Clothes Washing 18th Century Style.

Discussion in 'Going Off The Grid' started by Keith H., Jun 18, 2019.

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  1. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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  2. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    Great video's Keith. I now wonder how many preppers have thought how they are going to get their clothes clean, once the grid goes down. I have to admit, I had not given it any thought. Chock me up as a male chauvinist.
     
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  3. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    When I was a kid my Mother did all our washing by hand, & I used to help her. When I moved to Australia I did it the same way, at first using the creeks & rivers as I travelled, & later doing it the same way as in video 2, my wife & I shared this chore for over 20 years. Now we have a washing machine, but it is good to know how to do without.
    A point worth mentioning. The machine we have now belongs to one of my sons, top loading, & it uses an enormous amount of water!!! We have stopped using our tank water for washing, because we simply don't have the water to spare in this drought.
    Keith.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
  4. poltiregist

    poltiregist Master Survivalist
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    Videos worth watching . Primitive laundry chores is something a prepper should have a plan for .
     
  5. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I washed by hand when I lived on my own, wasn't going to fork out for an expensive washing machine, clothes were washed in the sink with a scrubbing brush and sheets were washed in the bath, a tin tub and a stream would do just as well.
     
  6. Morgan101

    Morgan101 Master Survivalist
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    The Townsends! :D I love their videos. Oddly enough we do have a washboard and large tub we could use for laundry should the need arise. I think my wife got them as antiques to decorate the kitchen. They are still quite usable.

    It has been a long time, but I had the occasion to wash odds and ends by hand usually in a sink, so it wouldn't be completely foreign. It is a lot of hard work. Do people still wash things by hand? Was it Woolite that advertised their product for hand washing delicate fabrics? I even remember the jingle.
     
  7. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    washing by hand isn't that hard, my neighbour (an old lighthouse keeper) used to call it "doing the dobieing".
     
  8. poltiregist

    poltiregist Master Survivalist
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    A scrub board and wash tub sits in my stash for that event . our plan is to take the laundry either to the creek or to the spring .
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  9. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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  10. Sourdough

    Sourdough "ALASKAN"
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    I have several wash boards, you can make them easy and cheap from culverts. I use dish soap for all cleaning, my hair, my body, my clothes, my pots-pans-dishes,etc..

    Go ahead and ask WHY.
     
  11. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    Washing clothes the old-fashioned way by hand is the easy part... the hard part is wringing the excess water out of the clothes if you have a pile of laundry or if your hands are gimped up in some way.

    I borrowed a concept from part of my hide-tanning process that calls for wringing solutions out of the wet hide. It works very well in wringing wet clothes as well!

    I could describe the process with words, but it is easier to show you. I found this Youtube video that explains the concept quite well:


     
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  12. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    Because it works! In camp, I use a homemade bar soap that does it all. It even helps to relieve bug bites and other itchamacallits like poison ivy, etc.

    What kind of soap do you use?


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  13. Sourdough

    Sourdough "ALASKAN"
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    I just use the cheapest liquid "DISH" washing soap I can find.

    Dish washing soap is formulated to rinse with cold water.



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  14. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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  15. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    A great way to wring out a wet blanket after a rainstorm! Not sure how well it would work on a modern sleeping bag though!!! ;)
    Keith.
     
  16. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Laundry bar soap.
    Keith.
    c6ad0d1bd0507b08df6ff79ed14165d7.jpeg
     
  17. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    If I had NO soap and no time to make any, and if times were really hard... WOOD ASHES to the rescue!

    Wood ashes have seemingly endless uses, and I am constantly finding new uses for them... including cleaning clothes and what-not. Of course, soap works best, but...failing that, a solution of wood ashes and water makes an OK substitute. Stir a handful or two of white wood ashes in a bucket of water, allow it to settle for a couple of hours, then strain it. Wash clothes in this very weak "lye water".

    Soap makers know how the combination of strong lye + oils or fats = soap. Likewise, the reaction of the weak lye combined with body oils in the dirty clothes produces a very weak saponification (soap) action. No, you won't see bubbles or anything resembling soap, but this solution along with some scrubbing will clean better than water alone.

    I keep a container of wood ashes near my kitchen sink and use it to scrub pots and anything else I want to de-grease... so I know its power, lol.


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    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  18. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    I'm going to take this Hard Times thing a step further...

    If there is no soap, no time to make soap, and if for some reason, you don't have access to a quantity of water to wash clothes in... SUNSHINE is a powerful disinfectant, thanks to its UV rays.

    Brush the dirty clothes with a brush or a handful of dried grass to dislodge the worst of the dirt, turn the clothes inside out (especially those undies!) and expose it to the sun. The longer, the better, but at least a few hours if you can. Then turn the clothes right side out and repeat the process on the other side.



    Just thinking out loud here...

    I have noticed that when dew settles on the clothes (on my clothesline) at night and dries in the sunshine the next day, the clothes appear whiter and brighter and smell even more awesome than just drying in the sun without dew.

    I suspect this may be due to exposure to a chemical released by trees and plants, called phytoncides which are airborne chemicals that plants give off to protect themselves from insects. Phytoncides have antibacterial and antifungal qualities which help plants fight disease. I am willing to bet that the dew captures some of these phytoncides.

    I have noticed during evening hunts in the deer woods, that in the hour before dark, the woods have a unique aroma that is not present during the day. I think what I am smelling is the phytoncides that are descending from the cooler air as dusk approaches and the dew begins to form...

    Sooo...based on this idea, I deliberately leave my laundry out on the clothesline overnight whenever possible. When I am camping, I drape some of my clothes over the bushes for the same reason.


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    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  19. poltiregist

    poltiregist Master Survivalist
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    I would like to know your home made soap recipe .
     
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  20. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    I use a simple lard and lye soap, similar to what our grandmothers used to make. It has been a long time since I made any because I don't use it as much as I used to, and still have lots left over from my last batch.

    There are tons of lard and lye recipes out there, but I like this one:

    12 oz. of 100% lye (sodium hydroxide)
    21-1/2 oz. distilled water or rainwater
    5 lb., 7-1/3 oz. lard

    When I want to get fancy, I add a few drops of essential oils such as rosemary, mint, lavender, or tea tree oil just before pouring the soap into molds.

    CAUTION: Do NOT use Red Devil lye! It is not the same as it used to be and contains ingredients besides sodium hydroxide (lye)

    I like Red Crown lye crystals, from Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/Red-Crown-High-Test-Making/dp/B0084UUG16. )


    Here is a recipe from Mother Earth News magazine for a smaller batch of soap:

    2 lbs of lard
    4.4 oz of lye
    7 fluid oz water

    https://www.motherearthnews.com/hom...make-some-soap-a-recipe-for-a-simple-lye-soap

    Here, Mother Earth News tells how to make soap from wood ashes:
    https://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/how-to-make-soap-from-ashes-zmaz72jfzfre


    If you are not familiar with soapmaking, here are some tips: https://www.millersoap.com/pennwaltetc.html

    Also, plenty of Youtube videos!


    Or, you could buy some ready-made lard and lye soap: https://www.amazon.com/Grandmas-Pur...and+lard+soap&qid=1561184168&s=gateway&sr=8-1




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    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019
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