A couple of buckets and plunger. You weren't expecting that picture were you.
I've been trying to figure out an alternative to the laundry room in my building for awhile now. Those machines down there are not only expensive, but at this point not working either. I've got clothes to wash and don't really want to lug laundry on the bus to the laundromat. No, not going to do it.
Awhile back my friend mentioned she got a portable washing machine. I was like...portable washing machine? They make those? Yup. Mini washing machines you can hook up to your sink. I thought about saving up to get one of those, but I get distracted to easily by other things I want and my friend has been having issues with hers.
Then we were at The Container Store the other day and they had the Laundry Pod (an oversized salad spinner) and I thought that might be a decent option. I looked it up and still kind of pricey. The reviews weren't that great either. While I was looking into the Laundry Pod, the Rapid Washer also came up on my search. The Rapid Washer looks like a plunger. And at $20, I thought that was pretty reasonable. I read a lot of the reviews and people were pretty happy with it. I mentioned it to my friend and she said she used that method before she bought the portable washer. I asked her where she got hers and she said, oh I just used a brand new toilet plunger. She'd done some research and said it was the same thing, just cheaper.
Yup, much cheaper. A cheap plunger is $5. My two buckets were $3 each. New washing machine plus tax, $12. And I get an upper body work out for free. FREE! Ha!
The plunger method is supposed to be easier on your clothes than a washing machine AND since you're washing the clothes yourself you can see if all the laundry soap has washed out of your clothing. Apparently unless you run an extra rinse cycle the laundry soap might not all be washed out of your clothing. The plunger method works by sucking the water through your clothing. It's easier on your clothing than the agitation from a washing machine. When you dump the water you can see how much dirt was in the water. And rinse as many times as you like buy plunging, wringing and dumping.
I've done two loads so far. I fill up the bucket with warm water and laundry soap (just a table spoon will do) and let my clothes (about 4 - 5 pieces) soak for a bit and then plunge. I do this in the tub...because I'm messy. I wring out the clothes and stick them in another bucket with cold water to rinse and plunge. I repeat this process until I'm satisfied with what color the water is when I wring out the clothes and dump the water. You're looking for clear water, but if you're washing red or blue, the water may have a tint no matter how many times you do a rinse.
I'm hanging my clothes for now. Larger items I may still use the dryers downstairs unless I can figure out a way to turn a tub, laundry basket, fan/hair dryer and crank into a tumble dryer. My hands are kind of red and soar from the wrining, but I'm okay with that. I just need to make sure I moisturize them. It beats dealing with the laundry room. I've got a ton of clothes to wash and will be washing a couple loads a night for a few nights until it's all done now that I don't have to worry about the laundry room being open and functioning and making sure I have quarters. Hopefully soon I'll have nice strong arm muscles and a strong back.