Why Washing Clothes is Bad for Your Health

I was busy in the middle of March. Then I had to go to Accra for medical. Then I had to recharge the smartphones. Then I had reconnect. Then I had guests. Then I had no water for a few days. So for at least 3 or 4 weeks I wasn’t able to wash clothes. Yuck, I know. Lucky for me I brought 52 pairs of underwear, so I was still good for another month. But I needed to wash a few things for All Vol that included pants. I figured I would go ahead and wash the whole load. It was three piles big. It could have been 4 loads in a washing machine.

So I start washing. Wash. Wash. Wash. An hour goes by. One pile done. At this point my hands are still to get a little sore. I continue with the next batch. Water goes out halfway through. DAMNIT. Just keep washing, washing, washing. My hands are getting progressively sorer and sorer. They are starting to get red. I can’t tell if it is from all the soap or if I am actually rubbing them raw. I get to my last pile and I have already been washing for over 2 hours now. My courtyard is half full of my clothes and the pile sitting behind me looks monstrously big. I end up pulling a few things out and setting them aside. They can be washed next time. My hands are extremely tender at this point, but I have to push through the pain for another couple of pants.

I keep telling myself, just a little bit longer and it will be over. You are almost there. Almost. I finally finish my last item and I am in agony. I am drenched in sweat from washing clothes for over 3.5 hours. I am tired, hungry, and my hands look like busted sausages. I take a bucket bath to scrub off the sweat from my washing workout. Afterwards, I take a look at my hands. They are oozing pus, swollen, red, and the blood vessels have burst in a few places.

I officially rubbed my hands raw from washing clothes. I bandaged my hands and hoped for the best. Over a week later, most of my fingers have healed. I am just waiting on two more fingers to finish scarring before I can do laundry again.

Never take a washing machine for granted.


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