Thursday, May 23, 2013

There is more than one type of bucket!

     I have posted a picture and instructions on how to turn a five gallon bucket into a washer for clothes, with the use of a plunger.  With the cost of the bucket, lid and plunger, it seemed like a waste of a good five gallon bucket, but still, it is do-able!  The drawback to this method of cleaning is you have to wring out the clothes by hand.

Dover Parkersburg PTR12N 13-Quart Mop Wringer Bucket
     Today, I was walking the cleaning supply aisle of Wal Mart, when it dawned on me, there is more than one type of bucket.  Right in front of me was a mop bucket!  The least expensive, is this galvanized steel bucket with a 4 gallon water capacity.  I thought, I could wash clothes in this, the drawback being it is foot operated wringer.  I would have to bend over and at my age, I hardly ever enjoy my head being lower than my rear!  
Genuine Joe Splash Guard Mop Bucket/Wringer, Yellow/black

     Then, I spotted this yellow bucket with casters that could be removed and the bucket would easily fit on a sink counter area or in a large sink.  The positive to this one is it has a hand crank.  For around $50 this is a simple electricity free machine for washing clothes.  Just fill the bucket with water and a small amount of soap.  Add clothes and agitate with a plunger or use a washboard to scrub stains.  Place the clothes in the mop wringer area and press out the soapy water.  When all clothes are clean dump the grey water in the garden and fill the bucket with clean rinse water and repeat the process.  

     This process beats the price of a wringer washer ($800-$900) and the price of the hand cranked wringer alone ($140).  My mop bucket will live happily in my storage unit packed with bags of phosphate free detergent.  I will pack both upper and lower sections with soap then wrap them in plastic wrap till needed.  

Buckets inside Buckets

     I also have ordered some smaller food grade buckets to go inside my five gallon buckets.  I make red beans and rice and sometimes black beans and rice.  I thought it would be a good idea to pack one bucket with beans and fill the larger bucket with rice.  I took the thought a step further by packing containers of dehydrated onions, bell peppers and salt and pepper in a small butter tub.  If I run out of time to load up the getaway vehicle with ALL of my supplies in a bug out now situation, I will have meals in buckets, not just a lot of rice.  

     Buckets also come in other shapes!  I have a supplier of Tidy Cat litter boxes.  I get about four of them a year for free.  If I have run out of round buckets and store food stuffs in these buckets, I line them with Mylar even though I know I have cleaned them.  I am not sure of the quality of litter buckets but you can search the web for square food grade buckets.

     Square buckets take up less storage space and fit into corners so you can use all of your storage area.  Apparently, if you do the bulk food storage math, four gallon square buckets hold the same as a five gallon round bucket. Also, you may find you have a connection with someone who works in a Deli or a Bakery and you can get your food grade buckets for little or nothing.  

  So, think buckets.  Square, round, big, small, utility, free or online it doesn't matter.  Just think buckets. 


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