The Amish Cook has an indoor gas-powered washing machine, much like the ones most of you reading this probably use. Amish in more conservative communities still use the wringer washers, just depends on the local customs and church rules. Lovina does line dry her clothing, often on basement lines during the winter and outside when it is warm. Many Amish in the conservative settlements outside of Berne still wash using the wringer washers (Elizabeth Coblentz, the original Amish Cook, used to jokingly refer to the machine as her “Armstrong” because of the strength needed to run those machines for a long period). The Amish in the Berne, Indiana area – and other conservative churches – still endure frozen fingers to line dry their laundry during the winter. With the coldest season just about upon us, many Amish in the Berne area will be hanging laundry out in the winter chill.This is a photo (thank you, Dave Shaner) showing some laundry hanging outside on a cold winter’s day near Berne. Freeze-drying does apparently work if you leave them on the line all day. Lovina says she appreciates having a nice warm basement to line dry her laundry in in her Michigan home. She says drying them outside on a freezing day will leave the clothing “stiff as a board.” When they thaw out they’ll still be a little damp, but not as wet as when you hung them. Some people say that freeze drying your clothing makes whites whiter. Anyone else have freeze-drying experience with laundry?
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