Washing Clothes Off Grid

Off Grid Laundry
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Updated August 25, 2020

Since moving onto our property we’ve been doing our laundry by hand. Think Little House on the Prairie style! Let me tell you...I kind of love it! If I get up early enough, it's still slightly cool, bunnies are still hopping around outside, and the birds are still singing their morning songs.

To make washing a little bit easier, we bought two large wash tubs at our local hardware store, a washboard, and some eco friendly soap, good clothes pins, and some clothesline to hang up the laundry.

Do yourself a favor and invest in a really good washboard if you plan on washing your clothes by hand. I can tell it’s made a big difference in the amount of grime I’m able to get out of our clothes. Working out here in the desert, all our clothes get dirty very fast. The wavy pattern on the washboard really helps get the dirt out, plus these washboards are made right here in the good ol’ USA!

First, we’ll fill up one of the wash tubs with our soapy water, and the other with clean water for rinsing. We always start with the cleanest of the dirty clothes first. Typically that means starting with the kitchen towels, then we’ll wash the bath towels and washcloths. Just give them a good scrub with the soapy water and if needed, use a bar of laundry soap for tough stains or dirt. Give them a good wash and ring them out before they go into the rinsing bucket. I like to spend at least 10 minutes of scrubbing per small batch.

If the washing water looks too dirty, I’ll toss it on one of our trees and fill it back up. Next up is the least dirty of our clothes…shirts, shorts, etc. Same process as with the towels and keep repeating until all your dirty clothes are washed! I love this soap net bag to keep the laundry bar out of the water but easily accessible. 

We have several of these soap net bags that we use for our bar soap in the shower! We found them while exploring the great little town of Fairhope, AL

Make sure to give the clothes a really good rinse before ringing out and hanging up to dry.

It really is just that simple! Keeping on top of the laundry is key, though. We try to do laundry every 2-3 days and that seems to be working out great with our schedules.

Before you ask, let’s talk about the soap. I’ve used several kinds and while I don't have a current favorite, I do always make sure it says biodegradable and eco friendly since our dirty water will be watering the plants on our land. We are currently using Dr. Bronners, Ethique Laundry Bar, and SOAK.

As always, if you have any questions about washing laundry by hand, I'd be happy to answer them. Just leave a comment below!

Cheers

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Ashley Longnecker

About the Author

Ashley Longnecker is the fiercely independent tattooed and dreaded half of Tiny Shiny Home. She's a woodworker, photographer and maker of delicious baked goods. She loathes schedules and makes every day an adventure.

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Posted May 28, 2020


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