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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

How to do Laundry Off-the-grid

First of all.  You DO NOT need expensive old-fashioned looking equipment to do laundry by hand in an off-the-grid fashion.  However, you do need to accept that clothing will not wring out as well as a washing machine and stains may or may not come out as easily as if they were washed in a washing-machine.

1. Gather your supplies.
Essential items: a tub, regular laundry soap, drying rack or line ;

Other helpful items: clean plunger-helps to stir the water in the tub, a special dome tub like a cattle size watering bucket (totes work but do wear out quickly and are thin plastic), washboard made out of a cookie drying rack or sturdy rocky surface, two rolling pins tied together with elastic and fishing-line loops (elastic allows springing of clothes, fishing line loops help keep pins tight), clean rubber boots (stomp those clothes).....  You can buy professional off-the-grid laundry materials, but it actually isn't necessary.

2. Fill the tub about 1/2 full of Hot -water (if using a bath-tub only fill 1/4 full).  Add the laundry detergent and let is dissolve.  Add the laundry.  Let it soak for 15 minutes.  You can use the option of adding boiling hot water to your laundry if you would like.

3. Stomp the laundry for 10 minutes.

4. Drain the laundry.

5. Check for clothing items that have a lot of stain.  Use a washboard and special soap if needed for those items in this step.

6. Add cold rinse water.  Use about 1/2 as much water as used in wash cycle.

7. Add softener in the first rinse cycle only.

8. Stomp for 5 minutes.  Drain.

9. Repeat step 6 and 8 for 3 total rinse cycles.

10. Wring the clothes.  Use a twisting method alone or pull clothes between two rolling pins.  Hold the rolling pins at the bottom of boots while sitting at the edge of a bathtub and pull clothes through.  Towels need at least two pulls through the rolling pins to get majority of water out of the towels.

11. Dry the clothes!  Towels and such may need an electric dry cycle to fluff them up a bit, but you do not need to spend tons of money on drying if they are air-dried first! Also, remember that clothes can actually be hung out to dry on the line in the middle of winter!  Yes, most clothes do dry in cold air.  Occasionally on wind-less days, the clothes will not dry, however.
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