How to Do Laundry Without Electricity

Most of us are looking for ways to simplify our lives and live more sustainably. We have visions of living off the land, staying on the homestead or family farm, and living on our own terms. But let’s face it, living off the land is dirty work and those of us who live off grid need a better way to do laundry without electricity. Let’s look at a few options for simplifying that dirty, time-consuming, never-ending task.carrying laundry in galvanized tub

First, you’ll need water…rainwater.

We live off grid which means we are not connected to any public utilities. We built our own solar power system, and we catch as much rainwater as we can for everyday use. This means we have several rain tanks around our property one of which is used for irrigation and laundry. While we hope to one day be able to live completely off rainwater, we do occasionally still need to supplement by hauling water from a local well share. But for washing your clothes at home, you’ll need a reliable water source.

Next, you’re going to need some soap.Adding laundry soda into hand washer

Because we live off grid and do our laundry outside, we need to be using soaps that are biodegradable and will not harm any plants or animals when the soapy water is dispersed back into our ground. We’ve tried several options of biodegradable soaps and Lehman’s has a lot of good choices such as these soap nuts, or even Nellie’s All Natural Laundry Soda

Then you’re going to need a way to wash the clothes.

We are a family of six living on a homestead so laundry is a constant in our tiny home. We first attempted a washboard and a couple of five gallon buckets but we realized we needed something larger to do laundry for our six-person household.  Now we have Lehman’s Hand Washer and Wringer and we couldn’t be happier about this setup. Wringing laundry with Lehman's Hand Washer and WringerWe can fit so many clothes in this tiny but mighty washer. We simply fill it up with water and add some biodegradable laundry soap, toss in our clothes and use the hand lever to switch them around. After a good 5-10 minutes (depending on how dirty the load is) of washing the clothes we use the wringer attached and press the excess water from every item. We then empty the hand washer and allow the water to drain through a hose into our swale which in turn waters some of our trees. Give the hand washer a quick rinse and you’re ready to rinse out your clothes. Add all the clothes back into the washer and refill with clean water. On the homestead with Lehman's Hand Washer and WringerGive it a real good rinse at least once (again this depends on how dirty your clothes were). Put them through the wringer once all the soap is rinsed out and now it’s time to dry!

Lehman’s has the best solar clothes dryer around. The large deluxe clothesline is so easy to set up and can handle large loads of laundry like a champ! Grab a clothespin bag and a some nice wooden clothespins and you’re all set!Deluxe rotating clothesline

There you have it! It really is that easy to do laundry without electricity at home, off grid, utilizing the power of the sun, rain, and some good ol’ fashioned elbow grease! 

You can read more about Ashley and her family’s off-grid adventure here.

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11 months ago

Aaaw Ashley.. You’re even more famous than you were before ???

Last edited 11 months ago by Deb
11 months ago

Aww Ashley, you are even more famous than you were before :)

1 month ago

Way to go Ashley! TSH vlogs are wonderful teaching opportunities. Thank you Lehman’s for showing us real world examples!

Sheila G Williams
Sheila G Williams
1 month ago

I learned to do that at my grandmothers house, she didn’t have pumped in water until I was fifteen years old. I didn’t realize how many didn’t have that advantage!

Reply to  Wen
16 days ago

We hope you have a wonderful time doing your laundry, Wen!

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