How to do laundry without electricity

Laundry rack
Washboard for living off the grid
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Make your own rapid washer system with a plunger and bucket
Check out
27 Do-it-yourself Project with a Five Gallon Bucket.

Below are some off-grid washers. Be sure to check our
list of the
best off grid washers.

Laundry Method #4: Easy-Go Wash Wand
The Easy-Go-Wash manual handwasher, like the name implies,
it's easy to use and effective. Just partially fill two five-gallon
buckets with water, then add laundry detergent and put clothes
inside. We suggest using a colored bucket to distinguish these
buckets from the food-grade kind.

Next, place the
EasyGo Washing Wand on top of clothes and
push down and pull up to activate the washing and cleaning of
clothes. The water is pushed and sucked through the clothes to
provide a thorough cleaning. The average washing machine uses
40 gallons per cycle compared to 10 gallons or less for Washing
Wand! Again you'll need to supply the bucket.

Laundry Method #5: WonderWash.
Get cranking! The WonderWash, pictured right will help you wash
a 5-lbs.-load super clean in just a couple of minutes.
WonderWash uses far less water than even hand washing, and it
uses no electricity either.

You turn laundry by hand which is economically sound, and great
for environment. When you put warm or hot water into the drum,
fit the lid in place and seal the machine, the air inside the drum
will absorb the heat of the water and expand. When the air
expands it creates pressure inside the drum. The pressure forces
the detergent into and through the fabric about 100 times faster
than you could by hand or machine.

Laundry Method #6: Laundry Pod.
Much faster than hand washing your laundry, the Laundry Pod,
pictured right, is easy to use, efficient and effective. It tackles
heavy or delicate loads, and it's much faster than hand washing.
It uses no electricity and uses less than three gallons of water.
To use, just fill it with water and drain with the attached hose.
There's not need to wring out your clothes because the spinning
is highly effective and efficient.

The price has gone down from around $99 to around $70. It's
great for light loads, but if you're going to be washing heavy
jeans most of the time, then this is not the laundry option for
you. Get ready to put in some muscle power because this isn't
going to be easy.

Laundry Method #7 WonderWasher.
There's no need to connect to a water source when you have a
(not to be confused with the similarly named
WonderWash). The WonderWasher will swish your clothes clean.
The caveat is that you will need to plug this in, so it's not totally
an off-grid washing machine. Yes this is an electric portable mini
washing machine, but you can rig something off-grid with a small
generator or
mobile solar power.

No more quarters! WonderWasher is ideal for apartments, dorms,
boats and RVs. Just plug it in, fill with laundry, add soap and
water and close the lid. Swish, swish. Things are better already!
Won't wash as much as at laundromat, but it'll get a load of
socks and underwear fresh and clean fast.

Laundry Method #8: Giantex Twin Tub.
If you want an off-grid laundry experience that resembles the
modern conveniences, you can try a more sophisticated washing
machine like the
Giantex Twin Tub Portable Washing Machine,
pictured right. It very affordable at around $129.

Relief yourself from hand washing with the Giantex twin tub
portable washing machine. This compact twin tub washing
machine, which is prefer for doing laundry in a compact
environment. As for a portable washing machine, this washing
machine will be ideal for dorms, apartments, condos, motor
homes, RV’s, camping and more. You'll need to make
adjustments if you don't plumbing, but you can simply use this
washing machine in a bathtub. It's a best seller.

More Considerations for Off Grid Laundry

Why is fresh laundry important for survival?
It's interesting to note that dirt compromises the integrity of
clothes in terms of warmth. Dirts and oils degrade clothing and
can have a significant impact on survival in select situations, so
it's important in uncertain times to remain as clean as possible.
Also, cleanliness has a role in mitigating disease.

Why might a prepper purposely wear dirty laundry?
There may be a time to air your dirty laundry! Indeed, a Prepper
may find it necessary, at some juncture, to camouflage in society
by appearing as dirty as the others are, so as not to attract
unwanted attention. That's when wearing the dirty clothes may
become an important prepping strategy.

Prepper's Challenge - Off the Grid Laundry Day.
Try doing laundry off the grid! In the simplest form, doing laundry
off the grid requires a water source, plus, you'll need a family
size washboard, a galvanized bucket a wringer washer, and of
course a clothes line. Do a week's worth of laundry without using
electricity. The exercise will enable you to understand your
family's needs in the event the unthinkable happens and we're all
forced to
live off the grid.

