Tag Archives: sanitation

Trash and Human Waste disposal

(Survival manual/4. Shelter issues/Trash and human waste disposal)

Unsanitation is coming and it may be closer than you think.
If you don’t properly dispose of your trash, within a couple weeks after SHTF, what you see here will be what you, your neighborhood and city will be faced with.
(Picture at left: A beautiful spring day in May 2008, Naples, Italy, one spot in one neighborhood, after 5 months without city garbage pick up – the city landfill was filled to capacity and closed.) tomlucier.wordpress.com/tag/waste/

A.  City drowning in rubbish: 10,000 TONS of waste pile up on streets of Marseilles in chilling echo of British ‘winter of discontent’
26th October 2010, By Peter Allen.
Pasted from:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1323500/France-strikes-10-000-TONS-waste-pile-streets-Marseilles.html#ixzz1PvOSMidj
“Nearly 10,000 tons of rubbish has piled up in the streets of Marseilles as French strikes and blockades continued. All of the country’s 12 oil refineries remained closed today after nearly two weeks of industrial action which is costing the country up to £350 million a day.
During the disruption French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s opinion poll ratings have collapsed and he is now the least popular leader in the history of the Fifth Republic.
Demonstrators restored their blockade at France’s biggest refinery of Fos-sur-Mer, Marseilles, following last week’s clearing of their demonstration by CRS riot police.  ‘The refinery is back in our hands – the police are standing off,’ said a local trade union spokesman.
Around 70 ships including oil tankers are currently waiting at anchor off the coast of Marseille because militants will not let them dock and unload.
Up to a quarter of 12,500 fuel stations have run dry, with rationing introduced in area which are particularly popular with visitors from the UK, including Brittany and Normandy.
A Transport ministry spokeswoman said: ‘In the west of the country and in Paris more than a third of filling stations have been shut down – the situation is extremely serious.’
Nicolas Sarkozy scored a victory on Friday by getting his bill to make people work two more years for their pensions through the Senate, but striking refinery workers are putting a strain on businesses and daily life and show no sign of backing down…

Photographs above: Left: Marseille, France has been crippled by strikers. A fleet of huge ships  cruises offshore, unable to dock, their lights reflecting against the still  waters of the port at night. From the air it looks like a giant game of  Battleships.
Right: In the city centre, streets are still piled high with rubbish after the  refuse collectors joined dock workers, train drivers, students and airport staff who have brought the city almost to a standstill.

Photographs above: Scenes of New York City trash build up during and following an early  January 2011 winter storm. Sanitation becomes a problem immediately following even  a common, brief weather shut down. Imagine a situation that closed down  garbage and waste  removal for weeks – or months.

Meanwhile a resident in Philadelphia writes:
“You’ll be thrilled to know that I made it into work in less than 50 minutes this morning, and I didn’t need to drive ‘the 30 Blocks of Squalor’. But, I still needed to maneuver through West Philly
around the Zoo. I’m not quite sure but I believe Monday is trash day in West Philly based on the size of the garbage bags piled high in front of the ‘tenements’ and hovels. I was just happy there was no snow on the streets from the snowstorm one week ago. It seems that the new Phila snow removal program is
working wonders. Wait until the temperature goes up to 50 and the snow melts.
What struck me was how much trash and garbage was generated in such tiny row homes by people with a median household incomes of $21,000. The median value of houses in this war zone is $30,000. I’m mentally picturing the inside of these houses.
The question I have is what did these people use to purchase enough crap to generate this amount of garbage? These are the poorest of the poor in our nation and they are generating twice as much garbage as my family. In a three block stretch, there were more newer model $30,000 cars than there are in my entire upper middle class neighborhood. My driveway has an 11-year-old minivan and a 9-year-old CRV in it. What gives? They are not buying shit with wages, because 50% of the people in this neighborhood don’t work. The only thing I can think is a combination of government handouts, illegal activities, and credit cards…”

  BTrash disposal in an emergency situation
For urban dwellers: If everything is seriously messed up after the SHTF and major state functions fail like water, garbage, power, etc, then you may  need to take cover when going about business outdoors. Night disposal runs are best in two man teams. Foot travel to alternate trash dumping locations a few blocks away in the moonlight will be safer than day traffic. Avoid driving, save your fuel for more important events.
Compost all organic material, recycle all plastic, glass, metal, and wood to the best of your ability. The remaining refuse should be discarded as soon as you can to prevent disease / illness, also reduces odors.

