I like it dirty. I rarely go out of my way to avoid mud puddles. I wipe my hands on my pants when I cook. I generally spill at least a bite or two when eating. No matter how careful I am, I always discover grease somewhere on myself after riding my bike. Suffice it to say that I generally have high expectations of a washing machine. Unfortunately, it turns out washing machines are not the most environmentally friendly method of cleaning clothes. (Imagine that!) Of course, front-loading washers and cold-water washes help reduce the environmental impact of load of laundry, but I wanted to SUPER reduce my impact.
So, I embarked on the glorious journey of bathtub laundry! My goals were to save energy (except my own mighty muscle energy), money ($1.25 per load in my building), and water!
First, I cleaned my tub and then filled it a quarter full with hot water, a tablespoon of homemade laundry detergent, and the dirty clothes. I allowed everything to soak for around twenty minutes.
Next, I rolled up my pants and hopped in the tub to practice my grape stompin’ skills.
After a few minutes it became clear that my efforts were working as the water was quickly turning a gorgeous, murky shade of gray.
When I was sure I had effectively removed the worst of the grime (read: I was getting tired of stomping), I drained the tub while trying to stomp the last of the dirty water out of the clothes.
To rinse the clothes, I kept the tub plugged, spread the clothes across the bottom, and ran the shower over them. After a minute, I did a final stomp and then drained the rinse water.
To finish up, I simply wrung out the clothes and hung them up to dry.
Overall, I’d consider this challenge a success. It wasn’t really that difficult and my clothes look, smell, and feel clean. Whether they actually are cleaner than if a washing machine had done the work, I guess I’ll never know.