There are better ways to do your laundry off grid, but if you
choose this method:
  • Choose a biodegradable soap or you will be polluting your
    garden foods
  • Be sure to label the buckets with a Sharpie, so you don't mix
    it up with the food grade buckets for your food storage or
    you will have chemicals leaching into your food!
  • Mark the toilet plunger as well, so you don't mix it up with
    the bathroom plungers, which would be very unsanitary. By
    the way, a Sharpie marker is item 98 on the 99 ways to
    spend a buck at the dollar stores.

While living without electricity and doing laundry by hand isn't
going to be easy for preppers, it will bring a sense of
satisfaction. Self-sufficiency has its own rewards and fresh
smelling laundry is among the treasures.

Laundry Facts
Think you'll have it hard when you have to do laundry without the
aid of electricity? You've got it easy! Get a load of these laundry

  • A "Toga-ly" disgusting laundry fact: The University of
    Chicago confirms that Romans were without knowledge of
    soap for laundry and instead used the urine of men and
    animals, which they mixed with water. It wasn't women's
    work! The Romans did their laundry in large basins and
    employed boys to stomp the laundry clean. (Don't try this at

  • A job that "bites" in ancient Egypt. One of the worst jobs of
    ancient Egypt was the launderer, according to "The Ancient
    Egyptians For Dummies, a book by Charlotte Booth. Like the
    Romans, the men of ancient Egypt were the professional
    launderers and they complained with more than enough
    reasons.  The work required heavy lifting of linens in
    collecting them from villagers to the water. There, they used
    natron (hydrated sodium carbonate) and lime to scrub their
    linens clean using stones to crush out the stains. What
    really took the bite out of this job was their "laundrymat"
    along the Nile, which was filled with deadly crocodiles,
    parasitic worms and biting insects. It was a dangerous job
    that brought along some fatalities.

  • Scent your laundry with Frankincense and Myrrh to repel
    insects. You can repel insects with the scent of myrrh in your
    clothes. Zum Clean has no synthetic foaming agents,
    chemicals and artificial stuff. Instead, Zum Clean uses
    coconut oil, baking soda, vegetable glycerin, natural borax
    and 100% pure essential oils, including Frankincense and

So now you know a little more about how to wash clothes without
electricity, and how people of the past did their laundry by hand.
When you take everything into consideration, doing off grid
laundry isn't so bad. You'll enjoy the fresh scent of the great

Happy endings...
No matter how you do the laundry, your work is never done! Be
thankful for modern conveniences including washing machines
and dryers. If you plan to live off the grid without electricty,
into getting a generator to help you do laundry the way the
Amish do it. That way you can whistle while you work (as the
buzz of the modern convenience does most of your work).

Learning how to do the laundry without electricity will help you
prepare for an
ElectroMagnetic pulse (EMP).

Related articles on self-sufficiency...

Are you working  towards self-sufficiency? Are you ready to do
your laundry without electricity to go off the grid just like the
Amish people? Have you found a better off-grid washing method?
We're looking to connect with like minded preppers and hear your
ideas. Write us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Above is a demonstration of Lehman's Wringer washer, but you can make
one yourself much less expensively.

How do the Amish get along without electric lights or
appliances, computers, power tools, or their own phones?

Living without Electricity tells all. This book examines the
Amish response to technology. Also, the role of invention
among the Amish. This book tells how and why the Amish live
without inventions other people take for granted: How do you
light a room without electricity? How do you keep warm without
centralized heating? What do you do for entertainment when
you don't have TV? How do you get around without a car? How
do you communicate when you don't have a phone?           
Living Without Electricity explains how the Amish cook and
store food, pump water, wash clothes, and even run farms and

Doing the laundry without electricity also requires you have a
method of drying. The Amish use a
heavy duty clothes line. The
video below shows you how.
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Above is how to hang an Amish Clothesline.

Laundry Method #2: Great Grandma's way.
How did your Great Grandma do her laundry? Your great granny
sorted, soaked, scrubbed and then hung the laundry in the fresh
mountain air! Next, she folded, starched and ironed. Maybe she
made her own lye soap. It was hard work.

To wash clothes without electricity, like  Great Grandma did,
you'll need:
  1. A galvanized metal tub to soak clothes.
  2. A washboard to get out the main dirt
  3. Lye soap
  4. Handwash wringer.
  5. Clothes line, rope or a clothes rack and clothes pins

With the luxury of technology you can do laundry off grid with
much less manual labor than your great grandmother did hers.
We've outlined several more ways to do your laundry by hand or
without the use of electricity.

Laundry Method #3: Hand-plunger method.
The cheapest method for off grid laundry is a plunger and a
bucket - it's the hand-plunger method. Conventional wisdom in
the prepper world is to do things as inexpensively as possible
and this is it. To take advantage of the hand plunger method
and make a camp style bucket, you'll need to gather the
  1. Two five-gallon buckets
  2. Lids for the five gallon buckets
  3. Liquid detergent
  4. Toilet plunger
  5. Rope or clothes line
  6. Clothes pins and a clothes pin bag
  7. Net bag (optional to hold and squeeze laundry)

To make the camp style bucket with a lid, you'll also need a
drill. The video below shows how to make a camp style bucket.
Drilling a hole in the lid not really necessary, but it is a nice
way to keep the water contained.
Easy Go Washing Wand
Wonder Washer
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Giantex washer
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Off grid showers
Prepper Toilets
Laundry Without Electricity
Doing the laundry without electricity

How to do the laundry without electricity.
Back in the day, women did the laundry without electricity.
Preppers can learn from the pioneers, the Amish, and even their
own great grandmothers about how to do the laundry without
electricity. It wasn't easy to do laundry back in the day without
modern conveniences of a washing machine and dryer, but they
did it (and you can too).

Below are ways of doing the laundry without electricity...

Do the Laundry (No Electricity Required)!
Ever hear the expression of being put "through the wringer"?
Well, take a look at a
laundry wringer and now you'll have an
even better understanding of the meaning.

"Through the wringer" is an expression of hardship or difficulty
~ and, indeed doing laundry was a difficult and cumbersome
task. Doing the laundry back in the day put a tight squeeze on
personal time, because of all the steps involved. Frankly, they
didn't do as much laundry as we do today, simply because it
took so much work! They waited for things to get really dirty
before deciding  to wash.

Laundry Method #1: The Amish way.
According to, the Amish have the belief that
"too much reliance on public power ties one too close to the
world." So how do they do their laundry? You may be surprised
to learn the biggest secret about how the Amish do their
laundry. Amish people use a generator to power their laundry!

  • Maytag wringer washer that runs on diesel. Amish families
    who live off the grid invest in the post-war era style
    wringer washers generated by diesel. If you're looking for
    an Amish clothes washer, you'll have to scour the vintage
    market for a Maytag Wringer Washer from the 1920s and
    then know how to rig it up to a diesel generator. The
    Amish pretty much have corned the market on these, so
    good luck!

  • Galvanized washtub and wringer. This is the most practical
    way for preppers to do their laundry by hand off-grid in
    large quantities. It's an old fashioned washer wringer,
    which is similar to a dasher washer, that you can assemble
    yourself in two easy steps. First you'll need a galvanized
    twin washtub. Around $240, the galvanized tub pictured
    slightly top right is the same they've made for 100 years.
    It includes 2 sturdy galvanized laundry sinks with drain and
    double stand. Next, you'll to affix to it a laundry wringer,
    such as the Calliger Hand Crank Clothes Wringer. It will run
    you around $140, but it's well worth it. Wringing wet
    laundry by hand can be quite toilsome and can hurt hands
    and wrists. Perfect for emergency preparedness and natural
    disasters, the military, washing your car, for professional
    Tilers and Grouters, or for people who simply love the idea
    of self-sufficient, off the grid living. This useful wringer will
    help you effortlessly remove the water from your clothes
    and tremendously speed up drying time of laundry, without
    even breaking a sweat!

    Alternatively, you could invest in a mop bucket.

  • Lehman's Wringer Washer. The Lehman's Washer below
    is very expensive, but it's well made. The first-rate
    construction includes the wringer and stainless steel tub.
    Agitator's pendulum motion slashes effort and shortens
    wash time to just several minutes per load.Remember that
    a wringer alone costs around $129 and this method is an
    ideal alternative to electric or gas washers and dryers.
    Made in the U.S.A. with heavy-duty plastic fittings in
    standard sizes, below is a demonstration of how easy it is
    to use:
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