 Incinerate the burnable rubbish, along with the plastics.
Organics get composted.  Burnables, we burn.  That probably sounds like heresy if you live in a city, and I confess I had to get used to it myself.  Hadn’t seen a burning barrel in years.  But yeah, burn’em.  Glass jars get re-used; they’re valuable.
That leaves tin cans, beer bottles and non-flammable  construction or demolition trash.  Haven’t found a self-sufficient answer for that one, so I haul it to the landfill.  If ever the day came when that was no longer practical, and I was generating that much trash, I’d contract with a neighbor who has a backhoe and make my own landfill.  I’d really hate to do that, though.
[Steel drums last about a year each, depending on how wet they become inside from rain and snow. Set the drum on a couple of concrete blocks to get it off the ground which will make the can last longer. In order to get the best combustion and the least amount of residual ash, make several dime size ventilation holes around the can’s lower periphery and up the sides. Use a steel chisel, drill or a few bullets more powerful than 22LR. Put a steel lid  on the can between burnings, to keep rain  or snow out of the ash. Wet ash accelerates rusting on the inside of the can. When the can is about 1-2 to 2/3 full it’s time to empty. If your moving the contents to another spot (and hopefully you are), have a wheel barrow handy to tote the can and contents. Dump the can upside down and bang the bottom to dislodge compacted materials then return the can to its ‘home’.

Compost to get rid of your bio-degradable materials 
Select an area for your compost pile or bin. Look for a spot that gets a lot of sunlight and has nearby access to water. Make sure the location is close to the house for convenience, but not so close that decaying organics can be smelled inside. [I had one 100 feet away for 30 years and never
smelled it, even while standing outdoors beside the house.-Mr. Larry]
Efficient decomposition requires nitrogen (kitchen scraps), carbon (yard waste), oxygen (air), and water. Collect kitchen and household scraps for the compost pile. Useful items include:
•  Fruit and vegetable scraps
•  Coffee grounds and tea leaves
•  Eggshells (rinsed of whites and yolks)
•  Shredded newspaper (not magazines)
•  Fireplace ashes
•  Sawdust

Do not compost meat, bones, fat, grease, dairy products, or pet waste. [I composted all the preceding except pet waste . The compost pile and garden loved me for it, but the larger bones don’t break down]
TIP: For more efficient composting, cut large scraps into smaller pieces.
TIP: Use a carbon-charcoal filter container to collect household scraps. The filter eliminates odors
[For many years, we used a 4-5 quart, covered, plastic ice cream pail to store our miscellaneous daily
household scraps and dumped the pail when it was full.-Mr. Larry].

  1. When the collection container is nearly full, empty the scraps to the compost bin or pile.
  2. Add a layer of leaves, grass clippings, and/or weeds from your yard. If not available, add straw.
  3. Moisten and mix the compost pile every few weeks. Water the pile, then use a pitchfork or shovel to turn the compost so that oxygen reaches all ingredients to encourage decomposition.

TIP: To make sure there is sufficient moisture, examine a clump of the material.  It should be damp, but not soggy and drippy.

  1. Adjust the proportion of compost ingredients by odor. The compost should have a good earthy smell. If the compost has an ammonia odor, add more carbon materials such as leaves and
    newspaper. If the compost smells foul, it is probably too wet and needs more dry materials such as leaves or straw.
  2. Allow the compost materials to decompose before use. It should feel crumbly, look dark, and smell earthy.
    The process typically takes a few months, depending on ingredients. Do not use compost before it’s ready—the decomposing ingredients can attract pests.
  3. In a SHTF scenario: Never put any trash near your house to avoid letting people know you
    have food. All trash which can be burned will be for fuel. Cans which cannot be reused will be crushed and buried away from the house. If water was not an issue, would wash them out to use for other purposes. If water was short they get thrown out to avoid attracting pests and guests.

