Survival Tips for Cleaning Clothes Without A Washer and Dryer

Have you practiced cleaning clothes without a washer and dryer? If not, you’ll need to read these survival tips pronto to prepare for an emergency!

Most of us own a washing machine and a dryer… and we love it. It’s so gosh darn convenient, and makes our clothes smell fresh and clean. Plus putting on warm clothes straight from the dryer is one of the most comforting things on the planet.

However, we won’t always have these luxuries. Not only can they break down, but if you’re forced to bug out (or to relocate to a place without them) you’ll need to know how to keep your clothes clean to prevent bacteria-growth and disease.

Thankfully, you can discover new ways to do this by learning about these…

Survival Tips for Cleaning Clothes Without A Washer and Dryer

 Bathtub + Plunger

Here’s one cleaning method. Fill a bathtub (or large bucket) with water – about enough to cover the clothes. Then add detergent (we show you how to make your own right here).

Let them soak for about 10 minutes. Then take a clean toilet plunger and push it onto the floor of the bucket/tub. Push up and down, allowing the clothes to circulate around it (much like a washing machine would).

Do this for a few minutes, or until you can see the dirt has come off the clothing. Now drain the tub/bucket and rinse them in fresh water. You can also fill another bucket with fresh water, and transfer the newly-washed clothes into there.

Once they’re good and clean, wring them out and let them dry on a clothes line.

 Bucket + Washboard

Here’s an old-fashioned way of cleaning your clothes. Grab a washboard and a bucket and get to work. All you have to do is get the clothes wet and soapy, and then rub them against a washboard. This friction will help remove the dirt and soilage on the clothing.

Repeat this process when rinsing your clothes (to remove excess water) until they’re squeaky clean.

** Keep in mind you’ll want to avoid this option when cleaning delicate or knit clothing. That’s because these are more susceptible to snags and tears.**

When you’re done washing the clothing, dry the washboard and hang it to dry until next time. Doing this will help prevent rust build-up.

NOTE: Want to discover how to make a DIY washing machine for emergencies? We show you how right here.

Detergent + Sink

Here’s a no-brainer if you’ll be bugging in when SHTF. All you need is a clean sink (preferably a deep one) and some detergent to get your clothes sparkling.

Here’s a video walking you through the process:

More Tips For Cleaning Clothes Without a Washer and Dryer:

  • Always sort clothes according to color and type (whites in one load, colors in another, towels and underwear in a third).
  • Add clothes loosely to the sink/tub/bucket – don’t stuff them in. Adding them loosely helps them move around and helps the water circulate around them (getting them cleaner quicker).
  • Always add clean, filtered water to clothes in order to prevent bacteria-growth and disease.
  • Only use enough water in the sink/bucket/tub to cover the clothes. Don’t over-fill it (this will help you save time, energy and money).
  • Add a few drops of fabric softener when rinsing your clothes. This will help remove that annoying cling from static.
  • Wring clothes out lightly, but don’t overdo it. Allowing them to drip dry helps them keep their shape (versus over-wringing often makes them lose their shape and remain wrinkly after drying).
  • If your clothing is extremely soiled, you may have to let it soak in soapy water for a few hours.
  • Make sure to remove all soapy residue when rinsing the clothing.
  • Keep in mind you may need a second person’s help when wringing out large sheets or blankets.
  • Most clothing can be washed in cold water. However, you’ll need hot water to wash sheets and underwear. Prepare accordingly.

Sure, all of this work might seem like a pain (and it largely is, considering the convenience of using a washer and dryer). However, doing things the old-fashioned way will help you keep your clothes clean and fresh in an emergency situation.