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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic

Doing laundry by hand - have you tried it

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omega View Drop Down
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    Posted: March 20 2006 at 7:30pm
What 'fun' it is to do laundry by hand, NOT.

Has this topic been discussed in detail by the Experts here?

I've found a few interesting postings in Usenet, but not much.

The small items are fine, although even with them, I'm unsure how they get RINSED enough, if water is at a premium.

I'm unsure how to do sheets, much less blankets, if water is available to do laundry by hand.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Daydreamer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2006 at 7:49pm

Omega~I have done laundry by hand many times before. I lived without running water for almost two years so I have a bit of experience with this. We didn't always have the money to go to the laundrymat.

This is how we did it. First, we had three tubs of water. Now you can use those round metal tubs or you can use the plastic tote boxes. The first tub we would put our soap in it. Wash colored clothes first. We used a brand new plunger to agitate (sp?) the clothing. Ring out the water from the clothes when they've been cleaned. Put in first rinse tub. Wring that water out after rinsing and put in second rinse tub. Wring out and hang to dry. After all colored clothes are washed, you can add bleach to the water to wash whites. Now, considering that we are talking about doing laundry during a pandemic, I would go ahead and use colorsafe bleach for all clothing.

I hope this helps some. This is how we did it. We'd hang the laundry out on a line but now we will hang them on drying racks inside the house.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote roxy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2006 at 7:53pm
 when i was a kid  and poor  , we had no washing machine , my mother would fill the bathtub with clothes ,water and soap, and my sister and i would do I love lucy , remenber  the grape episode, in the tub with our feet, best idea i seen here, is a bucket  for your mop  with a ringer to  wring the clothes of water, also i have 4 wooden racks i dry clothes on, i wold also boil water to clean the clothes and let them sit in it, and   bleach, i guss bleached out clothes will be the new rage, or the new white,  good luck roxy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2006 at 7:54pm

GREAT!!!! I never would have figured this out. really, honest. I'd have just used two buckets...the third is for final rince..and the colors and whites order too Thanks! Hurricaine season approaches.-Kevin

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omega View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote omega Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2006 at 8:31pm
Years ago I picked up a small wringer at a neighbor's yard sale - sure glad I did, it works so well that I'm seriously considering getting a larger one, who cares what they cost, they make such a tremendous difference.

One thing I'm surprised by is that the clothes seem MUCH cleaner - and I'm certain this must be due to the wringer, cuz I don't recall any handwashables ever seeming so clean before. In Usenet, a few posters commented on this, that they were amazed at how much cleaner their clothes were. Very unexpected, and very noticable.

And I definitely will be purchasing LOTS of white cotton underwear for everybody -- you see, if there's no electricity and laundry needs to AIR DRY in cool temps, I'm certain the only thing that would keep the moldy musty odors at bay would be if items were washed in bleach.

I wonder who invented the wringer?

It's a pretty major invention, like the Wheel, if you ask me -- and I've just got a little tiny one.

LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bruss01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2006 at 9:11pm

OMG laundry is the one thing that would push me to go in for a generator!  Everything else we could live without, but that's one modern convenience we'd have a hard time saying goodbye to.

The only thing we could do at present is the 3 bucket wash mentioned.  No wringer so that would be a manual operation, literally "by hand".  We'd end up wearing clothes for several days and trying hard not to get them too dirty or sweaty.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote slcmom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2006 at 9:19pm

We have looked at this manual washer, but have not tried it.  For $40, I'm thinking we'll pick it up. 

http://beprepared.com/product.asp?pn=MC%20W100

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TJ108 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2006 at 9:34pm
Came across this the other day. Wondering if anyone has ever used one?  My guess is you will still have power and water for some time but you don't want to use your stored drinking water for doing the laundry. Seems like a gadget like this might get you by. Since I live in a apt and am paying for every load I do this would pay for itself in short order. Here is a link for more information. Wonder Washer
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KatDoe67 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2006 at 5:30am

Washing is easy. It's the wringing out that's hard! Forget the washer and buy a wringer if you want to buy something. If you are hanging the clothes outside, you don't have to wring them out, though. Frozen clothes will dry, but it takes longer.

The less soap you use the better. Sometimes just use bleach and sunlight.

Sometimes just air out bedding instead of washing it.

Several layers of synthetics is MUCH better than a thick layer of Cotton! Nylon wind pants dry in 1/4 the time it takes to dry a pair of blue jeans. Make sure sweatshirts are at least PART synthetic and wear two thinner ones instead of one thick one.

When times get tough, you need 3 outfits, with at least 2 of them being sturdy and practical.  The 3rd outfit can be for emergencies only. You wear one outfit till the other is clean and dry. You wash your other outfit, right away as soon as you take it off. Clothes dry quicker in the heat when you are smellier. In the winter you can wear and outfit for 2 or 3 days if needbe. It might not be politically correct to just have two rotating outfits, but it is doable from a sanitation point of view.
 
White or dark underwear is a hard call. Yes, it's healthier to bleach underwear due to fungal infections. It is easier to have ALL your clothing be dark though and not have a whites load. Campmor sells black long underwear. 
 
Yeah, I've done my share of handwashing, sometimes even in seawater :-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ravendawn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2006 at 6:22am

Just thought i would post this money saving idea ,MAKE YOUR OWN LAUNDRY SOAP,although we are still in the experimental stages this alternative seems to work fine it needs some fine tuning tho ,also using white vinegar as a substitute for conditioner works fine ,vinegar is also a good all around cleaner.             

THE METHOD,

1,Chop or flake a bar of soap(any) in to a saucepan of hot water.

2,Heat DON'T BOIL and stir until the soap dissolves it may take a while.
 
3,Add the soap to three gallons of hot water.
 
4,Mix well.
 
5,Add one cup of washing soda (Not baking soda).
 
6,Mix well again.
 
7,Let it cool.
 
It should look like wallpaper paste after 4-8 hours it depends on the soap you use ,as for storage i have no idea yet how long this liquid will keep i may add some bleach in a test batch if you are on a budget i recommend this one as the powder we buy is not good for the environment,if you go to the Greenpeace Site they have more alternatives to bad chemicals.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote omega Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2006 at 7:33am

Originally posted by bruss01 bruss01 wrote:

OMG laundry is the one thing that would push me to go in for a generator!  Everything else we could live without, but that's one modern convenience we'd have a hard time saying goodbye to.


The only thing we could do at present is the 3 bucket wash mentioned.  No wringer so that would be a manual operation, literally "by hand".  We'd end up wearing clothes for several days and trying hard not to get them too dirty or sweaty.


 


    
I've read that lots of folks are purchasing mop buckets which come together with a small wringer - and I'm going to check these out, I believe I read that Home Depot stocks them.

The wringer is amazing, you'll see what I mean if you get the opportunity to use one; I'm buying at least one more, simply for use in case of an emergency.

It seems that MOST of the work of cleaning the clothing is to successfully RINSE all of the soap out - I have no idea how folks are doing that with just two containers of rinse water, but that's what I've read here and elsewhere.

Yeah, if you are horrified of laundry, I suggest you try washing out a pair of heavy denim jeans --- it's NOT 'pretty,' let me tell ya, LOL.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote omega Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2006 at 7:38am

Originally posted by TJ108 TJ108 wrote:

Came across this the other day. Wondering if anyone has ever used
one?  My guess is you will still have power and water for some
time but you don't want to use your stored drinking water for doing the
laundry. Seems like a gadget like this might get you by. Since I live
in a apt and am paying for every load I do this would pay for itself in
short order. Here is a link for more information. Wonder Washer

    

I researched that item on Usenet, but there weren't very many comments. A couple few said they 'luved' the Wonderwash, but I also read some comments that WASHING is NOT hard -- it is the RINSING that is difficult, and that the little Wonderwash didn't help with the rinsing.

Yikes, insofar as the Wash Cycle, most items can simply be left to soak, they do not need excessive agitation.

There are some small mini-countertop "dryers" which actually are small water extractors -- however, they require a source of power to work.

