Vela Creations is an in-depth resource for off grid living. The site documents our research and experiences, hoping that they might help others interested in pursuing this lifestyle. This blog is designed to document our day to day experiences as we build our new, sustainable homestead. If you are interested in seeing more photos and videos, we have a flickr account at the following url:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hand washing laundry

laundry video
Originally uploaded by velacreations
Hand washing your laundry is a great way to save on water and energy, and it is very therapeutic. I've been doing our laundry for several years now and do not miss a machine (other than for big blankets, which is really a two-man job if done by hand).

Fill a tub with about 5 gallons of water (enough for a medium sized load) and add all natural soap.
Add your clothes and leave them to soak for a while (I leave them overnight).
Rub each item of clothing over a washboard, dunking it in water between each rub.
Wring out and put aside, ready for next rinse.
Repeat this process a further two times, totaling three washes (15 gallons), leaving them to soak a little in between.
Hang on the line.
Put your grey water on the garden.

I take two days, including drying time, to do a load of laundry, because I am in no rush and like to leave our clothes soaking in between. You could do each wash one after the other and be done in less than an hour.

One thing that really surprised me was how clean you get your clothes. I had always assumed that a machine would get them cleaner, but this is not the case. I brought this up to my husband after using a relative's machine. His reply was, “Of course. There isn't a tiny little women inside the machine scrubbing them clean.”

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