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9 Old School Laundry Scenes That’ll Make You So Glad You Live In The 21st Century

Sometimes it’s easy to take it for granted that so many parts of our lives have become ultra convenient and automated. We might forget (or maybe even never memorize in the first place) phone numbers of loved ones thanks to auto-imported cell contacts lists, or set recording timers for a favorite show with the mere click of a button, or even listen to an audiobook on a long road trip. Yay for modern tech!

All of those gems are true gifts of innovation, of course, but one stands above the rest as being a major game-changer for recent generations: the at-home laundry system. Thanks to this gadgetry gift, we get to avoid going elbow deep in weekly buckets of murky water, toiling away at the rib scrub for the sake of fresh fashions. Plus, we save untold amounts of time and energy in the process. 

So, just in case anyone’s forgotten just how good we have it on this side of the clothes-washing millennium, these TV shows and movies are here to remind us all in their uniquely old school ways.


1. Outlander

Lallybroch may be a time-traveler’s dream and all, but the soak-and-scrub technique Claire, Jenny, and baby Jamie had to deal with back in Outlander’s first season is one relic of the 18th Century absolutely no one would choose to revisit.

(For what it's worth, even though Claire’s original time was when washing machines had become common in domestic homes, she might not have gotten too used to the convenience factor herself since she was off serving in the war.)


2. The Little Mermaid

Just imagine the prune fingers that would come from doing this all day. Nope. Nope nope nope. Washboards are for the birds nowadays -- or lobsters, as the case may be.


3. Honey I Shrunk the Kids

Drying lines are pretty antiquated for a guy who roboticized his toast and dog food dispensary, and just look at what a cluster they can become in a matter of seconds. Talk about a tumble dry!


4. The Conjuring

There’s also the creepiness factor that's been built into hanging clothes lately thanks to a ton of movies that have recognized the boo-scare opportunities built right into all those sheets swishing and swaying in the wind. Ack!


5. Snow White

Why yes it would take an entire forest full of animals to even have a chance of keeping up with seven miners’ daily thread shed by hand, and even then it’d be an all-day job. You really would have to whistle while doing all that work just for something else to do.


6. The Walking Dead

If the zombie apocalypse ever does hit, we better hope walkers can’t swim, too, because this clothes cleaning situation is already bad enough as it is. River washing is old fashioned and should stay put in the olden days. 


7. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Poor Charlie Bucket. Stirring his family’s boiling garbs with a giant fork would be the golden ticket to make someone start day-dreaming of snozzberry-flavored wallpaper and a river of liquid chocolate just for some mental escape. 


8. I Love Lucy

Lucy might have had some ‘splaining to do when she treated herself to a house full of new appliances, but nowadays it’s far more common for folks to have easy access to the washing systems that make the world (and more importantly, our fabrics) go ‘round and ‘round.

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