Friday, May 27, 2016

3 Bucket "Nappy" Laundry System

     Someday.....all those wonderful paper, disposable products that we couldn't live without will be unavailable, or too expensive to buy or all used up and we will have to go back in time and use fabric...what I call "Nappies".   Think of baby diapers; many mothers today are all ready using cloth diapers which you can make yourself or buy online or department stores.  Think also of Feminine menstruation products,  nose blowing  and bottom wiping products.  Cloth "nappies" prepared ahead of time may/will become very precious.   But how are we going to clean and reuse the "nappies"? 
                                                       You will need 3, 5 gallon plastic buckets with only 2 lids.  You will need a "plunger" type laundry tool, usually blue, with wooden handle, and some pvc pipe cut in 6" lengths and a T joint to affix a horizontal handle to the top of the wooden handle, with screw and bolt.  You will also need a 1/4 " or 1/2 " plastic chopping board that is at least 11" by 14"  to cut into a circle that fits the bottom of the buckets.  And, a "garage" handle with screws to attach it to the circular chopping board. 

The laundry process goes like this;  one bucket and lid hold a second bucket (with several holes drilled in the bottom and sides)  inside and stays by your toilet or changing table with 1 1/2 gallon of water in it and 1 cup of white vinegar or bleach.  Soiled "nappies" are dropped inside for a few days and are soaked in the "treated" water. 

When decided it is time to wash,  2 gallons of water need to be heated up with laundry soap added.  The "holely" inside bucket is removed and placed inside the bottom half of the 3rd bucket to hold dripping while the first bucket is taken to a place appropriate to dump the soaking water.  The hot soapy water is now put into the

Holding bucket and the 2nd, "holely" bucket with soiled nappies is put inside.  Now the "plunger with blue bottom is inserted and is pumped up and down to clean the nappies.  To prevent splashing, one of the lids can be attached to the plunger and snapped into place during the washing. 

The pvc pipe handle at the top just helps facilitate the washing action.   When it is determined that washing is complete, the "holely" bucket is brought up and is allowed to drain and the upper half of the 3rd bucket is intserted to act as a "spacer" so that the  chopping board "presser" can be used to press out excess wash water.

The rinsing process echos the washing process until the nappies are clean enough to pick them up with hands and hang them out to dry.  
This system can also be used for smaller loads of laundry like socks and underwear. 

I made 210  nappies out of a used flannel, fitted king bed sheet ( purcashed at a thrift store) cut into 6" strips.  I cut those strips into 6 or 12 or 18" pieces and then using my ordinary sewing machine, zigzaged the edges.  Watching a movie or listening to a podcast during this task helped the time to whiz by.  I have 104 stitched nappies and another 106 cut but not yet stitched stored in zip lock bags.   

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