This pair of compost bins were  made from 8 pallets, one pallet down the middle, and stripped boards off the 8th pallet to hold it all together. Throw kitchen scraps, some grass clippings, manure, little screened loam, leaves and other misc. “brown” material like small  twigs, rotting wood, etc. Then I leave it. Turn the compost probably 3 times next year, once in the spring, mid-summer and again next fall. Then use it in  Garden the following year. Pallets are awesome. They’re free and can be used
for all sorts of things.
[I used pressure treated rough sawn 1” x 8” pressure treated planks, they definitely looked nicer, but n a pinch the pallets would work.- Mr. Larry]

Build or purchase compost bins. A small fenced area with no bottom allows worms, soil bacteria, beetles and other beneficial organisms to work and aerate the compost. L>R: Steel post & chicken wire; circular, made with common wire fence; divided square bins made from wood slats and chicken wire.
[My bins looked similar to the wooden slat bin at right, except it was about 3 times larger and made from rough sawn pressure treated planks.


B.   Human waste disposal
Sanitation is a dirty subject that no one really wants to talk about.  But it is an often overlooked aspect of emergency preparedness.  When a disaster creates a situation where the water sources are compromised, the lack of sanitation in the given disaster area will be a disaster in itself.  A 50 mile radius of individuals could be affected by illness and disease.  Prepare appropriately for this aspect of disasters in order to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.

 Add a Sanitation Kit to Disaster Supplies
Photo at right: A confined, rolling method of moving several dozen, sealed plastic trash  bags containing human waste to a remote site –  away from your shelter.

Having a sanitation kit that is ‘ready for use’ in times of disaster is essential to keeping your family and neighbors healthy.  These kits can fit comfortably into a bucket, are affordable, and will not take up much space.  Additionally, being educated on how to properly dispose of waste is a key factor in keeping everyone healthy during a disaster.

Some suggested sanitation supplies to add to any short or long-term emergency kits are:
•  Port-a-pottie, disposable 5-6 gallon paint bucket with lid, ‘luggable loo’ with seat
•  Toilet paper
•  Rubber gloves
•  Garbage bags with twist ties ( for liners of toilets or luggable loo)
•  Bathroom cleaner, Clorox, small bowl with water-disinfectant for washing hands where there
is no running water.
•  Cat Litter or absorbent material such as saw dust or dirt
•  Baby wipes, sanitary hand towels.
•  Baking soda can be used to help eliminate odors, lime
•  Vinegar
•  Shovel

Image at right is a Short term Family Toilet Sanitation Kit, containing: 1) Double Doodie toilet waste bags (or a medium-sized plastic bucket, 5-6 gallon, lined with a heavy-duty garbage bags); 2) toilet paper (for a family you’ll definitely want more than 4 rolls for anything longer than a few days business); 3) Basics Antibacterial bath wipes (or Handi-wipes, Wet Ones, etc); 4) small bottle Aqua Chem, port-a-pottie deodorant, or RV toilet deodorant; 5) toothbrush with paste. Determine quantities from your disaster preparedness scenario.

Additional ideas:
Have several buckets with lids to store stuff up while I wait to dump them. The lids are to help control smell. Human waste will be buried away from the house.
Keep a 80 lb bag of common industrial grade powdered lime on hand.

•  We evolved to live in small bands, and move on to a new location every week or so. The further you get from that lifestyle, you’re going to need fancier and fancier engineering. A trench latrine works for campers. Leave the TP roll on the shovel handle, and throw some dirt in the trench to cover your deposit, thanks.
•  Sharing a toilet seat means you get as sick as the sickest person that uses the same throne. It’s literally like dropping ‘trou’ and bumping butts with everyone else in your group, several times a day. Lysol is a must.
•  If you are in a suburb or city, first use the toilets you already have. You can take the lid off the water
closet and add more by hand. Use any water, like after a rain, or dishwater, whatever. Toilets don’t need electricity to flush, just water in the tank. Your public sewer lines might work for a week or two before they stop up. Use the time well!
•  After that, or where you don’t have the spare water, line a bucket with a heavy trash bag, and take the seat off of a toilet, and use that. Throw the full bag in a city trash can or dumpster. It will help with the smell, and if authority comes to clean up, that is where they will empty first. You can burn the dumpster or can if you get desperate.
•  If you compost with animal or human excrement, watch out for hookworm and ringworm, which can migrate and infect plants like tomato and corn via compost. This is also especially true of dysentery, the leading cause of death in Latin America. In Africa, blood flukes are a major health hazard from this, and from people working in irrigation ditches that are waste deep, then flowing onto fields.

