The Clothes-Line at Elegant Survival, Est. 2006

Drying Clothes in the Fresh Air is a Luxury
The Clothes-Line, by M-J de Mesterton
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Washing and Drying Clothes without Electricity

Washing and Drying Clothes without Electricity, et Cetera

Posted at 10:58 AM on June 11, 2009

M-J's Clothes-Washing Operation (photo copyright Elegant Survival 2009)
M-J's Clothes-Washing Operation (Photo Copyright Elegant Survival 2009)

M-J’s Clothes-Washing Routine

We don’t have a washer or dryer. That’s by choice. I have plenty of water, two sinks and two buckets. When I say “plenty”, I mean it is available, but I don’t waste it. The beauty of washing and rinsing in buckets is that one can dump the “grey water” out in the garden. Plants don’t mind soap or vinegar, in fact, vinegar and salt, as I like to say, are fertilizers. I have the luxury of a washbasin and a rinse-bucket. Note that the silver one matches the sink, while a white basin would look swell in a porcelain one.

This isn’t “roughing it”. I once lived without running water for over a year, with just wood-stoves for cooking and heating. I took sauna (pronounced “sow-nah”, not “sawna”) regularly, though. Then there was the time I lived in a tee-pee for two weeks in 25* weather. I am used to building my own fires for cooking and heat, making my own bread the old-fashioned way, washing clothes by hand and hanging them on the line to dry. Those things are muscle-building, and who needs a fancy “health-club” when saving electricity and doing things yourself keep a gal in shape? I don’t watch television; we cut the cable last year, as described in Household Hints. No problem–as a radio-nut,  I have a lot of them, all operable with batteries, including a short-wave.

One of my favorite themes here and on the Elegant Survival News blog is getting by without electricity. For now, I use a computer, and someday, when the power-grids fail because of ridiculous energy-restrictions, I am going to adapt to the new situation with my usual vigor.

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2009

Wash-Water Additives, Laundry Boosters

Borax

Vinegar

Salt

Baking Soda

Hydrogen Peroxide (for white items with stubborn stains)

Sometimes I use a combination of the above additives, depending upon the stains at hand.

For wringing clothes, I sometimes use The Absorber, available at auto-supply stores.

The Clothes Line, an Elegant Survival Original, Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2006
The Clothes Line, an Elegant Survival Original, Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2006

When it is raining, I use a wooden laundry-rack instead of hanging clothes outside. If you live in an apartment, plastic hangers on an extra shower-rod, placed in the middle of the area above the tub, works well, too, with adequate ventilation.


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