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  1. #16
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    Bicycle-powered washing machines!

    YouTube has a gazillion videos of home-made pedal powered washing machines. This one is kind of cute, cuz they show a couple "mistakes" they made: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fktpd...eature=related

    I like this one best, because he's taken the guts of a washer and hooked it right up to a bike. Saves all the constructing the drum and gearing and hoses from scratch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDgQ5ABlqEU&NR=1

    Doin' bicycle laundry with Lady Gaga: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oM7l9E6u6TU&NR=1

    Doin' laundry (and other things) with Queen's "Bicycle Race" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kL6Mk...1&feature=fvwp

    There are also a gazillion videos of the bucket and plunger washer, too. They seem to leave off the "let it soak, and do less work" part that the laundry forums emphasized.
    Last edited by KnottedYet; 08-07-2011 at 02:58 PM.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
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    ya - we had to have some work done on the water lines in the basement this May, and the plumber had to move the dryer out of the way.

    We still haven't plugged it back in.

    It usually gets some use in the fall when it's too rainy to dry on the outside lines consistently, and too humid to dry on racks in the house.


    Quote Originally Posted by KnottedYet View Post
    Bicycle-powered washing machines!
    Now that's a spin cycle!
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  3. #18
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    Apr 2006
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    I've found a couple references in the laundry forums to "European waffle-weave" bath towels and bath sheets.

    I assume this is it: http://www.amazon.com/Modern-Design-...g_ai_ps_t3_t_9

    And these are organic cotton and made in USA: http://www.tomorrowsworld.com/Organi...5-1910n-bt.htm

    Apparently, they are popular with handwashers and people who air-dry their laundry. Wash easily, dry quickly.

    Expensive little buggers.

    --------
    ETA:
    AAAAAAAH!!!!! Gross, gross, gross!!!! AAAAAAAAH!!!!

    I just tried something I read for the "gray water" crud. Add a couple tablespoons of baking soda to the rinse water when your water is running clear, and it will make MORE gray crud come out of your clothes when you thought you'd already gotten it all.

    AAAAAAH!!! GROSSS!!!!!

    It does.

    Yuck.
    Last edited by KnottedYet; 08-07-2011 at 11:10 AM.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Seattle
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    1,648
    Sigh. I thought I was being all eco-conscious by not using that 2nd rinse cycle, but this thread is making me want to flip that switch.

    I would totally miss having a dryer. I always miss having one, if I am traveling in a part of the world where they are uncommon, and have to air-dry all my things. Just not a fan of that crispy air-dried feel.
    2014 Bobbin Bramble / Brooks B67
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  5. #20
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    Sep 2007
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    Uncanny Valley
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    My washer defaults to two rinses with an optional three.

    Front-loaders don't use near as much water as top-loaders, so I justify it ... I usually start the cycle with 2.5 gallons of water dumped out of the dehumidifier, and for the time being water is relatively plentiful here <praying>, so it's just a matter of the electricity to pump an extra few gallons per load.



    ETA - I learned when I was visiting my parents where the term "hard water" comes from. Wonder of wonders, when they air dry clothes they don't come out hard! Our water at home, on the other hand...
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    CO
    Posts
    25
    I would miss having a dryer too, which seems faintly ridiculous to me as I managed for years in Scotland without one, and here I am in CO using a dryer - I really will have to stop embracing the American way quite so whole-heartedly! I really like hardly having any ironing to do, I have to say.

