How to Do Laundry in the Bathtub


The 21st century is all about conservation --- both environmental and economical. The average household, according to Planet Green, does about 400 loads of laundry per year and, in so doing, uses 13,500 gallons of water. Doing laundry eats up a lot of electricity, as well; the dryer is second only to the refrigerator in electrical consumption. Going green in the laundry department means trading machine energy for human energy. Try washing clothes with homemade detergent in the bathtub to save money and reduce your carbon footprint.

Things You'll Need

  • Large mixing bowl
  • 2 cups finely grated soap
  • 1 cup borax
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • Airtight plastic container
  • Measuring spoon (tablespoon)
  • Bathtub with drain plug
  • Water
  • Waterproof gloves
  • Dirty clothes
  • Clothesline (in the tub or outdoors)

Make Laundry Detergent

  • Combine the grated soap, washing soda and borax in the mixing bowl.

  • Stir the mixture well.

  • Store the soap mixture in an airtight plastic container.

Wash the Clothes

  • Plug the tub and add enough water to the tub to be able to agitate the clothes. Follow clothing instructions when determining water temperature (hot, warm or cold).

  • Wearing gloves, add two tablespoons of soap to the water (enough for a full load of laundry) and swirl around. Add clothes and let soak for 10 minutes.

  • Swirl clothes around (i.e., agitate the clothes) in the water for a few minutes, focusing on any stubborn stains.

  • Drain soapy water; add fresh water and rinse clothes. Repeat until soap is gone.

  • Squeeze excess water from clothes; shake the clothes out and hang to dry on the clothesline.

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  • Photo Credit Clothes-peg image by Mykola Velychko from
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