….On grid down laundry

 

This is the first of a series of gear reviews that I will be leisurely doing. Due to the nature of our 16 person retreat, I have collected a lot of really cool useful gear. I will share my experiences and opinion of them here, as well as the price and a source if I can remember it. D.

 

One of the many skills that will be necessary during a prolonged grid down situation will be keeping your clothes clean. Even if you have a solar power system or generators, you will not want to waste your limited fuel and resources running that energy sucking motor and pump in your washer.

 

On one of my many forays to Amazon.com looking for an old fashioned scrub board, which I bought along with a couple large plastic laundry buckets from ALDI, I came upon a rather unique device. After reading the positive reviews. I bought two! By the way I also bought a scrub board and large galvanized scrub bucket from Tractor Supply. I did not test these as our elders were very successful with them for decades.

 plunger_washer

I did my manual laundry test in my bathtub to minimize any mess. Filling a 6 gallon bucket half full of water and adding a measure of Oxi-clean, I placed some problem yellowed T-shirts in the bucket and then the washing plunger. It is a 8” diameter cone within a cone with a substantial 23” screw in wooden handle.

 

Per the instructions, I vigorously worked the handle up and down as you would a butter churn. The nature of the device creates a suction that pulls the soapy water through your clothes with out damaging them. You can easily feel the suction action at work. A few minutes of this and I changed the dirty soapy water for clean to repeat the process to rinse. I rinsed twice.

 

This unit uses minimum water and smaller amount of soap than usual. It is very efficient, but don’t plan on doing a load size that you would put in your washer. The threads in the cone would probably take a full sized pole (like those used for paint rollers) and allow you to stand or sit on a stool while plunging.

 

Upon hanging my shirts to dry, I found that the yellowing was gone. My conventional washer was unable to do this. The device proved more than adequate to launder a small batch of clothes.

 

I must say that this is work and would probably make a nice addition to your exercise schedule…but it does work well. MOBILE WASHER can be found on Amazon.com.

 

…..cleanly off grid. Regards, D.


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2 Comments

  1. Washing well and a good roll of TP. Is life ever better? Lehman’s has a number of wash aids including the plunger. I found an old all wooden wash board in Mom’s attic. It was annotated, “Approved by the War Industries Board.” I guess the metal for the rough ridges went into a WWII man of war.

    We should pay close attention to any good information regarding washing, be it of our bodies or clothes. Proper washing of the body improves hygiene and reduces disease while proper washing of clothing improves their wearable lifespan.

    I would like to hear from anyone with experience of ‘how it was done’ before electricity. I know there are a few gasoline engine powered Speedqueens still running and would guess these are the sine que non gold standard. We all ought to have at least one high quality wringer for our wash buckets.

    D, thanks so much for writing about this needful activity.

    PR

  2. I have a galvanized plunger, this one seems to be a better set up being plastic and having threads where mine is a slip fit, good idea D.

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