[permaculture] Alternative/traditional methods of doing laundry w/o a machine (how?)

Robert Waldrop bwaldrop1952 at att.net
Sat Mar 9 21:43:23 EST 2013

I have one of these --


It actually works, to both wash and then to rinse.

I only use mine occasionally, I wash at a nearby laundromat and line dry at 
home.  I use warm water in it.  If I was going to use it regularly, or was going 
to do my own laundry for any length of time, I would buy a hand operated 
wringer, as for my money, the most laborious aspect of hand laundry is wringing 
out the clothes before and after you rinse them. I would also find a permanent 
place for it and figure out a way to fasten it to a counter.

If it is going to rain, a method I have used for shirts or any other item that 
isn't heavily soiled, but instead just smelly from body odor, is to hang them on 
the line during the rain.  That, followed by air dry, works fine without any 
soap or agitation or anything.  I have tested it however with muddy towels and 
it doesn't work so well getting out the dirt.

Two other methods I've witnessed --

I have friends who hook their water pumping windmill to a standard washing 
machine without the motor, with a pulley, they fill the washer with a hose, and 
the wind provides the agitation action.

Another friend uses a tote on a table, she cut a hole in the lid, and through 
that hole she puts the handle of a standard toilet plunger, fits the lid on the 
tote, and agitates away.  The lid keeps water from splashing everywhere.
 Bob Waldrop, Oklahoma City
http://www.ipermie.net -- How to permaculture your urban lifestyle

From: Lawrence London <lfljvenaura at gmail.com>
To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sat, March 9, 2013 8:17:45 PM
Subject: [permaculture] Alternative/traditional methods of doing laundry w/o a 
machine (how?)

Now that we are all getting back to basics and everything, I have a

Say, take for example the $1000 large capacity front loading washing
machine you bought five years ago to gently launder sleeping bags and
winter jackets
and use only 12-16 times a year refuses to function normally after sitting
idle for six months (can't imagine who that might have happened to...) and
suddenly realize you are going to be washing all your laundry by hand for
the rest of your life (driving to laundromat is not an option).

What are effective ways to hand wash laundry?

cold water OK?
plenty of large plastic buckets and barrels to use, wheelbarrow?
biodegradable soap
agitation methods?
beat them against rocks or concrete patio?

are there any recipes for laundry soap that might work better than
commercial biodegradable liquid detergent,
i.e. get more dirt out quicker and with less agitation? borax, salt, baking
soda, Bon Ami, vinegar, other household product?

Anyone do their laundry by hand?
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