Saturday, September 20, 2008

The world cheapest washing machine.

Here is an example of low hanging fruit.

So, normally what I would do would be to drive to Volcano to do my laundry. I hated going up there because of the tweaker scene, but it was generally better than Keeau as I still had dog hair all over everything when I got done. Having very nearly beaten someone senseless a week ago(accused me of stealing his soap) up the hill, I figured it was worth a look at a more reasonable way to go about things without disaster.

So, I washed clothes in a bucket. It was effortless, and the results were fantastic. I had no dog hair, and things dried on my porch.

If you look at the footprint of one vs. the other. In a bucket requires water and soap. Otherwise the laundrymat require laundry, soap, a 15 mile drive, a near brawl, anxiety, and you still end up with shit and dog hair on your sheets. Bugger that. You're looking at a CO2 footprint of nearly 500 lbs vs O with the latter, and, well, this is an example of what it takes to make real steps for the future.

Honestly, I'm embarrased for not having tried it before. This is much the same kind of to-do I got out of baking bread as a kid--gosh, it takes hours and all day and all that!--bunk. I can put a loaf on the table in 2 hours flat. Same with laundry. It's less work to do it in a bucket and hang it to dry than it would be to drive to town and do it, and the results are better.

Use very little soap. The bucket is already clean, right?

On a boat, it would be difficult, as water consumption is an issue. I have more or less unlimited water here in Hawaii, so the sea-stead crowd will not have much to glean here. Otherwise, I'm sold.

So, in Hawaii, I can see where a quality wringer would be of value, and I'm looking for one. Otherwise it's have a pot of coffee and get the job done! 2 hours tops!


mr lucky said...

Nice. An Estar blog suggests using two buckets. Fill one with soap, a few clothes and water, and leaving it in the sun to heat. Everytime you pass by, reach in and give it a slosh. After 24 hours of this, clothes are clean and ready to rinse. Meanwhile, you've loaded bucket #2 to repeat. Let me know what you come up with for a wringer.

TheSitRep said...

Love it!
Seeing that you are using soft rain water, only a very little surfactant is needed.

I want to get my wife and son to wash their clothes when they take a shower. That is how we do it on the road. One of the benefits is your wash never piles up. having a pipe or something handy in the shower to wring your duds out would be handy.