Photos above: Left: Drain water from you home toilet and line bowl with plastic trash bags,  remove as
necessary. Center: 5-6 gallon portable toilet, used with trash bag liners. Right: Port-a-potti style toilet with minimal flush capability, deodorant in tank, empty every day or two.

Emergency Sanitation

The images above are common, modern camp gear – toilet/shower privacy enclosures. In a really bad situation, few things will provide your accustomed comfort as the personal privacy of an emergency bathroom’.

C.  Emergency Sanitation
27 July 2009, preparednesspro.wordpress.com, by Kellene Bishop
 Sanitation is one of the ten critical components of emergency preparedness. It is usually one of the top two that are most overlooked. A lot of us take emergency sanitation for granted until our toilet breaks down or the sewer backs up. Keep in mind, if there is a quarantine, who’s going to maintain the proper working order of the sewage services? If there’s a financial collapse, how will we even have the wherewithal to send our waste somewhere else? If you don’t take emergency sanitation seriously, then the consequences can be extremely dire—even up to a 50 mile radius. Preventing waste from
contaminating the soil is just as important as preventing the spread of any other disease, as it contaminates crops, water, and air. Additionally, as water will be scarce in a time of emergency, ensuring that it does not get contaminated from improper sanitation habits is critical.

High amounts of hydrogen sulfide results from human waste. It not only smells horrible, but can also be very dangerous if a great deal of build-up occurs locally. Flies, rodents, and other unwelcome “guests” are attracted to the smell of fecal matter. Flies actually consume it.
Unfortunately, this also means that human waste is speedily spread to humans via flies and rodents to multiple locations and can subsequently effect an entire community with a sanitation disaster within 48 hours. Thus ensuring that your toilets are covered and you have the ability to break down the waste is critical in order to ensure the best health in a stressful circumstance.

Your first line of defense for emergency sanitation will still be the toilet in your own home—for a little while at least. You may only have enough time to build an alternative source, but you should at least have some time to implement these initial strategies. So long as you have water supply, flush conservatively.
When you aren’t able to flush any longer, plan on pouring water down the toilet to get rid of the waste. (Think how fast you’ll be using that water folks. Now do you start to see why I say a gallon per person, per day is the minimum amount you want to store? Although, keep in mind, you can use dish water, laundry water, or leftover cooking water for this purpose.) After you no longer have this option, plan on using the toilet as more of a “bucket.” Turn off all of the water to the toilet, and then plug it up with a tennis ball to ensure that no sewage comes through. Then line your toilet with a bio-degradable, compostable bag.
When you’ve exhausted the use of that bag, seal it, and then bury it so it will decompose properly.

In the eventual likelihood that you will have to move your “outhouse” outdoors, there are several additional considerations for emergency sanitation. Obviously, you want to keep it away from any food or water supply.
But you will want to be sure that you have chlorinated lime or bleach on hand to chemically and safely break down the waste matter. (Note: Powdered, chlorinated lime is available at building supply stores and it can be used dry. Be sure to get chlorinated lime and not quick lime, which is highly alkaline and corrosive.)

Every single time a person uses the toilet, some type of disinfectant should be sprinkled on top. It can be chlorinated lime, bleach, or even some other household disinfectants such as Pinesol, Lysol Cleaner, Arm & Hammer cleaners, plain baking soda, laundry detergent, etc.


D.  What To Do When the Sanitation Hits The Fan
22 December 2010, ReadyNutrition.com, by Tess Pennington
Excerpts pasted from: http://readynutrition.com/resources/what-to-do-when-the-sanitation-hits-the-fan_22122010/

Cathole considerations:
When choosing a site to bury waste:
•  Select a cathole site far from water sources, 200 feet (approximately 70 adult paces) is the recommended range.
•  Select an inconspicuous site untraveled by people.  Examples of cathole sites include thick undergrowth, near downed timber, or on gentle hillsides.
•  If camping with a group or if camping in the same place for more than one night, disperse the catholes over a wide area; don’t go to the same place twice.
•  Try to find a site with deep organic soil.  This organic material contains organisms which will help decompose the feces. (organic soil is usually dark and rich in color.)  Refer to the jars used to demonstrate decomposition.  The desert does not have as much organic soil as a forested area.
•  If possible, locate our cat hole where it will receive maximum sunlight.  The heat from
the sun will aid the decomposition.
•  Choose an elevated site where water would not normally runoff during rain storms.  The idea here is to keep the feces out of water. Overtime, the decomposing feces will percolate into the soil before
reaching water sources.

