File:Rhof-histWaschmaschine.ogv Irreler Bauerntradition shows an early Miele washing machine at the Roscheider Hof Open Air Museum Laundering by hand involves soaking, beating, scrubbing, and rinsing dirty textiles. Before indoor plumbing, the washerwoman (laundress) or housewife also had to carry all the water used for washing, boiling, and rinsing the ;
Clothes washer technology developed as a way to reduce the manual labor spent, providing an open basin or sealed container with paddles or fingers to automatically agitate the clothing. The earliest machines were hand-operated and constructed from wood, while later machines made of metal permitted a fire to burn below the washtub, keeping the water warm throughout the day's washing.
After the items were washed and rinsed, water had to be removed by twisting. To help reduce this labor, the wringer/mangle machine was developed. As implied by the term "mangle," these early machines were quite dangerous, especially if powered and not hand-driven. A user's fingers, hand, arm, or hair could become entangled in the being squeezed, resulting in horrific injuries;