Thursday, May 23, 2013

Doing Laundry with no machine

I have to admit the SHTF here at my house in my laundry room.  Our washer died (it is a pricey front loader, high efficiency with all the bells and whistles and only 3 years old!!!!) and with no way to immediately replace it I went into survival mode for this matter. It was a good learning experience for my kids and a way to test survival methods before everything comes crashing down!  It is my desire to have a manual wringer washer before that happens...But if I do not get it than I can manage this way!!!

For centuries before a washing machine laundry was done by hand.  Initially it was done by only using the hands and rocks and then the wash board came along.

Washboard image from Bing images
Then came wringer washers, which I wish I had one of!
Wringer washer image from Bing images
Then there is my way of doing it!  A plunger (Cost $5.40 at the local Ace Hardware) and three wash tubs which are re purposed barrels from the local Little Debbie factory (Cost $8 per barrel used 1 1/2 barrels)  Total cost for survival washing machine $17.40

The first tub is wash water with laundry detergent, the second is rinse water and the third is a final rinse with Downy.  I put them on the tailgate of my truck to make it easier on the back and also the black bed helps to warm the water on a sunny day!

3 tubs, you can barely see it because of the sun but I have a 5 strand clothes line right behind where the tubs are

First you put water into the wash tubs, add your soap (The cheap non-HE works best for this or you can grate home made lye soap to use) and fabric softener to the respective tubs.  Put your dirty clothes into the wash water and using the plunger with an up and down motion agitate the clothes well.  Any spots are rubbed out with extra soap and knuckles (wish I had a rub board for that!) Then wring out well and put into the rinse, repeat agitating and then wring and into the final rinse.  After the final rinse wring well and hang on the line.  I wring them out using a twisting motion but it is still very hard to get the water out by hand especially large towels and jeans.  So it would be unwise to put them in the dryer like that as the weight may damage it. Hang them on a line until they are dry.  If you have the convenience of a dryer then when the clothes are just damp you can bring them in and place into the dryer to finish drying and "fluff" them.

And there you have it a way to do laundry without a machine, or power.  I am just thankful that I have a well pump and a garden hose to fill the tubs!!!  It actually only took about 3 hours to do about seven loads of laundry and it would have taken the washer over 7 hours to do all of it, and the clothes are cleaner and smell better.  But the work was tiresome and my 12 year old and I both were exhausted after completing our task!

1 comment:

  1. You are so creative. You are my inspiration. :) I am exhausted after reading this! LOL!