Off the grid and onto the clothesline

One morning, it hit me like a bolt as I stood in the laundromat, a window-cleaning squeegee in one hand and a spray bottle in the other: Why had I poured years of hard-earned quarters and elbow grease into patronizing dirty places that were supposed to produce clean clothes? There had to be a better way — and there is.

c. tiloligo

c. tiloligo

I can’t own a washer because my home’s drain field is too small and the rock walls make it too difficult to direct gray water to plants without setting up a mess of rain barrels, tubes and pumps. The laundromat seemed to be the only choice – until the Breathing Mobile Washer came into my life. I saw it first on an Alaska wilderness show on cable TV, then found it on websites selling items to people living off the grid. It looks like an oddball toilet plunger, a hard plastic cone on a stick. It paid for itself in a month.

I use my new washer with soap, not laundry detergent. Soap rinses out cleanly. Recipes abound online for laundry soap – basically finely grated Castile bar soap combined with washing soda and borax. As a newbie, I bought it ready-made.

The procedure goes like this: More