Three Clothes Washing Alternatives

I read an interesting article on Seventh Generation’s 7 Gen Blog titled Non-Electric Washing Machines – Wave of the Future (click to check it out). It got me pondering on how I do my laundry.

No, I’m not going to stop using my current electric washing machine, but having an alternative or back up non-electric washing machine is a good idea. My family uses cloth napkins, cloth coffee filters, and dishrags instead of the disposable paper versions. I prefer washing these loads separate from my family’s clothes, towels and wash rags, but I rarely have a enough for a large load to wash twice a week.  A counter washer would be excellent to wash a day or two’s  napkins, coffee filters and dishrags. In my research, I found three pretty cool alternatives:

1. The Salad Spinner method is cost efficient and handy, especially if you already have one in your kitchen. You simply put the dirty article of clothing in the spinner basket, fill the bowl halfway with water and a teaspoon of detergent. Submerge the spinner basket down into the soapy water bowl and place on lid. Press down on the spinner to agitate for a few minutes. Next, dump the soapy water and then add clean water and a teaspoon of white vinegar to the bowl. Agitate for a minute and then dump out water. Repeat with fresh water as necessary. Once all suds are rinsed from clothing and water has been dumped out, return the clothing back to the spinner and spin for a few minutes, dumping water as needed. Lastly, hang up to dry.

2. The Wonder Wash method is specifically made to be a non-electric washing machine that sits on your counter top near your sink. It costs a little more than I’m willing to spend right now to try, but it is on my wish list. To check out more click on The Wonder Wash.

3. The Breathing Washer method is a plunger type tool that is used in a wash tub or sink to pull soapy or rinse water through clothes. I found it online for under $25. It would be a wise investment, especially if you camp or travel where laundry facilities are not available.  To learn more, click on The Breathing Washer.

You may decide that a washtub, a washboard and towel wringer is a better green alternative for washing your clothes, but they cost a little more than the three alternatives above. Whether this sways you to try an alternative clothes washing method, or confirms that you need to stick with what you are currently using, at least it’s good to have a back up plan. Happy washing!

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