People used to have to go outside, find a body of water that may or may not have been clean, and wash things in that water, unless they were lucky enough to have an outhouse (A.K.A. a large box with a bucket in it). They had to hang clothes they just washed on strings with clasps so they could dry outside in the wind. Baby diapers were made of cloth they had to wash in the same water as their other clothes. If they were lucky, they had wells containing relatively clean water they could use to get drinking water to bring inside. We complain because we have to set some dishes in a machine that does the hard work for us from the comfort of our indoor kitchen with clean water, and put dirty laundry in a machine that does the actual work for us as well.