Granny Panties and Hand-washing

So this post is about my favorite thing in all of Peace Corps-dom.  Hand washing.  Long gone are the days of washing machines, dryers, nicely scented detergent and fabric softener.  My laundry is now done with my two hands, detergent and a drying rack.  I want to walk you through my routine of hand washing.  It's a good thing.

Hand washing  Chris Lyons Style

STEP 1.  Open up a beer and immediately enjoy its foamy goodness

While enjoying this tasty beverage ask yourself a few IMPORTANT questions:
     1.  When was the last time I washed some jeans?
               If you can remember when, it is NOT time to wash your jeans.  Jeans are a pain in the ass to           wash and I hate doing it every time.

    2.  Can I put off doing this until another day?
            If the answer is yes, continue enjoying your beverage and worry no more.  If the answer is NO due to a lack of clean underwear or shirts, then proceed to step two.

Important note:  If you have snowflake tights now is the time to strap those badboys on.  You will need to be comfortable and flexible to move all that water.

STEP 2.  Say a little prayer to ceiling cat or laundry god or Kim Jong Il
I keep hoping that one of the above mentioned deities will send me a washing machine from the sky.  So far, no luck.  If those deities fail you, begin heating up water.  Clothes are about to be washed.

STEP 3.  Gather necessary accoutrements

Start with washing powder that you have poured into an empty glass jar because empty glass jars are fun.

Then it comes time for the weird smelling "New Top" bar of soap . . . to really get out those stains ( I just don't care enough so my clothes are stained all the time)

And finally, the  tumpin (pink bucket) and  liquid laundry detergent (it is labeled for black clothing but I like the ways it smells so I use it for everything.)

STEP 4 Sort your clothes and get ready to hate your life for a while
Since there is no machine and you can't do multiple loads of laundry, you gotta sort by color: lights to darks.  Also, the plastic bag is for resting the wet clothes on top of while rinsing and such.

STEP 5  Add detergent and agitate them clothes!

Spin your clothes around like it is Hurricane Filth.  (which it pretty much is).  I usually lose steam after 5 seconds so I go and finish my beer and just let them sit there.

STEP 6 While waiting for clothes to have all the dirt soaked out of them, think about how much you dislike handwashing

And then begin wringing out the soap

STEP 7 After washing and wringing all clothes, empty the dirty water and fill your bucket with fresh water and rinse them.  Some people rinse until the water runs clear.  I don't.  Case in point:
My water after rinsing all the soap out of my clothes: (it should be clear)

STEP 8 Get out your drying rack and hang up the clothes to dry.  If you really care, you should line up your seams so they don't start turning on you.  Again, I don't really care so I don't try that hard.

STEP 9 Treat your hard worked hands to some lotion from Bath and Body Works.  Incidentally this cashmere extract comes from Mongolia.  

While you are slathering your hands in cashmere goodness, reflect on what you have just done.

I don't know how the Mongolians do it. . . . they hand wash their clothes without complaining, their clothes look perfect and their seams aren't turning.

My clothes are covered in cat hair, the seams are turning and my blacks are no longer black.

AND my underwear is all stretched out.

SEE!  My granny panties.  They are beautiful!

If you have followed my sure-fire way for washing (or ruining) your clothes, they should be dry in 12-24 (sometimes longer) hours.  In the winter, you can throw socks and underwear on the radiators to dry in record time but that might lead to rust stains but I don't care.

Now go hand wash like your life depended on it!

1 comment:

  1. i found this thoroughly hilarious. i'm glad we can share the woes of hand washing clothes. :)