Friday, July 1, 2011

Kelsey's guide to washing your clothes

I think I am going to institute "how to" Fridays. These how to's might not be super helpful for life in America. So maybe you should consider them your preperation guide for when you all come a visit me!

One of my favorite things about life in Uganda is that my lifestyle is eco friendly. Our power comes from solar panels on our roof. Our food comes from gardens in our neighborhood. Our laundry is done by hand. I would challenge those who think they lead eco friendly lives to try to do all of their laundry by hand. Its a commitment. At my parent's church (in America) they spend one week each year eating only rice and beans in order to better relate to people in the developing world. I have some friends who choose to spend one week a year or at least one day a month doing laundry by hand and bathing out of a bucket. It is actually so freeing to know that you can live without your modern conveniences. As long as I have a water source I can bathe and do dishes and do laundry. It makes me feel like the world is open to me. I can survive anywhere.I can do laundry without a machine! I have superhuman powers!

And now you can too.

 soap. bar soap and powder.

Crucial ingredients: dirty clothes and...

Add soap
Clothes in Uganda get much MUCH dirtier than clothes in America. My Ugandan friends do not believe that a washing machine could actually clean clothes. Sometimes I wonder if it could clean these clothes... Maybe those new fangled fancy machines with special settings. Maybe they have an African Dirt setting. Gosh that would be helpful. 

Add water from your jerry can.

It helps if you have a baby to splash in your water
even better if she is constantly trying to get in
with the laundry.

Grab the bar of soap and scrub. Dont stop until
you get good lather going.

Example of good lather.If you dont get good lather then you
don't get clean clothes. Also your arms should be hurting.
If your arms don't hurt then you also don't get clean clothes.

Squeeze out the soapy water and repeat the
process in another bucket.

At this point in the process it all looks the same. Rinse and repeat. Getting all the soap out of my clothes is for some reason more of a priority to me than actually getting my clothes clean. Although now that I have started gardening that might change. I usually wash once and rinse twice. Unless someone is helping me out then I can't get away with any shortcuts.

Next move to a bucket with clean water and rinse.
Shake the clothes to get out the wrinkles
and hang to dry. Let the sun do the rest.


  1. i`m with ya girl-- it`s an eco-friendly commitment... annnd an arm work out :)

  2. funny...I didn't see any adorable white-girl arms in these photos actually DOING any work...

  3. oh my goodness Joanna! SOOOOO funny!


  4. or, just keep wearing your dirty clothes until African children take them out of your suitcase and wash them for you!