Washing your clothes while overseas can be an interesting experience. In my host family, watching me hand wash my clothes was something they found totally hilarious. No matter how many times I did it, and how many lessons I had, I never seemed to quite match up to their standards!
These are some tips that I learnt from the numerous lessons that I had:
- Fill up a large deep bucket with water (if you have detergent add it otherwise if you are using a bar of soap just rung water)
- Put all your clothes in the bucket (NB: if you have bought clothes in country it is likely the dies in the clothing will run, so keep away any light colour materials, even after several washes the die still runs – I manager to get a tie die effect on several items of clothing due to this)
- If you are using a bar of soap start lathering up the clothes and rubbing them (apparently ferociously is best!) together, if you are using liquid detergent rub the clothes together and add more detergent to any places that are particularly dirty.
- Once you have done this to all your clothes, hold your clothes from the top (i.e. a top from the shoulders, trousers from the waist band) and dip it in and out of the water several times, repeat this for each item of clothing (this is what I managed to do wrong every time! I think there is a particular knack to this which I didn’t have!)
- Empty out the dirty soapy water and run fresh water
- Rinse out your clothes by the same method in step four
- You may need to run fresh water again to rinse out the soap from the clothes, depending on how much you are washing at once
- Wring out the water by twisting the garments
- Hang them out to dry!
Washing my clothes was literally like doing physical exercise, and I always managed to drench the clothes I was wearing as well as washing – I don’t think I quite mastered the skill, hopefully you will be more successful than me!