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View Poll Results: What is wash day like for you?
We use a laundromat for most of our wash 14 37.84%
We have a washing machine aboard and use it often 13 35.14%
We have a washing machine aboard but still use laundromats 2 5.41%
We do a good deal of laundry in the sink or a container 13 35.14%
Most of our clothes and linens are natural fiber 8 21.62%
Most of our clothes and linens are synthetic 3 8.11%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-03-2019, 19:58   #1
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Wash Day

The careful student of energy conservation and usage, and environmental impact, will realize that for a typical household in a temperate climate, laundry is one of the most energy consumptive, environmentally impactful activities we engage in. Right up there with flying around in jets, paying taxes so our countries can have wars and build roads, and externalized impacts like buying cars and computers and polyester boats.



Nowhere does this become more clear than when trying to live off the grid for a month, whether in a 1970s yurt, an RV, or a yacht.


Most of my back-to-the-land friends back in the day took their laundry to town, to the laundromat. But they were living independently, and were self-sufficient on energy, and stuff (Well, aside from the 5 gallon bucket of ice they brought from an on-the-grid neighbor every other day for the icebox, but I digress).


Right.



One of my back-to-the-lander friends had an old-time wringer washer, which emptied into the creek. The main problem is that if you forgot your clothes were in there on "wash" until the next day then they'd be all worn out when you got to them, because there wasn't a timer. We used Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Soap because it was earth friendly and stuff, and had all that fine print you could read while you were waiting for your jeans.



Going back a little further, my family had a cabin off on a remote lake. By the time I was old enough to remember, we went to the laundromat 40 miles away. But there was still a copper wash boiler (oval 20 gallon container that covered two burners) that could be put on the woodstove for laundry. You'd boil the water, add a grating of Fels Naptha soap, throw in the clothes, let them simmer and stir a few times with a stick.


It worked pretty well for cotton clothes that could withstand the boiling water. There were sad irons you'd heat up on the stove and use to iron the clothes dry. Even a fancy one that had three irons with an interchangeable asbestos-insulated handle, so you always had a nice hot iron to work with.


Anyway, this is a poll and thread about laundry while cruising. Do you see a washing machine aboard as a great convenience, an unnecessary source of repairs, or simply impractical on a boat of reasonable size? Is wash day something that occurs at a marina laundromat, aboard in the washing machine, or using some sort of ersatz low-tech method like countertop manual washers or wash boilers? How do you feel your use of laundry detergent affects your environmental footprint? Do you use natural fabrics (with their inherent resistance to boiling water), or relatively less absorbent (and less wrinkle prone) synthetics?
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Old 10-03-2019, 20:20   #2
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Re: Wash Day

On my boat no way its going to fit.
So among the many rules imposed on me by crew. We Keep a collection of Loonies in the Chart table for use in Marina Showers and Laundromats. Which are visited regularly so crew can wash her hair.
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Old 11-03-2019, 12:47   #3
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Re: Wash Day

I've used every means available, from marina laundries to drawing buckets of water from village cisterns. Don't overlook the possibility of having laundry done by villagers who need work. My whites came back sparkling clean and fragrantly line-dried.
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Old 11-03-2019, 13:11   #4
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Re: Wash Day

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Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
Anyway, this is a poll and thread about laundry while cruising. Do you see a washing machine aboard as a great convenience, an unnecessary source of repairs, or simply impractical on a boat of reasonable size?
Exactly how big does a boat have to be to be of unreasonable size? In my experience that tends to be about 10% longer than the boat owned by the person making the judgement.
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Old 11-03-2019, 13:49   #5
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Re: Wash Day

After the first year on our Outremer I ask my wife what would make her life easier and therefore mine . She said washing machine ,and so the search started .
The first mild success was the Panda xpd-28a a glorified buket with an agitater in the bottom it is surprisingly effective for t shirts,shorts etc.
We then looked at small european units that might have worked but would have been invasive.
We had seen the babynova 1000 and it fit the bill but at 1100 euros expensive. W weeks ago we met a lady loading one into her dingy and She told me that she was replacing her old one that worked well wit a new one the had a few more features. She demonstrated it for us and it appears to work fine .
So we got the machine we wanted for 50 euro.
Not installed yet but we shall see
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Old 11-03-2019, 14:36   #6
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Re: Wash Day

Our washing machine is a bucket and plunger, although we did splurge for the fancy version:



We do use washing machines commonly found in marinas and yacht clubs, but when weíre off the dock (which is most of the time), the plunger does just fine.

