Sreelakshmi24’s Blog

where life is all about learning

Disasters caused by washing clothes with bat

with 9 comments

Yes. You heard it right. I am writing about some of the harmful effects caused when one washes clothes with a bat – a thing I believe is unique to India.   Here I am mentioning some of the common ‘disasters’. If you know some more, let me know.

First of all we need to know the various methods of washing clothes. Below are some of the ways that an average Indian household would adopt to wash their clothes:

  • Washing machine


Nowadays washing clothes is mostly a weekend affair, thanks to the busy lives we lead today . However, the Herculean task of washing has reduced considerably thanks to washing machine. Available in semi-automatic and automatic variants, the usages are from washing only bedsheets and curtains to washing the entire household laundry and a surprising fact : making lassi!!!

  • Washing clothes manually

Despite the increase in the sale of washing machines in the country, there are many households where washing clothes with hand in the conventional way is preferred. The reasons are many – high rates in electricity, having a maid servant to do the job, not enough income to own a washing machine, or even frequent power cuts for longer hours (especially during summer).

For washing clothes by hand u require certain accessories for the job –

  1. soap powder
  2. bar soap
  3. buckets of water

Even though people soak clothes in soap water and wash after approximately 30 minutes, still there is a bit of difference in the way clothes are washed by hand. The methods are too minute a detail to call for attention. However I point them to you

1. Using a brush


2. Using a bat


Here the picture is of a woman beating a bat on clothes near a river bank. Nonetheless, it has been observed that in many houses, especially in small towns and in some flats in major cities, this is one thing that is used to help wash clothes instead of the brush. The logic – dirt is removed easily with beating of clothes with the bat. Mind you, the bat is not sophisticated looking at all. At a glance it reminds you of a cricket bat due to its shape. That is where the resemblance stops. the bat is very crude to look at, smaller in size and very cheap.

Now for the disasters

  • Headaches

Receiving Bad News

Although a friend of mine told me that the constant beating sound of the bat might be music to someones ears, I honestly beg to differ. It might be music to those people in whose house this method of washing clothes goes on. But the fact remains that the constant noise is a disturbance and a headache causing factor for the neighbors ( unless of course they also use a bat to wash their clothes).

  • Clothes life ends quickly

Have you ever observed your clothes very closely? If no, please do. You will then understand what I mean. You would observe lots of threads woven horizontally and vertically and very minute to observe from a distance with the naked eye. Correct me if I am wrong when I say that there are very minute holes in between the woven cloth ( as I don’t know the exact terminology). When you start beating the clothes with a bat the threads start loosening up and over a period start to tear. So the more early you tear your clothes, the more you spend money at the garment store for new clothes.

and now here’s the worst….

Take a look at all these pictures for these are true. p1010029


The effects shown in the above pics are just some. A friend of mine, who is a Structural Engineer, tells me that any willful damage to toilet floor by way of regular baton-beating for washing clothes on the floor would cause serious structural damage to the floor in the long run. If the beating is done regularly, joints of floor tiles break open giving way for water to seep through the floor bedding and concrete slab leading to initial dampness of ceiling and later water leakage. The beating also develops vibratory forces which weakens the floor slab and ceiling plaster structurally. Over the years, all this would cause severe damage to the floor by way of initial spalling of concrete and plaster, exposure and rusting of steel reinforcement due to damp condition which are noticeable. If the beating continues, without doing any repairs or remedial measures, the toilet floor would eventually collapse. The advise my Structural Engineer friend gives is those living in flats at upper level of multi-storey buildings should not indulge in baton-beating of the toilet floors forever in the interest of the building they live in.

So why not use a washing machine or if possible use the nice brush to wash clothes and save people from these disasters. what say!

Happy washing


Written by sreelakshmi

25 December, 2008 at 5:16 pm

9 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. An eye opener for those who unknowingly create problem for others….


    25 December, 2008 at 5:39 pm

  2. And I hope that people will understand


    25 December, 2008 at 5:46 pm

  3. i think its all bullshit u have writtn ….. i dnt blv a single word… either u copied the whole stuff and pasted…. do u knw the advantages of using bat… and for disadvantages its all wrong


    26 December, 2008 at 12:24 am

  4. Well sorry to say Mr. Suri, the damage done to the attic, walls and the water seeping through electricity board which you see in the pictures are all of my own house. How much cost its going to be to the bldg society as well as the person who caused it, i dont even think you can imagine. I have not made the entire stuff. I know what I have written and I think that there are many who would believe me. From your words I firmly believe that you are one of those people who use the bat for washing clothes in their house. And please when you use words I would prefer you to be polite in your words and write properly


    26 December, 2008 at 12:37 am

  5. i think wat u wrote mk sense – though i hvnt faced dem in real life, but one of my neighbours had spoken about it…………good goin of creatin awareness.


    26 December, 2008 at 1:35 pm

  6. Thanks Anu for your reply.


    26 December, 2008 at 1:55 pm

  7. Soo true..!! And well put…


    20 September, 2009 at 12:58 pm

  8. We used to have our servant girl use a heavy bat in Ahmedabad to wash, we realised that the floor was in bad shape- They use full force to bang! In Chennai..when i was growing was banging on a stone..i still see that ! Now its mostly handwash( gentler) or a machine!


    28 September, 2009 at 8:08 am

  9. These are actually good points to consider. I used to think using bats is a thing of the past but I guess there are still people who do this. According to them, it loosens up fabric and it will make it easier to remove the stains. Also, the extra labor is an additional workout. But the downsides mentioned above may bring us back to using efficient washing machines.

    Zach Smith

    19 April, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: