We all know doing laundry at home certainly contributes to higher utility costs for water and electric or gas. Whether to save money, skip the dreaded laundromat trips, be more eco friendly, or simply as an alternative method of doing laundry during a power outage, many people are turning to low-tech laundry methods like the breathing mobile washer.
For those who are looking for a low tech way to do laundry following a SHTF event, this method is definitely better than scrubbing clothes by hand on a rock in the river. Use it to do laundry following a SHTF event so at least you can have access to clean clothes (at least while at home).
You won’t need to rely on a generator or solar power and you can do your laundry without making a potentially dangerous trip to the river or other fresh water source. In this article, we’ll list the advantages and disadvantages of low tech laundry methods like this and give you a full review of the breathing mobile washer.
Advantage of Low Tech Laundry Methods
- More natural with little to no carbon footprint
- Less expensive
- Conserve water
- Use for pre-wash, delicates, or “greasy” items
- No need for electricity
- Users claim clothes get cleaner
- Ability to “soak” heavily soiled items
Disadvantages of Low Tech Laundry Methods
- Often take more manual effort than automatic washers
- May take more of your time to complete each load (if soaking is needed)
- You may need to wash smaller loads
- A separate method for drying clothes is needed (hanging, spin dry, etc.)
- The process can be messier due to need to wring water from clothes before drying
- Effective cleaning
- Easy to assemble and store
- User controlled agitation action
- Easy for people of all ages to use
When to use the Breathing Mobile Washer
You can use this alternative method of washing clothes in just about any situation such as:
- Small loads between regular laundry days
- Washing extremely soiled or greasy items you don’t want in your washing machine.
- As a backup if your regular washing machine is being repaired
- For washing clothes while on an extended hiking or camping trip
- To save laundry fees while on vacation
- When power is out in your home
- To wash bulky items that don’t fit in your regular washing machine
- For washing delicate items and undergarments
- In your bug out bag or prepping supplies
Why Preppers Use it
- Conserves water
- Lightweight and portable
- Easy to set up
- No power needed
- Simple to use
- Could operate in river or stream if needed
- Can use anywhere
How Does it Work?
The breathing mobile washer comes in several pieces, including a wooden handle, and several plastic pieces to form the “plunger” end.
- Once assembled, you put your clothes into a 5 or 10 gallon bucket.
- Add a small amount of water and a very small amount of your favorite detergent to the water.
- Use the plunger and handle to push and pull the soapy water through your clothes for 1-3 minutes. Let clothes soak for 5-15 minutes depending on how soiled they are.
- After soaking, agitate by pushing and pulling the plunger for another few minutes.
- Rinse your clothes using clean water and wring dry.
- You can then hang to dry completely or even throw into an electric dryer to finish the drying process.
Tips for Best Results
- Use a hand crank clothes wringer to remove rinse water from clean clothes easier than hand wringing.
- Add a small amount of vinegar to your clean rinse water rather than using commercially made fabric softener
- Pretreat stains and extend soak periods for heavily soiled clothes
- Use less force for delicate clothes and more force for heavier items like jeans and towels.
- Adjust the amount of detergent used to suit your preference. Start with a quarter to half of the amount of detergent you use in electric washing machine.
- Use all natural detergents to lessen the negative impact on the environment, especially when dumping water outside during camping, hiking, or off-grid use.
- Listen for the “breathing” of the device which indicates water is being pulled and pushed through your clothing.
What Other Materials & Equipment Are Needed for Breathing Washer?
Bucket or Container
Most people use a 5 or 10 gallon bucket to contain the clothes and water. To make the entire process go more smoothly, you can use one bucket to wash and a second one to rinse your clothes. It is also possible to wash clothes in a small plastic tub, a utility sink, kitchen sink, or in a bathtub.
The container you use to wash your clothes will largely depend on how many clothes you are washing at one time and if you are washing any large or bulky items such as a comforter, rug, or sleeping bag. If in a survival situation, you could even box in an area on a flat rock in a river or stream to use this device.
One of the bonus features of the breathing mobile clothes washer is that you can use any laundry detergent or washing detergent you prefer. In addition to the flexibility to use the detergent of your choice, most users find that they use about ¼ the amount of detergent they typically used in an automatic washer.
Of course, if one of your reasons for using the washer is to help the environment, you’ll want to use an all natural, chemical free detergent.
Method for Drying Clothes
Once your clothes are clean, you will need to have a method for drying the clothes. Many people choose to wring them out by hand or using a device like the WringMaster hand crank clothes wringer.
Once you’ve wrung as much water as possible from your clothes, dry them using a drying rack or clothesline outside. Other users prefer to use a spin dryer.
What Users Say
Many users commented that this product works better than expected. There are several years of five star reviews. One user stated they have been using their device for over five years without an issue.
It is easy to use for people of all ages, including elderly. The only negative aspect I could find to this product is some users have commented on a need to reinforce the handle with a screw to keep it from coming apart during use.
Have you ever used the breathing mobile clothes washer? Can you see a need for it in your home or have you found an alternative that works better for your needs? Let us know in the comments below.
A mother of four and grandmother of nine boys and one girl, Megan is living the lifestyle any prepper would want. Gardening, homesteading and constantly planning for emergencies big and small, she’s a beacon of knowledge in the prepping community.