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Author Topic: Any ideas on washing clothes when SHTF?  (Read 1722 times)

Offline PS1

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Any ideas on washing clothes when SHTF?
« on: October 11, 2012, 01:49:50 PM »
Does anyone know a good way to wash clothing when the shtf?  Anybody purchased the hand crank barrel type washers or tried anything on this?



Offline skas

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Re: Any ideas on washing clothes when SHTF?
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2012, 01:54:42 PM »
This has worked fine in my minimal testing:
http://fivegallonideas.com/washing-machine/

Offline nkawtg

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Re: Any ideas on washing clothes when SHTF?
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2012, 01:59:20 PM »
A wash pan and scrub board was used by our ancestors.
When I was in Thailand in the early '70s my maid washed my cloths by pounding them with smooth river rocks. :-(
Psalm 109:8

Offline nkawtg

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Re: Any ideas on washing clothes when SHTF?
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2012, 02:01:06 PM »
I like the 5 gallon bucket method!!
I'll have to make one.
Psalm 109:8

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: Any ideas on washing clothes when SHTF?
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2012, 02:59:00 PM »
I like that DIY plunger mod. It's probably cheaper than the Lehman's Breathing Hand Washer.

When I was a poor college student I often had to do the wash in the bathtub.


Offline julio

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Re: Any ideas on washing clothes when SHTF?
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2012, 04:42:33 PM »
When I was active duty I was stationed in the Philipines when a volcano erupted and we were without water or power for 2 weeks. I used a 5 gallon bucket, a plunger and a mop wringer with very good results. It is cheap and easy. I have this setup in the garage for when i need it. 

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Any ideas on washing clothes when SHTF?
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2012, 05:36:13 PM »
I use a "Rapid Laundry Washer" and a 5 gallon bucket.
Here's a link, $22: http://www.lehmans.com/store/Home_Goods___Laundry___Washing___Rapid_Laundry_Washer___66RW#66RW

I use it all the time on running shoes, web gear, new blue jeans, dog-crap covered car mats, you name it -- anything that's awkward or too nasty for the regular washing machine.  Works like a charm on those, and no doubt it'll work equally well on regular clothes if & when the SHTF.
Build it or buy it, start it up and try it, maybe even fry it.  Otherwise you'll never know if it works.

I swear, there are times it seems like "Baofeng" is Cantonese for "hot mess."

Offline ttubravesrock

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Re: Any ideas on washing clothes when SHTF?
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2012, 06:38:27 PM »
Don't forget to either stock up on commercial laundry detergent or learn to make your own.  It is super easy.  You can Google some recipes, but most of them are some combination of:

Borax
Washing Soda
Shredded\Grated\Shaved Bar Soap

Note: The bar soap is also pretty easy to make yourself.

Offline CharlesH

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Re: Any ideas on washing clothes when SHTF?
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2012, 07:53:38 PM »
An energy plan should be a part of prepping in my opinion, and would help in the clothes washing area.  Jack had a pretty cool show last week on solar backups and a washer could fit into the systems they were discussing.  Most washers are 110V and could run off a generator or, better, a battery back up system tied to both solar panels and the grid.  The new models won't kill you on watts either.  Assuming a well system in your energy plan and a septic system (this wouldn't work in the city or suburbs) you could make the washing machine work.  If you were using solar you would want to do it on sunny days when the batteries are fully charged so you don't run an energy deficit there.
 
This won't work for electric dryers that are normally 220V and less likely to work on a backup system unless you set some double pull breakers in the subpanel and have a transformer that can do both 110V and 220V (I'm sure they are available, I'm just not familiar with them), plus the electric dryers probably use a ton of watts to dry clothes.  Fortunately, clothelines work just fine!
 
Charles
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Offline Dawgus

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Re: Any ideas on washing clothes when SHTF?
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2012, 10:53:45 PM »
 I have a project sitting in my garage that I've worked on off and on for a few years. I'm converting an old wringer washer to pedal power. It's been a side project that has been collecting dust for a year or more. Suppose I should get out there and finish it.

 Beyond my idea, a simple washtub and plunger/agitator along side a hand cranked wringer would work great. Lehmans carries both.

Lost Skills Podcast shared this link this week. This thing is VERY cool!
http://homesteadsurvival.blogspot.com/2012/10/hand-powered-washing-machine-update-diy.html
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Offline flippydidit

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Re: Any ideas on washing clothes when SHTF?
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2012, 05:57:44 AM »
There are a couple different designs in this PDF (page 345).  There are also awesome topics for more than just grid down clothes washing:

http://www.fastonline.org/CD3WD_40/JF/410/02-64.pdf

Hope this helps!
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Offline Armchair Quarterback

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Re: Any ideas on washing clothes when SHTF?
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2012, 02:23:42 AM »
This has worked fine in my minimal testing:
http://fivegallonideas.com/washing-machine/

Brilliant, Thanks. I'll be building one on this set of days off.

AQ