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Question for people living outside Finland:

See the picture in link. This is a public place to wash your mats/rugs/carpets.

Do you have such places in your country? If yes, tell your country in comments.

vuolenkoski.com/!file/!id955/!

So the short and simple history of rug washing places in Finland is such that it was customary to wash all textiles in natural waters, but as washing machines got common this changed so that only rugs and heavy textiles were washed there any more.

This habit has persisted even for modern day, but as it was found out that washing rugs was not good for lakes, rivers and the sea, these plumbed washing stands were built in the original washing places so that the tradition can carry on safely.

@Stoori Wat!?

You'll be lucky if you get a public toilet in the UK. Extremely rare to find drinking water even.

@aaaaargZombies @Stoori In the United States, most roads don’t even have sidewalks. Public toilets are some kind of fantasy most places. There is no infrastructure for people who need communal resources of any kind.

silly capitalism 

@aaaaargZombies @Stoori The capitalists really don’t make sense these days. Just think of the increased demand for drinks if there were more public toilets.

And it also works in reverse even, there'd be so much more demand for toilets if people had access to free drinking water!

@Stoori Even in Turkey, where both outdoor sinks for washing hands & feet (mostly in conjunction with mosques) and homes having rugs are very common, I've never seen this. I think there's a strong default of beating rugs but not really washing them there.

@eldang @Stoori Oh fuck them rug beaters, especially in condo neighbourhoods. Despite decades of being sweared at and hated, they haven't stop raining dust into people's balconies...

We used to wash them in the garden with "arap sabunu", a yellow, jelly, sticky sort of soap. (and it was the most fun thing ever, back when I was a kid!!) These days we just call a rug wash business. I've never seen a magic contraption like this.

@Stoori i have so many questions. do you just leave them there till they dry? what if someone takes your rug? are they typically within walking distance? they can't be used during the winter, can they?

@nev @Stoori

it looks like potential bear country too; wouldn't bears be tempted to drink from those easily available water sources (which would be scary if you went to clean your rugs and a bear was around?)

@vfrmedia I guess bears have easier water sources at the endless lakes and streams we have here (also, bears here avoid human habitations).

@nev generally people leave at least cheap rugs out there to dry, who would steal those? distance varies, but the rugs are heavy and people use cars anyway. they're closed off for winter, washing rugs is a summertime chore.

@Stoori @mikelynch I remember the apartment block that I lived in in Finland as a kid (briefly) having something similar in the basement!

@Stoori Not that I've ever heard of in Australia, but good idea!

@Stoori I just noticed your screen name. A little hug? Huggette?

@grumpysmiffy a bit like that, yes! Knuffel can also mean a plush toy, and that was more like what I had in mind, but best things are always ambiguous. :)

@Stoori hm, almost? some car washes have a setting on the soap/water wand that says "mats". they usually have a wringer available as well. but there's no place to hang up the mats (I doubt people would want to anyway), so you end up putting them back in the car still damp, if not wet. about $2 for 4 minutes of water/soap/etc. west coast USA, I think California and Washington state both, but also very rare in both.

@Stoori in Sweden, and no, but I have seen this at some point in my life? So I'm guessing they did exist in the 80s or so, when I was little.

@Stoori not sure whether it can be called "such places" but in Russia we have laundry washing places in some cities (not just for rugs but for laundry), local governments even have a special expenditure line for cracking the ice there during the winter. Of course it's not a fancy station like on the photo, it's just a large hole in the river ice.
This habit has persisted even for modern day because a lot of people there don't have running water at their homes.

@IngaLovinde This sounds very much like from what the Finnish rug washing places have developed. It was common to wash in natural waters, and in winter you just made a hole in the ice.

@Stoori but in Russia people in some cities just have to do this because the government cannot be bothered to give them access to the running water in 2021, it has much more important things to do (such as building tanks or palaces or feeding military-style cops who are beating gays)

@Stoori the only time i've seen this is on some disgusting festival 😂 probably doesn't count

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