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Old 26-03-2012, 00:46   #1
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Laundry While Cruising

Thought this would be as good of a place as any regarding laundry. I did a search on the forum first and there were a few posts on the liveaboard threads but this one I want directed at laundry while in foriegn port.
My vacation in South East Asia is coming to an end. I just did a small plastic grocery bag of laundry. I was charged 330 baht which is around $11. Granted, I was in Bangkok but keeping in mind that ports of entry will also be higher.
I have two thoughts on this...
1) Use a 5 gallon bucket and a hand ringer and do laundry a little at a time and hang dry. See picture
2)A unit called the Wonderwash. See picture
I was wondering if anyone has experience with either method or any other input.
I laugh at the cruising on a budget of $500 a month and having to pay someone for laundry.
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Old 26-03-2012, 01:33   #2
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Re: Laundry while cruising

Off the grid I use a 5 gallon bucket, ammonia, wring by hand (no mechanical ringer), and hang to dry. Stock up on ammonia when you can get it.
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Old 26-03-2012, 01:56   #3
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Re: Laundry while cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auspicious View Post
Off the grid I use a 5 gallon bucket, ammonia, wring by hand (no mechanical ringer), and hang to dry. Stock up on ammonia when you can get it.
yep i've been to many a yacht club laundry to find the bucket full of clothes soaking.

i sail in the north australian tropics, the most worn item of clothing whilst sailing is a stinger suit, it doesnt wash well with chemicals. during the wet season, it gets washed whilst i wear it. anything else that might need washing gets done in the galley sink. i picked up a small bottle of "concentrated" "organic" laundry liquid a few months ago at a place where i had to wear normal clothes briefly, the lady selling the stuff didnt want to come aboard and show me how to use it.

but a typical weekly wash is 7 pair of jocks. i'm definitely not paying anyone to wash them!

currently moored in Endeavour River, Cooktown far north Queensland, its raining, things get washed inexpensively, but well.
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Old 26-03-2012, 02:51   #4
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Re: Laundry while cruising

Maybe instead of [or in addition to] a hand wringer, try a plunger for washing?

Put some clothes in the bucket with some detergent and some fresh water, let it soak for a bit, then use a plunger for a bit (maybe 1-3 min). Then let it soak a bit more, use the plunger again. Repeat for dirtier clothes. Wring, rinse, wring as usual. Works like magic for getting stains out and simplifying the whole wash-by-hand process.
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Old 26-03-2012, 04:22   #5
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Re: Laundry while cruising

look at this one. Best plunger washer for hand washing clothes or cloth diapers|How to hand wash to save money
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Old 26-03-2012, 04:47   #6
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Re: Laundry while cruising

We use a plunger identical to the one at the link above and a 5 gallon bucket, no seperator. Works just fine with bio-degradable dish soap which is what we use most. I save the rinse water if it is clean enough to reuse for washing the first layer of grunge and sand off the cockpit floor or as the first wash for really grungy stuff like rags. Cycle the clothes through light colored first to dark as the dyes will seep on some items no matter how old they are and that way one bucket of water, 1/2 full will last for more items. In high winds clothes pins will not keep the clothes on the life lines unless you use 3 or 4 per item. Don't bother with the wooden ones without a hinge as they just split. Found large, Italian made clothes pins that are really strong and they work great. Don't worry about the pin hinges rusting as we've been out cruising for almost 5 months and they are holding up well. If you don't want to buy pins or can't find them some people string their clothesline through the clothes and then tie it up so the clothes can't come off. There are 3 of us, and each person is supposed to be responsible for doing their own laundry and mostly we do it by hand ourselves. Saw a thread on here previously about the wanderwash if you put the website name in the google search followed by a colon and then the search word it should turn up.
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Old 26-03-2012, 04:56   #7
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Re: Laundry while cruising

if you have an inverter you can get lightweight fairly smallish portable twin tubs, they are sold for caravans/motorhomes and the like, fairly cheap as well and lowish power.
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Old 26-03-2012, 05:26   #8
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Re: Laundry while cruising

Found the link for where I purchased my plunger (just the plunger not the bucket, seperator etc) Home Goods*|*Laundry*|*Washing*|*Breathing Hand Washer - Lehmans.com
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Old 26-03-2012, 05:31   #9
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Re: Laundry while cruising

The plunger looks like a winner. Buckets are a dime a dozen. They stack well and I usuall keep 3 onboard. One will be marked..."For Poo Only".
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Old 26-03-2012, 06:54   #10
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Re: Laundry while cruising

If you have the room (about the size of a small dishwasher) you can get a combo washer/dryer (Splendid) made for boats. Does a great job. We rarely use the dryer, hanging clothes makes them virtually wrinkle free. Saves on water as well, much less than doing it by hand. Does not use lots and lots of power, can work with a small generator. If it is summer, wear bathing suits alot and wash by hand. We sometimes soak in a bucket for really tough jobs and then rinse/spin in the washer.
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Old 26-03-2012, 07:04   #11
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Re: Laundry while cruising

One more vote for the plunger and bucket method. The only thing I try and avoid washing this way are the towels, I have a penchant for large, thick ones that eat up the water! Those have to wait for a shore visit and a washing machine. Needless to say i carry rather a lot of them as washing machines can be rare birds in some parts of the world.

I actually think that the plunger gets the clothes cleaner than a washing machine anyway!
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Old 26-03-2012, 07:58   #12
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Re: Laundry While Cruising

Definately the washing machine is out with only 300 a@hr of batteries and a 35ft. vessel split with an aft cabin. It's cramped at best now!
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Old 26-03-2012, 09:18   #13
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Re: Laundry While Cruising

Has anyone tried to put clothes in a bucket- add soap and then put it on the very bow of the boat? It seems like the wave action would clean the clothes. Or if you could find a watertight lid and turn is on its side in the cockpit. Anyone tried this?
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Old 26-03-2012, 09:33   #14
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Re: Laundry While Cruising

We carry half-a-dozen stackable Rubbermaid tubs. We use them as dish tubs, laundry tubs, storage, whatever. A plunger would be nice, since washing clothes for five takes a toll on the hands. When in port, we wash laundry daily. When underway not at all, and then have a sail bag the size of a baby elephant to deal with. In Baja, where fresh water is scarce, we washed in salt, even the cloth diapers. The climate is so dry that the clothes didn't immediately become damp as you put them on. In Central America there is no shortage of rain and rivers to wash in, so you can always get your laundry clean. Bring lots of 1/8" twine for clotheslines and heaps of clothespins.
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Old 26-03-2012, 09:56   #15
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Re: Laundry While Cruising

Use a tub and stomp on it like you are making wine (you can sit and read while doing this). We used salt water (and Joy dish washing soap) for wash and first rinse then fresh water for final rinse. We also did delicates in the shower. Just put them on the floor of the shower and shower away. Rinse and done.
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