The Most Eco-Friendly Way to do your Laundry

The biggest change in my living since moving into Casa Container has been the transition into being an environmentally safe & water conservative being, and therefor creating a living space that reflects those values.  Being responsible for a (tiny) household ( & a tiny septic tank) makes you extremely conscious of every litre of fresh water that moves through your pipes.

Since the move I’ve employed many simple ways of conserving/reusing/reducing my water consumption.   Read about all of them here.

I recently revealed on my latest snapchat tour that I hand wash my laundry with recycled greywater.  In doing this i’ve cutback significantly on my water usage & electric bill and extended the life of my clothes by not subjecting them to the roughness of a washer & dryer.

Interested? Learn how below.

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Personally, I use shower water (provided being absolutely filthy isn’t the reason for the shower).  Shower/tub water actually contains minimal organic matter, which means this water is totally fine to wash your clothes in.  I just plug the drain & let it fill up while i shower.  The soap & shampoo i use is also 100% natural and environmentally safe ( most of my products come from a local company purejoynaturals.ca ).

If you don’t want to use greywater you can still use less water than a washing machine by filling a rubbermaid bin (or other bin) with fresh water and using the same process.

I add a few scoops of PJN laundry soap and dump my clothes in.  With this method, I find it’s best to do small loads frequently and not to wait until you have a heaping basket.  I do mine every few days because
1) Water stays cleaner with less clothes
2)I have limited drying space
3)Leaning over the bathtub can be strenuous, and you don’t want do have to do it for a long time.

First, I let everything soak for a couple minutes, then i swish it around to mix with the detergent water, so the soap gets at every part of every garment.  After that I pay any special attention needed to stains, spots, ect.

When you’re ready to take your clothes out, pull them out one at a time and squeeze as much excess water out as possible without wringing them.  Wringing the garments will stretch, weaken and wear down the fabric.

Like i said earlier I have limited drying space because I use one of those wooden drying racks.  Ideally (in the summer) the drying rack is outside on the deck when i lay wet clothes on it because fresh air, breezy, dripping, blah, blah.  In the winter i set up in my living room and put a towel underneath.

Once all your clothes are out and drying, consider bucketing the water for your lawn or non-food garden before you drain it.

And voila! Perfectly clean clothes using NO electricity & NO extra water!
100% doable and you didn’t even have to bring your old Columbus Co. washboard down to the river.

 

 

The Most Eco-Friendly Way to do your Laundry

How to Clean a Bear Skin Rug ( & Other Taxidermy)

I was recently fortunate enough to give an old black bear rug a new home.  I don’t think i would ever order such a thing on my own but this one already existed and had belonged to my parents.  They used it for a while but the dogs didn’t like it so it was put away and forgotten about for years.  It came into my possession this passed Christmas and has since made a beautiful addition to my little home.

It was not so beautiful when I first received it however.  It was dusty from being discarded in storage for many years, the paws had come off the felt mount and it needed a little love and a new environment.  Which begged me to ask the question, “How the heck do I clean this thing without totally destroying it?”

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General Maintenance

You will need to use a comb (not too fine) first to get out dust bunnies and debris and other foreign particles.  For best results do this while quietly chanting “Nice bear… soft bear…clean bear…”.  Comb with the direction of the fur, so you don’t create any breakage.

Next mix up a bucket of mild, eco-friendly soap (or 5% white vinegar/ 95% water solution) and use a sponge.  Wring the sponge out as much as possible so it is just bear-ly (AHahahaha…) damp, you do not want your rug to be wet at any point.  Gently wipe the bear in the direction of the fur. Rinse and ring out the sponge as you collect yuckies, so you don’t just spread them around and mix new water if it becomes to cloudy.

Allow it to “dry” (it shouldn’t be wet) for a while (few hours or overnight) and come back with the comb (all cleaned out of course).  Comb through it again, this time to break up any clumps from being damp, and too smooth the fur and make it look nice, remember to follow the natural lay of the fur.  

Do this once a month or more often in high traffic areas.  Rugs will collect more dust and dirt than wall mounts (and endure more wear and tear), so they will require more attention to keep nice.

Spills

If it is a wet spill, just dab with a towel or cloth and try to soak up as much moisture as possible.  Use a damp cloth but do not make the rug any more wet.  Moisture and heat are the enemies of your bear rug.

Note that my rug is a black bear, and would not show dirt or dust as evidently as a polar bear or any animal hide of a lighter colour. For stains or damage to a polar bear rug I would only recommend having it cleaned by a professional.  I’ve seen images of people trying to fix theirs by bleaching it or using other solutions, only to damage it further.

How to Clean a Bear Skin Rug ( & Other Taxidermy)