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Tue Aug 21, 2012, 12:15 AM

A homemade toilet plunger washing machine.

Materials required are a clean 5 gallon bucket with lid and a new toilet plunger. Article also gives ingredients for making your own laundry detergent.

http://www.off-grid.net/2010/04/22/diy-washing-machine-and-homemade-laundry-soap/

My Sears Kenmore top loading washing machine is over 20 years old and may bite it at any time. I ought to budget for saving money to purchase a much higher efficient front loader but I could use the above method in case my washer dies before I have the needed funds.

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 02:37 AM

1. Nice idea for an emergency.

[font color="green" face="Verdana"]I'm kind of holding out for a GiraDora, though--hoping they become available in the next year or so.

There are lots and lots of RVers, campers, off-grid homesteaders, and frugals like us who want them just as much as women in the 3rd World do.




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Response to silverweb (Reply #1)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 08:27 AM

3. I think cbayer posted before about this hand powered model that goes for $49.99

It's big enough to handle a couple of jeans at a time and some people have used it to wash bedsheets. For the single person on a tight budget and not much clothes to wash, this may be the way they and very possibly I go.

http://www.cleanairgardening.com/portable-washing-machine.html

In doing some calculations last night, the biggest savings I can get immediately would be to stop using my electric dryer and use a folding clothes dryer rack as shown in the link below.

http://www.amazon.com/Whitmor-6023-741-Folding-Clothes-Drying/dp/B001UE8ILI

I looked at Lowes last night and a front loading 3.9 cu. ft. front loading washing machine goes for about $800.00 with tax and a comparable size top loader is about $500.00 with tax. It'd be less then a $100.00 total for a hand powered washing machine and clothes dryer rack and I'd start saving money on my water and electric bill right off the bat.

I could sell my current washing machine and dryer to my ex wife's sister for an amount that would cover the cost of the hand powered washing machine and dryer rack.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #3)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 03:08 PM

4. Yes, I saw that hand-cranked one.

[font color="navy" face="Verdana"]That would work, but the clothes are still sopping wet when they come out and you need either to wring them out by hand or buy a separate spin dryer.

I currently use commercial machines available, but I'm on the GiraDora notification list for when it comes out and I've ordered a retractable clothesline for drying.

I hope your solutions work well for you!

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Response to silverweb (Reply #4)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 03:16 PM

6. Laundry alternative sells a less expensive spin dryer that works great (see above)

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Response to cbayer (Reply #6)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 04:14 PM

7. Good to know.

[font color="green" face="Verdana"]I love that there are choices for frugal, non-electric laundry alternatives becoming available and in demand!

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #3)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 03:14 PM

5. I love that thing. Did six loads yesterday and loved it.

It will also do towels and sheets.
I also use the spin dryer before hanging things out to dry. Everything was dry within a couple of hours.

http://www.laundry-alternative.com/drying.htm

Extra added bonus - I got a little upper body workout and it cost virtually nothing to use.


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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 02:48 AM

2. I've actually done this..

The cheap plungers that are only cup shaped without the fold out rim work better than the more expensive ones, the rim tends to unfold and get in the way while you are plunging clothes in a bucket.

Also a five gallon bucket in the back of the pickup while you drive around works, put the clothes and detergent in and let it stay for a day, the worse your roads and the further your drive the better it works.

I'm not sure of the durability of the newer appliances, efficient they may be but so many things these days are not built as well as they used to be. Cars are one of the few exceptions to this rule I think.

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 06:36 PM

8. You are right, great idea if the washer croaks

before you are ready to get a new one. I am in the same place you are---old washer that may not last much longer. This is a much better idea than the one I had last time I was in this situation---tub in the basement with a wash board. Ugh.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #8)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 08:07 PM

9. Definitely something that could be used as an emergency backup.

For those who don't have the funds to get a replacement washer right away and/or can't get to a laundromat.

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 09:43 PM

10. Homemade laundry detergent and fabric softener. Edited with info about soap nuts

Last edited Thu Aug 23, 2012, 10:06 AM - Edit history (2)

Scroll down and you'll see where the person gives the directions for making your own detergent and fabric softener and about how much it costs per load.

"Powdered Laundry detergent

Ingredients:

2/3 bar Fels Naptha Soap (equivalent of 1 cup grated)
½ Cup 20 Mule Team Borax
½ Cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda. "

Other people have used Ivory Hand Soap


"FABRIC SOFTENER

6 cups of water
3 cups of vinegar
2 cups of any hair conditioner

http://countrylife.lehmans.com/2007/11/13/the-benefits-of-washing-clothes-by-hand/"

Edit: If you plan on using the grey water from clothes washing to water the garden, the above recipe isn't recommended because borax is toxic to plants unless one just uses the rinse water from the washing machine.

Laundry detergent ingredients to avoid:

"According to State of California Department of Water Resource’s Graywater Guide: Using Graywater in Your Landscape [2], specific ingredients to avoid include:

-chlorine or bleach
-peroxygen
-sodium perborate
-sodium trypochlorite
-boron
-borax
-petroleum distillate
-alkylbenzene
-”whiteners”
-”softeners”
-”enzymatic” components"

http://www.harvestingrainwater.com/greywater-harvesting/greywater-compatible-soaps-and-detergents/#%3Cstrong%3EChoosing%20compatible%20soaps%20&%20detergents%3C/strong%3E

There are "biocompatible" detergents available but they are on the pricey side. One alternative is using soap nuts.

"Can Soap Nuts help me Save Water and Energy?
Yes! Since there’s no soapy residue to rinse away you can use short to no rinse cycle on your washing machine."

http://www.organicsoapnuts.net/soapnut_information.html







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