Wash day

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Steve Jelf
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Wash day

Post by Steve Jelf » Wed May 15, 2019 10:22 am

This is really OT, but some may be interested. For decades I've used coin laundries. But the last time I did a wash I found that the only local laundry had gone all-cold-water. All the warm or hot water controls on the machines had duct tape over them. So today I decided to see if I could use the old Maytag wringer washer that's been sitting on the west porch since the sixties. It took considerable cleaning up, then I had to find out how to operate it. I found a couple of videos online that weren't great, but gave some clues. A note with one of the videos told about the safety device that would most likely be defunct, and how to bypass it. There was a long tube with a rubber bulb on the end. You were supposed to stand on the bulb to activate a switch that would let the wringer operate. In an emergency you would take your foot off the bulb and that would stop the wringer. Well, rubber deterioraters with age, and the bulb was long gone. The online note told of unscrewing the plunger that's supposed to operate the safety switch and screwing in a half inch bolt in its place. That's what I did, and it worked. Those rollers turned for the first time in decades. I proceeded to do a wash the way we did when I was a young kiddo.

IMG_2889 copy.JPG
Cleaned up and ready to work.

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Washing like we used to do.

19-21.jpg
Wringing wet sox on the Maytag N2LS.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6neafCh2Lw
The inevitable often happens.
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Rich Bingham
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Re: Wash day

Post by Rich Bingham » Wed May 15, 2019 11:04 am

Steve, your J-2L-P is one at the tail end of production. "Conventional" (as opposed to "automatic") Maytags washed a lot of clothing for millions in the 40-plus years before that stupid "safety device" was added near the end. I suppose there may have been some accidents with wringers . . . I recall a colorful saying from the era; "We ain't had so much excitement around here since Aunt Minnie got her tit caught in the wringer. "

To be fully equipped, you need a couple of rinse tubs. At least you can wash in warm water now, good on you ! (And, Mr. Thrifty will find it's a lot cheaper than using a laundromat ! ;))
"Get a horse !"

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CudaMan
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Re: Wash day

Post by CudaMan » Wed May 15, 2019 11:08 am

Using hot water to wash clothes is important! I found out the hard way when one of my eyes was itching terribly and the doctor told me I had a mold infection spreading across the surface of my cornea. He told me to always wash my sheets and pillowcases in hot (not just warm) water and gave me some eye drops that had to be applied nine times a day and had to be kept refrigerated! Luckily, the drops did the trick, and I've always washed my clothes in HOT water ever since (I do set the rinse cycle to use cold water). :)
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Ruxstel24
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Re: Wash day

Post by Ruxstel24 » Wed May 15, 2019 11:14 am

Laundry mats are outrageous !!

My parents had a wringer washer, don't think it was a Maytag. Pop used to wash rags with it, I was disappointed to find they had let it go some 20 years ago...it still worked. :( No first hand on a tit, but it'll bite your finger real good !

We had a Whirlpool for over 30 years, I fixed it several times. Then the smoke came out of the motor and the shell was so rusted, I gave up.
Found a perfect older top of the line Whirlpool on Craigslist for $50 !!! :D

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Steve Jelf
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Re: Wash day

Post by Steve Jelf » Wed May 15, 2019 12:26 pm

Rich, I don't need the tubs. I just drain the wash water and refill with rinse water. I rinse hot, drain, and rinse cold, then wring and hang.
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Re: Wash day

Post by david_dewey » Wed May 15, 2019 1:33 pm

Our family resort had a small "laundromat" with two speed queen automatic washers, a dryer, and a Maytag wringer washer on a coin-activated time clock. Every spring we would wash the old-fashioned linen cabin curtains using the wringer washer, and afterwards iron them on the commercial mangle kept in the house just for that purpose, so I am familiar with using such "old fashioned" machinery.
Now those speed queens, I kept them going, they were work-horses, and parts were readily available form the commercial washing machine parts house in Oregon where we would mail-order parts. When my brother took over the place, he put in new machines, and I took one of the old machines with me for my home washing machine. Tore it down to the frame and built it back up with all new parts--I think the total cost back then (1980s) was less than $150. At my home, the machine was in retirement--instead of doing multiple washes a day, it did several a week. The machine had one acheile's heel; the fluid drive to start the spin cycle, but it was a common part, and not expensive either. UNTIL! Sometime in the 1990s a change and all the parts were Obsoleted. I called the parts place one day for a new fluid drive, and Out of Stock, not available. Although it is a simple enough part-- a moving vane and a stationary vane and some hydraulic fluid, I've never managed to repair one successfully. I've kept the machine hoping to fix it sometime, but I'll bet the seals have all rotted now.
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Re: Wash day

