I agitate the clothes in the squat bucket by poking one side down with a long bamboo pole (a broomstick will also work during this, phase 2), forcing the items down on one side, which pushes them up on the other and allows me to mash the garments together thoroughly. After I see a particular shirt or item for the third or fourth time, I put aside my stick and drop a skinnier bucket into the squat one (skinnier in that its bottom goes all the way down to the bottom of the wider bucket), this one with many holes drilled into its bottom and sides. I sit on the top of the skinner bucket, thus forcing the water from the clothes using my own weight. Once I am satisfied with this rudimentary straining, I take the skinnier bucket back out and resume poking at the clothes with the stick, rotating them around and around until they seem well agitated. (The water at this point will be oily, brownish, and filled with tiny particles of sweat, skin, and dirt.) I usually agitate and strain at least three times before dumping out what water I can and moving on to phase 3.
Phase 3 involves putting the skinnier bucket back into the squat bucket but then flipping both over together so that the water runs out. Then, I sit on the bottom of the squat bucket, using my own weight to strain the clothes against the skinnier bucket (which, again, has holes drilled into its bottom and sides). This forces much of the remaining water out of the clothes; I get even more out by rocking back and forth and by shifting position on the bottom of the squat bucket, which allows trapped pockets of water to escape. I generally give the clothes a visual check at this point, and a close smelling, to see if they need a third rinse or if the are clean enough to move on to phase 4. This last phase involves taking the wet items from the squat bucket and hanging them up to dry on my clothes-spider, a retractable hanger that perches at the edge of the deck far enough from the house so that the water dripping from the clothes does not seep into the foundation or moisten the siding. I usually leave the clothes there to drip their remaining moisture onto the grass; if I am lucky, they get an additional rinse from the rain. Once the clothes are mostly dry, I move them to lines under the roof of the upper, front porch, where they are allowed to dry fully before being taken in, folded, and put away.
Cleaning clothes in the manner described above takes more time than with an electrical washing-machine; it uses virtually no electricity, however, it is all but silent, and it provides the washer with a good upper-body workout. The cost for the buckets, soap, and poker is less than $20, but the ability to wash one's clothes – without electricity or undue physical strain – is nearly priceless. Regain a slice of independence through honest effort! Mahalo.
mentiri factorem fecit – 場黑麥