What’s a Washboard?
Quite a few years ago we purchased a washboard. It’s a simple device for washing clothes. It’s typically made with a wooden frame that’s attached with a metal scrub board. The scrub board is lined with ridges (ruffles, ribs – whatever you call it). The ridges help loosen the dirt while washing clothes against it.
I don’t know if any of you have ever used a washboard or if you have one in your supplies. But it’s a device that our ancestors used before advent of the washing machine. Don’t get me wrong, we love our front-loading HE washing machine! However, a good ‘ol washboard will always get the job done (without electricity), albeit by hand…
Think about the “what if”. What if we had to survive for a period of time without the conveniences of modern appliances? Like, a washing machine for example. Yes, I know, washing your clothes will not be one of your high concerns if and when the grid goes down for an extended time. But assuming that you survive the follow-on chaos, and are able to successfully homestead somewhere, among the many tasks you’ll face will be keeping clean – including your clothes. How will you do it?
How to use a Washboard
A good old-fashioned washboard. Just a few scrubs (or more) take out the ground-in dirt (your scrubbing will be directly proportional to the dirt involved!
Many parts of the world still use washboards for washing clothes. Clothes are soaked in hot soapy water in a washtub, bathtub, or sink. Then they’re squeezed and rubbed against the ridged surface of the washboard to force the wash liquid through the cloth to carry away dirt. A bit of scrubbing together with a soap bar of Zote or Fels Naptha will get the job done.
Washboards can be used in a sink or bucket, or can also be used for washing in a river or any body of water, with or without soap.
Best Washboard for Laundry
This washboard is very sturdily built, the ribs of the board are just deep enough…not so deeply ribbed that even the ‘finest of fabrics’ can be cleaned of spots and stains.
This is the one I bought years ago…
>> Columbus Washboard Family Size
(view on amzn)
Both ‘Fels Naptha’ and Zote have been popular laundry soaps for many years. When I bought my washboard I also picked up a case of soap:
>> Fels Naptha (24 bars)
(view on amzn)
When you are thinking about your prep items and what you may need during a worst-case-scenario (extended grid-down), don’t forget about how you will wash your clothes!
[ Read: 20+ Other Uses For Soap ]