Emergency or Camping Clothes Washing Kit

Nice clothes washing kit that would be a nice, no-power addition to a long-term emergency or preparedness set up.  Can also see it being a great addition to a base-camp for hikers, cabins or hunters.

NOTE: You could store two 5-gallon buckets, stack one inside of the other. Use one bucket for the soapy water and the other for the rinse water. You may be able to wash and rinse a couple of batches of clothes without changing the soapy water depending on how dirty the clothes are.


  • 5-gallon bucket with lid (cut hole in middle of lid for plunger handle to fit through)
  • Toilet plunger (brand-new, clean)
  • Store in bucket:
  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Stain remover/stain stick
  • Vinegar (add 1/2 cup to rinse water) helps remove soap
  • Rope (for clothes line)
  • Clothes pins

To Use:

  • Empty contents of bucket.
  • Place water, small amount of detergent, and clothes in bucket.
  • Move plunger up and down for a few minutes or until clothes are clean.
  • Remove soapy clothes and ring them out.
  • Dump out soapy water (on your garden or lawn.)
  • Place soapy clothes in bucket and fill with clear, clean water.
  • Add 1/2 cup vinegar to rinse water.
  • Move plunger up and down to rinse clothing.
  • Wring out clothes and hang to dry.
  • Conserve water – use rinse water for next load of laundry.

5 Comments on “Emergency or Camping Clothes Washing Kit

  1. Julie on said:

    love this idea and it just may come to this as washing machines arn’t made like they use to…I can replace one about every 3-5 yrs grrrr thanks Julie

  2. I’m not so sure that dumping the soapy water into a garden or lawn would be environmentally friendly/ sustainable.

  3. That’s a good point, LM. You wouldn’t want to do this with just any soap. Fortunately there are several environmentally friendly soaps available now.

  4. Renee on said:

    COOL Idea…

  5. judi smith on said:

    i used a bucket and plunger to do laundry for a family of 4 for about 6 months.
    sit on the edge of the tub,
    dirty clothes by the drain,
    put the ones you have washed at the other end.
    when you finish washing,
    slide the pile to the other end & start rinsing.
    start with the least soiled.
    the water can be change as often as you need.

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