Saturday, February 20, 2010

Laundry Options

Even with an energy-efficient, low water usage, camp soap utilizing washing machine and a superfast and energy-wise dryer, laundry day is no fun. Washing, drying, folding, putting away... It's one of those household tasks that never ends.

Sometimes I tell my kids to clean their rooms and they just throw all the clothes into the hamper! I hate to wash clean clothes- it's such a waste. However, I am thankful for the ability to not have to lug them to the laundrymat.

I was reading an article that was describing situations where people had no electricity for weeks- from snow, hurricanes, etc, nothing political- and they could not wash their clothes. After a certain point, they had to purchase clothes to wear to work. That's money they could have spent on gas, food, or debt payoff.

I was also reading an article disparaging people who prepped by purchasing an electricity-free clothes washer (below). This washer does not work by friction, but works in a manner similar to a pressure cooker. It uses a small amount of warm water and a sealed environment. As the warm water expands, it forces the soapy water through the fibers of the clothes. Yes, it only fits about two pairs of jeans, or a half-dozen shirts, but isn't that better than not washing them? Or buying new? Or wearing dirty clothes again?

I am a prepper so that my family can work as a unit. So that we can raise our children in the manner we have judged is the best. So that they receive the education I approve of. So that we can live independently. Part of prepping is having a mindset that no matter what happens- the weather, our health, our job, the politics of the country- no matter what happens, we will stick together and work it out. Make it through!

Right now, laundry at our house goes like this:
  1. we each put dirty clothes in the hamper
  2. I sort dirty clothes
  3. I turn on washer to fill and add soap
  4. the kids carry laundry to washer
  5. washer runs
  6. I move clothes to dryer
  7. dryer runs
  8. I sort clothes
  9. kids put away their clothes
I would imagine that if we had to do electricity-free laundry, it would look like this:
  1. we collect dirty laundry
  2. I divide it into "portions"
  3. I measure warm water and soap
  4. the kids take turns loading the washer
  5. the kids take turns agitating the washer
  6. one kid feeds wet clothes thru the wringer
  7. another kid catches it
  8. I hang it on the clothesline
  9. one of us empties the line
  10. kids put away their clothes
I would much prefer to have a $1000, energy efficient washer that will scrub and spin my clothes for me, getting electricity to do so from my solar panels. But of course, until I get those solar panels, for $40 I would like to be prepared anyway.

Of course, we could always get a scrub board and a bucket. We could form our own zydeco band! My husband already has a mouth harp...

We're so pleased you are reading Farming Salt & Light! Choose how you live!

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