Hand washing your laundry is a great way to save on water and energy, and it is very therapeutic.

At the end of 2014, after 14 years of hand-washing, we actually got a machine. It is less effort and more convenient than by hand, especially when it’s cold or you’re sick. However it doesn’t get the clothes nearly as clean, not to mention it uses more water and electricity. If you want a couple of alternatives to the machine, here they are.

Washing by hand
  1. Fill a tub with about 5 gallons of water (enough for a medium sized load) and add all natural soap.
  2. Add your clothes and swill them around.
  3. Rub each item of clothing over a washboard, dunking it in water between each rub.
  4. Wring out and put aside, ready for next rinse.
  5. Repeat this process a further two times, totaling three washes (15 gallons).
  6. Hang on the line.
  7. Put your grey water on the garden or trees.

It takes about an hour and a half to do a good sized load of laundry, including hanging them on the clothesline to dry.

One thing that really surprised me was how clean you get your clothes. I had always assumed that a machine would get them cleaner, but this is not the case. I brought this up to my husband after using a relative’s machine. His reply was, “Of course. There isn’t a tiny little women inside the machine scrubbing them clean.”


Washing by truck

This was a method I heard of from one of our site’s readers. Again, it doesn’t get clothes as clean as by hand, but it works great for things that aren’t too dirty and are fairly light.

  1. Fill a five gallon bucket half full with water.
  2. Add a little soap.
  3. Put as many clothes as you can fit without overfilling. The more you put, the less clean they will get.
  4. Put the lid on firmly, and even tie it down with an extra wire.
  5. Tie the bucket in the back of the truck.
  6. Take the kids to school.
  7. Dump out the dirty water, squeeze the clothes some, and fill with clean water.
  8. Drive home.

Our road is so bumpy that the clothes were super agitated. I’m not sure how it would work for those of you that live on smooth roads.

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