to be washed even after TEOTWAWKI. Prepare now!
Back in July, my husband and I bought a single wide trailer that
included all of the appliances. After a week of living in the trailer
the washer broke. I refused to get another one because I was sick of
buying modern appliances that broke 6 months later. I decided to wash
clothes by hand. My family thought I had lost my mind.
Here are the steps to wash clothes by hand. There are several
methods, this is just one:
1.) Buy three 6 gallon plastic buckets from Emergency Essentials (or
some other company like them.) My preference is to do 3 buckets at a
time. Other folks may want to only do one bucket.
2.) Buy Free and Clear Ultra Laundry Detergent (or some other
detergent like it). I buy mine at Costco's. It's cheap, it's perfume
free (no scent to give away your location!), it's relatively compact
so you can buy a bunch and not take up too much room, and it lasts
forever because it's HE (high efficiency) which means a little bit
goes a long ways,
3.) Buy a Lehman's rapid washer. (More on this topic later).
4.) Place all 3 plastic buckets into the tub, next to the lake, or
some other sources of water.
5.) Fill each bucket about 1/3 - 1/2 full with dirty laundry.
IMPORTANT: Pre-treat stains with something like Spray and Wash of
6.) Pour laundry detergent over laundry. Remember! A little bit goes
a long ways of it's HE! If you put too much detergent in then you'll
be rinsing forever. I suggest starting with about 3 - 4 tablespoons
per bucket of wash. Adjust if necessary.
7.) Fill each bucket with water to about 3 - 4 inches over the top of
clothes. If possible, wash light colored clothes in hot water and
dark colored clothes in cold water. If heating up water is not a
possibility then oh well.....move on. There are obviously bigger
issues to cope with.
8.) Take out plunger. Plunge each load of wash in each bucket 20
9.) Pour out dirty water from each bucket. Wring out clothes loosely
to get out dirty water.
10.) Put clothes back into bucket.
11.) Refill each bucket with clean water. Plunge 20 times vigorously.
12.) Pour out dirty water. Wring clothes out loosely. Put clothes
back in bucket.
13.) Refill each bucket will clean water. Plunge 20 times vigorously.
Repeat this cycle until clothes are clean and free of suds. I have
found that one "wash" cycle and two "rinse" cycles do the trick.
14.) Dry off Lehman's metal plunger thoroughly and immediately.
(Again, more on this topic later.)
15.) Wring clothes by hand with everything ya' got. If it's the
summer time then dry clothes on a drying rack outside. If it's winter
time you can either dry clothes on the rack while the rack is standing
in the tub (major hassle) or throw them in the dryer (if electricity
is still available.)
16.) Dry out inside of buckets to cut down on possible mold and mildew.
So more on the Lehman's plunger issue........I found that the Lehman's
plunger rusted extremely quickly (approximately after one month) even
though I dried it off religiously. There are so many nooks and
crannies in the Lehman's plunger and they are virtually impossible to
get to. Overall, I love Lehman's as a company but I suspect that this
washer/plunger was meant for emergencies only - not daily use. I even
coated the Lehman's plunger with three hefty coats of clear Rustoleum.
It didn't help. My husband recently purchased a similar looking
plastic plunger from Emergency Essentials company (www.beprepared.com)
but I have not tried them yet.
Happy washing by hand!
Sincerely, Samantha in the Trailer Park
TOR here: First I want to thank everyone who contributed. It was really a hard decision! In the coming days I will put out the second and third place articles. Samantha, please send me your address so we can get a Go Berkey Kit sent to you.