Aug 182012

This is a bit off topic in regards to the boat series but I came across something online yesterday that I found pretty interesting.

One of my least favorite chores is doing laundry.  It ranks right up there with cleaning the cat litter box and disposing of a body as one of the more unfun parts of the week.  Ever since I sold my house many years ago I have been relegated to the whims and misfortunes of laundromats.  When I lived in the rv park on Cudjoe Key, at the marinas in Key Largo and now here in Key West, each place has had laundry facilities.  In most, if not all cases, the machines are poorly maintained, there is always somebody ahead of you, and they require money to operate.  In the last couple of places I lived, the landlords were too cheap to even hook up the hot water feed.  So up until I moved into this current marina, I never was able to wash clothes in hot water.  The current marina, to their credit, has a decent laundry room with machines that work and have hot water.  The cost now is $2 per load.  I never use the dryers, instead just hanging the few clothes I have around the boat cabin to dry off.  It works but it’s still a pain in the ass.

So for a long time I’ve been looking at minimalist ways to do laundry.   Something that doesn’t use electricity, is fairly portable, and easy to use.  And what I found yesterday may be an answer…

The Laundry Pod

This simple device uses a basket inside the bucket with a hand crank to do all the dirty work.  A load takes about 5 minutes or so and it will do about 10 items at a time.  Here is a video demoing the whole thing…

It’s small enough, about the size of big bucket, and costs about $99.  At $2 per load, which is what I’m paying now, the thing would pay for itself in about 6 months.

It’s not a completely original idea.  I found this little gem a few years ago…

Wonder Washer

It works along the same lines of the Laundry pod except you spin the whole thing with the crank handle.  You use hot water as the bucket is designed to be sealed.  As the heat builds up it forces the water and soap through the clothes and cleans them, allegedly.  This one costs a bit less, around $50.

Another idea that is just coming out is this one…

Designed to be distributed in third world countries, ( I believe the Conch Republic qualifies), you sit on it and operate it by foot pedal.

Finally, if you want to really go back in time but want something one step above a rock and a crik, there is the plunger…

I like either of the first two on the list.  Both look like they would do a decent job of cleaning clothes or at least settling the dust.  I doubt either would do well with things like heavy blankets or winter clothes, but since I have neither, that wouldn’t be an issue.  Hot water could be had for nothing with one of those simple solar shower bags…

A device so simple in design and use it’s amazing more people don’t take advantage of it.

Anyways, as you can see there are some nice, minimal, green alternatives to cleaning clothes.  The only thing that has held me up from getting one of these options is the fact I move around so much and don’t want more crap to drag around.  But now that I am on the boat, it may be a viable alternative to the laundry room.  We’ll see what happens down the road.

Capt. Fritter


  2 Responses to “Living Aboard, Laundry…”

  1. i like that laundry pod! you find some neat stuff.
    some very cool little inventions out there these days.
    i only wash my clothes in cold water anyway.
    they last longer and get just as clean as in hot water.
    it’s more economical for sure. and easier on the fibers.
    i also line dry with an extra rod in the middle of my shower.
    now if i could just find a boat or a tiny house… and some money…

  2. I know people using the Wonder Wash and they say it does a good job but leaves your clothes VERY wet. The Laundry Pod looks like it might spin out more water but maybe not wash as well since it doesn’t tumble the clothes the way the Wonder Wash does. Please, let us know when you do one or the other and how you think it works.