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Krazy Kitty
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Here are some options:

http://www.lehmans.com/cgi-bin/lehmans/dyna/dynaNZL3kx?page_number=1

I plan on getting the plunger model washer.
Some of these washers use electricity. What happens if there is none? I have been thinking about this too. But if things get that bad I don't think we'll be worried about washing clothes. I'm stocking up on baking soda and will do it by hand. Or beat it on a rock like they did way back when. Good idea on the plunger thingy. LOL
 

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"Back in the Day" solution.

Put a big kettle on the fire outside, down by the creek. Get water boiling, add soap.

Fill two more kettles, first and second rinse.

Add white clothes first. Boil thoroughly, scrub on washboard or beat the crap out of them with a board against another board. (called battleing boards)

Dump soapy clothes in first rinse, remove and wring, twisting by hand. soak clothes in second rinse, wring again.

Hang them up to dry.

Now do the same to the bright colors.

Last, wash the dark colors and work clothes.

After you do this a couple of times you find that you can wear a pair of pants all week and a shirt two or three days.

The boiling is to kill vermin; lice, fleas, bedbugs. (yes you will have to deal with them eventually)

My family washed like this untill nearly 1960. Washing was all day Monday. Ironing was all day Tuesday. Ironing and watching TV/listening to the radio was the start of "soap opras".
 

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Krazy Kitty
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Cinbad, note the listing at the bottom left of the page. It is a genset to run the Homequeen. Also, Lehman's sells rebuilt gas engine Maytags. Have to inquire, though. They don't have them listed in the catalog.
Thanks. But I can't afford a generator. And how many of us can store gas? And for how long? Maybe if I was rich. I'm not averse to washing clothes by hand. I've done it many times. And if THSTF I don't think I will be worrying about having a lot of clothes to wash. Underwear, yes. But the rest, no. I won't be washing silk blouses and dresses. I have used a wash tub and scrub board when I was younger. I'm glad I grew up poor. I learned a lot.
 

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Krazy Kitty
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Found an old style double tub for doing washing, do ya think it's worth $40 has the drains in it.
Yes I do. I think antique tools and such will be much looked for. I have found a lot of things at yard sales, cheap. It's really weird. Every weekend I say to myself I want to find a certain item. And I usually do. My daughter thinks I'm a witch. One day I said I wanted to find a food dehydrater. The last yard sale of the day we went to there was an Excelsior 5 tray dehydrator in the original box with the original book for $10.00. My daughter said holy s#@$ mom, you called it again. The season just started up here. Weather not so good. This weekend, nothing much but I had been thinking of more candles. I'm afraid of the dark. The last yard sale I went to they were starting to pack up. There was a box of candles on the ground. I asked how much and she said take them and started throwing a bunch of other stuff in the box. All junk but I got the candles for free. And sorry. I'm rambling again.
 

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dirty vegan hippie
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431 Posts
On vacation I wash my clothes in the sink with a bit of soap. (Usually powered laundry soap.. anything that won't leave residue on the clothes.) Scrub the fabric together to work the nasty out.
The boiling thing sounds good too, but maybe not something you'd do at every wash. That and the scrub board have me a little wary... I wouldn't want to wear my clothes out too fast.

If you do it every couple days instead of waiting 'til you have a huge load, it should only take a few minutes.
 

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When you have sun, low humidity, and high temperatures, you can try solar laundering. Just turn the clothes inside out lay them on a hard surface for an hour or so, then flip it. When after both sides are done, give it some good shakes to get the dirt out. The solar radiation kills off the bacteria, but is fairly hard on the cloth fibers. Not an everyday technique, and probably fairly desert-specific, but helps in a pinch.
 

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Hardwood ashes mixed with water makes lye water.

Lye water mixed with an oil or fat makes soap.
agreed, but the result is improved with a bit more work. The lye water needs to be concentrated. Letting water strain through ash and then letting the water evaporate for a while will get you a higher concentration (careful, this can be caustic). Most animal fat needs some rendering too, or the salt will impede the reaction, but vegetable oils are mostly good to go. Boiling animal fat in multiple changes of water help to extract the salt and impurities. When you combine the two, you want to make sure you use as little lye as you can. You have to stir it hard and long until it starts to trace (holds its shape, kind of like very soft pudding). Once the process (saponification) starts, the goop should get warm. Cover it, and put it in a cool place for a couple days at least (the lye stays active and can remain caustic for a while).
 

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Anyone know laundering methods that don't involve water?
post SHTF you will NEED water to wash cloths ;) (dry cleaning wont be suitable/applicable to post SHTF grime)

Assuming its mud or something, you could let it dry out, then hang it up and beat it with a stick (and all the dust/mud should fly off) i guess, but its not going to be "clean" per se, just cleaner.

Just washing your cloths in a bucket of water would probably use the least amount of water.

You dont even really "need" soap, its just dirt afterall.

Alternate washing method (in warm weather)

Step 1: Put on cloths
Step 2: Jump in river ;)
 

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Miles togo before I sleep
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I grow soap nut and use a plunger from Lehmans.
Works great!
 
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