If the power is out for very long, a few days, it becomes necessary to do some basic laundry. Maybe not the sheets and linens – they can hang out and ‘air wash.’ But the undies. A few pairs of jeans. Some t-shirts or sweatshirts.
There is no doubt that we can wear our clothes longer and more often between washings than we are used to. The first thing we’ll learn about laundry when the power is out is to stall. But eventually . . . it will become inevitable. We have to wash something! Without electricity! Eeks!
Tools for Washing Laundry Outside
You will want to have some clean, five-gallon buckets, laundry soap (although we could survive a few weeks without it), and a plunger. A special laundry plunger would be best and can be purchased at Lehman’s for less than $20.
A wringer of some kind will make rinse the clothes much easier. You can spend $100+ for something fancy, or you can just have a mop bucket with a ringer or ‘squeezer’ on it.
How to Wash Laundry Outside
The New Survivalist has a great Youtube video showing exactly how to wash clothes without electricity. And The Frugal Village has an extensive step-by-step page on no electricity laundry. You will need to heat your water as much as possible to get it sanitized and truly clean, then agitate it in the buckets with detergent, and then wring the water out before drying. This could all be done by hand, in fact I suppose you can go down to the local ‘crik’ and bang your laundry on rocks. But it is so easy to obtain simple tools to make the job easier: A bucket, a plunger, and a mop wringer. That’s it!! Then just dry your clothes outside – that’s the easy part!