How to clean without running water

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Above, Tinyhouse shows you how to do the dishes without running water.

#2: How Wash hands without running water.
Clean hands are important for preventing illness since your hands
are the gateway to germs to your mouth, nose and other orifices.
You don't want germs to enter your body through dirty hands.

Preppers love hand sanitizers but may not realize that hand
sanitizers do not clean hands. Hand sanitizers only help remove
the bacteria from your hands. In other words, they are more of an

Did you know that many essential oils are antibacterials?
You can dilute any of the following essential oils with water or an
aloe vera gel to
make your own hand sanitizers.
  1. bergamot essential oil
  2. geranium essential oil
  3. lavender essentia oil
  4. lemon essential oil
  5. lime essential oil
  6. oregano essential oil
  7. sweet orange essential oil
  8. rosemary essential oil
  9. thyme essential oil

Remember to wipe away the dirt, not just the germs:
Now you know that hand sanitizers don't get rid of the dirt. Try to
wipe away the dirt with wet wipe or if you have even a limited
amount of water you can take advantage of a hands-free camp
sanitation system, pictured right.

  • Tye Works Advanced Hand Wash System has hands-free
    operation, and a built-in soap holder. It's sets up easily. The
    Advanced Hand Wash System by Tye Works, uses a foot
    operated pump to provide water to a copper spigot easily
    slipped over the rim of most buckets. A brass and stainless
    steel inlet strainer helps keep the water flowing. These are
    commonly found on river rafting trips, mountaineering
    expeditions, and car camping, but could be equally useful at
    fishing or hunting camps. Ideally two systems would be
    used, with one set up at the groover (privy), and the other at
    the camp kitchen. Units contain materials from
    approximately 95% domestic sources.

#3: How to keep your body clean without water
Staying clean is important to your health. If we can learn
anything from homeless people it's that without keeping clean
you can succumb to fungal infections, rashes, sores, lice, yeast
infections and more.

If you have a few gallons of water:
If you can set up an off-grid shower or at least get a solar
shower, then you are able to get clean without running water.
Here are three ideas to do just that:

  • Deck Sprayer. One outlandish idea, found on YouTube,
    might not be so outlandish after all for a long term
    emergency. The prepper found a deal on a deck sprayer and
    planned on cleaning with this apparatus.

  • Solar Shower. A solar shower is inexpensive and a
    wonderful way to stay clean in a long term emergency. You
    can take a warm shower with just three gallons of water. Get
    one for each member of the family!

If you have no water or minimal water:
Below are ideas garnered from homeless people that will help you
stay clean:

  • Apple cider vinegar as a natural douche. It's important to
    stay clean between the legs and apple cider vinegar can help
    you from getting a yeast infection. Pour some vinegar onto a
    paper towel and pat your privates. It may sting if you have a
    yeast infection, and you'll need to repeat the process for a
    few days, but it effectively and naturally cleans to avoid a
    vaginal yeast infection.

  • Baby wipes and bath wipes. You have no water at all, an
    obvious way to stay clean without running water is to use
    baby wipes or bath wipes. Wet wipes are effective when a
    shower is not possible. You can also learn to make your own
    wet wipes using essential oils.

  • Bidet. A splash of water is all it takes to get the job done
    clean using a bidet. It's also an ideal modern solution to
    theissue when the toilet paper runs out.Using bidets can
    save 75% or more on toilet paper use, helping to protect our
    forests and our environment. The portable bidet right, uses
    water to relieve discomfort to those who suffer from:
    Hemorrhoids, Constipation, Diarrhea, Fissures, Crohn's
    Disease; as well as those recovering from: Colorectal
    surgery, Colostomy, Ulcerative Colitis (UC), Irritable Bowel
    Syndrome (IBS), J-Pouch patients.

  • Lubricant gel. Yes, the stuff intended for love making. You
    can get a dry shave from lubricant gel.

  • Warm wet cloth. Start with the least dirty area: your face.
    Then move on to the areas that need the most cleansing.
    You'd be surprised how fresh you can feel with a warm wet
    cloth applied to your armpits and crotch to cleanse where
    you need it most. You can also add some lavender essential
    oil to the cloth to help keep the fresh feeling. Campsuds,
    pictured right, is safe for use as a bath soap and shampoo,
    to wash and spot-clean clothes and to clean anything
    washable. Made from natural vegetable-derived ingredients
    with natural essential oil fragrance.

  • Natural sponge baths. A simple bathing method employed
    for centuries is a sponge bath. The problem is that you may
    not have reserved any sponges for bathing. Make sure to get
    a supply. Ensure these are natural sponges to distinguish
    your bathing sponges from the ones used with toxic
    chemicals for other cleaning purposes. All you need is a bowl
    of warm soapy water and a sponge to clean. Start first with
    the face and then move down the body to hands and where
    the sun doesn't shine in that order.

  • Deodorants. Know that deodorants don't clean. Deodorants
    only mask the odors. It's a personal decision whether it's
    worth it to you to add chemicals to your body or just live
    with your natural scent.

#4: How to wash your hair without soap and water.
Soap is important. You may think it's imperative to have soap,
but you really can
wash without soap (or at least smell better).
Shampooing daily can be very harsh on your hair, especially if
you're balding and because of this you may like to limit the
shampoo use to every other day. Washing hair too often strips
hair follicles of the oils necessary to hydrate your hair. If you use
less shampoo you'll also save money, so it's a win-win situation.
If you don't want to hop in the shower, then give a dry shampoo
a try.

  • Batiste Dry Shampoo. Remove oil and grease to breathe
    new life into your hair, leaving you feeling clean between
    washes with Batiste Dry Shampoo, pictured right. Enjoy a
    clean and classic fragrance with subtle hints of powder,
    lavender, and musk. Use between washes to instantly
    refresh your hair, no water required. The waterless formula
    absorbs dirt and grease to revitalize dull and lifeless hair

  • Baking soda. Baking soda is another prepper favorite
    because it's a mult-use survival item. Believe it or not,
    baking soda is a great way to dry shampoo and the method
    is very simple. Sprinkle a little baking soda into your scalp to
    allow hair to absorb the oils, then brush out the baking soda.
    You can use baking soda as a dry shampoo to completely
    remove the greasy look to your hair the natural way. Use a
    pinch in a pinch when you don't have time shower. Just
    sprinkle the baking soda at the greasy roots and then brush
    out the extra baking soda. You'll be amazed at how this not
    only detoxifies your body, but helps you look fresh again
    almost instantly.

#5: How to brush your teeth without water.
Have you ever tried a tooth powder? Tooth powder takes all the
binders and fillers out of toothpaste and allows you to brush with
just what you need, reaching enamel and the gum line directly.

  • Give Frau Fowler tooth powder a try. What makes the
    product special is the science-backed research on the
    ingredients, the fact they are all food grade and that you
    don't rinse your mouth out. Most municipal tap sources are
    below 7 in pH and when you rinse your mouth out, you’re
    speeding up the process in which anaerobic bacteria thrive.
    Our tooth powder is almost a 10 in alkalinity and when you
    don’t rinse, the product works longer for you. When it tastes
    like a “dissolved mint” you won’t mind! It’s a new way of
    brushing that makes it hard, if not impossible to go back to
    anything else.

#6: Feminine Hygiene.
If you have women, teen girls or girls approaching menstruation
in your household, you'll need to prepare. Get with the flow! (Pun

  • Washable pads. You'll find many washable pads on Ebay,
    Etsy and Amazon or you can sew them yourself,

  • Cups. Sanitary cups are good for the environment but
    practicality turns when you think about personal safety in
    terms of being able to clean the cups.

  • Tampons and pads. It's easy to stock up on tampons and
    menstrual pads, but these items need a proper disposal.

#7: Waste management.
No article on keeping clean without water would be complete
without a discussion on waste management. Stocking up on the
sanitary supplies is the easy part, but cleaning up after using
them is more difficult. During an emergency you won't have
someone picking up the trash.

Consider these prepping articles on:

  • Waste disposal: Proper handling of feces, urine and vomit
    when the stuff hits the fan is among the most important of
    survival tasks. Learn proper waste management techniques.
    Diseases spread easily through soil and water pollution from
    such human waste. Pathogens and parasitic diseases spread
    from man to livestock and back to man and the cycle
    continues. Human excrement is a breeding place for flies
    that can also carry disease.

  • How to clean up vomit. Are you prepared when vomit
    happens? Vomit is a biohazard and you can safeguard your
    family from spreading the contagion when you know how to
    clean up vomit. Learn how to clean up vomit properly so no
    one else gets sick.

  • Know how to set up a quarantine room. Keep clean! Learn
    how to set up a quarantine room and ensure proper hygiene.
    Without proper hygiene and waste management, you can
    contract many diseases and illnesses:
  • cholera
  • diarrhea
  • dysentery
  • intestinal parasitic worms
  • rodents scurrying to your compost also will spread
  • salmonella
  • trachoma
  • typhoid
  • Mosquitoes are another factor stemming from poor sanitation
    as they will hover over any standing water leaving you
    vulnerable to Zika virus or Dengue fever.

Life without water.
A life without water will bring many diseases: Water-borne
outbreaks such as
cholera and dysentery are common when water
is in short supply. Now you have some skills to keep yourself and
your family clean with little or no water.

Ever wonder what's it like to live without running water?
In Peru's sprawling capital, Lima, this is the everyday reality for
1.5 million children and adults, forced to pay up to a week's
salary for just one day's water. Watch
Living without Water, right,
for $0.00 with Prime

Could you live without running water?
Below is a thought experiment about living without running water.
Steramine Disinfectant Tablets
Prepper Toilets
Water storage Options
Solar shower
Tooth Powder
Camp basin
How to clean without running water
7 Gallon water jug
Living without running water
How to clean with wood ash
Survival Hygiene Kits
Batiste Dry Shampoo
Fresh Bath
Camp Suds
How to clean up vomit
Doing the laundry without electricity - off grid washing machines
The importance of soap in survival
How to stockpile enough toilet paper (and what to do when it runs out)
How to wash without soap
Dozens of uses of zote soap
hydrogen peroxide uses - just for preppers
Toilet paper tabs and the many uses for preppers
Do it yourself Hand Sanitizers
Steramine Sanitizing Tablets
sanitation station a hands free camping system
The Blue Bidet
Blue Bidet
Above, people live without running water in their home for a week.

Happy endings...
Water and life are two inseparable concepts. Make sure you have  
water storage, so you have enough drinking water for your
family and so you can clean when the faucets run dry.

You can clean without running water in part by relying on your
supply of disposable products.

More prepping articles...

Prepare to live happily ever after with us at - the emergency
preparedness Web site of prepping, survival,
homesteading, and self-reliance.
List of the best disinfectants for preppers
Living without Running Water
How to clean and stay clean with little or no water

How to clean without running water:
Living without running water is part of the off-grid lifestyle and
relatively easy to meet needs in a short term emergency, but for
a long term scenario you'll need to get clever.

Below is everything you need to know about how to clean dishes
and more without running water...

How to Clean without Running Water
One day the tap may run dry. In an emergency, when water is
scarce, you can live with paper plates and cups to an extent, but
depending on your supply, you will eventually run out! You'll need
to clean dishes and more without running water. Are you

Doing the dishes without running water is a good exercise for any
prepper ~ whether it's camping, living a rustic off-grid life or
getting through an emergency. Hopefully you have a stockpile of
disposable dishes and utensils, along with an adequate supply of
paper towels, wipes and camping soap. If not, here are some
ideas to get you think about ways to clean without running water.

#1: Doing the dishes without running water.
Doing the dishes without running water is a good exercise for any
prepper ~ whether it's camping, living a rustic off-grid life or
getting through an emergency.

How to wash your dishes without running water:
It always helps to start with a reserve of water for cleaning. Aqua-
tainer, pictured right is great for an off-grid kitchen for cleanup.
It's rigid, so you can tilt it to rinse dishes and plates, or wash
hands. With a reversible hideaway spigot and screw-on vent, this
water storage container is perfect to keep on-hand as a hydration
or washing station at your campsite or on the road.

  • Wipe and scrape. Before you start the dish cleaning
    process, it's important to wipe and scrape the food off
    plates, pots, pans and dishes. It's also a good idea to pre-
    soak to help loosen food from your dishes. Don't use a
    sponge as the sponge naturally loves bacteria, no matter
    how clean it looks. It's true! says that the
    "sponge in your kitchen sink harbors zillions of microbes."
    Instead, choose a non-porous cleansing brush or steel wool.
    Here are some other ways to scrape and wipe the food
    particles off your dishes:

  • Cowboy method. Plates were licked clean along the
    cattle drive. While this helped the cook ensure every
    last morsel was consumed.

  • Baking soda. Baking soda can  help cut grease in pots
    and pans, but it also can help alkalinize your dishes.
    Buy the cheap stuff from the Dollar stores and use it dry
    and sprinkle directly on your Lodge cast iron pans or
    dishes. Allow it to aborb, then wipe away the gtease.

  • Salt. You'll find salt has many survival uses, and one of
    them is that it's an excellent natural abrasive to get
    away and burnt pieces in your pots and pans to remove
    stubborn food particles. The nice thing is that salt also
    helps season your cast iron pans.

  • Wood ash. Ash and water is a natural way to clean your
    dishes, so you happen to have some ash use it! shows you how to clean with ash,
    which is a technique used by outdoorsman for the
    centuries. Use wood ash instead of soap and at least
    200 feet from your water source.

  • Spray bottle.  A spray bottle filled with water, vinegar,
    hydrogen peroxide orto be the first scrub.

    1: Vinegar. Vinegar has many uses for preppers. To
    help keep your dishes clean, fill a spray bottle with
    vinegar and water and have it handy to rinse your
    utensils and plates. Allow the vinegar to sit on your

    2: Hydrogen peroxide. Another viable way to clean
    your dishes without running water is to use hydrogen
    peroxide in the same way you've used vinegar, in a
    spray bottle. Hydrogen peroxide has many prepper uses.

    3: Rubbing alcohol. Another method similar to the
    vinegar and hydrogen peroxide options above is to use
    rubbing alcohol. Below is how to wash your dishes with
    rubbing alcohol, which is the perfect way to do so if you
    live out of your R.V.:
Above, Sister Crow shares methods for living without running water in her

More ideas to clean dishes without running water.
Keep these ideas in mind when living without running water.

  • Sterlize. Without water you can clean the dishes, but it's
    always better to reserve some water for cleaning. There are
    many ways to help ensure bacteria don't accumulate on your
    plates and make you sick:

  • Boiling water. If you are lucky enough to have a
    reserve of water for drinking and cleaning, then boil
    water to help you clean the plates in soap and water
    using the three tub method.
  1. Tub one: soap and water.
  2. Tub two: Hot water rinse
  3. Tub three: final rinse in a water with a sanitizing
    solution such as Steramine or bleach

  • Bleach. Bleach is another popular prepper supply. Using
    bleach as a final rinse is a common scouting method.
    Unfortunately, bleach has a six month expiration date.

  • Sunshine. Another important consideration for cleaning
    without water is to remember that sunshine is on your
    side! After you've cleaned your dishes, you can use
    sunshine to help ensure you've sterilized. The sun is a
    natural sterilizer.
Augason Farms Iodized Salt bucket
Video: living without water
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Steramine bars