    I spent a year in France where my room-mate and I bought this contraption for about $30 - it was like a toy washing machine, you stuck it in the bath tub and stuck a hose on the faucets. The whole cycle took about 10 minutes - it was just one step up from the effort of washing by hand or going to the laundrette. It was a bit like this http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/32...g_machine.html

  7. #22
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    Amazing discovery: if you just hang something in the closet, assuming it's modern stuff treated with the scary anti-wrinkle chemicals that make everything come out of the dryer perfect, eventually the wrinkles will hang out of it. Same thing with folding it and putting it into a drawer. Just don't be in such a hurry to wear stuff after it's dry.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  8. #23
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    Or shake the sucker several times during the day while it's drying. Vast majority of the wrinkles shake out by the end of the day. (a bit of excess water flings off, too)

    Probably the same effect as a tumble dryer.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  9. #24
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    True, smoothing plackets and hems between thumb and finger as soon as I hang something to dry, goes a long way.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  10. #25
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    Ooooh, here's a video of the evil gray devil's teabag water... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgQ4R...eature=related

    No kidding.

    It's just like that.

    And it doesn't take a $18 "breathing" washer plunger to do it. Plain ol' $5 sink plunger does the exact same thing.

    Now all he has to do is add some baking soda to his rinse water and gross us all out again!
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  11. #26
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    perpetual traveler
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    Interesting stuff though inconvenient. Do you use any kind of wringer?

    I cruised some of the videos. I like the salad spinner idea for spinning out water. Maybe I'll start washing underwear by hand when I am traveling. Dry my bras and then my spinach.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    Interesting stuff though inconvenient. Do you use any kind of wringer?

    I cruised some of the videos. I like the salad spinner idea for spinning out water. Maybe I'll start washing underwear by hand when I am traveling. Dry my bras and then my spinach.
    No wringer. This is a temporary deal until I can afford a washing machine.

    I looked up some salad spinners (even some super-humongous cafeteria sized ones) and decided they weren't worth it for the short time I'd need them. So far my sodden laundry has dried much faster than I expected it would, so I'm not hurting for a spinner.

    When I travelled I always washed my underwear by hand. 3 pairs on each trip. Wear one, wash one, and one still drying from the night before. (NOT cotton... )
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    12
    As far as the "Grey stuff"..I've reduced it in my laundry by using Baking Soda where most people use fabric softener...I add 2 TBSP to 1/2 cup of HOT water, and pour it into the beginning of the rinse cycle...everything comes out softer, without adding chemicals/perfumes, and the rinses are cleaner on the rare item I handwash when I don't have enough to run a full machine load. It also works to help abate hard water, although I think more baking soda might be needed there, not sure as my current water has few minerals in it. I almost always use my clothesline, but am still using an old top load washer...found an HE front load and brought it home, but have yet to test it out.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Katy, Texas
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    grey water

    Quote Originally Posted by jessmarimba View Post
    You just dump the water down a sink or bathtub drain?

    I was wondering if there's a gentle enough soap that I could dump the dirty water in the yard and it would be some sort of weed killer or pesticide reducer. Like soapy water for aphids.

    Maybe I need to check out these laundry forums too!
    growing up on a ranch in the high desert of northen NM, we used to dump the gray water from laundry (wash tub and wringer) and dishes (rinse water) down the ant holes and outside the guilt up earth rings around flowers and roses (which held the rain and irrigation in ) to kill the weeds and creepy crawlies.

    The above discussion is why I wash my biking stuff by hand. That's usually when I am the grossest.

    marni
    marni
    Katy, Texas
    Trek Madone 6.5- "Red"
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    "easily outrun by a chihuahua."

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    Maybe I'll start washing underwear by hand when I am traveling.
    I don't travel light by ANY means, but if I didn't wash clothes pretty much every night of a trip I'd have to carry at least one more suitcase. Five outfits (total for day and evening) plus two sets of running clothes are pretty much my limit. Shoes and electronics take up enough non-negotiable space!

    Once you've squeezed (not wrung) as much water as possible out of something, lay it flat on a bath towel, fold the edges over it, roll it up tight and squeeze HARD. Kneel on it and shuffle your knees around until you've squeezed the whole thing. That's as effective as a spin cycle.

    Shampoo (without conditioner mixed in) makes a great laundry detergent. Though, if you use too much, the hotel might stop refilling ...
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

 

 

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