Disposal of Feminine Napkins
It is important to properly dispose of sanitary napkins, as they contain bodily fluid that could pose a health hazard to others. Methods of disposal may differ according to where you are and what you have available.  However, tampons and feminine napkins do not decompose quickly.  Therefore, the best way to dispose of used feminine napkins tampons is to burn them. The fire must be very hot in order to thoroughly destroy the used items.

Sanitation will require the same type of  supplies for a short-term as a long-term disaster, however, a more permanent structure needs to be in place for long-term use.

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Filed under Survival Manual, __4. Shelter Issues

Washing laundry (during an emergency)

(Survival manual/4. Shelter issues/Washing laundry)

Water and Wastewater quality
The effectiveness of your City’s Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants may be undermined during a high mortality pandemic or other local/regional disaster.
Current plans for antiviral and antibiotic use during a severe influenza pandemic could reduce wastewater treatment effectiveness prior to discharge into receiving rivers, resulting in deteriorating quality at drinking water abstraction points.
The research team concluded that, consistent with expectations, a mild pandemic (as in 2009) was projected to exhibit a negligible ecotoxicologic hazard. However in a moderate and severe pandemic nearly all Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants (80-100%) were projected to exceed the threshold for microbial growth inhibition, potentially reducing the capacity of the plant to treat water. In addition, a proportion (5-40%) of the River Thames was similarly projected to exceed key thresholds for environmental toxicity, resulting in potential contamination and eutrophication at drinking water abstraction points.


A.  How to do laundry by  hand, country-style,  #1
WordPress, Published May 5, 2009
“You can get a big tub and do your laundry by hand!” the Thai owners of my building announced happily when I asked them if there were any washing machines I could use, or some kind of laundry service.
Me: “Um….ok….um…how would I do that, exactly?”
I’ve washed one or two things out by hand in the sink, but any kind of large-scale laundry-washing endeavor has involved, WASHING MACHINES. But washing machines are actually rare here, especially the real, modern kind so hand-washing everything is pretty common.
Of course, any place poor enough for laundry machines to be a novelty probably has lots of people I could pay to do my laundry. However, I like doing chores myself. Also, while it’s easy to pay people to do stuff for you in Thailand, it can be quite hard to get things done the way you want — so in most cases it’s a lot simpler to do it yourself.

 Here’s how you wash laundry by hand:
1.  You need a big laundry tub, about 3 feet wide a laundry brush, and of course detergent. If you’re a princess like me, you need rubber gloves too. The giant tub is important, it really doesn’t work well to do a lot of laundry in your sink.
2.  Put water and detergent in the tub, then the laundry. Make sure everything is wet, then let it soak for 1/2 hour.
3.  Using the laundry brush, take each item of clothing and inspect it for stains, and give it a good scrub with the brush.
4.  Drain the water, and put in new, clean water.
5. Let stuff soak a little bit more.
6. Drain water, and twist out the water from each item. Once you have to twist out a towel or jeans, you will have a newfound appreciation for centrifugal force!
7. Hang each item on a hanger and put it out in the sun. In Thailand, where temperatures reach 104ºF, no one except hotels own dryers: it takes about an hour for clothes to dry in the afternoon sun.

B. Another way to wash by hand
1.  Heat the water in one of the tubs over a hot fire.
2.  Set the other two tubs up on blocks or a tree stump side by side
10-15 feet away from the fire.
3.  Make certain all tubs are secure.
4.  Fill one tub with boiling water, adding enough cold water to make it tolerable for your hands.
5.  Add a few white clothes to the wash water.
6.  Put the washboard in the tub and rub the surface with a bar of soap.
7.  Take a piece of laundry out of the water, lay it the length of and on top of the wash board. Rub soap on material.
8.  With the edge of the material held in your hand between thumb and fingers, begin to rub up and down the board with the heel of your hand, gathering and pulling the material toward you.
9.  Push the material down in the water and start from the beginning.
10.  Scrub each garment vigorously four to eight times.
11.  Dip into water, rinse, wring out water and put in next tub filled with warm rinse water.
12.  Rinse in second water, wring dry, and hang on clothesline.

