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Old 08-30-2019, 12:26 AM
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In the early stages I'll probably handwash with a toilet plunger, use one of my smaller more efficient generators to run them in the washers spin cycle and string up my clothesline and pins. As fuel gets more scarce, just hand wring and hang.

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Old 08-30-2019, 10:30 AM
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Wind power can also be put to work for washing clothes

https://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/...ine-zmaz76zhar

And here is a picture of one actually in use https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/n...hoto/615308932

Edit: on looking closer I would assume the mother earth news one was never actually tested. It has a throw of over 1 foot which would take a huge amount of power from the wind and be very hard to control. A throw of 4-6 inches would probably be better if you have plenty of wind, an even smaller throw would probably be needed for a place like mine where strong winds are quite rare.

Second edit: If you live near flowing water you could use the same basic idea but use a water wheel to power it.
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Old 08-30-2019, 11:05 AM
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Here is a video of a wind powered washing machine in use. Notice how long the blades are. It looks like it a person could take that same design and use it to power any small rotary or reciprocating load that could be useful for many things.

https://imgur.com/z2i6wXZ
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Old 08-30-2019, 12:08 PM
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what is that made from ^^^ wood scraps? Wow I think evenI could fabricate one like that.
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Old 08-30-2019, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Mazarine33 View Post
what is that made from ^^^ wood scraps? Wow I think evenI could fabricate one like that.
I don't know if I would say wood "scraps" per say. It looks like the two main supports are pretty stout pieces of wood. The rest appears to be smaller pieces of wood. I assume the crank shaft is just a piece of steel turning in a hole drilled in the wood and oiled or greased on occasion.

If a person were to build one it may be worth their time to do some research on the effect shape, size, number and pitch have on windmill blades.

If I remember correctly a steeper blade angle will produce more torque but less speed. Fewer long blades produce more power than lots of short blades. And a blade with a airfoil shape will produce more power than flat blades.
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Old 08-30-2019, 01:38 PM
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I have an antique butter churn about 30 gallons worth. I figure in using for a washing machine. it turns in a frame end over end with doors capable of holding water in and draining water as well.
If necessary I can take some old bicycle and washing machine parts and make a spinning tank .
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Old 09-01-2019, 12:42 PM
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We keep a 5-gallon bucket with two plungers next to our washing machine.

A few times we have had to shift to doing our laundry manually.
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Old 09-01-2019, 09:21 PM
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Well, I plan on having an Oriental woman scrubbing them out with a brush on a rock personally. I have watched them do this and they do it with love! So????
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Old 09-01-2019, 09:40 PM
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Well, I plan on having an Oriental woman scrubbing them out with a brush on a rock personally. I have watched them do this and they do it with love! So????
Is dat racis'?

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Old 09-01-2019, 10:22 PM
WilliamAshley WilliamAshley is offline
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Ok, so many of you probably think this is not an important issue after SHTF but I think it kind of is. How do you plan on doing your laundry if a major SHTF event happens that will cause no power for a long time and maybe even cut off your water supply?

We live on a farm, we have spring water ( no electric needed) we have minimal electric. There was none when we moved here , since it was a former Amish house. So for about a few months we did laundry by hand or went to the nearest laundromat about 40 minutes away.

Doing laundry by hand is VERY hard, and the clothes don't come out very clean, and take forever to dry. The spin cycle in the washer is actually more important than the actual washing. You can get clothes relatively clean by putting them in a bucket, and use a clean toilet plunger. You can wring them out a little with a mop bucket. But like I said it is very hard, and it takes a lot of dry weather and time to dry them. What if you have no dry weather, or it is winter?

In a SHTF scenario that takes a while, how are you going to get your clothes clean and dry? I am posting this especially with the thread about the dirty undies that only get changed once a month in some cases...

Our washer just broke AGAIN, second time this year , trying to figure out how to fix it. It doesn't drain, it doesn't spin, and there is nothing stuck in the pump ( already checked that)

A big part to this is having the right types of fabrics. Thin fabrics, like athletic wear tend to be easier to hand wash. For sweaters it will probably take time but you want to have under layers to reduce hte need to wash middle layers. Having a polyethene type level 6 layers makes washing easy because you end up dunking it or using a cloth on it, then allowing it to air dry.

Socks also take time to dry but are easy to hand wash, underwear is also fairly easy to hand wash if you have the thin synethic types.

Avoid cotton it is not fun to hand wash.

Again fabrics that can take a little beating and are very thin are best because they dry the fastest.

There is actually laundry bar soap in latin america... you can use any old soap , like irish spring for example it works as bar soap for hand washing.

just dunk soap and then sqeeze the water out before hanging it to dry. Good outerwear layers keep clothes relatively clean, good athletic wear generally is very easy to maintain. Middle wear is more about keeing it protected from the need to wash it and airing it out regularly when not in use. Don't get your middle layer dirty.


I'm about to go back to being homeless due to funding being tight right now for school.. opted to go back into classes this week but I need to sacrifice having a roof to sleepunder to do it. - not the first time I've had to so its not new, just not eager for it, as its not new. so this is one of the things I've been planning for ... you know picking the right clothes to enable me to stay as clean as possible while also planning for my needs living out of a backpack for the next 3 months. One thing is certain my outer layers have remained the same, middle layer is one or two sweaters and under layers are my thinest lightest atheletic wear... socks are the real issue -as they get nasty fast - but from my experience thin smart wool with synthetic fibre as well as wool is best, but plain wool socks tend to be easy to handwash and dry by air.

