Feature Article

Doing Laundry

Many sites discuss the basics of prepping, such as food, shelter, fire, water, etc. However, what many miss are the intangibles that you may not think of until you are in a situation. One of this is how to keep clothes clean to prevent the spread of germs.

While gas masks and decontamination showers are great for scrubbing down your body, they do little good if you cannot clean clothes. Even if you are not preparing for a virus/epidemic/pandemic, it is safe to say, if the grid goes down, you will still need clean clothes. Enter the "Easy Go Washer" hand washing machine. I bought mine a few years ago for other purposes. Our laundry room is off an enclosed back porch and has no heat. In the winter, pipes sometimes get cold and I've had to replace more than one bib due to freezing. After a few years of that, I learned it was best not to do laundry in sub freezing temperatures. The problem is, I live in the Midwest U.S. where temperatures can fall too low for far too long.

Enter, the Easy Go. It came unassembled, and though the directions were worthless, even my less than handy self was able to figure it out. The instructions do give you a starting spot for how to wash and how much. The process is simple. Add a little soap, water dependent on your load size, seal the lid, and begin to crank. You will crank for anywhere from 2-5 minutes depending on the load size. At that point, you insert the draining tube, drain into a sink/bucket, then refill with water for rinsing. I found that this took 2-3 rinse cycles to get clothes clean. You can tell by watching the soapiness of the water as it drains into your sink (or I use a 5 gallon bucket). 

Pros: No pwer required, uses little soap, lightweight, takes up little counter/shelf space. Great for exercising your upper arms/shoulders. Very affordable (Amazon lists it at under $50 as of this writing)

Cons: Cannot handle large items well (or if so, only one at a time). Not overly time efficient.

Overall Rating: 4.0/5.0 If only used in times of need, or for delicates that may not go well in the washer, this can easily be a 4. The biggest hassle is the rinsing/draining process, which can be time consuming.