In a world without a functioning electrical power grid, a post apocalyptic world, a world knocked back in time, you will need to perform tasks that were once assisted by modern technology. You will need items that will help accomplish the job, and you will need to know how to do it yourself.

Most modern hardware will become ‘boat anchors’ and the conveniences they brought to your life will vanish when their energy source is removed. Some of these things you will be able to live without, while others will have to be replaced with alternatives along with a new way of doing things.

One of these is doing laundry. Wearing filthy clothes will present a health risk, possibly leading to infections. You will find it necessary to find another way to wash your clothes.


10 Items for washing clothes and doing laundry

…by hand, without electricity or a washing machine and dryer.

Laundry soap-detergent
You can make your own laundry detergent (for cheap) using a combination of Borax, Washing Soda, and Bar Soap. Or you could stock up on regular laundry detergent.
Laundry soap recipe and a how-to video

Wash tubs
You will need conveniently large wash tubs to do your washing and rinsing. Some people recommend using two rinse tubs in addition to the wash tub.

For convenience, ordinary buckets are useful to bring water from the source to the wash tubs.

The key tool for washing clothes is the traditional washboard.
Washboards are amazingly effective.

Rubber gloves
Protect your skin by wearing long-sleeved rubber gloves.

Scrub brush
An invaluable item for assisting with dirt or stain removal.

Clothes Wringer
To speed up drying times, although not a necessary item.

You will want to have plenty of clothesline rope to hang your clothes to dry.

Clothesline Pulley

Although you can tie rope around trees, having two heavy duty clothesline rope pulleys, Pulley hooks, and a Clothesline tightener will make the job of hanging clothes much easier.

Clothes pins
To avoid clothes blowing off the line, you will need plenty of these. Don’t forget the clothespin bag for convenience sake.


Other considerations:

Having a water source nearby is an obvious consideration. If you don’t live near a natural water source, you may want to consider a well with a hand pump or a pump powered by alternative energy (solar?). You could also ‘travel’ to a source of water on laundry day, provided it’s within reach.

You don’t need hot water to wash clothes. However heated water will be more effective. If your buckets are metal, you could heat the water over a fire or burner.

Remember that you should always have spares. One is none and two is one.

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