In the story the gang of wild women take their laundry down to the river, where they plunge it in, soak it, soap it, and pound it on stones. Well that does seem a whole lot of bother but then... they hang it over bushes and rocks to dry ... which seems like an eminently suitable idea.
So I did.
Now although they all get married to the woodcutters in the end (after cleaning them up rather vigourously) I always considered it had a strong feminist message, since the women rebel against the exploitative drudgery they are enslaved in and set out to make independent lives for themselves.
Sometimes I get very nostalgic for books that I used to read all the time when the children were little, and this was one of my favourites (in fact John Yeoman and Quentin Blake were amongst our regular favourite authors). Mrs Armitage on Wheels is another one I remember fondly. It is sad that no-one wants me to read to them any more.