The first time I hand washed my clothes I expected it to be a tedious task. I was surprised to find out how much I actually enjoyed doing it!
Though they never seem to come out quite as clean as a machine could get them, and sometimes still look dirty afterwards but they sure do smell like the cleanest clothes in the world!
Of course there’s been a lot of tweaking of my method since my first load. We are close to a running stream and the water is ice cold. It sometimes numbs your hands it’s so cold! I wanted to find an easier way for the kids to do theirs.
We recently started using the bucket method to do our laundry. We use two buckets and a plunger to get the job done. The first bucket has several holes drilled into it. The plunger has about 15 holes. We set the bucket with the holes into the bucket without holes. We cut a small hole in the center of the bucket lid and place the plunger inside. As we thrust the plunger up and down and the water shoots out from all directions which agitates the soap and simulates a traditional washing machine.
I was told by a college friend that the best way to do laundry this way is to allow the clothes to soak for at least 10 minutes before and after you do the plunging motion. This allows the stains to break free from the clothes.
After washing, I pull the bucket with the holes out of the one it’s sitting inside of and use the one it was sitting in to push all of the water out of the clothes. I then fill with water and rinse twice.
I ring the excess water out with my hands and hang on the line. That’s it! All done.
I can’t say that this process takes any longer than a traditional washing machine. The only difference is that your doing all the leg work. That’s fine with me because I love being outdoors and in the sun. Plus, who can complain about freshly hand washed sun dried laundry! It smells soooo good!
The next time your camping bring your portable washing machine bucket and plunger and try it for yourself!