The most unappreciated household chore. Hands up if you think you know what it is. Dish washing? Dusting? Nope.
It’s laundry, of course.
According to a study conducted by Mail Online, the average mother spends five months of her life doing laundry. “It takes her 26 minutes to go through arduous pre- and post-wash tasks every time she turns on the machine, an average of six times a week. On top of that she can expect to spend 55 minutes a week doing the ironing. So, before her child hits 18, she will have had 137 days or nearly five months of toil.”
Of course, those statistics are based on current technologies. Can you imagine how much time our ancestors spent getting their whites whiter? In fact, I’m pretty sure the evolution of laundry began with scores of women simply pounding clothes on river rocks or rubbing them with abrasive sands. Just think about THAT the next time you complain about separating your whites and darks.
However, with the introduction of the washboard, those same women were well on their way to the good life. See? The woman in this picture looks positively elated. No more clubbing her husband’s work clothes to remove soot and stains! Simply scrub-a-dub-dub on the old washboard.
Okay, let’s be honest. Unless you’re scrubbing your clothes on the washboard that is Ryan Gosling’s stomach, it’s going to feel like a chore. So thank goodness the very first drum-based washer was patented in 1851 – “James King, an American, patented the first washing machine to use a drum in 1851. The drum made King’s machine resemble a modern machine, albeit it was still hand powered. Later, in 1858, Hamilton Smith patented the rotary washing machine.”
But here’s where it gets great. In 1874 William Blackstone of Indiana “built a birthday present for his wife. It was a washing machine intended for domestic use which removed and washed away dirt from clothes. The Blackstone washing machine is often cited as the first washer designed for home use.”
Did you see that? A birthday present for his wife. Gee, what a guy! High five if you’re thrilled to be reading this blog post in 2013, and not in an era when it was okay to gift your wife with self-serving inventions.
(Oh, and in case you’re wondering, here’s my source for that little tidbit of info. Trust me, I’m not pulling this stuff out of my head. Especially not good ol’ William Blackstone.)
Thankfully, the arrival of electric power in the 1900’s meant that hand-operated washing devices could be augmented with motors. A washing machine called the Thor, which was invented by Alva J. Fisher and manufactured by the Hurley Machine Company in 1908, is often cited as the first drum-based electric washing machine.
(Pictured below: My dream laundry room. Yours too?)
And that, my friends, is what paved the way for the modern, efficient and incredibly powerful washing machines we have on the market today. Of course, while our choice of brand/ machine makes a significant impact on the outcome of our clothing, so does our choice of detergent and stain fighters. And as the Clorox2 Stain Master Mom, I know a thing or two about keeping clothes clean. Clorox2 Stain Fighter & Colour Booster Liquid is an effective formula that removes dirt and stains, brightens colours and whitens whites. It can be used in both standard and HE (front loading) machines, and its new concentrated formula is better for the environment, too.
But don’t take my word for it – did you read the testimonials from the lucky readers who were offered a chance to review the complete line of Clorox2 products? Yep, we’ve got an all-out love affair happening; my readers adore Clorox2 that much.
In the meantime, tell me: do you agree that laundry is the most unappreciated household chore?
My husband does most of the laundry and he gets the little ones involved. If I was the one doing it all the time and my family not caring then I would say yes. In my household, dusting is the most unappreciated chore. The furniture would be sparkling and shining after using Pledge, and my husband doesn’t see the difference.
Ah, so funny! In my family, my husband has an obsessing with dusting!
Best washing machine I ever owned was a wringer, wished they still made them.
They still make them :o) https://www.lehmans.com/p-3046-home-queen-wringer-washers.aspx
Thanks for the link – it was nice to check them out!
I remember the wringer washers too – they were great (and as a kid I used to think it was fun putting the wet clothes through the wringer).
As far as unappreciated chores go, I don’t think there ever were any when I was growing up, nor when my daughter was either (I made sure of that LOL).
And now I know where the expression “got put through the wringer” originated!!
My husband does all of the laundry, so for me, no its not lol For me its cleaning the bathroom!
Lucky girl, Anne!
Chandra Christine O'Connor
yes and grocery shopping. and if they want something and I tell them its in the wash or dryer they grr at me. I wish they would check there pockets too for dang pens unless there is money dont check lol
Ha! I agree – the person who does the laundry should get all the cash in the pockets!
Judy C (Cowan)
I actually don’t mind doing the laundry. Ironing on the other hand I REFUSE to do! Speaking of laundry, thanks for the reminder, I need to go throw a load in.
Yep, I HATE ironing too!
That picture of the old lady looks so…..appropriate…jk lol!
OMG. Get off my site! LOL
I seem to do laundry everyday now that Sara is back home! It doesn’t end when they graduate…because they move out and then back…she is moving out again in November so maybe my laundry bill will be lower :)
Enjoy your time with her, Teresa!
Oh I wish I had a nice space for laundry mine is cramped and no room for an indoor line. Don’t mind doing the laundry but it would be better if I had the great front load machines!
Front load machines are a luxury!
Those would be dream machines in my house. I have taught all the boys in my house to do laundry, and share the chore!
Good for you! It’s good to challenge traditional stereotypes!
I do not enjoy laundry – no… I use a machine located in my apartment, so the waiting for it to be free.. needing change.. ugh. It would be my dream to have a set like the ones in the photos all to myself! :)
I love the set in the photo. Now I just need a 5,000 square foot house to go with it, LOL!
Considering I just finished five loads and likely will have the same to do in a day or two, I would have to say laundry is definitely under-appreciated in our house~!
OMG! Good luck with that, hahaha!
My husband does our laundry, there is only 4 of us now. I did it when there was 7 of us!! I’d really hate to add up my time, I can remember a few times I had to use a laundry mat… that can be even longer!
Yup, I don’t even want to know how the hours will add up if you travel back/forth to the laundry mat!
I hate grocery shopping with a passion
Really? I love grocery shopping!
Hmm I do agree that it’s under-appreciated, but I would put my vote behind cleaning. Left to his own devices, my partner eventually runs out of socks, underwear, etc., gets distressed, and will express appreciation for my regular laundry routine. Living in unclean, untidy spaces does not seem to faze him, so it takes a lot more for him to vocalize appreciation for cleaning.
Oh, your partner sounds like… me! LOL. My husband always says I thrive in disorganization.
Yes I hate it! I wish we could have robots that did laundry lol
AND ironing!! lol
YES to robots who do ironing!
Laundry was never to bad for me I taught my girls to use the machines at a young age. Bicycles and washing machines helped the women’s liberation movement too
My hubby is very helpful around the house,he does most of the cooking and basic cleaning…..it’s a good thing because i’m busy here lol