After nearly two months of being very careful about my water usage, washing shirts, skirts, pants, and undies, every day in the bucket of cold water that precedes the hot through the shower pipes, and airing out my sheets in the sunshine and breeze, I decided with more water at my disposal, it was time to do the laundry –  the sheets, comforter, my towel, all those big or heavy things that don’t easily fit into a bucket — although I have managed from time to time.

Laundry on the lineThough there is an automatic washer, it is not like in the States where you put in the dirty clothes, add soap, turn the machine on, and walk away, returning later to clean clothes. No, here you have to watch the machine.

First, you grab a hose and fill the tub of dirty clothes with water from the cistern, then you turn the washer on and let it wash. When you hear it start to spin the clothing, you intercept it before it starts to refill with rinse water and repeat the water from the hose procedure once more. Then you let it go through the rinse and spin cycle, and when it is all done, you hang the clothing on the roof top lines.

Even when I wash my clothes in the bucket, I have it easy, I can use the machine to spin the clothes, so I do not have to wring them by hand. It also happens that my roof top lines are attached to regular t-shaped clothes poles on the room sized balcony outside my room, so I have easy access.

At other houses, they wash and rinse the clothes by hand in a concrete “tub,” wring them out, and carry them to the roof, where they pin or string them from cords tied to the re-bar, sticking up from the floor below, and maybe the TV antenna. And, sometimes they just “hang” the clothes from whatever is handy including a railing, fence post, or even a shrub or tree.

No matter how you hang ’em, there is not much that smells sweeter than laundry dried in the sun and breeze.

Doing laundry in MexicoDo you hang your clothing outside and breathe deeply the scent of sunshine and fresh air when you bring them in?