Taking an Improvised Shower and Sun Washing Clothes

In any grid down situation, many of us are going to find that our hygiene suffers.  Now I have been dirty for extended periods of time before and it is not pleasant.  Not being able to clean up can lead to illness and poor moral particularly among inexperienced people.

If you are in a situation with limited water and still want to clean up, you can take a shower as follows.  Stash a new 1-gallon weed sprayer with your preps.  You may want to paint it black so it will heat up in the sun.  Wet yourself or have someone spray you just enough so that you can soap up.  Once you have lathered up, use the sprayer to rinse off.  You should be able to take a shower with less than a gallon of water.

Sun washing clothes  If you have a real water shortage, shake your clothes out and spread them out in the full sun.  The more the clothes are exposed to sun, the better.  Sun washed clothing will feel cleaner and smell better.  The ultraviolet radiation will kill off the bacteria that live in your sweat and dead skin cells.  Do not forget to sun wash your sleeping bags and bedding

My mother said that in experiences in England during WW2 that the inability to clean up became a big issue.  Many people found this hard to deal with.  So stock up on your soaps and other hygiene supplies.


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9 Responses to Taking an Improvised Shower and Sun Washing Clothes

  1. peanut_gallery says:

    The weed sprayer is an excelent idea. We bought a camp shower for when TSHTF. I think the sprayer would work much better. Thanks for the tip.

    • cindy says:

      The weed sprayer does work much better. If you get a high one then it can not only provide many showers it also can reach your sinks easier to wash hands, etc… I’ve had several times where we didn’t have water for various reasons at my house and I got sick and tired of not having something that would WASH something off. I found this idea in a mother earth article so I ran out and purchased one the moment a well pump went out and we were waiting for it to be fixed. Several showers kinda sucks but it beats a sharp stick in the eye. and once you heat water for the first shower, it stays warm through several and it uses less water than camp bags, etc… Great for at the sink to just wash your face, brush your teeth, etc… I bought large house letters and spelled out clean water only and clear taped it to the item so no one touches it for anything but fresh water and I keep it filled at all times just incase.

      • cindy says:

        oh…also the better the sprayer the better your spray options. We didn’t buy the smallest and cheapest, but didn’t afford ourself the biggest and baddest either. The bigger you buy often the better the spray options are. We just opted for one that would adjust somewhat and could reach the sinks as well as sit along side the tubs easily. If you buy a tall one it can sit outside the tub/shower, and allow you a little more room inside the shower to wash off. It can be a chilly shower however if you don’t have a warm space to spray off. its not like jumping in a warm shower constantly spraying on you so try to get your space toasty or shower quick

  2. Steve says:

    Another option from a kayaking website. Fill a black 50 gal. bag with water and place
    it in the sun to heat up. Take a bath in it. Two might be appropriate.
    Wash & Rinse. Only works with an abundance of water.
    I do have a sprayer in my preps.

  3. Bev says:

    This is an excellent suggestion. I am buying one come Monday. Thanks

  4. Wyzyrd says:

    I like the sprayer idea a lot. A coat of a flat black plastic-friendly paint (like the Fusion brand, etc.) might be a good addition, too. Then, you could take advantage of solar heating in the same container.

  5. KE4SKY says:

    When water is scarce a sponge bath of water and vinegar is an effective field hygiene expedient. When camping in Italy last year I was instructed by veterans of the Alpini Regt. in methods which have been used by Italian troops since the Roman era. A cupful of vinegar in a canteen cup full of water is heated to a steamy, comfortable washing temperature, before using first to brush your teeth, then to rinse your mess kit and utensils. Use a clean triangular bandage, wash cloth or towel to wipe your mess gear clean before putting it away, then use remaining warm vinegar water to moisten the wash cloth to wipe your face and shave, finish by sponging off the feet, armpits and crotch area and change into clean socks and underwear before putting on your clothes which have been warmed, dried and lightly smoked by the fire to repel insects.

    Vinegar is an effective cleaner, deodorizer and fungicide which relieves heat rash, insect bites,

  6. catherine says:

    KE4SKY said ” A cupful of vinegar in a canteen cup full of water” the cupful in a cup has me confused, can you clarify that? A capful ( cap of the vinegar bottle, though they vary with the size of the bottle) in a cup? Thanks

  7. ke4sky says:

    USGI canteen cup holds not quite a quart. Mixing vinegar and water approximately equal parts by volume is fine, but 1:3 or 1:4 ratio works. I was told not less than 250ml per liter of water. Stronger acidic is OK if no broken skin.

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