C.  How to wash laundry by hand #3
If you are like me, you are always searching for ways to help the environment, get back to basics, and do things by hand. Well, washing your laundry by hand is a great way to start. This article can help you learn all of the different method you can use to wash your clothes by hand, and places to find the equipment you will need to get started.

Decide on how you are going to wash your clothes. Here are some of the way available.
You can use a simple basin and washboard. This method is cheap and effective. You simply apply the lye soap to the wet laundry, and scrub with a laundry brush against the washboard. You will probably need another basin with clean water to rinse your laundry.
Another option is to use a Rapid Washer. This is shaped like a plunger and used in about the same way. It really kicks out the dirt and grime.
If you really want to make a commitment to washing your clothes and laundry by hand, I would invest in a Lehman’s Hand Washer. It has a pivoting arm that really get the clothes clean, in only about 7 minutes per load! It is a more expensive option, but well worth it.
You will want to wring out your laundry before hanging it up to dry. This is a wringer, which can attach to your hand washer or to your basin. Simply wring the items of laundry through the wringer and it is ready to hang.
After your clothes are wrung out and ready to hang, you will want to put them up on a clothesline. You will also want to buy a lot of clothespins. String your line up between two trees, between your fence and your house, or on a free-standing unit.
Congratulations! You can now wash your clothes and laundry by hand!

D.  Laundry When the Wash Machine’s Out
This article will explain a couple of ways to do laundry when there is no wash machine handy. Why would we want to know this? There are several times in a survivalist’s life when he may find himself without a wash machine. The most common one would be while camping. We will look at this first.
I cannot claim to have discovered this technique, but I can tell you from experience that it works. I found it in one of “Ranger Rick” Tscherne’s Ranger Digests. For as long as I can remember, I’ve never packed more than one spare change of clothing in any backpack I’ve ever put up; whether it be for going to the field or as a BOB.  This is because I’ve always included two things that more than make up for the weight: a G.I. waterproof bag and a Ziploc full of laundry detergent. The waterproof bag has about two-dozen uses in the field, but in our case, we’re going to turn it into a hand-powered wash machine with agitating action.

1. Put one set of clothes-one shirt, one pair of trousers, a t-shirt, pair of socks and drawers-in the bag. To prolong the life of the bag, turn the pants inside out-if they’re BDUs, the metal take-up tabs on the sides will scratch the bag, and the buttons on blue jeans will do the same
2. Pour a quart (one canteen’s worth) of cold water into the bag, along with a mess-kit spoon’s worth of laundry soap. You can throw in a couple of SMOOTH river rocks if you have them, but this is not critical.
3. Close the bag up partway and squeeze most of the air out.
4. Finish closing the bag in the form of a “gooseneck” (instructions are printed on the side of the bag).
5. Squeeze, roll, mangle and toss the bag around for about five minutes. Really work the thing. You’ll hear it squish and squash. This is just what you want to happen.
6. Open the bag, wring out the clothes, pour in another quart of water, and repeat steps 1 through 5 until laundry is clean (may take two or three rinses).
7. Line-dry as you would normally. To get it to dry faster and avoid wrinkles, make sure your laundry is spread out as smoothly on the line as you can. I thread the line through the sleeves of BDU jackets and t-shirts; this seems to help.

Now suppose we’re at home, and there’s no power. Or, as was my case, suppose you find yourself “in between jobs” for a spell and really don’t want to waste money running the wash machine or going to the Laundromat? You still need clean clothes, as much from the standpoint of good morale as for hygiene’s sake (who wants to put on skuzzy old clothes after washing up?).

Anything you can throw in the wash machine can be hand washed. One of the best money-saving investments you can make is to go and buy an old-fashioned washboard and a drying rack. Washboards cost maybe $15.00 or so, last time I checked, and I bought a folding wood drying rack for about $5.00 at Wal-Mart. If you have a small, non-chain hardware store in your community, it’s a safe bet they’ll sell washboards. The Dollar Store may as well-you just might get lucky. Mine have paid for themselves many times over. If you have a large mop bucket, use it. Mop buckets use less water, and the washboard sits in there better than if you only use the bathtub.