I'm still interested in one, because I presume it could work off a battery, as so many boat owners own one, and because it is touted to substantially reduce the amount of dryer time needed - a real cost savings small appliance.

You might want to go to http://groups.google.com and do your own research on the wonderwash.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote slcmom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2006 at 8:03am
Good info Omega.  Thanks for sharing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2006 at 8:35am
I had come across a site that depcited the use of bicycle powered 'machinery' including a washing machine.

Replacing the electric powered agitation shouldn't be too hard, and I'm planning on building one of these units.

Essentially, a stationary bike is connected to a rotating drum, which you can peddle to your hearts content.  This removes the manual effort of scrubbing clothes.

Another idea is a butter churn attached to a stationary bike, generators for charging batteries, water pumps, etc.  There are actually quite a few things that can be human powered with a little ingenuity.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote omega Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2006 at 9:15am
WASHING the clothes isn't the problem - that is easy, you can even leave them to soak for hours, or even overnight.

The PROBLEM in doing laundry by hand is twofold:

Getting ALL the soap out of the washed clothes.

Extracting water from heavy duty items like denim jeans, blankets, large sheets.

Small wringers work VERY VERY VERY well for small items, insofar as extracting excess water --- but if water is at a premium, it will be very difficult to RINSE the soap out of the clothing... leaving soap scum and maybe even a peculiar smell after it dries out.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote omega Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2006 at 9:19am

Originally posted by slcmom slcmom wrote:

Good info Omega.  Thanks for sharing.

    

IF I have time, I'm going to research DAWN dish soap, because decades ago, I read in a knitting magazine that knitters & weavers were using that brand of dish soap, and NOTHING ELSE, to wash their fine woolen goods.

I'm wondering if MAYBE (???) some Dawn detergent dish soap would word better at hand laundry of ALL FIBERS, than any of the liquid laundry detergents.

I really do NOT like soap left in the clothing, but MAYBE(???) some type of liquid dish soap would both clean and ALSO rinse out quickly.......

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2006 at 9:24am
I wonder..when TSHTF..and we are back tracked somewhat...won,t companies have to go back also and start making things like they use to use in the olden days...
 
 
the old style wringer that you had to crank by hand...and laundry soaps that have not been new and improved for the last 50 years..just good ole fashion non chemical stuff..
 
if you where right on the ball and could become a iron smith....you could do real well...and
we would have to teach this generation and the next newer(older) skills...
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Daydreamer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2006 at 9:50am
Originally posted by omega omega wrote:


IF I have time, I'm going to research DAWN dish soap, because decades ago, I read in a knitting magazine that knitters & weavers were using that brand of dish soap, and NOTHING ELSE, to wash their fine woolen goods.

I'm wondering if MAYBE (???) some Dawn detergent dish soap would word better at hand laundry of ALL FIBERS, than any of the liquid laundry detergents.

I really do NOT like soap left in the clothing, but MAYBE(???) some type of liquid dish soap would both clean and ALSO rinse out quickly.......
 
Omega~I'm learning to spin my own yarn and I have learned in the process that spinners and weavers, etc. will use Dawn dish soap to wash the wool that has come straight from the sheep. The Dawn helps remove the lanolin that is in the wool. The lanolin is the natural oils in the fiber. Dawn soap is a very gentle yet effective soap for removing oils. I would think that it would rinse out very well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sunset Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2006 at 9:52am
     OMEGA, have you ever tried DAWN, that stuff is god awful on the hands, bought one bottle of it and only used 1/3 and gave up on it......Made my hands raw........i could not use this for the long time it would take to do wash by hand........and my hands are not, soft and nicey, nicey, been in a lot of stuff........but DAWN was BAD.....try it befor you put a ton away to use............SUNSET
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KatDoe67 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2006 at 10:35am

I washed most of my clothes on the island with dish detergent and sometimes bar soap. You don't use much when washing by hand. Mostly you just let things soak and you use less clothes.

If you aren't dressing to go the office or parties you dress differently and you also can wash differently. You need a couple camping or backpack type outfits and that's it. They are made to be washed by hand and air dried.

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