Laundry is an all-day event. Pick a sunny breezy (but not howling) day. Go slow, enjoy it. Itís not hard work, just takes some time.

Warm water comes from the solar shower, or we might heat some up on the stove, but mostly we wash cold. First wash in salt, then a good fresh rinse. We use an eco-friendly soap which lathers well in salt. Doesnít take much to do all my clothes.

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Old 11-03-2019, 14:43   #7
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Re: Wash Day

Iíve tried doing it manually in a bucket, towing it behind the boat in a bag, and also laundromats ashore, all with varying results.

For the latest boat, Iíll be fitting one of those top loading agitator units. For the price it seems a good deal and if it breaks, I wonít be too put out.

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Old 11-03-2019, 15:47   #8
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Re: Wash Day

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Originally Posted by billknny View Post
Exactly how big does a boat have to be to be of unreasonable size?

Anything that won't fit through the Soo Locks.



I'm going to turn the question around and ask you how big a boat has to be to have room for a washer of reasonable effectiveness.
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Old 11-03-2019, 16:31   #9
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Re: Wash Day

It’s all about underwear control
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Old 11-03-2019, 18:47   #10
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Re: Wash Day

Saw one installation on a 45 footer, but it was planned before the build, not a retrofit. Saw another one, actually in the galley, on a 50 footer, again, planned prior to build and not a re-fit.

To me, it's not about underwear control, that can easily be hand washed. It is the bed sheets, and mattress pads, and blankets that are the challenge. One time, back when we used sleeping bags for comforters, I decided to wash them. Ever try wringing out a sleeping bag by hand? It is doable, but not efficient, and most marinas (where the water is) don't want you to hang stuff out on your boat. Heavy when wet stuff is a problem to deal with, unless you have access to a laundromat.

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Old 11-03-2019, 19:02   #11
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Re: Wash Day

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Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
To me, it's not about underwear control, that can easily be hand washed. It is the bed sheets, and mattress pads, and blankets that are the challenge. One time, back when we used sleeping bags for comforters, I decided to wash them. Ever try wringing out a sleeping bag by hand? It is doable, but not efficient, and most marinas (where the water is) don't want you to hang stuff out on your boat. Heavy when wet stuff is a problem to deal with, unless you have access to a laundromat.
This is the stuff we try and save till we hit a land-based laundry.

Funny you should mention not hanging laundry on board. I guess my Newfoundlander friends donít mind Ö at least no one ever said anything to us. We do look like the Beverly Hillbillies at times though .
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Old 11-03-2019, 19:04   #12
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Re: Wash Day

Of course, it depends on how you use the boat. For a weekender with a couple of annual cruises, it is not necessary. If you spend more time on the boat, it is a necessity.

If you are creative (or try hard enough) you can fit a nice automatic washing machine on a 30 footer without a problem. The LG Sidekick is ideal for under the settee. Also, the space is not wasted as you can use the space to store your dirty clothes in. It is all about the convenience of a weekly wash.

By the way, you either do a proper automatic washing machine install or hand wash. Partial solutions are a waste of time. You also need an inverter, a water maker and a water heater but most cruisers have those. Click image for larger version

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Old 11-03-2019, 19:06   #13
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Wash Day

Our washing machine sits on top of the second unused head.
We find it to be of great value, just did four loads of wash today.
Having it done is a pain to haul in by dinghy and itís expensive, plus the wife has allergies to any kind of laundry soap except the All Clear that has no dies, fragrances etc.
You can ask they use the laundry soap you supply, sometimes they do sometimes they donít.
However a washing machine uses an enormous amount of water, ours is a 1 cu Ft machine. 1 cu Ft of water is 7.5 gls, so one wash cycle and one rinse cycle is 15 gls.
We did four loads, so 60 gls of water.
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Old 11-03-2019, 20:48   #14
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Re: Wash Day

Picked up a wonder wash hand washer. Second hand for 15 bucks. Works good with little water.

I don't have a picture of mine
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Old 11-03-2019, 22:08   #15
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Re: Wash Day

Wonder Wash and laundromats. I'd like to install a washing machine but for some reason my wife isn't interested. She has other things she wants to spend the money on I guess.
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