The wash kettle was used to boil clothes to make them white, and I guess just to get them clean. The kettle, or pot, as we called it, was used for canning and other things, too. I remember watching my grandmother make hominy in it when I was a really little girl.
I've also seen Moonshine being made. They called it White Lightin as well as Moonshine. Lots of people died from drinking some of it that had such ingredients as battery acid or dead rats that had drowned in the mash. Like anything else, it could be done the right way, or the fast, cheap and careless way. Not saying that I intend to make any, just passing on a little of what little I know. lol