Sorry if this has already been discussed- I couldn't find it in the forum search!
I am interested in hearing from other people who wash by hand. How do you do it? What is your motivation?
I am a full time student/single mom with two boys. I spend at least 50 dollars a month using laundry room in my building and I was getting frustrated! Sometimes I'd have to wait hours to wash, etc. I decided to go back to washing by hand, mostly to save money but also because I hate letting the clothes pile up and it taking over my weekend.
I've been doing it consistently every night and it takes maybe 20 minutes. Here is what I do:
Dirty clothes are pretreated for any stains and put into a five gallon bucket before bed. In the morning I put the bucket in the bathtub, fill with water and a bit of laundry soap and swoosh the clothes for about a minute, while filling up a rinse bucket.
I leave- go to classes, etc get home in the evening and scrub the clothes for about 3 minutes, checking each item for any dirt or stains- stains are given extra attention. Rinse clothes in rinse bucket by pumping clothes in and out of water- rinse a second time in the original wash bucket. Drain, squeeze water out of clothes. Shake, hang on hangers in bathtub (I put a tension rod in the middle of the tub, allowing the clothes to drip into the bath.
Periodically, I go to the bathroom and squeeze the clothes a little more until they are no longer dripping then they are moved to the door frames (on hangers) to dry. It takes less than 24 hours to dry this way. I do not squeeze the clothes too much, someone who wanted to could get a LOT more water out initially than I do but I really don't like wringing the clothes.
I've been doing this for about 10 days now, washing each days clothes the next morning. I have a special hanger for drying the socks and undies, shirts are hung on hangers and so are the kids pants. My pants are plus size :D so they don't fit on hangers but I hang them on the curtain rod overnight and by morning they are almost dry- I move them to hang over my bedroom door.
I just find this so much easier than going to the laundry room and I feel like my clothes get cleaner but it will take awhile before I'm actually saving money- I spent $15 dollars for the sock/undie drying hanger and 10 dollars for the two 5 gal. buckets plus I purchased a "rapid washer" that should arrive today- it's a plunger type tool to wash clothes with. That was 20 dollars from Amazon. Eventually I would like to buy a spin dryer, it spins the water out of the clothes, leaving them simply "damp" but those run 200 dollars and I have to remember that I'm trying to SAVE money by doing this :-D