Laundry on the Homestead

One downside of having livestock, an off-grid homestead and a vacation rental is I have plenty of clothes and linens to be washed on a weekly basis. Going to the laundry mat to do 3-4 loads of laundry a weeks would certainly add up quickly especially at our local facility. So how do I keep my clothes and linens fresh day after day on a tight budget?

I have a typical top load washer that works off my generator while I water the garden. This old metal beast was a heck of a deal at a second time around store, only $10! The washer works great besides one quirk, to drain the load after a cycle she needs a little love tap on the top right section by the controls. Once slapped around a bit the machine gurgles and water begins to drain out of the basin and into the septic field. She will spin a few more times before the load is complete. For the price, I can’t complain! The propane water heater in the house is able to produce boiling hot water so I never worry about my clothes not fully being cleaned. The only issue I have encountered is getting my clothes dry year-round.

In the spring I can hang my clothes to dry on the fence or clothesline but once my summer flowers begin to fill in the area around my fence it becomes a little bit of a mess trying to dry everything. I had been wanted a drying rack for quite some time now as winter proved difficult with getting dry clothes promptly. Yes, you can stick them out on the line to freeze but then when you bring them in you can not wear them right away. It’s like trying to crawl into a t-shirt made of cardboard. There is something so comforting about slipping into a freshly made bed with clean PJ’s, especially in the winter so how do I achieve that?

I was able to solve both the summer and winter dilemma with a Clothes Drying Rack  .clothes rack

I have been able to wash an entire bed set and strategically place it all on the rack to dry which happens quickly on a windy day in full sun. Or I can fit one large load or two medium-size loads as well before having to go back to the old clothesline. This rack will come in extremely handy this winter. I will be able to wash my clothes and hang them up to dry by the woodstove. Simply place a mud mat under the rack to catch any residual water. Drying clothes this way in winter will also have the added benefit of increasing humidity in the house that time of year. And the best feature of all is this rack folds up and tucks away beside my washer in less than a second when not in use! Great gift for anyone living in a home smaller than 600 square feet. I know I will get plenty of use out of this bad boy.

How do you do laundry on a budget? Do you make your own detergent or line dry your clothes? I would love to hear any tricks or tips you may have encountered.



7 Comments Add yours

  1. Katie says:

    My husband and I live on a 2 acre plot of land with full amenities, including a/c and a dryer. I sometimes forget how lucky and spoiled I am now a days with having the ability to do my laundry at home since most of my life I had to use the coin laundry. Well, we have been working on living a more low-waste lifestyle over the past year or so and I have been making our own laundry detergent. It only costs about $30 for an entire year and our laundry has never been cleaner. Needless to say, I’m pretty sure that’s going to be a post to my blog soon with all the requests I’ve been getting for it.

    I was super excited to see the drying rack in your article. So our dryer quit heating about a week ago and I have the metal version of the wooden one you have. My husband was freaking out that we would have to go the laundry mat and spend money we did’t really have, as I was putting his pants on hangers and hanging them in the basement and putting the rest of the load on the rack. apparently I’m a magician according to him, lol!

    The only issue I’ve been having while waiting to get my dryer back is it seems to take FOREVER for my laundry to dry. My husband said I put to much on the rack, but I loaded it about how your’s is pictured. Do you have any tips for a struggling fellow modern homesteader? Thanks in advance and can’t wait to read more form you.



    1. Hello Katie!
      So glad to hear your rack came in handy again! I place mine on the porch with the narrow side facing the direction I receive wind most. I always seem to have a south eastern breeze in the summer. Keep your darks in the shade and your lights can go anywhere sunny for crisp clean looking whites.

      I completely understand living frugal. I’ll have to follow you for your soap recipe, I use the powder brands that come in a bag, I’m fairly certain they are just borax and magic and very affordable! Then before I close my washer lid I add a few drops of a couple different essential oils depending on my mood that day. 🤣

      You should look into my booking site if you have two acres and want to build some supplemental income!

      Looking forward to getting to know you better, you and your husband sound like a hoot.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Katie says:

        Thank you so much for the help! That makes total sense. I actually went out this morning and fixed the rack orientation and my stuff is dry already! You’re like my laundry rack Miagi, haha. Thank you so much!

        Lol…”Borax and magic…”! That’s about it too. I’m always leery of using essential oils in my laundry because I don’t have a lot of experience and don’t wanna put too much in. I do put a couple drops on my dryer balls, you know…when my dryer is working, lol.

        I look forward to keeping in touch, and thanks for following!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ah! So happy I could help you figure out the drying time. I’m honored to be a Miagi of any sorts 🤣
        Don’t fear the oils! You really can’t use to much. I use 6-10 drops for linens and 4-6 for regular washes. I do mixes like rosemary and lavender or one of my favorites is doTERRA’s purify blend but I recently ran out. Boo!
        Dryer balls are wonderful little tools when you have a dryer. I make them and sell them at local farmers markets from my boyfriends sisters sheep wool. Time consuming when hand felted but a great task for days when I’m in a bad mood. 🤣


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