For the preparedness-minded who are storing more than just food storage for TEOTWAWKI, there are all sorts of categories that you might be considering for a well rounded base of supplies. What about the supplies that you might need for ordinary (and extra-ordinary) cleaning and sanitation?
Here are a few thoughts, and a list to get you started…
The most common ingredient in most cleaning applications and processes is WATER. So with regards to being prepared for sanitation and cleaning, you must have some sort of water supply. Since the electricity often ‘goes out’ during disaster, or in a post-collapse world of sporadic or non-existent power, will your water always be flowing from your faucet? Think about that… Maybe there’s water near or on your property. Maybe not. Whichever it is, you will need to have a process to collect and store water – and/or backup alt-energy for one’s well pump, or a means to go beyond your property to collect and return with water. It’s obvious that you will need water for drinking – but in the context of sanitation and cleaning, you will also go through some amount of water. You can never have enough!
I have written all sorts of articles which are buried in this site regarding water. Here are a few which are somewhat in this context…
Water Barrel Storage For Emergency
The Average Gallons Of Water People Consume Each Day
How To Flush A Toilet Without Running Water
Water From Source To Home After The SHTF
Water Sources And Treatment
Okay, without electricity and/or while living in a SHTF post-collapse world, the things that you were accustomed to using for cleaning and sanitation might be partially or entirely unavailable or useless for awhile (or longer). Things like vacuum cleaners, dishwashers, garbage disposers, electric ‘anything’, your trash pickup, a flush toilet, paper towels, toilet paper, diapers, soap, etc.. and possible even your municipal water supply.
In addition to all of your other ‘new’ concerns will be those related to cleanliness, cleaning, and sanitation.
Without cleaning, bacteria will have the opportunity to multiply, which can make you ill, or worse. Your health and well being should be on the top of your priority list in a SHTF world. A clean kitchen and all associated tools and utensils (for example) before and after food preparation to avoid contamination, etc. Illness or infection can rapidly lead to serious or deadly health concerns without ready access to medical care, and prevention is the key.
In no particular order, here are some preparedness items to consider for the purpose of cleaning and sanitation in a post SHTF world. I’m also counting on you to add to this list in the comments section ;)
One more thing… with regards to cleaning supplies in general, you will be much better off with industrial grade (janitorial?) equipment for longevity. Lots of what’s made today for the consumer is not meant to last (I know – no big surprise there…)
Carpets will be nearly impossible to clean, however all else will benefit from the good old fashioned broom. Consider a variety of styles – some for inside and some heavy-duty for outside.
Keep a ‘good’ mop (and backups) for your floors. Plus, replacement heads.
Keep plenty of these, since they have plenty of uses.
Rags and towels (lots of them)
You will need more rags, towels, and similar materials than you might think – to satisfy the many cleaning chores both in and around the house, etc.. Eventually your supply of paper towels, etc.. will run out.
Handy for cleaning and other uses.
Big and small – varying bristles and purposes. Different sizes.
Especially when using cleaning chemicals or harsh cleaning materials, you want to protect your hands.
You can make your own cleaning solutions with the simplest of ingredients. Spray bottles are a great way to keep these solutions at the ready, without evaporation.
Dust pan and brush
Pretty obvious as to the use.
Already mentioned above. Consider ‘gray’ water for your cleaning purposes (water runoff from roofs, etc.), unless of course you have an abundance of water where you live.
Not only can you use bleach to disinfect water making it safe to drink, but it’s a terrific disinfectant for cleaning too. Hospitals use it for that. Disinfectant Bleach-Water Ratio. Note however that bleach will lose its strength over time (apprx. 50% in one year).
Dry Calcium Hypochlorite
(Pool Shock) You can make your own bleach or disinfecting solution with calcium hypochlorite and it will last forever if kept dry and cool. Be cautious with storage as it will corrode metals. I keep mine in a plastic 5-gallon bucket with a sealed ‘Gamma Lid’ (screw-on lid). Search the web for various ‘formulas’ to mix.
Borax is an all around great cleaner with a multitude of uses, for just about everything!
Bars of regular soap, including heavy duty ‘Lava’ soap, as well as liquid soaps are great cleaners. They are inexpensive and can be stored easily.
Vinegar is an effective sanitizer. Vinegar has all sorts of uses.
While any consumable will eventually run out, it’s not that difficult to store ahead a supply for one year. Here’s how many rolls of toilet paper the average person uses in a week (and one year).
Galvanized Trash Barrels
I have a number of these (various sizes and purposes) which are great for outside (and inside) storage of ‘whatever’, including trash. Galvanized will not rust. Also good for EMP protection.
Outhouse or portable toilet
Could you make your own?
Outhouse odor control (there are additional methods too).
If you have your own additional suggestions, comment and add to the list!