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How To Hand Wash Your Clothes To Save Money

Did your washing machine kick the bucket and you need all your cash for the new one?  Or maybe you don’t want to haul a bunch of rowdy kids and all their laundry out in public (been there, not done that!).  Maybe you live in an apartment and are tired of feeding quarters to the laundry monster.  Hand wash your clothes instead!

Broken washing machine?  Need to save up for a new one?  Here's how to hand wash your clothes instead of an expensive laundromat.

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Here are three different ways to hand wash your clothes and save your money

Bucket and Plunger

This laundry cleaning method is effective for small loads that are especially dirty.  I prefer the plunger if I’m in a pinch and need to wash cloth diapers, because I can dump them directly into the bucket and agitate without touching them.

To hand wash clothes with a plunger first fill the bucket with water and soap.  Second, add the clothes into the water.  Third, agitate by moving the plunger up and down in the bucket.  I like to do 100 strokes per bucketful.  The speed of plunging and the density as well as dirtiness of clothing will affect how many strokes are needed.

Wring out the clothes and fill the bucket with clean water to rinse.  Two rinses are best for removing all soap residue.  This method does double duty as your workout and saves you time at gym too. 😉  This method works okay with a clean plunger, but if you find it very useful you may want to invest in one specially designed for laundry.

The Grape-Stomp Method

If you have seen I Love Lucy you know what I mean.  This laundry cleaning method can be a lot of fun for kids.  To “hand” wash you clothes this way, fill up the tub with the clothes and soap and stomp on them to agitate.  You get a good workout and a nice bath at the same time.

This is a good method if you can’t do any heavy lifting as you just pull the plug to drain and then refill with rinse water.  It’s also a good way to entertain your kids AND get the laundry done at the same time.  They will remember it much more fondly than sitting quietly at the laundromat!

In The Sink

Hand washing clothes in the sink makes the most since when you have just one or two items that are delicate or if you are trying to work out a stain.  It’s fairly straightforward.  Add your laundry soap or soap nuts into the sink as the water is running.  You can also use the bar of hand soap on the sink and rub it directly onto the wet item.  Swish the clothes around in a water or rub the cloth together it release dirt. Drain the water and rinse.

What To Do With The Wet Clothes

After hand washing clothes they are going to be very wet.  If you are line drying you could let them drip dry, but this is expensive if you are using a dryer and impractical if you are using racks indoors.  If you have a semi functional washing machine you can run everything through a spin cycle.

Some people use wringers although I prefer not to with children around.  Older wringers can be dangerous and I’ve found the new wringers with an automatic release don’t get as much water out as I can by hand wringing.

To wring by hand, grab each item and twist your hands away from each other.  Large items such as blankets can be wrung by starting at the top and wringing while moving your hands down the item lengthwise. The low-cost, energy efficient, clothesline is a great way to dry clothes.  You could even plant herbs underneath and “water” them at the same time!

Hand washing clothes may seem old-fashioned, but it has it’s place and is not as inconvenient as it may seem especially when you can use the best method for the items you need to wash.  Instead of wasting time and money at a laundromat, try hand washing!

This post shared at Clever Chicks Blog Hop,

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Sunday 24th of May 2020

Just started to handwash all my clothes in a sink. I agree with others that you can see the dirt getting removed and whether it needs a little more work or not. Since I do just one or two sink loads at a time, the bath tub is large enough for rack drying. Every other night I just do some laundry so it never builds up. Now I wonder why I have so many clothes in my closet and drawers!


Monday 25th of May 2020

Yes! Now with 7 people in the house I don't hand wash much anymore, but I still do a load every day. It's lots nicer to have clean clothes available instead of dirty ones waiting to be cleaned.


Tuesday 25th of February 2020

I have a spin dryer that works wonders when I have washed my clothes. It doesn't take v long to dry them afterwards


Tuesday 25th of February 2020

That's awesome.

Mary K Riley

Monday 23rd of December 2019

What did you buy and where. Did it seem to be durable? I don't mind spending that $$ if it's long lasting. M. Il.


Wednesday 31st of July 2019

Awesome idea and we'll explained!!


Friday 2nd of August 2019



Saturday 13th of April 2019

I bought a portable washer for $100 and love it! Works great and a I can wash outside spin and place on line. No heavy lifting! At $5 load at Laundromat this was a great money saving purchase. I don't have hand or arm strength anymore so this works great

Mary K Riley

Monday 23rd of December 2019

What did you buy and where. Did it seem to be durable? I don't mind spending that $$ if it's long lasting. M. Il.


Tuesday 16th of April 2019


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