Saturday, July 22, 2017


Washing at Early Bird Farm
Part 1

When we first started our adventure camping out at our friends Phillip and Scotts bush property we used our trusty wonder wash washing machine.
Its great when your camping as its usually just for a couple of weeks and your only washing small stuff.
We spent 42 nights camping there but as the weather got colder the washing wasn't drying well, so a few times we went into town and did washing at the laundry mat mostly so it was spun out. Wring out washing by hand you don't get a lot of the water out so dry time is a couple of days when the weather is getting cold. Speaking of the laundry mat, the washers are so old and not cleaned so your clothes come out dirtier than when they went in. 

All our water we brought in from town in 20lt drums with taps, so i was very selective on what got washed and when.
Fill the washer with water to the line and ad a small bit of detergent, push in the washing and screw on the lid.

Now comes the fun part, crank that handle to spin the washing and clean the clothes.

There is a spout to attach when your finished washing to empty the tub.
Now you can add more water to rinse and crank that handle again.
When your done don't empty that water as that will be your next wash water.
Wring out the washing and hang them on the line.
Using one of these in summer is great not so much when the weather gets cold.

We used the wonder washer for the first year and a half here on Early Bird Farm, wringing out towels and sheets in winter was not our favourite thing to do.

On one of Andrews trips to Sydney he brought me back this beautiful beast, the Twin Tub Washer.
She is light weight, easy to use, saves water and will run on our small camp solar set up (we use that set up for the washer and the shower).

The washer lid comes off and hangs perfectly on the wall rail.

If we have water in the outside blue barrels then i will just bucket the water into the machine, if not then the hose is attached to the shower pump and the water comes from the ibc behind the shower house.

One of the best things about this beauty is you can use as much water as you need, i have not yet filled it past the lint catcher. The second best thing is you can reuse the water.
I always start the the cleanest clothes first, wash those and then hand wring and drop in the spin tub, then add the next lot of clothes to the washer. 
Never put in too much detergent or you will be trying to rinse out soap for an hour, NOOooo i didn't do that, im just saying........

Once in the spin tub put on the lid and start adding water close the lid and spin away, turn off the water as soon as you think its enough, you don't need all that much.

I catch my spin water and use it for the next wash.

The spin tub is awesome it really does spin till all the water is gone.
Like everything else with this washer you can control everything, from how much water to how long it washes, rinses and spins.

There are two things you must do when your finished and that is rinse out the tub and wipe it out.
I usually wipe it all over and leave the lids open for the rest of the day so its nice and dry before i put the cover on.
When we lived in the burbs and there were four of us, i washed pretty much every day. Now i wash about once a fortnight or when we run out of underwear.

If i had a choice would i go back to our very expensive front load washer, mmmm probably not.
It took a lot of years for me to be convinced to go from our very large top load washer to the front loader and while i loved it and it was great when there was heaps to wash or big stuff but we just don't need it now.
When i have big things like donnas, blankets or a stack of new fabric then i go to this great laundry mat an hour and a half away, there are front loaders that take a double load then there is the giant one that will take three loads in one and they only run for 26 mins a load and the best part your washing comes out clean.

Happy Adventures Nicole, Andrew & Sally Girl


  1. Great to see you blogging again. I imagine you two have been rather busy, setting up your land, workshop and living spaces. I was recently wondering how you were traveling during winter. As you said it can get very cold there.

    My grandmother never owned anything but a twin tub, even when the new machines got cheaper. She lived in the country with her husband, and nothing got the dirt out of their clothes better, or more economically, than the twin tub.

    She showed me how to use it, and my mum even owned one once, and those spinners...WOOOSH! Seriously, they would almost come out dry. I've toyed with getting one in the past, but not until the kids have left home. Twin tubs are so much cheaper to buy, than the front loaders. Although, at the time I was looking, there was only I brand I could find. So not much range.

    Here's hoping it lasts ages, like my grandmother's beastie. ;)

  2. My sister still has our mum's twin tub and it is still going strong. We always had twin tubs until a few years ago when we got a front loader but I would go back to a twin tub in a flash if there were only the two of us here. As Chris said though, there aren't many available now. Ours were always bought at garage sales :-)

  3. Well this bought back a few memories from our first year on our property & hand washing in an old laundry tub sitting on bricks so it had clearance to drain. Trying to get the work stained jeans clean was nearly impossible & wringing them out by hand was hard work!
    Those twin tubs are brilliant. I remember using one years ago on Norfolk Island & thinking how very nearly dry the clothes came out from the spin tub.
    I love the fact you decide how much water your load needs & even better the washer will run on your small solar set up! Wash on Nicole!