Post by Rich Bingham » Wed May 15, 2019 3:53 pm

I didn't think of scale, Steve. I'm sure that works great for your bachelor establishment. My remembry was geared to the laundry process for a big family ! I have a grey square tub circa 1922, you could inspire me to get it running ! (Interesting machinery - exposed rack and pinion drives the agitator. Horrors !! A safety issue there for sure ! :o )
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Re: Wash day

Post by Hal » Wed May 15, 2019 4:11 pm

I remember my grandmother using one like that.

Also, there was a family legend about a photograph my mother's stepfather had, of a woman with said body part caught in a wringer. I only heard about it until I was older, but one day, my mom ran across said photo and figured I was old enough to see it. Everyone thought it was funny, but dirty at the same time. I guess funny won out to dirty and they let me see it.

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Re: Wash day

Post by Charlie B in N.J. » Wed May 15, 2019 5:59 pm

Mom, now 98 years young, never misses the chance to tell the story of hitting the roller release when my 3 year old hand started to go in.
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Re: Wash day

Post by Dallas Landers » Wed May 15, 2019 7:04 pm

Ive been on operator duty with a wringer as a kid. Daves right, it'll pinch some fingers. Steves hair is short enough to not be a problem but mom and grandma would put their hair up for that job.


Rich Bingham
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Re: Wash day

Post by Rich Bingham » Wed May 15, 2019 8:25 pm

FWIW, Fred Maytag was the Henry Ford of washing machines. He dabbled in several mechanical ventures (including an automobile about 1906) before settling on washing machines. At a time when home-makers were using a washboard and tub, the improved efficiency and labor-saving which a Maytag provided was much in demand. Nowadays, after 70 years of automatic washers, the old wringer type has disappeared, and moderns consider them incredibly primitive. How things have changed !
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Re: Wash day

Post by Duey_C » Thu May 16, 2019 12:30 am

That old horse washes clothes!
Unlike the modern high efficiency POS we have. It gently nudges/almost washes/basically wastes our time, letting us figure out how to use the dumb thing better then locks us out so we can't even open the darned lid. Til I shut the circuit breaker off and restart.
I miss our old avocado green Maytag. And the Maytag after that, that one was an oil leaker tho.
Mom used a slightly squared version of that Wringer Maytag for many years.
FRESH smelling everything came from the clothesline instead of the dryer. Now they have horrible perfumes for the dryer that give me headaches.
I should ask Maw IF she'd like some clotheslines put up......... :lol:
Some are quite interested.
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wayne sheldon
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Re: Wash day

Post by wayne sheldon » Thu May 16, 2019 4:19 am

My brother Bill, was born about a year and a half after I was. I clearly remember my mother washing his diapers in a similar wringer machine. It was in the basement of the rented house on Villa Street in San Jose CA. Would have been '54 or '55.

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John E. Guitar
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Re: Wash day

Post by John E. Guitar » Thu May 16, 2019 7:45 am

All you need now is a GE Monitor Top refrigerator and you’ll be living the dream!

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Mark Gregush
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Re: Wash day

Post by Mark Gregush » Thu May 16, 2019 9:25 pm

I used a SpeedQueen for a while. I would suggest using a tub for the clothes coming out of the ringer :lol: Last time I looked a few years back they were still making the SpeedQueen wringer washers. Still a lot of them in use in more poor countries. Nice thing is if your cloths are not real dirty you can re-use the wash water. Wish I still had it to do my greasy work cloths and rags.
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :roll:

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d stroud
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Re: Wash day

Post by d stroud » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:13 am

My now deceased best friend used a wringer washer to wash his greasy coveralls and other clothes as he was a Diesel mechanic (among other things, including T's) and didn't want to use the wife's machine. He had had a heart transplant and some of his meds made him a bit forgetful. One time, he put his insulated coveralls in the machine in his basement, and yep, he forgot about them. The machine just kept on going until someone stopped it. I don't recall how long the machine ran, but the coveralls were shredded. He was not happy! Dave
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