Hand washing has one other advantage; namely, you can get really hard-to-clean clothes cleaner washing them by hand than any machine will do.
Start by “pre-treating” any really heavily soiled clothes. I work outdoors, and my blue jeans get filthy. No wash machine ever made has got the knees or the seam near the hems completely clean. Instead, I take a bristle brush and some cheap shampoo, dribble the latter on the problem area, and scrub the daylights out of it with the brush. They’ll fade more than in a washer, but that’s bound to happen anyway.
You can use the cheap shampoo trick right now, while you’re still using a wash machine. Just pre-treat stains and soils with some shampoo instead of the more expensive stuff, which is really only shampoo without the fragrance. It works wonders on grease and oils.

1.  To use a washboard, sit it in the bucket with about a gallon of water. Have a clean place to put clothes that have been washed-I use the bathtub. You can either use normal laundry soap or, if you really want to save money, use a bar of yellow Fels-Naptha brand soap. It’s a cake of soap that’s harder and slightly larger than normal bath soap bars. It costs around $2.00 or so and lasts for about seven or eight small loads of laundry.
2.  Take one piece of laundry, dunk it in the water, and lay it against the washboard. You don’t have to lay all of it against the washboard, just one part at a time. Rub the bar of soap against the clothing-it’ll be hard and will crumble a bit when it’s new or dry, but will be easier to work with after a while. Then just pretend you’re cleaning the washboard with the clothing. It’s a thing more easily done than described, but cleaning clothes like this is pretty intuitive, and you’ll get the hang of just how to do it in no time.
3.  You’ll also find that, after a while, the water gets pretty soapy, and that you may not need to rub the soap on the clothing at all. For clothes that aren’t soiled so much as “funky,” you may only need to squish them around in your hands for a while.
4.  After all your clothes have been washed, it’s time to rinse. This calls for a LOT of water, but the water doesn’t have to be drinkable, only clean. I’ve found that it usually takes two good rinsings to get the dirt and soap out. Wringing as much as possible out beforehand will save water.
Fill the bathtub with half of the water you intend to use (anywhere from three to six gallons is about right, depending on the size of the load). Swish and swirl the clothing around with your hands. You must make sure to get the soap out of the places you scrubbed it in, and this may take some elbow-grease. By the way, if you haven’t noticed, this is an awesome workout for the muscles of the hands, wrists and forearms!
5.  After you’re done rinsing, wring the clothes out and either line-dry them or hang them on a drying rack indoors. If you have a heat source, put the rack near it. An open window with a breeze wafting through will also help to dry things quicker. Remember again to lay things as flat as possible, or you’ll get wrinkles. Now it’s just a matter of time.

White bed linens, drawers and so forth should be bleached. What’s more, these articles can stand boiling water. Unless you have a huge cauldron on a wood-fire outside, you’ll just have to use the hottest water you can get. Linens and clothing used in caring for the sick should certainly be bleached and boiled if possible, but in any case bleached. Use household rubber gloves if you don’t want your hands looking and feeling like a concrete worker’s. If not directly soiled, whites can be swirled around in bleachy/soapy water in the tub with a wooden stick.

I’ve read one suggestion that has some merit to it, although I admit I’ve never tried it. A lady whom I hold in rather high regard made a sort of washer out of a 5-gallon bucket with lid, a plumber’s plunger and a ring washer similar to that used for protecting the wiring that goes through the firewall of a car. She bored a hole in the lid, fitted the washer through, and put the plunger inside. It looks like a butter churn would if they were made of plastic. As I said, I haven’t tried this, but there seems no reason why it shouldn’t work.

