Hi, I’m Tara…

I'm a whore revolutionary and a wilderbabe. I'm pretty much in love with this little river I live on and myself and if you stick around you'll read (and see) all about it.

Drying Laundry

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I have a metal ridged plunger type thing for doing laundry on the wood stove. The problem is that the water is dirty. I live on a shallow muddy river and the river it flows into is full of silt from melting glaciers. No mater how many layers of cloth I filter it through, clothes come out gritty.

The most important thing is water, and I was eager and stupid when I picked my place – I already knew I was immune to giardia, and I’ve been drinking muddy river water my whole life. I didn’t think about laundry or guests’ stomachs. Anyways, I probably couldn’t have afforded a clear mountain stream.

Click clack gorilla posted about drying laundry in her tiny off grid home (it’s a wagon!). She finally discovered the perfect wood stove laundry drying method for those of us with limited space, and it reminded me of these big wire spirals that are above a lot of Alaskan wood stoves.

Do you live off grid or in a tiny home? How do you deal with laundry?

9 comments to Drying Laundry

  • Ooo. Kind of what I was picturing, though not quite. Awesome. Am enjoying the view of the book shelf in the background too.

  • SBW

    What about a settlement tank? The other upside would be the silt collected could be really high in minerals and a great soil conditioner for your veg patch.


  • AnthonyA

    I wonder if a settlement tank wouldn’t work, after all, and indeed, benefit from your situation. When hard apple cider is made from apple cider, the process is removing the water from it, thus decreasing the volume and increasing the relative alcohol percentage. The process used is to place the apple cider in a barrel outside where it will freeze, wait for a layer of ice to form on the top, and then remove the ice. As the ice crystals form, contaminants (i.e. anything not water) are pushed out of the crystal.

    If you skimmed the ice off the settlement tank after it had frozen into a layer perhaps a half-inch thick, you could set the ice aside in an empty bucket, and each piece of ice would almost certainly be a lot clearer than the water going into the tank.

    Ice was taken from ponds and lakes in the past, too, and stored for the summertime then shipped all over the world, for use in cooling, including straight into drinks, so I believe this idea will work.

    • ecowhore

      That sounds like a lot of work – more work than melting snow. Also, it’s COLD here. Such a barrel would freeze overnight (or sooner – it was -60 for quite a few days this winter) and split in half and then not hold any thawed water.

  • Doc

    Cant you punch a sandpoint? If your that close to the river, water ought to be pretty shallow. I punched ours for maybe $400. (Fairbanks prices in ’06) A little handpump, and no more hauling that water. We went over a decade without full amenities, and just put in the rest of the bathroom next year. Love your clothes dryer though, where did you get it?

    • ecowhore

      Hey doc, did you have a pump that all the seals didn’t crack up on every winter? The water I pump out of the ground is just as muddy as the slough water, but I’ve thought about punch deeper or further back.

  • Tom

    I built a still that was part of my wood stove. I could run all sorts of stuff through it… but distilled water was the biggest output. I used an old airplane external drop tank that I lined with poly as a storage tank for the output… it was oblong and fit nicely along the flue.

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