Bike 07-01-11 07:14 AM


Originally Posted by bluefoxicy (Post 12865385)
...versus me at 143 by myself....

Living the simple life, eh?

Platy 07-01-11 07:57 AM

Antique American beds (circa 1920s) were often a full 36 inches high. Step stools were used to get in and out.

zoltani 07-01-11 09:47 AM


Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 12865449)
Living the simple life, eh?


That's some serious trolling, not that you don't just troll the threads normally, but you've sunk to a new low IMO.

Neil_B 07-01-11 10:04 AM


Originally Posted by zoltani (Post 12866210)
That's some serious trolling, not that you don't just troll the threads normally, but you've sunk to a new low IMO.

As opposed to insulting the obese, which is standard practice on Bike Forums.

zoltani 07-01-11 10:14 AM

That too....

was not cool

I-Like-To-Bike 07-01-11 10:27 AM


Originally Posted by zoltani (Post 12866355)
That too....

was not cool

Tell us again for the umpteenth time how cool it is to boast about shedding/avoiding material possessions, family obligations and simply living physically, socially and mentally in the equivalent of a cave.

It is obvious from the posts on this list, that at least for a sizable slice of posters, "Simple life" means No Spouse Responsibilities, No Children Responsibilities, No Likelihood to ever have either, nor any empathy for those people who do have those responsibilities.


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