If you live without a washing machine, or yours is broken and you need to do a load of laundry, you can use your bathtub or a large Tupperware container and a clean, never-before-used toilet plunger to make your own washing machine and get your clothes clean quickly.
Photo by Dana Franks.
The key here is to use a clean, never-used toilet plunger. The Tupperware container or your bathtub will mimic the washing machine basin, and the toilet plunger will be your agitator. If you use the bathtub, use only as much water as you need: if you fill the bathtub, you'll wind up wasting a lot of water and it won't be as effective.
Add some water and soap to your basin, whether it's a container or the bathtub, and use less soap than you would for a full load of laundry. Put the plunger at the bottom, and add your clothes. Let them soak for a while to loosen up the dirt, and then rapidly plunge the bottom of the container to create agitation in the water, mimicking the action of the agitator in a mechanical washing machine. After a few minutes, drain the soapy water, rinse with clean, and hang to dry.
This tip works best if you're just out of a washing machine for a short period, live somewhere without one (and you don't want to spend money to wash and dry at a laundromat), or if you're camping and need to clean some clothes. Have you ever hand-washed clothes this way? Let us know in the comments below.
How to: Bathtub Laundry [Instructables]