Clothes Washing In Waterford During the Mid-1800's

engraving of 1800s washing toolsThe following "receet" for washing was used by Edgar Bean's great-grandmother on Wash Day.

  1. Bild fire in yard to het kettle of rain water.
  2. Set tubs so smoke won't blow in eyes if wind is pert.
  3. Shave one hole cake lie sope in bilin water.
  4. Sort things in 3 piles, 1 white pile, 1 cullord pile, 1 pile werk briches and rags.
  5. Stur flour in cold water to smooth, then thin down with bilin water.
  6. Rub dirty spots on bord scrub hard, then bile. Rub cullord but don't bile, just rinch and starch.
  7. Take white things out of kettle with broom stick handel, then rinch, blew, and starch.
  8. Spred tea towels on grass.
  9. Hang old rags on fence.
  10. Pore rench water in flower bed.
  11. Scrub porch with hot sopy water.
  12. Turn tubs upside down to dry.
  13. Go put on a cleen dress smooth hair with side combs, brew cup of tea set and rest and rock a spell and count blessins.

Reprinted from a Waterford Foundation booklet