There might come a time when you have to wash your clothes and you do not have access to water. In a lot of local emergency situations, you will most likely find yourself without water for a couple of hours, or in the worst-case scenario, you could go without having water for a couple of days. Although if you do not have access to water for several days that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t clean your clothes.
You can clean clothes without water by freezing your clothes, washing them with snow, using shaving foam, rubbing alcohol, baby powder, blow dryer, vacuum cleaner, wet wipes, club soda, duct tape, lemon juice, white wine, and even vodka. Cleaning clothes without water is not that efficient as you should always rinse your clothes in water to wash off the dirt and the excess cleaning products.
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A lot of people are prepared for some kind of emergency situation, although by far one of the hardest emergency situation to prepare for is losing access to water. Some people stockpile water, which is a good idea, the problem is that you do not know how much you will actually need as you will not know when you will get access back to water from the tap. Generally speaking in natural disasters like floods you will not have access to water for a couple of days or even weeks.
Once you do not have access to tap water you will notice that everything will get dirty extremely fast, especially your clothes. This happens because as you do not have access to tap water you are less likely to wash your hands properly and you will do it less frequently, although you will most likely do this in order not to waste any water. For the most part, you will need some kind of liquid to clean your clothes, water works the best, although there are other alternatives which you can use.
If you do not have water to clean clothes than you probably can’t even take a shower, if you want to know how you can clean yourself without a shower then check out my recent article How to get clean without a shower ( Top 10 Options ).
1. Freeze your clothes
In case you do not have access to water but you still have electricity then you can use your freezer to clean some of your clothes. Although a lot of people will say that by placing your clothes in the freezer the below-freezing temperatures will kill the bacteria. The problem is that there are a lot of bacteria that will survive even in below-freezing temperatures. The good news is that you can still clean your clothes by placing them in your freezer as it will make your clothes wet.
For the most part, you will need some water to clean your clothes, and by placing your clothes into the freezer you will notice that small ice crystals will form on top of your clothes. Once you take out your clothes from the freezer these ice crystals will melt, thus making your clothes wet and far easier to clean. Once your clothes are wet just use any washing products to clean them, you might have to repeat the process a couple of times if some of the stains are stubborn. If for some reason you do not have toilet paper then check out my recent article No toilet paper? ( Top 21 Alternatives ).
2. Washing with snow
Snow is used across the world to clean clothes where access to running water is limited. Snow tends to be extremely good for cleaning clothes, although you will not be able to remove some types of stains. As you have noticed most clothes have a set temperature at which you should wash them, this way you do not ruin your clothes and you will also be able to remove most types of stains. As snow tends to be fairly cold you will not be able to remove stains that require hot water, like grease and oils stains.
3. Shaving foam
For some stains, you can use shaving foam to get some stains out and make your clothes smell better. Just keep in mind not to use shaving cream or shaving gel as these tend to have chemicals for colors that will stain your clothes. The problem with using shaving foam is that you will be limited to what types of stains you can get out, and generally speaking, you will mostly be able to get rid of the bad odors from your clothes.
4. Rubbing alcohol
If you want to clean some of your clothes as fast as possible without water then you should use rubbing alcohol. The best part about using rubbing alcohol for cleaning clothes is that it doesn’t leave stains, as most cleaning products would if you do not use water. The problem with using rubbing alcohol for cleaning clothes is that you will have to clean in spots. The best approach to this is to find dirt stains and remove them with rubbing alcohol, in addition to this make sure to use the alcohol to clean the armpits and other areas where you usually start to smell even if it looks clean.
5. Baby powder
Baby powder is specially designed to absorb moisture, not only water but oil and other liquids as well. Although using baby powder for every type of fabric is not a good idea as it is extremely difficult to get the baby powder out from some fabrics. On the other hand, if you have some kind of greasy stain on your clothes you can just sprinkle some baby powder on it, wait around an hour or so, and then dust the power off, and there you go.
6. Blow dryer
If your clothes do not have stains but they are dusty then you can use your blow dryer to get them clean. If your clothes are dusty it is not a good idea to try and clean them with something like a napkin as the dust will get into the fabric, so use a blow dryer. Just make sure to set the blow dryer to cold and not on hot, if you set your blow dryer to hot then you will stain your clothes.
7. Vacuum cleaner
Some stains will be fairly easy to get out with a vacuum cleaner, although you will not be able to get grease stains out this way. Generally speaking, you can use a vacuum cleaner to clean your clothes if they are dusty or if the dirt on them is dry and comes off easily. You will not be able to do this with every type of fabric as fabrics that tend to easily stretch might get ruined.
8. Wet wipes
By far one of the easiest ways of cleaning your clothes without water is by using wet wipes. Wet wipes tend to contain some disinfectant and water as well, this is why it is easy to clean stains with them. If you have greasy stains on your clothes then sprinkle some lemon juice on the stains and wipe them off with wet wipes. Make sure not to flush the wet wipes down the toilet as even flushable wet wipes will clog up your toilet eventually.
9. Club soda
If you don’t have access to water from your tap but you do have some club soda then you can easily clean your clothes with it. Some stains come out extremely easy with club soda, and if you have a lot of club soda then you can wash your clothes without any problem with some cleaning products. Club soda is excellent for getting out coffee and even wine stains, just remember not to rub the club soda but rather gently tap on the stained area.
10. Duct tape
Duct tape can actually be an extremely good cleaning product. I personally use duct tape to clean my sofa and mattress, just place the duct tape on the dirty area and strip it off. You will notice that once you strip the duct tape off that most of the dirt will also come off, now just repeat the process until your clothes or other items are clean. If your clothes have grease stains then duct tape will not work. For more information about how many uses duct tape actually ahs check out my recent article Preppers uses for duct tape ( Top 44 Uses ).
11. Lemon juice
By lemon juice, I mean the actual juice of a lemon and not some pre-packaged soft drink. Lemon juice contains a lot of citric acids, this is what gives the lemons their sour taste. The citric acid is excellent for breaking down grease and other oils, this is why a lot of cleaning products also use citric acid. Just spray the dirty clothes with lemon juice where the dirty spots are and in 30 or so minutes you will see that the dirty spots are clean.
In addition to this, you can use any kind of citrus fruits for this not just lemons as all citrus fruits contain citric acid. Just keep in mind that not all fabrics work well with this method as the lemon juice might stain some fabrics if you are not using any water to rinse them.
12. White wine
White wine can also be used as a cleaning product if you do not have access to water, although you will be limited on what type of stains you will be able to get out. Generally speaking, white wine is excellent to clean red wine stains and some grease stains as well. Just keep in mind to use real white wine which is made from grapes and not from chemicals as the ones made of chemicals will stain your clothes.
Vodka is excellent for cleaning some clothes if you do not have water, in addition to removing stains, vodka will also disinfect the clothes. Although cheap vodka works great but the cheaper it is the stronger its smell will be and some fabrics will absorb the vodka’s smell. On the other hand, premium vodka doesn’t have a strong smell but it tends to be fairly expensive, especially if you want to clean some of your clothes with it.
As you can see even if you do not have water you can still clean your clothes. Although the best way of cleaning your clothes is by using water but if you want to remove some stains fairly fast then you have several options. Keep in mind that what you should use to clean your clothes without water will mostly depend on the type of stain and the type of fabric as some cleaning products might stain your clothes if you do not rinse them in water.