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Posts Tagged ‘old fashioned clothes washing’

PostHeaderIcon Off Grid Camper Living – Laundry Bathing And Dish Washing Off The Grid

Today was laundry and washing day. When you live off the grid water becomes a very valuable resource. One of the most valuable and important things in your off grid life. You will learn to save water and use it very sparingly. See how I wash, bathe and do dishes off the grid.


Yesterday afternoon I spent some more time trying to insulate the camper more against the freezing cold night temperatures. This camper was free because it was badly water damaged. It is a work in progress, but is still not finished. Normally you would not jump out in the middle of winter to live in an unfinished camper. But I had no choice.

The cabinets above the desk (formerly bed) had some previous water damage and I had removed the old, rotted wood and insulation. But I never finished it. Yesterday I stuffed some insulation against the bare metal siding and closed it off with some dollar store hobby board. This has paper on two sides and foam in the middle. It adds another layer of insulation. And since this is a cabinet that only I will see, it does not matter how pretty it is.

Last night was very cold. The fire went out in the night. I cannot run the boiler at night for safety reasons until I get it fixed. I am snowed in so I cannot get supplies right now. I did not sleep well.

This morning it was 35 degrees in the camper. The outside door was frozen shut. I had to use a lighter to heat the door latch to even unlatch the door. The door frame was frozen shut all around as well and I had to kick it open carefully. Sadly this pulled off some weather stripping I will need to repair later.

I got the propane heater going on high and got a fire going in the wood stove to take the chill off. I only use the propane sparingly in order to save gas. It costs $20 for 15 pounds around here. A tank lasts about 4 nights if I use it on low all night. That is not very long.

When I went to make my morning cup of coffee, I discovered a terrible shock. I have coffee beans, but no coffee grinder. I left the grinders at the old place. The blizzard stopped me in mid move and half my stuff was left behind until the snow melts off.

I tried to get my car out today but failed. It is too slippery. I am stuck.

I want to say Thank You to a fellow youtuber who sent me a carbon monoxide detector and batteries for my safety. Thank you.

How to wash dishes, laundry and how to bathe off the grid…

Today I had to wash some dishes. Put a little water on the stove to heat up. Then pour a little bit of cold water in a bowl or container. I only had a bowl to wash, so it became my container. If you have a lot of dishes, use a plastic container to hold our wash water.

When your hot water is ready, pour a little in to get the water warm, not hot.

Wash your dishes all up first.

Now, if you have a lot of dishes, empty the wash water and rinse the container. Now pour some half-half hot and cold water in it. Rinse your dishes in the container.

When you are done, pour out the water. If you have a garden, this could be used to water plants.

The same thing goes for bathing yourself. Pour about a quarter gallon of cold water into your container. Then pour about a quarter gallon of hot water into it to make some warm water for bathing. Now you can dunk your head in and get your hair all wet. Then use soap and get it all lathered up. Now you can dunk your head back into the water to rinse. Cup your hands to bring up water to pour all over your head. You can also use a cup to rinse with.

When you hair is done, dry it with a towel. When living off the grid in winter, it will be cold. Bathing is done in steps.

Now take a wash cloth and start from your face, and work your way down to your feet. Soak the wash cloth in your bath water and use some soap to wash up with. Rinse in the tub of water each time.

When you are done, either pour out the water or use it for plants.

Today I washed my laundry. I had a decent load of clothes. This would normally cost me about $5 at the laundromat. No longer. I took a 5 gallon pail, my clothes, homemade soap and a new, clean toilet plunger down to the creek. The creek is about a good ten minute walk through dense forest by my off grid camper.

To wash clothes off the grid the easy way, fill a bucket half way with creek water. Put in some clothes. Not too many. Either 3-4 t-shirts, 6 pair of socks, 6 underwear, or a pair of jeans can be washed at one time.

Put in a little bit of laundry soap or shave a little bit off a bar of homemade soap. It does not take much at all.

Now take your toilet plunger and vigorously agitate the water for about two minutes. Then finished, take the bucket far from the creek and pour the water out.

Refill the bucket and put your clothes back in for the rinse cycle. Now agitate for about 30 seconds. When done pour out the water again and repeat the rinse cycle. Your clothes are done. You can hang them on a tree branch to drip off or leave the there to dry. If you have a laundry line, after the clothes have dripped out, you can hang them out to dry.

If you have very soiled clothes, you can heat up some water and put in your clothes. Add some soap and agitate for about 30 seconds. Now leave the clothes to soak for a couple hours. Then agitate for about 2 minutes. Rinse twice and your clothes should be cleaner than ever before, especially if you use homemade soap.

Part of solar living is that you are constantly monitoring the angle and position of the sun. I am always moving my Harbor Freight solar panels to point directly into the sun for the best charging current. If you keep doing this from dawn to dusk, you will see a gain in total usable energy each day.

Here is today’s video: