The rubbing board is the old-time method, yet it wears the fabric and wears out the worker, and should be used as little as possible. If still considered necessary, it should be of glass set in wood. The wooden board is unsanitary and the metal board may at any moment develop a tiny crack that will tear the fabric.
Fortunately, many women are learning that the washing machine, properly used, is a great economy of fabric, time, and strength. Many machines are on the market, and we need to discriminate and to select the machine constructed to force the water through the fabric without injury to the fabric, and with the smallest amount of muscular energy and that properly exerted without strain. Of course, if machine power is available, the problem is easy. These many washers may be classed in four groups. One is a revolving arrangement, sometimes consisting of two corrugated boards set in the center of a tub of clothes, one objection being that the clothes are sometimes torn. Another type has a revolving perforated inner cylinder for the clothes, and an outer one for the soap and water. This is much more expensive. Still a third rocks the clothes in soap and water and is very effective. A fourth type makes use of suction.
The principle of cleansing by pressure and suction is used in several machines and hand washers, and these are, on the whole, inexpensive and practical for home work. The work is accomplished by an inverted cone, pushed down on the clothes, and lifted. Such a washer is seen standing on the floor in Fig. 80. The same figure also shows another of this type standing on the table, and still another to be used in the boiler.
Most of these devices can be used with power.