Monday, February 25, 2013

Grandma's Wash Receipt

I stopped in at the Willamina Museum of History in Willamina, Oregon, a few days ago and wandered around. This original "receipt" (how-to list) was posted on the wall with the original spelling. It was given by a mother to her daughter. For anyone in this country today who thinks clothes washing is a chore, consider this from 100 or so years ago:

1. Bild a fire in back yard to heet kettle of rain water.

2. Set tubs so smoke won't blow in eyes if wind is pert.

3. Shave one whole cake lye soap in bilin water.

4. Sort things, make 3 piles, 1 pile white, 1 pile cullord, 1 pile work britches and rags.

5. Stur flour in cold water to smooth, then thin down with bilin water.

6. Rub dirty spots on board, scrub hard, then bile, rub cullord, but don't bile - just rench and starch.

7. Take white things out of kettle with broom handle, then rench, blue and starch.

8. Spred tee towels on grass.

9. Hang old rags on fence.

10. Pore rench water on flower bed.

11. Scrub porch with hot soapy water.

12. Turn tubs upside down.

13. Go put on clean dress - smooth hair with side combs - brew cup of tee - set and rest and rock a spell and count blessings.

Presumably they only washed clothes in the summer and not in the rainy winter or those tee towels would not have dried until spring. I'm counting my blessings right now.


  1. I love this "receipt." I own laundromats, so this puts many things into perspective. Thanks for sharing!! I always enjoy reading your ramblings!

    1. It might give your clients a laugh if you printed that receipt and posted it in your laundromats, Gweynn. :-) I'll email you a photo of the receipt as it hangs on the wall of the museum.