Off Grid Homesteading: Laundry

I thought it might be fun to show you how we are doing our daily chores around the homestead.  It's been almost two weeks off grid and each day we find ways of doing things easier - better- more efficient.  

Laundry is a biggie for us.  With garden work and being outside all the time in the heat, our clothes get a lot more dirty than they did in town.  We now have a wardrobe of "gardening" clothes and "town" clothes.  We try to wear work clothes for a couple days before washing.  

To wash, I start with a kettle of water on the grill {half for the dishes and half to dissolve the homemade laundry soap}.  It gets heated on the grill while our meal is cooking, so no extra fuel is wasted.  

For small loads {about three items}, we fill two 5 gallon buckets with water - one to wash, one to rinse, add the soap and clothes.  With a laundry plunger, we plunge the clothes 200 times {or about 3-5 minutes}.  It forces the water through the fabric and washes the dirt out.  For stubborn stains, I will let them soak for 10 minutes and plunge again.  Then it goes through the wringer washer and into the rinse bucket where I plunge it another 100 times.  Through the wringer one more time and then onto the line {aka , a 2 x 12, until Mike finishes my clothesline}.  The wash water then goes to the garden and the rinse water becomes the wash water for the next load.  Water is so precious on our homestead right now, that not a drop is wasted.   

It sounds like a lot of work when I type it all out like this, but really it goes fast and I've got some nice biceps to boot!

If there's anything you're interested in seeing, we'd love to hear from you!  


  1. Wow, thanks for sharing. As we experience a few problems with our well and water running out I have been thinking about how we would live without certain conveniences, the washing machine being one of them.

  2. Well, yes I have a ton of questions, about water and food storage, meal planning and prep, everything to do with the house, outbuildings, outhouse, security or any safety issues, county permits/rules/attitudes, neighbor relations, keeping animals in the near future and all their needs, yes all that and more. I just hesitate because who wants to read such an overwhelming comment. Mostly though I wonder about the timing of it all. How does one decide on the sequence of tasks. I realize the basic needs will be met first. But your climate and resources are a little different from my area, so that part is mostly what I wonder about. The choices, the decision making.

  3. We found an excellent laundry drum a few years ago that we use when camping or just for fun. It's stood the test of time too.

  4. Your boys are pretty darn awesome! Just wanted to tell you that. :)