This post was done on August of 1915 about laundry, blueing and ironing like the past. I am bringing it forward to answer some questions and also since we are living like the 1930's, this is an appropriate post. This is part one and I will post the other two post connected to this one. I have many many older post you can review by clicking on living like the past, scroll to the bottom of the page and go back. When you advance to 12 click the arrow and give it a little time and it will reload further back.
In this article I will be discussing laundry the old fashioned way and there will be three web pages, see this article then Starching Laundry the old fashioned way part two, then Ironing the old fashioned way part three.
In the past there were many items used for laundry that most do not use today. Some people are still using them because all but one of these items is still being sold.
Octagon Soap was a very popular soap back in the early 1900's and often seen in the grocery ads in the 1940's. Octagon soap continued to be sold up until a few years ago I believe but I am not sure. I purchased this bar and two other bars several years ago.
This is what it looks like. There is no reason to talk much about this soap since it is discontinued.
I will post the side label and it shows how it was used for many household chores and even dish washing.
Making your own laundry soap can be very simple. The old fashioned way was to mix Soap Flakes, Washing soda and Borax together. To make enough for one load add one teaspoon of each in a small bowl... This makes one tablespoon and can be used for the modern side door washers. The regular top loading washer use two tablespoons. So do 2 teaspoons of borax, 2 teaspoons washing soda, two teaspoons grated soap. You can make your own soap flakes by grating a good "real Soap", not synthetic soap.
Here is a link for a goat soap laundry bar that you can grate and make your own soap. She calls for 1/3/1/3 1/3 of each borax, washing soda and grated soap.
Look around her website, she sells it already grated too. There is also lyesoap.com that sells their soap already grated. For me it is very difficult to find what I want to use in grocery stores and if you search on the internet there are some good options. But if you need to find laundry bars in your area possible fels naptha or zote, Dr Bronners, Kirks castile, etc.
Then simply pour it in the wash. I like to agitate the wash, turn it off and let it sit for about 20 minutes then turn it back on to wash. I like to do this with any laundry soap.
I wanted to post this from one of my older household management books because I have always thought it was important. This comes from my 1916 book. Notice where my finger is about poor washing.
My thoughts have been for a long time that a washing machine does not do a great job because clothes need more rinsing. The old fashioned way of washing clothes the laundry was rinsed several times, two or three times and more if needed. It is very important to get all of the soap and residue out of the washed clothes.
Here is the same page with my finger removed.... Cream of tarter is a very old fashioned way of removing the yellow color in fabrics.
And the rest of this page.
They still sell bluing. It is a blue tint and you can look on Mrs. Stewart's website and it will explain what it is. Bluing is to whiten your clothes and make them brighter.
You put the amount directed on the bottle and you must be careful to put only as directed or you could over blue your clothes.
Bluing goes into the rinse water.
It gives it a light blue tint when mixed into the washer.
Laundry before bluing....
Laundry after bluing... The are in fact whiter.
The items drying on the line.... it would have helped if the sun was up when I took the picture.
Continue on to next page, Starching Clothes the old fashioned way Part Two.