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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Pink Lady Kenmore Wringer Washer

Hubby has been telling me for 6 years "NO" to first floor laundry...Well looky looky what I found, won't she be darling in my pink kitchen? I am soooo excited to do laundry! who knew?..and only $50.00 in working condition....YIPEEEEE!
I was smitten the first time I laid eyes on the round, pink Lady  Kenmore Vista-Matic washing machine. It was listed on Craigslist...what a find!
Because the listing was over a month old, I thought I could probably talk the guy on price.What guy wants a pink washer, right? So the only obstacle between me and the Vista-Matic was a matter of 50 bucks. I was determined she would be coming home with me.
The drive was about a 2 and a half hour round trip thru Milwaukee road construction.
I  have decorated my kitchen with vintage pink  items. I could visualize her sitting in a corner storing my linens, and storing ice and beverages when we hosted parties. 
The one  selling feature I cannot deny was her  soft pink color, It was the main reason I wanted her. It never crossed my mind to hide it in the basement. I’m sure hubby know what they say...Happy Wife...Happy Life.
For the next many years, she will sit in the kitchen corner next to my pink range storing linens and serving as a beverage cooler when we entertain. She  will received many compliments from visitors, and I love her. 

After sitting in a garage for perhaps 30 years or more, this 1950s pink lady will be put to work ringing out all of my clothes as well as the babies..
 Boy, they really did build things to last, she has metal as thick as a tank!. I was amazed when they said she worked..The man  who sold her to me plugged her in to watch her pristine wringer work its magic.
 I get giddy every time I find an antique or vintage item at a thrift shop, yard sale auction or antique store, dust it off and use it, I am giving that item a second life and rescuing it from the landfill. And its story, whether known or made up, moves on with it.
I’m sure this new chapter in the Vista-Matic’s story will be a good one.

Here she sat after bringing her home, waiting for the flooring to be completed....
I asked hubby if I should cover her before the snow came.....
 I got the look like I had 3 "It's just a washer he said...

I just had to add some bling....
Don't laugh , I tried fitting a  rhinestone tiara on her... (not even kidding)

 The picture behind her is of me and my son...30 years ago...I just had to put my grandson in the picture...he thought it was pretty cool...

 Maybe not so much when these pictures surface down the road at his wedding....ha ha 

 Me and my son in a wicker laundry basket...I thought it fit in perfect with the laundry theme...

I cannot wait to pull her up to the sink, and wring stuff out...

What to Expect

Using a vintage washer does require more commitment, physical strength, and more time. It is better  to commit a few hours once or twice a week to doing laundry, rather than trying to do the smaller loads many of us do.
What you will need in order to get successfully through a wash day:
  • 14-20 gallons of clean water
  • 2-3 laundry baskets (one large, and two medium or small are ideal)
  • Soap or detergent ... add a small amount of borax with the detergent
  • A place to dry your clothes.....   clothes line is ideal 
  • Stamina, patience, and cheerfulness and back gets a work out
  • An easy-to-fix lunch...soup, salad, sandwich?
  • A good bottle of wine (for later)

How to get the most use of your water...

  • Whites, delicates and the cleanest things go in first
  • Light colors and the medium-dirty items go in next
  • Dark colored clothes and the dirtiest items go in last
Washing laundry in this order means you can do a whole weeks' worth of laundry in one batch of wash water, and one batch of rinse water....

Wringer Worries

There important things you should know about your wringer for safety. "Don't insert fingers into wringer!" for obvious reasons... and ALWAYS keep small children away from the washer while it is in motion.
To avoid injuries and to release stuck clothing, you should know how to loosen your wringer. Many models of wringer washing machines have a catch-release of some kind, which will allow you to  stop and separate your wringer rollers, to release items that are stuck. Some have a pop-up bar across the wringer frame that when hit, will cause the roller bars to pop apart. Other models have a little bar on a pivot which, when twisted one way, will allow the roller bars  to separate, and when twisted the other way will cause them to stay tightly together.
How to re-set your wringer  is another thing you should know before filling your washer .Some models have to be re-set by flipping the top-half of the wringer frame all the way back, then forward again until it catches and the roller bars come together. Others will not re-engage until the pivot-bar is twisted the correct direction. 
To start the wringer action, there is  a lever at one end of the frame which will start and stop the rolling, and, when placed in "neutral" (straight up and down), will allow you to re-position your wringer where it will be most convenient. Some washer models allow only three different position settings, others allow you to put the wringer anywhere within a 360* radius.
The entire wringer can be lifted out of its place on the washer for repairs and adjustments. It is heavy!
Your wringer roller bars can be adjusted to squeeze the clothes  loosely or tightly. You will find the adjustment screws on the underside, and you will probably have to take the wringer off the machine in order to make adjustments. If you get it too tight, you will have trouble with jeans and heavy items; too loose, and smaller items will remain too damp.I fold lighter weights in half to get the most water out.
Finally, your wringer will need to be oiled from time to time. Beware of drips shortly after having oiled it, and don't let clothes you especially care about touch the ends of the rollers for a while.Here are some more tips from vintage housewives.... 

For safe easy no fail wringing, use these rules:

1. Never, with your fingers feed flat unfolded wet laundry into the dangerous tight rolling surface of the wringer to be wrung. This method will result in both harm to you, your machine and your laundry. It may stick to the backside roll surface, you will not see it, may double over on the roll surface & jam, or worse yet damage the garment or material, stall, overload motor or worse yet catch your damp fingertips pulling you into the rolling surface!

2. Always lift up and out of the wash tub & fold the edge of the article of material ( about the size of your palm/hand ) As you are folding, make this into a triangle shape before aiming at the wringer rolls. Never have your fingers closer than the size of your palm for safety. please remember to feed the fabric with fabric, do not ever try to guide the fabric onto the roll surface with your damp fingers.

3. Hold, aim & feed this folded & flat rolled "snake head" shape to the roller surface. As the material is lifting from the wash tub, quickly lift & even out the "load" to be wrung through, assisting in this possess will give a no fail wring out, saving time & wear on your wash, and the machine.

This is a never fail system learned from many laundry room matrons here in the mighty Maytag Midwest, as a young laundry room voyeur in the 1960's. 

Most wringer washer drains are made to  drain into buckets, or be attached to a garden hose - whichever is more convenient. I find because I have a bad back that draining the water via a hose far enough away from my  house is the best choice for me, but a bucket works also.
If your hose gets clogged with fuzz and gunk, this is easily solved by cupping your hand around the end of the hose to create a clean seal, and blowing hard until you release the clog. 
Your agitator sometimes may "pop" loose. In order to fix this, you may have to drain your wash load, and then fit the agitator back into place. It may go in somewhat hard, but will fit  once you have it positioned correctly.
Insert collars of shirts first
Fold jeans in half. Zipper on the inside, and make sure the zipper and button are laying flat.

O.k...get this.. I washed some clean clothes because I didn't have any dirty ones and really wanted to use my Pink Lady..(Don't judge
This water is from a load of CLEAN wash that I washed in my wringer washer last was washed in a Maytag front loader last week...I thought our laundry looked dingy ...eeeewwwww.
New isn't always better. She is sooo incredibly quiet and pulls dirt out like nobody's business...

Monday, February 16, 2015


Today as I was thrifting I came across a Wilton 3D stand up teddy bear pan. Not knowing what I will do with it I reluctantly put it in my cart. It was only 6 bucks. When I got home I googled the pan and found soooo many different really cool uses besides just a bear. Here they are....I am sooo excited for my grandbabies first birthday....