For much of the 20th century, the wringer washing machine was the appliance of choice for washing laundry at home. The unit consists of a tub with an electric motor and agitator that removes dirt and grime from clothes. A roller unit on top of the washing machine wrings the excess wash or rinse water from the clothing so that it can be dried more easily. Wringer washing machines were made to last and many used and reconditioned washers are available. Because the same water and detergent are used for multiple loads, a wringer washing machine can save both detergent and water.
1 Set up your wringer washing machine near a clean water source. Set a large tub next to the washing machine as a rinse tub.
2 Separate the laundry into white, medium and dark clothes. Avoid washing delicate clothing in a wringer washing machine as they can be damaged by the agitation of the machine.
3 Fill the washing machine tub with water and enough detergent to wash the clothes, depending upon how dirty they are. Swing the wringer unit on top of the washing machine away from the tub to allow for easier access.
4 Turn the washing machine on to agitate the water and detergent. Allow the washing machine to mix them thoroughly, for a few seconds.
5 Add one piece of clothing at a time into the washing machine tub until full and all clothes are moving freely in the water. Avoid adding too many clothes and overfilling the washing machine.
6 Place the lid on the washing machine and swing the ringer unit back over the tub. Allow the laundry to agitate in the washing machine for up to 20 minutes, depending on how dirty the laundry is.
7 Turn off the agitation of the washing machine. Remove the lid and adjust the wringer so that the water wrung from the clothes falls back into the washing machine tub.
8 Remove a piece of laundry from the wash water. Zip any zippers shut and button any buttons before passing a clothing item through the wringer. Fold any item of clothing with buttons so the buttons are covered by the clothing.
9 Insert each piece of laundry, one at a time, into the center of the wringer. Adjust the tension of the wringer to allow the clothing to move freely through the wringer rollers and still press out as much water as possible.
10 Catch the wrung clothing on the opposite side of the wringer. Place the wrung clothing in the rinse tub next to the washing machine. Continue to wring out the remainder of the laundry load until the load is finished. Turn the ringer off. Swish the clothing in the clean rinse water to remove the soapy water. Add fabric softener in the rinse water, if desired.
11 Swing the ringer unit out over the rinse tub and turn the ringer back on. Insert each piece of laundry, one at a time, into the center of the wringer. Catch the wrung clothing as it leaves the wringer. Place the wrung clothing in a waterproof laundry basket. Continue to wring out the remainder of the laundry load until the load is finished. Hang the laundry on a clothes line to dry.
12 Dispose of the rinse water and replace it with fresh water for the next load of laundry. Dispose of the wash water when all the laundry loads are finished or the water becomes too dirty to use again.