This is the second part of a two-part series on reducing power outage headaches. Read Part 1, “Little House Living: Power Outage Tips” here.
A Proverb: The power will always go out when you have a full load of dirty dishes; and the longer you put off washing, the longer your power will stay off.
Many of us never learned the art of washing an entire load of stuff. But when the well is out, water conservation is at stake, so here’s our step-by-step. (And don’t miss the video at the end.)
- Source your water at either the bathtub spring near The Barn Tavern or the generator-powered spigot behind the Borough Hall. We recommend collecting in a collapsible 5-gallon container with its handy on/off spout available in the camping department at Walmart for around $8.
- A double sink works best. Otherwise, create a second one by putting a large pot in the sink to hold rinse water. Plug the drains.
- Using your biggest pot, heat water on the grill, pour into one side and add soap. Position that 5-gallon container (see above) on the other side, spout hanging over the edge. Do not fill this side.
- Put the otherwise worthless dishwasher to use as a drying rack. Or lay out towels across your counter-top next to the container. Or employ a bored child to hand dry.
- Start with the least filthy and work to the most, beginning with glassware. You can put a few glasses in the (very hot!) water to soak and disinfect while you wash each one with a sponge, cloth, or what-have-you. Rinse one-at-a-time under the spout of the container. Let rinse water accumulate in the second sink. Dry.
- Move on to the dishes, following the same routine. Stack several to soak while you scrub each one. Begin with the cleanest and move to the grimiest.
- Dump all the silverware except sharp knives in the suds water. Swish all of them around briskly for a couple of minutes. This should be sufficient to clean them. Inspect and rinse by the handful. Wash and rinse the knives individually.
- Now on to the grossest dishes, pots, and pans. Despite the looks of your wash water, you can probably keep going. But if it’s too dirty, switch sinks and use the rinse water for washing. Dry.
- When you’re done, SAVE THE RINSE WATER. It is now kinda soapy and you can reverse the whole process for your next dirties (which you will keep up with frequently if you’re wise). Heat more water, add it to THIS side, switch sides with the container, and begin again.
Dishwashing the Little House Way probably saved five gallons of water. Makes you more sympathetic toward Third-World Countries. doesn’t it? Use this as an object lesson with your non-water-carrying daughters.
Hope this helps you cope! And be thankful it’s temporary….here.
And don’t forget to check out Part 1 “Little House Living: Power Outage Tips.”
Leslie and Bill
P.S. Got a water-saving tip? Let us know below!