Sunday, January 11, 2009

Clothes Washing Kit

Yet another idea from a Preparedness class I attended...a way to do your laundry in an emergency. You can easily put this together yourself.

5-gallon bucket with lid (cut hole in middle of lid for plunger handle to fit through)
Toilet plunger (brand-new, clean)
Store in bucket:
Liquid laundry detergent
Stain remover/stain stick
Vinegar (add 1/2 cup to rinse water) helps remove soap
Rope (for clothes line)
Clothes pins

To Use:
Empty contents of bucket.
Place water, small amount of detergent, and clothes in bucket.
Move plunger up and down for a few minutes or until clothes are clean.
Remove soapy clothes and ring them out.
Dump out soapy water (on your garden or lawn.)
Place soapy clothes in bucket and fill with clear, clean water.
Add 1/2 cup vinegar to rinse water.
Move plunger up and down to rinse clothing.
Wring out clothes and hang to dry.
Conserve water - use rinse water for next load of laundry.

NOTE: You could store two 5-gallon buckets, stack one inside of the other. Use one bucket for the soapy water and the other for the rinse water. You may be able to wash and rinse a couple of batches of clothes without changing the soapy water depending on how dirty the clothes are.


Nonnie said...

Can we talk? I found your blog searching for info on cooking old hard beans...and found this plethora of information. I love the clothes washing kit and all the other nibbles and bits. Many thanks for all the time you spend posting these things. It's no wonder I feel a kinship with you...we're both LDS.

Anonymous said...

When I was young my grandmother had an old ringer washer. She didn't change the wash water until she was finished. She would start with whites; socks and undies, (usually the least dirty) things that could be bleached, then towels. Each load she would fill the washer back up as the clothes washed would take out water, thus diluting the bleach also adding soap as needed. She went on to light colored clothes and then dark. I once asked her wasn't the dark clothes usually jeans and work clothes going to get faded and she said by the time she would get to those clothes there would be little to no bleach left to hurt them. That process worked for her until my mom and uncles bought her an automatic washer and dryer many years later. She was getting older and they felt she was working too hard on the farm and that was their way of easing some of her burden. This process would work with the bucket washer as well. Using the rinse water to refill the water level in the bucket and clean water in rinse bucket and maybe use a bleach alternative that is safe for colored clothes.

barb said...

Found you via Pinterest. This is a brilliant idea! I will use this for hand washing even in a non-emergency situation.

Anonymous said...

My mother still uses a ringer washer to wash her bed linens. It also isn't home without the clothes drying on the line. Many Amish stores still sell ringer washers as well as parts to fix antique ones. Their hardware stores are like a walk into the past but they manage to continue to exist in our modern world without electricity.