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Old 05-09-2008, 09:58 AM
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Default How to boil laundry outside?



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Anyone got a source for a laundry size container that could be used over an open fire? I searched the internet for a large cast iron 3 legged cauldron style pot but couldnít find anything big enough to hold sheets and blankets. Suggestions?
VW
Old 05-09-2008, 10:16 AM
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Go to your local farm supply store and get a big tin basin or watering trough. Support it off the ground with stones or bricks. If you have an outdoor fire pit just put it on top.

My grandmother washed clothes with a wash board in her old wash basin that way for years.

Now you can get big cast iron pots if you want, but they are much more expensive and harder to handle. We use them around here for jambalaya and cracklings. And of course, using them out in the yard will cause them to rust if not kept seasoned with oil. And that would not be good for the items being washed.
Old 05-09-2008, 10:21 AM
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also try (if you can) to avoid galvanized, when heated it gives off toxic fumes. (dunno about it if it's filled with water, but i know welding after galvanization can kill you)
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:23 AM
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Yeah +1 for just using a galvanized tub (you can get at any country general store) and a wash board with soap.
Old 05-09-2008, 10:28 AM
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Anyone got a source for a laundry size container that could be used over an open fire? I searched the internet for a large cast iron 3 legged cauldron style pot but couldnít find anything big enough to hold sheets and blankets. Suggestions?
VW

Honey,

I don't think a cast iron cauldron is a good idea..... all your laundry will have rust stains instantly.... I plan to use a bathtub, ceramic coated just like a washing machine. Your other option would be stainless steel horse trough although more expensive, hard to keep clean later and I don't know what bleach will do to it.
You really need ceramic coated like bath tub.....

Castlemom

My opinion and 3.50 will get you a cup of coffee.....
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Old 05-09-2008, 12:52 PM
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Thanks for the ideas everyone. So based on your feedback this is what I’m thinking.

Giant Iron Cauldron = Bad idea because it rusts, it’s heavy, and you just can’t find one anywhere.

Galvanized Laundry Tubs work great for doing laundry if you boil the water elsewhere and pour it into the Tub. Don’t put the tub over an open fire because of fumes. This is an inexpensive solution for most of the laundry most of the time and looking at this website it looks like these tubs come in lots of sizes.

http://www.redhillgeneralstore.com/otubs.htm

Stainless steel or aluminum watering troughs could be heated over an open fire but may be difficult to locate. I couldn’t find any stainless steel ones on the internet and two sites were offering to custom make aluminum ones but you had to contact them for prices.

The idea for a ceramic coated (steel?) bath tub is interesting. Has anyone ever tried building a fire under one of these to get a hot bath at a camp site?

I’m interested in having an alternative to bleach for sterilizing clothing, bedding, & bandages to prevent the spread of disease. I understood that the pioneers often boiled their laundry in the yard. Surely it can’t be that hard.
VW
Old 05-09-2008, 02:08 PM
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The idea for a ceramic coated (steel?) bath tub is interesting. Has anyone ever tried building a fire under one of these to get a hot bath at a camp site?


You put cinder blocks on corners to raise it and have your fire bed under it..... fires up just like any other, I would think.


I would rather have something like a backyard bbq (brick) to boil water in smaller pots that are at a height that allows water to just be tipped into the bathtub, next to or part of the brick structure.


This is my solution http://www.lehmans.com/shopping/prod...ashing+machine
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:11 PM
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http://www.lehmans.com/shopping/prod...ashing+machine


also this, of course depends on what circumstances are..... a camp site would make this overkill......
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:34 PM
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In my shed, I've got an old double basin wash tub, a few wash boards, a wringer, and one of those metal plunger looking things that they used as an agitator in the old days. I would just use a large kettle to heat the water over a fire to a boil and add it to room temp water in the tub to make warm water.
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Old 05-09-2008, 05:42 PM
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Iím interested in having an alternative to bleach for sterilizing clothing, bedding, & bandages to prevent the spread of disease. I understood that the pioneers often boiled their laundry in the yard. Surely it canít be that hard.
VW
One answer would be to make your own chlorine bleach. Sodium hypochlorite is one easy chemical to make. It requires salt, water, and electricity.

