I want to get some of my "old" posts out of the way before I start new topics. I'll try to use the poll for a gauge and post on these topics whenever possible. Thank you for your feedback!I've posted about my preferred method of doing vanstead laundry in different forums... getting less than an enthusiastic reception. ;) Using this method many times over the summer, I'm sticking by it for a variety of reasons. While travelling we typically use a laundromat (one load per week). However, when boondocking or while docked at the "homestead", a trip to the laundromat isn't always practical.
I originally took a hint from our water loving friends and tried this no-rinse method. I've read about using ammonia on several forums, but this site states the breakdown environmentally. Check out the green factor: http://www.anything-sailing.com/showthread.php/2944-Washing-clothes-with-ammonia-to-save-water
The article talks about it being good for everything except stains; other sites say it is really great on stains. I've read that for odors it's the best. It worked great on everything I've washed.
Oh, a few more things about using ammonia:
1) *Never* use it with bleach - it creates a toxic gas that kills!
2) Ammonia will dissolve latex - so don't wash latex clothing with it. I actually had to google latex clothing 'cause I didn't know... Well, I'll just say I don't have any of that!
My experience: it was *not* a good idea to use my latex gloves to protect my hands while agitating the clothes. Use a wooden spoon or some other type "plunger" (more on plungers later).
3) Do *not* breathe in the ammonia vapors!
If I have any question about an item I use Dr. Bronner's soap instead.
- does not require rinsing (uses less water)
- does not have some of the nasty chemicals that are used in typical laundry products
- safe for the environment
- used in a very small bucket (with lid)
Add clothes to a small bucket (that has a lid); add about 1/4 cup of ammonia and fill with water to cover clothes; agitate; let them soak about 5 minutes; agitate again; wring out and hang on a tiered clothes hanger.
Here's another method I like that could be miniaturized with a smaller bucket and plunger size: