Courtesy of Nacionalinis M. K. Čiurlionio dailės muziejus.
Let's take a moment to appreciate the extraordinary effort our foremothers put into keeping their families' clothes clean in interwar Lithuania. From today's perspective, it was a truly daunting task. Laundry day (alongside other household chores) consumed an incredible amount of time and energy that could have been devoted to personal growth and self-care.
Imagine the sight of women and girls laboring diligently, their hands grappling with stains and grime. Armed with a heap of soiled laundry, they sought solace near a flowing river, a tranquil lake, or any available water source. It was in these serene settings that the process of cleansing unfolded.
Laundry was no simple task; it involved multiple stages and careful attention. Newspaper articles of the time instructed, "To get your whites clean, you must wash them three times. First, boil the laundry in a kettle for 20 minutes. If you encounter blood stains, boil for an hour and use plenty of water. After removing them from the kettle, wash them twice more and rinse well to ensure no soap residue remains, as it causes yellowing. Finally, wring them out thoroughly."
Can you imagine the dedication and patience it took to achieve spotless whites back then?