Woolens don’t necessarily need to be dry cleaned. Sweaters, blankets and such can be washed with Woolite, according to the instructions on the bottle. They should not be wrung or twisted, but rather laid flat and dried. It’ll take a good long while, but that’s what you pay to get wool’s other benefits.
One final tip. If you use Fels-Naptha soap, make sure to put it in a soap dish or something that’ll let it dry out. If you let it stay soggy, it’ll turn to mush and you’ll end up wasting most of it.
Washing things by hand is pretty simple, and it’s also really inexpensive. It also gets clothes cleaner than they would if you’d washed them in a machine. Trouble is, it’s awfully hard work. You can now see why people had so few clothes in the past.

eAudrey’s Luxuriant Soap and Crafts

 1.  Rendering Tallow
•   3-5 lbs. suet or other meat fat
•   water
•   2-4 Tbls. salt
•   sharp knife
•    large pot
•   long handled wooden spoon
•   safety goggles
•   rubber gloves
•   wood or stainless ladle
•   colander
•   primary mold

__1)  Cut or grind the suet into the smallest pieces possible. This will make it melt more easily.
__2)  Place ground suet into a pot. Make sure there is room for expansion as it heats.
__3)  Add 3 inches of water to pot. At this point, add the salt.
__4)  Set mixture over medium high heat and put on safety gear.
__5)  Stir mixture as it heats. Melt the suet into as much liquid as possible.
__6)  Allow a slow boil only. Mash the small pieces with the spoon. This could take up to two hours, depending on how much fat and how small the pieces.
__7)  Once the suet is liquefied, remove from heat. Pour or ladle it into a sieve or colander to remove any meat, sinew, or gristle. Mix the strained solids with peanut butter and put out for the birds.
__8)  Fill your primary mold with the strained mixture and refrigerate overnight.
__9)  Remove mold from fridge and turn upside down in the sink. Allow any extra water to drain away.
__10)  You now have a block of tallow. Refrigerate or freeze until you are ready to make a batch of basic soap.

2.  Basic Soap Instructions
__1)   Read directions for recipe to make sure you have the required ingredients and gear.
__2)  Use safety gloves and goggles or eyeglasses.
 __3)  Weigh the required amount of water (distilled is best) into one of the pitchers. To do this place an empty pitcher on the scale and set to zero. Now measure the amount of water.
__4)  Using the same method as above weigh the lye needed in the second pitcher.
__5)  Carefully pour the lye into the pitcher containing the water. You must avoid splashing-this is the most dangerous step! Never add the water to the lye.
__6)  Stir solution gently with a wooden spoon until dissolved. Make sure you have sufficient ventilation. Resist the temptation to lean over the pitcher to get a good look. You do not want to breathe anywhere near this container.
__7)  While the lye is cooling, melt the fats. The temperature of both must eventually be brought to 100 degrees simultaneously. If the lye solution cools too much, put the pitcher in a pan or bowl of hot water.
__8)  Double-check the temperatures of the lye and fat solutions to be sure they are 100-110 degrees (equal temperature is desired).
__9)  While stirring the fats, pour the lye solution into the melted fat/oil in a thin stream. Stir continuously to ensure the lye mixes into the fat.
__10)  Continue stirring in a carefully manner to avoid splashing. The mixture should start thickening. You will eventually see “trailings” or lines on the surface. This could take 20 minutes to an hour, usually closer to one hour. Be careful using hand mixers as they can speed things up too much.
 __11)  Pour this liquid soap into your large plastic container mold. Put the lid on and wrap with the towel.
__12)  Put the wrapped mold in a warm place and allow to set for 48 hours.
__13)  After 48 hours, unwrap the mold. The soap should still be warm. If the surface is still very soft leave lid off for a day. If soap looks abnormal refer to Troubleshooting or keyboard shortcut Alt-t. When it is as firm it is ready to be removed from the mold.
__14)  Remove soap from mold. To do this, first pull the plastic mold away from the soap on all sides. Then, turn the mold over onto the needle point screen or plastic. If it doesn’t fall out of the mold, push down on the upside down mold and it should pop out. You should have a nice clean block of soap ready to be cut into bars.
__15)  First, score the surface where the cuts will be made. Then, warm the knife to be used in water. Dry the knife and cut the block into bars of soap.
__16)  The hand cut bars still need to cure. They will become lighter in weight and slightly smaller. Place them on the plastic needlepoint screen for about three weeks.
Check your local hardware store – Depending on the regulations where you live, some hardware stores may sell 100% sodium hydroxide as a drain cleaner, or ‘Red Devil’ Lye drain cleaner.
Discontinued mfg. Amazon.com, 1 lb, ~$11.00 inc S&H. Amazon.com, 1 lb, $10.09 inc S&H. Amazon.com, 2 lbs, $19.95 inc S&H.

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