Five years ago we bought a set of those HE washer and dryer combos. The dryer has been great but the washer is a lemon. I cant tell you how many times we have had that thing fixed, and then it only lasts a short while before its down again. Not to mention it never got cloth diapers clean.
Last summer I got this Speed Queen wringer washer, for free! It had been sitting on the porch of one of my Mom's neighbors for years. She asked them if they wanted to sell it and she told her we could have it! It works like a dream!
Things I love about it...
Doing laundry outside is interesting. There's lots to look at, I can watch the kids play, see my chickens clucking around. Wave at neighbors going by (who probably think we are either dirt poor or crazy!)
Our clothes are so much cleaner!
Our cloth diapers get really clean, they never did in the HE washer.
We can use the gray water for other things if we want to.
Its a little extra exercise, and I can soak up some vitamin D out there.
The sun heats up the water hose so I can use hot water to wash for free.
When its warm and sunny outside it's fun to get all wet and cool off while working.
If its raining, I cant do laundry that day.
The wringer itself can be very dangerous. I always keep my long hair tied back or braided. I always tell the kids they cannot help with that part. But earlier this week my 8 year old son begged me to let him help and I did. I was right there beside him but he got his fingers caught in the wringer anyway. It pulled his arm in to just past his elbow before I could stop it. Praise God nothing was broken but he was bruised badly and swollen.
It takes a lot longer to do a load of laundry. I try to start early and do a couple of loads a day at least to keep up.
I would NOT want to do this outside in the winter!
The wringer doesn't get out a lot of the water. I hang clothes around our deck rail to dry them out some before putting them in the dryer since I do not have a clothesline yet. (HINT HINT HUBBY!)
Washing big things like blankets is rough. They will not go through the wringer, so they must drip dry most of the day on the rail.
All in all though I am thankful to have it! My Mom gave me those twin galvanized tubs to rinse the clothes in so that made it easier for me as well.