That's right you did read that correctly... I'm one of the weird people that enjoys washing clothes by hand :)
I bought a 32 gallon trash can for $12.88 and a new plunger for about $3. I drilled a bunch of holes in the plunger (so it won't get super sudsy) and that's it! I need to get a longer handle from Lowes or Home Depot but I haven't had the time.
Our friend was graciously allowing us to use her washer and dryer once a week but we found that we needed to wash clothes more often than that.
I had seen the small homemade ones people will use for camping, with a 5 gallon bucket but I needed something that could do a larger load. So hence, the trash can! :)
And I must say it works great!!! Now, growing up we used to hang up our towels and swim clothes outside on the line after swimming and they were always SO stiff when they had fully dried :/ so I looked up online what caused them to be so stiff. Apparently if all the product (i.e.: detergent, fabric softener, chlorine) wasn't rinsed out, it would dry stiff. Also if you didn't ring out enough water that would also cause it.
I've been using homemade laundry detergent for a while now, (5gal buckets worth for .97 cents!!!) and I love it! Works great as a spot treatment too :) and I've also used vinegar as a fabric softener. Works wonderful! And before you ask, no, the clothes don't smell like vinegar after they're dry :) it helps keep everything super soft and absorbent :)
I've found that I have to do socks and underwear separately cause there's just more junk on socks and chonies are a bit more delicate then other clothes as well. I also strung a line inside our shower back and forth 3 times with those screw in loop hooks (I doubt that's what they're called lol :) so our chonies wouldn't be flapping in the breeze for all to see :)
To start off, you start filling up your bucket 1/3-1/2 way full (depending on the size of your load) of water and add in your detergent. Then add in your clothes. The first load I did was a bit ambitious and I did too large of a load :/ so my advice is, to do 2 smaller loads rather than one ginormous load! But hey if you have stronger arms and are up for a challenge, than by all means, go for it! :)
You will more than likely have to rinse twice. That's what my experience had been. You don't put the vinegar In until the last rinse.
You will plunge the plunger up and down and swirl for a few minutes. It's kinda cool/gross to see how dirty the water gets :/ once you're satisfied that you've plunged enough (or your arms give out, either one) you will dump the bucket on its side and get as much water out as you can without ringing out the clothes or losing them all over the grass. Then tip it back up and fill to the same level as the first time. Plunge around until the water is clear or there are no more suds, or if you feel you need to do a second rinse. I usually always do a second rinse cause the water isn't quite clear yet. Don't forget to add the vinegar on the last rinse!
Dump the rinse water and start ringing out your clothes. Be sure to snap the towels and shirts as you hang them up to help get rid of excess water as well as get rid of a lot of the wrinkles.
If you hang up the tees shirts upside down they dry a little more "wrinkle free" and don't get this weird "shoulder nipples" from the clothes pins. And dress shirts and such, I hang on hangers right on the line! So when they're dry I just hang them straight into the closet! Saves a step :) if you find your hangers fly off the line in windy situations, you can put a medium or large binder clip on the line with the little arm thingies pointing down and they are the perfect size for hangers! That also spaces them out a touch so they won't be too close together while they're drying :)
I used a swing set to hang my lines on. 2 around the top and 2 about half way down. I also made an apron to hold all my clothesline so I wouldn't have to walk back over to the bucket :)
It's cute fabric and it holds everything perfectly :) so that's my current washing situation :) and I must say its a sense of accomplishment when you bring in a load if freshly line dries clothes that smell divine and are so clean! I'm enjoying the sun and the birds and the outside time :) my Buddy enjoys it too :) he just sits there and lays in the sun :)
Hope you enjoyed my laundry routine :) if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below! :)
Have a fantabulous day!