You just can't pick the wrong clothes... that is the big thing there are easy clothes to wash by hand and hard clothes pick the right clothing for that.
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Old 09-01-2019, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by sonya1 View Post
I used to make soap for many years. Since we moved here I am no longer able to find beef fat, which I got free at the local Publix grocery store in Florida, so I haven't made any lately
You can order lye online, it's pretty cheap, but they make you fill out a form telling them what you plan on doing with it. I am sure I am on some list for that now.
I have bought lye for soapmaking in Amazon within the past year with no form required.

Also, I haven't read the full thread yet but has anyone mentioned a Wonder Wash? Hand crank machine. Things of beauty when you only need to wash your must haves.
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Old 09-01-2019, 11:46 PM
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I've done my laundry in hotels many times in the bathtubs. Maybe it's because I'm cheap and didng want to pay for the machines but oh well. As long as you have some type of detergent, or a DIY type of soap and some relatively clean water then you should be good
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Old 09-02-2019, 02:44 PM
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I've done my laundry in hotels many times in the bathtubs. Maybe it's because I'm cheap and didng want to pay for the machines but oh well. As long as you have some type of detergent, or a DIY type of soap and some relatively clean water then you should be good
Time & effort.

Doing the family laundry, as you mention, will consume a bunch of both.

The point of mechanizing anything is to reduce time and effort. Both of which can & would be used elsewhere.

Absolutely a valid method, for short term (“normal times” power outage as an ex), where that’s about all that needs to be done tho.
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Old 09-02-2019, 03:49 PM
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You would think from reading this thread there aren't plenty of people out there right now off the grid that was clothes. There are so many choices in hand crank and foot pedal washers out there and they are so cheap. You can have one at your house in two days if you have Amazon Prime No need to reinvent the wheel here.
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Old 09-02-2019, 05:49 PM
Mule Skinner Mule Skinner is offline
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Well, I plan on having an Oriental woman scrubbing them out with a brush on a rock personally. I have watched them do this and they do it with love! So????
'Bout 30 years ago I traveled all over Mexico with an Oriental woman! Good times!
We did minimal laundry, but used the car for drying it when we did.
It was a Saab 900 hatchback with a large back window and security panel.
Anything laid out on that would dry very quickly in the Mexican sun.
.
I have also read that a closed container with soapy water, carried in the car while driving, will agitate the laundry aplenty, getting it clean.
Haven't tried, but it sounds workable.
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Old 09-02-2019, 05:55 PM
Tactical Lever Tactical Lever is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mule Skinner View Post
'Bout 30 years ago I traveled all over Mexico with an Oriental woman! Good times!
We did minimal laundry, but used the car for drying it when we did.
It was a Saab 900 hatchback with a large back window and security panel.
Anything laid out on that would dry very quickly in the Mexican sun.
.
I have also read that a closed container with soapy water, carried in the car while driving, will agitate the laundry aplenty, getting it clean.
Haven't tried, but it sounds workable.
Read the same. I believe it helps if it's bumpy, and to have a few smooth rocks, or maybe better yet, something that floats. Like tennis balls.

Probably be a big help, anyway.
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Old 09-03-2019, 09:04 AM
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Just letting clothes soak in a 5 gallon bucket of soapy water does wonders for dirty clothes. Rinse, dry and wear.

I do have several methods to use for small quantities of clothes but nothing for larger scale production.

The Lehman washer shown in a previous post would be very easy to duplicate with half a 30 gallon drum, a lever to work it and a frame to hold it. If I ever needed one badly I could build one in a day.

I've been meaning to get one of those hand wringers so need to order one soon. That is one of those necessities that would be invaluable in a world without electricity (and a lot more difficult to build from scratch).

As much as I've lived off grid (a lot), I've done very little laundry by hand. Mostly took it to the grid to get it clean.
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Old 09-03-2019, 07:35 PM
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Sheila Maid looks awesome to hang laundry. For those in cold climates if you have a wood stove it could be hung from the ceiling nearby to dry indoors in the winter. I am hoping to do something like that in the laundry room. If need be I can hang things to dry indoors during the Florida rainy season or if I didn't want to leave the house. I am hoping to get two washtubs and a washboard from Columbus Washboard Co. because it is American. Breathing Mobile Washer looks like a plunger, but is made specially for washing and I might use that in the bathtub with bigger items like sheets. I had to do my laundry by hand in a bathroom sink for a while and it wasn't fun. Now that we have our own home I am going to get something as backup. I am also going to stockpile laundry soap over time as I can. Laundry related, my grandma used to make liquid starch from yuca (not yucca).
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Old 09-04-2019, 07:25 PM
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This is what we used to wash in Cuba. It was made out of cement (or concrete?) has a built in wash board of the same material. It was built between tow apartment walls and underneath there was an area with an elevated lip and a drain (like the floor of a shower area) so you could pour out the bucket of dirty water from mopping. Looking for a picture I saw some really nice double basin ones from Mexico, but our apartment was small so we only had one basin and that took up the whole width of the balcony!
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