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Monday, July 5, 2010

DIY "Power Down" Laundry Machine


This low-cost and efficient manual laundry machine was originally designed to help out people in developing nations. Chances are that you wont find yourself in a situation where you need to build your own laundry machine and run it without electricity. The design is extremely clever and can be used for camping, a cabin without electricity, or I suppose for just reducing your environmental impact or lowering your utility bills. Then again, you never know when the power might be out for more than a day or two so it pays to consider how you would address your need for clean clothes before you find yourself needing such an alternative.

Get all the materials and assembly details
here.

[What have you done today to prepare?]

Survival Sanitation - Part Two - Doing the Laundry Naturally


Nature's Washing Machine

Good hygiene is an important part of dealing with a crisis or disaster and being able to keep your clothes clean could become an essential skill during a crisis. Your clothes can become “dirty” very quickly if they become contaminated by flood waters, smoke or chemicals or quite possibly due to an illness or injury. They can even look clean but be "dirty" from sweat, perspiration, or natural body oils. Wearing dirty clothes can also lead to minor health problems such as chafed skin areas or rashes on your body that could develop into serious problems. This isn’t a very pleasant or healthy prospect to look forward to if unnecessary. If you do have sufficient clothing available, you could always burn or bury your dirty clothes but this is an expedient solution that is not very cost effective or practical except in the case of extreme contamination such as injuries or wounds where there is a loss of blood or a bacterial infection is present. So what are some of the alternatives that can help you when doing the laundry naturally?
Modern day techniques for washing and cleaning require three major items that may be in seriously short supply during a disaster or in a crisis situation. These three main items are lots of water, electricity which may not be available and soap or detergent which may be in short supply or non-existent. Here are some alternative solutions!
If you do get lucky enough to have lots of water available, an extremely effective way of cleaning your laundry without detergent or electricity is to use plain old baking soda, sodium bicarbonate, in the water being used to wash your clothes. This is also a very low cost method. This method works best with water that has been heated. Even water that has been warmed by the sun can make this an effective method to help keep your clothes clean. Another advantage of using baking soda is that you can avoid the use of harsh soaps or chemicals that may cause skin irritations or allergic reactions in some people.
So what do you do if you don’t have a decent water supply like a pond, stream or river? It becomes time to let nature help you do the laundry naturally! A little “shake and bake” becomes the trick of the day as you do a “Nature Wash”!
Ultra-violet rays from the sun can be used to help keep your clothes clean. Simply place your clothes out in the heat of the sun for several hours. You will also need to expose all areas of your clothes to the sun by turning if necessary or hanging on a line. Then, after sufficient exposure, shake your clothes vigorously in a manner like you would a rug. Then leave your clothing out overnight to expose them to the morning dew. In the morning simply wring them out and re-hang to dry. Simple, easy and very low cost!
If you have a river or stream handy, you could always beat your clothes on a rock by the riverbank. This will require a great deal of effort on your part or you might get lucky and it will rain on laundry day.
Got Nature Wash?
Staying above the water line!
Riverwalker

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