Grandma and Grandpa Zohner moved to Columbus from their nostalgic farm in Shelby, Nebraska after they retired. They kept their farmhouse and buildings in original condition for many years and it remained their haven full of warm memories.
Before their move, their chickens ran freely during the day. Their cats curled up next to their friendly farm dog as she slept. A hand pump by the kitchen sink provided water. Honeybee boxes were full of fresh honey. Fruit trees and a huge garden provided plenty of food for canning. The glider bench swing swayed gently in a yard full of trees. It was a comforting moment in time.
Although Grandma had left the farm, she still made her lye soap. She thought her soap was the best for washing clothes, dishes, hand soap, mopping floors, and the list goes on. It could even be used for poison ivy and bugs avoided it. It makes sense that bugs do not like it because I still remember the strong odor it had when I washed my hands.
Grandma made lye soap by combining animal fat, hot water, and various amounts of lye depending on how strong it needed to be. Grandma used an oil burner heating stove at their farm to heat pans of lye soap. After the lye soap cooled and hardened Grandma cut it into useable pieces.
Grandma used shaved pieces of lye soap for washing clothes in an old wringer washing machine. She used a wooden rod to remove the clothes from the washing machine and ran them through the wringers to squeeze out the soapy water. Grandma was always afraid I would get my fingers caught in the wringers, but she still let me help. Grandmas are like that.
After wringing out the soap it was time to rinse the clothes with fresh water. Grandma ran the clothes through at least once to wring out the soapy lye water.
Of course, Grandma had clothes lines outside her home she used during good weather and also in her basement if the weather was marginal. Grandma thought it was a good exercise to reach up and hang clothes.
Grandma naturally conserved water and energy in her wringer washer process. The wringer washer used approximately 10 gallons of water instead of the 20 to 30 gallons or more used in automatic washers today. Nature dried her laundry.
Surprisingly, lye soap is still a popular soap that has benefits for the skin. It’s biodegradable and an environmentally friendly product.
What can be better than these clothes washing process with the old wringer washers that used lye soap? Today, technology has turned clothes washing into a much easier process with automatic washers and no soap is needed if you use Laundry Pro by Aerus. Grandma would be impressed!
Deb and I had doubts about not using soaps for washing clothes until using the Laundry Pro which produces low levels of peroxide, oxygen, and other natural gases to clean the clothes. Even without soap or hot water, the clothes are cleaner. The whites are whiter, and the colors are brighter. There is no soap or flowery odor left in the clothes. There are no detergent bottles or boxes to throw away. It’s especially good for those that suffer from soap allergies or have sensitive skin.
The Laundry Pro is a 10” x 18” x 4” deep device that mounts on the wall near the washing machine. The cold-water supply washer hose hooks to the Laundry Pro and a discharge hose is then attached to the washer. A low voltage adapter is then plugged into the washer receptacle.
The hot water hose can remain hooked up, so there is still the option available of using hot water for certain clothes washing needs such as stained clothes. Grass or oil stains typically need soaps or soaking to remove difficult stains.
Washing clothes in cold water is better for the clothes. There is less shrinkage and damage than with hot soapy water.
Laundry Pros cost $980 to install and the John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, and Air’s techs can deliver and install them in less than an hour. No maintenance is needed.
My grandparent’s farm was a great example of times people were more environmentally friendly and had a smaller carbon footprint. Living environmentally friendly is especially important when we consider it’s predicted the Arctic will be free of sea ice by the middle of this century and our climate is destined to change even more then. What else can we be doing today?