Friday, February 19, 2010

Hand-washing clothes

I hate to say it, but Americans are spoiled. Now don´t even try to deny it because we all know that it is true. We take so many things for granted, like washing machines. Such a simple little thing that as Americans, we all have. Well in these past few months I have had to emotionaly deattach myself from this glorious machine. I have had to do the unthinkable, the unheard of, I have had to wash all my clothes by hand *GASP*!!!! Yes it is very shocking, I know, in the beginning when my family told me what I had to do I just looked at them with what was probably a very stupid expression.
Now I know what you all must be thinking, "Lindsey, its not that bad, its so easy". Well that my friends is where you are wrong.
To start, you have to find the perfect size bin to put your clothes in. To small and not all of them fit, to big and your water to clothing ratio is off (yes, math is very much involved, who knew). Ok so we have the clothes in the perfect size bin, now you have to add the water. You have to put just enough water in so that you can push all of the clothes under, but you have to leave a little bit of space so you can still have the space on the top to scrub your clothing. Water, Check! Now as you all may have guessed, it is time to put in the soap. I am proud to say that I now have this down toa science, but my first few times I suffered deeply. I made the two most common mistakes, to much soap, and not enough soap. If there is to much soap it will take you, no joke, and hour to rinse one article of clothing. If you are infortunate enough to not use enough then your clothes do not get clean and when you are scrubbing you can rip them. Now, not having enough soap is very easily corrected, UNLESS, you add to much more and then you are stuck with the first problem that you were trying to avoid in the first place! OH NO!!!! Although those things may sound dramaticaly serious, they are not really that bad.
So we have a bin, we have water, we have soap, and lets hope that we ahave clothes or else putting soap and water in a bin would be very pointless.
The act of washing the clothes is actually the easiest part. You just use a brush and scrub away the dirt, you you dont use a brush and you use the clothing itself to clean itself. But there is a hidden danger. The brushes here have attitude problems and sometimes like to leave bristles stuck under your skin, not a very fun expearience and a pain in the butt (or finger) to get out. It took me like ten minutes because this bristle had to be difficult and keep breaking in little parts.
ANYWAYS! So your clothes are finally clean, YAY! But now they are full of soap.
Simple, dump out all the soapy water and fill it with clean water over and over and over again untill all the soap is out. Or you can rinse each article of clothing individually, which ever you prefer. Then you squeeze out as much water as you can so they will dry faster. And in Huancayo you want your clothes to dry very fast because you are always racing with the rain.
If you use the clothing lines as part of a grid and you line up the grid with the position of the sun and use points to represent articles of clothing then you can pinpoint the exact locations that will dry clothing the fastest and the slowest ( I told you that math was involved). But only losers would actaully take the time to make a grid and monitor the position of the sun, so I just hang up my clothes and move them around until they are dry. Both methods work just fine.
I hope that you all have learned something new.

I miss you all and I love you!!!!



  1. yeah thats impressive :)
    good thing youre small so you have small clothes lol


  2. So should we expect the same when you return to the US?