Amish Laundry Days

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Someday I would love to live out of the city where we could line dry our laundry.  There’s just something about the crisp, cool, freshness of line-dried laundry that is indescribable.  Blasting blankets and shirts dry in a dryer may be faster, but it is harder on clothing and comes out lacking the crispness of a day’s drying on the line.  In the above photo, taken in a Kansas Amish settlement, you can see that they have a free dryer there.  It’s called wind!:) And it’s constant, so even denim dries fast.

 

Some Amish homemakers have those high lines that can be cranked up in elevation to fit more clothing and to take advantage of winds aloft to make for quicker drying.  Above are two such examples, one in Wolcotville, Indiana and the other in the Conewango Valley of New York..

Some Amish buggies can occasionally be seen outside of laundromats if the weather is especially bad or, I suppose, if they are in a hurry and have a ton of laundry.  But for the most part line-dried laundry is a staple of Amish culture.  So much so that Mondays are often set aside as “laundry day” for the average Amish homemaker.

Laundry soap is often Borax or homemade formulations among the more conservative Amish, with the more progressive ones gravitating towards store-bought brands.  Below are some laundry scenes for typical line-drying in Amish country.  The clothing colors vary from settlement to settlement, you can often tell what kind of community you are in by just observing the laundry lines.  The first photo below was taken in Adams County, Indiana.  You can see heavy blankets weighing down the lines.  And the bottom photo is just a typical porch line for a few dresses in Holmes County, Ohio.  The home probably belongs to an elderly couple so they don’t have to go far to fetch their freshly dried clothing.

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The Discussion


  1. I have to admit…I hang my husband’s shirts outside as much as I can…

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  2. lorraine stoddard says:


    I’ve been hanging out the laundry for the past couple of weeks.
    This is much better than a clothes dryer!

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  3. We hung out laundry until I was a teenager and we got a dryer, and I think it is one of the great inventions. I hated hanging out clothes and then bringing them in stiff. I’ll take a good old dryer any day.

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  4. Charlotte says:


    I line dry our laundry. I think I may be the only one in our neighborhood who does this.

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    • lorraine stoddard says:


      Charlotte,when we lived in Omaha,Ne. I was the only one to line dry the laundry. Now that we’re back home in Indiana,several of my neighbors hang the laundry outside. I pre this over the clothes dryer.

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  5. I have a laundry line, too! I live in Southern California but we do not have ahome owners association or any of that other useless stuff. Many people in my neighborhood still have their laundry lines and use them too!!

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  6. I’ve always hung out clothes, unless it’s raining or too cold. My dad who lives with me, he still claims Monday as laundry day, and he’s 82. I think since I grew up on a farm, and my father did as well, we aren’t that much different than plain people, except for electricity. My father had no electricity when he was young, so he can relate well to the way of life for the Amish.

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