Today, it’s all about how to wash clothes when the power goes out! Yes, I have my emergency washing machine buckets I recently showed you in a post, but I have another option today. In order to be prepared for an unforeseen emergency, we can start by learning how to do laundry outside and really love it! I can still remember seeing the sheets hanging on the clothesline when I was younger.
My family had one of those clotheslines with the metal “T” frames spaced about 20 feet apart with braided rope. We couldn’t use metal clothesline wires back then because it would leave rust on the clothes. This can be a great family experience doing laundry outside, I promise. I’ve updated this post because I really want to get the word out about being prepared to wash your clothes by hand, it’s that simple.
Were Our Clothes Stiff?
Growing up, I don’t remember our clothes being stiff (after drying them on the clothesline), but I’m thinking they must have been. We didn’t get a clothes dryer until about 1961 when I was in my early teens. My mom used good old detergent in a washer and we hung the clothes and sheets outside to dry. My family didn’t have a laundry room or closet with a washer and dryer inside.
As I think back, we had very few clothes and that makes me realize it was the cost, but I’m also thinking we wore our clothes more than one day each week. We can’t imagine that today, but I am just thinking that was the case years ago. I did grow up with a washer and dryer after the time I was about eleven. Wow, I’m starting to feel really old right now. LOL!
How To Wash Clothes
By now you probably know I want to be prepared for the unexpected. This means I need to know how to do my laundry if the power goes out and know that I CAN do it. I am happy to report that I found one new option, and I really enjoyed just filling with a hose these 17-gallon high-grade steel Behrens multi-purpose steel utility tubs made right here in the USA! I used my lead-free hose, just giving you the heads up here. They are rust free and odor-free. Lead-Free Hose
They’re galvanized and ready for me to do laundry outside! If the water was shut off I can use some of the water I have stored. It’s called practice makes perfect, right? I know I can wash my clothes by hand several different ways and this is another one you may like as well.
Why I Won’t Use The Bathtub For Laundry
Now you might be thinking why don’t you just use the bathtub to do your laundry? Well, if we had water lines or sewer lines severed I don’t want to waste any water. If I use two wash tubs or buckets, I can use my detergent and use one for washing clothes and the one for rinsing my clothes. If I use about 1/4 teaspoon of my homemade laundry detergent, that will be perfect! My laundry detergent makes very few bubbles because it has zero fillers.
Lavario Portable Clothes Washer
I’ve been wanting to make a video with this Lavario Portable Clothes Washer, but I can’t wait any longer. This is the best emergency clothes washer ever put out. It’s very affordable, I love that. You can wash two pairs of jeans in this baby without any trouble whatsoever. It holds more water, and it drains super easy through the “valve” on the bottom right of the picture. I love it!
A real bonus is that this Lavario would be awesome for camping or if your traveling in the RV. If you have a clothesline you are good to go, my friends. I actually signed up for their newsletter so I would hear about sales they might have. I saved 20% off mine and was able to get free shipping as well. Gotta love it! Please check out their website: Lavario Portable Clothes Washer, currently unavailable).
Learn To Do Laundry Outside
Do you want to know why I think you will love doing your laundry outside? You can go outside to wash your clothes and enjoy the experience. Put your feet in the grass or earth and feel the air around you. Just think, we can teach our kids what our grandparents used to do. They may have had a wringer washer years ago. Or they had a washtub very similar to the ones above.
Put Down Electronics
Just get away from the electronics, your cell phone, and stuff for just an hour or less. Go outside and have everyone in the family take a turn scrubbing their own clothes in a bucket of water. You can have them rinse them and hang them over chairs outside. If you have a clothesline that’s even better.
You can hang a braided rope and secure it to two walls in the garage, or wherever. Just wash with the washboard, can’t you just picture the kids doing this with their own hands? Please be careful with babies or toddlers around the filled washtubs. I would not leave the tubs unsupervised until emptied. 17-Gallon Behrens Washtubs
Have Your Kids Wash Their Own Laundry Outside
Trust me, the kids will learn to work and love it at the same time. Have them wash their own clothes and hang them up during the next week. The kids will quickly learn what it would be like to live without electricity, at least when it comes to washing their clothes. I remember when my girls started doing their own laundry they were about 10 years old. They soon learned that all the clothes on the floor were now their responsibility. My girls actually enjoyed doing their own laundry.
Do You Have A Clothesline For Your Laundry Outside?
Here’s the deal, think about getting some braided rope that you can use to make a clothesline, when and if you need one. If you can build a clothesline that would be awesome as well. I did a YouTube with the clothesline I have. I had been looking for one for years when I found this one. My Favorite Clothesline-EarthEasy.com. I made a YouTube so people can see how easy it is to put up and take down. It blows in the wind and dries clothes perfectly.
Clothespins and Clothespin Bags
You may have seen my post about the best clothespins I like to use. These are the only ones I personally found to use outside that did not fall apart. They are called Kevin’s Clothespins
Please look at the difference right here:
Kevin’s clothespin is the one in the center. It’s extremely strong and easy to use. Please stock up on clothespins before you need them. I purchase clothespin bags from Prairie Pin Pouch (.net). They are the best ones out there, you will love them.
Let me know if you have shown your family how to wash clothes without a traditional washer and dryer, I would love to share your stories. Please keep prepping, you’ll be glad you did. May God bless this world, Linda