A master's student at MIT published how he did it to treat water in Nepal.

Hypochlorite generation.
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Old 05-09-2008, 06:16 PM
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+1 for the bath tub.

Had one set up on a mates property with a fire pit underneath, made for a nice bath under the the stars, no worries about the water getting cold either.

Big thing is don't heat the bath with out water in it or the enamel all pops off it as my brother found out.
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:36 AM
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Scenario: Just say you don’t have a house or property anymore and you have to camp, but you have to move your camp every so often. Having a bathtub would be too much of a hassle. So that got me thinking, (if you have vehicle transportation) you can’t really transport a bath or large horse/cattle trough, so maybe instead use a laundry trough. It is still large enough to wash sheets or blankets. But still small enough to be put in the back of a ute (suv/truck) or even a large boot (trunk). You may be able to pick up a cheap stainless steal or ceramic-coated laundry trough.
Old 05-10-2008, 03:05 PM
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Scenario: Just say you donít have a house or property anymore and you have to camp, but you have to move your camp every so often. Having a bathtub would be too much of a hassle. So that got me thinking, (if you have vehicle transportation) you canít really transport a bath or large horse/cattle trough, so maybe instead use a laundry trough. It is still large enough to wash sheets or blankets. But still small enough to be put in the back of a ute (suv/truck) or even a large boot (trunk). You may be able to pick up a cheap stainless steal or ceramic-coated laundry trough.
When I was road tripping and 4x4ing every day, I put my laundry into a 4gallon bucket, some warm water, detergent, snap the lid on and put it in the back of the truck for the day.
The bumpy action of the truck was enough to shake the bucket quite roughly at times. End of the days driving, I hand wrung them and hung them on a makeshift clothesline.
The clothes weren't spotless, but they were acceptable for me to wear again.
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Old 05-10-2008, 06:42 PM
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My current plan is using a couple of Rubbermaid storage bins and a clean toilet plunger. I can heat water elsewhere, if needed, and have one for washing and one for rinsing. And the bins are lightweight and store easily. I've thought about a washboard too but, frankly, it sounds like a lot of work to me.
Old 05-10-2008, 07:01 PM
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The grate on top of my bar-b-q pits fire box can be used to boil large pots of water.





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Old 05-10-2008, 10:41 PM
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The grate on top of my bar-b-q pits fire box can be used to boil large pots of water.
Very nice. I'm assuming the plans for this baby are somewhere on the site. I'm going to do a search now. Thanks.
VW
Old 05-12-2008, 05:24 PM
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Default wash pots

AgriSupply has wash pots, a 20 gallon size 3-legged wash pot is priced at $150 bucks, ouch. They also have a different style of pots that go to 90 gallons. I suspect it would cost a fortune to have them shipped. You can google their web site if desired.

As a kid I helped my grandmother do laundry, from boiling the clothes all the way to the hand wringer. It was not a fun thing to do. Note, I was the guy using the stick contraption to mush the clothes up and down in the boiling pot. I did not see any rust in the pots or on the clothes, not sure how they did that, possibly the pots were cured like Dutch ovens, no idea how, but there was no rust, even after a few years of use. I really don't think you would want to go back to that method for doing the laundry. Hmmm, if you can remember the old wash pots then you probably also remember "blueing", guess it acted a bit like bleach with white shirts, maybe you have a better explanation. Thanks for reminding me why it was a good idea to run my washing machine off my solar electric system, ha.
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:21 PM
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AgriSupply has wash pots, a 20 gallon size 3-legged wash pot is priced at $150 bucks, ouch. They also have a different style of pots that go to 90 gallons. I suspect it would cost a fortune to have them shipped. You can google their web site if desired.
Found it. Thanks. Too bad there is no info on how to maintain the pots.
VW
http://www.agrisupply.com/washpots/c/5400012/c2c/sc/
Old 05-14-2008, 02:30 PM
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I don't think that boiling laundry would be a good idea unless you want your cloths to fit your kids. In the winter, I always wear flannel shirts. I had to inform my fiance' that you have to wash them in cold water, and air dry them. Unfortunately that was after she shrank two of them down a few sizes. I have long arms, it's hard to find shirts that fit right in the first place.
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