Today I did laundry on my off grid homestead with a washer and dryer for the first time.

by John Hancock

Today I used a washer and dryer on my off grid homestead for the first time.  The first six months I was out here I washed my laundry by hand.  The most difficult part was always the washing.  Hanging them out to dry was pretty easy in the sun or in the shop with a fire going during winter.  Pretty quickly I grew tired of doing it by hand when I could just do it in town once every week or two when I made a supply run.  Recently I found a small washer and dryer set and decided I better jump on it. Just about everything has been more difficult to find anymore. 

Frugal off grid washer and dryer

I decided to simply toss a hose into the washer and rig the switch to stay on.  I started the cycle and manually started to fill the washer. I only use natural soap. This is laundry powder.  Basically sodium bicarbonate.  

Frugal Off Grid rainwater washer

Once it kicked on I turned the water off.  After the wash cycle the water drained into my grey water system.  I'm growing corn in there for my livestock. When it rains hard my driveway collects in this swale and overflows into my pond but when I do laundry the grey water only feels the swale getting absorbed locally and seperate from the pond. 

Frugal off grid grey water from washer watering swale full of corn

Frugal off grid grey water swale full of corn


I turned the hose back on and the rinse cycle started.  Once it was full it drained and went into the spin cycle.  It was that easy to simply watch the hose. I probably went through less than 10 gallons.  

Frugal off grid washer and dryer

My Solar system has no problem running the washer but it shut down after running the dryer for 15 minutes.  I've been planning to upgrade from 800 watts to 1200 watts of solar panels soon. That might solve my problem.  Regardless I can run my van and run it off it's inverter like a generator or hang my stuff up in the sun or in my shop.  

Frugal off grid solar powered dryer

Frugal off grid hanging clothes out to dry

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