According to this article, you can use borax along with washing soda (both are powders) to wash dishes, which is what I was thinking of doing in camp:
That, combined with the fact that borax is good in diaper (and therefore family cloth and menstrual cloth) buckets as a disinfectant and in diluted form as a hand-washing solution means I’m pretty much sold on the idea we should buy lots of borax (and washing soda) for bugging out. I’m astonished that it only recently occurred to me to wonder how we were going to keep our hands clean in camp; what’s up with that?
Which reminds me, we’ll need a covered bucket for soaking soiled family (or latrine) cloths and menstrual cloths in before laundry day. I’m thinking it needs to be just a tad larger than the breathing hand washer (which is 8″ in diameter) I’ve ordered so that the cloths can be washed right in that bucket (which will also help with the ick factor). Here’s a picture of what I’ve decided to do myself because I already have the materials, but you can purchase the complete set-up from Anitra Kerr at Simply Living Smart–another one of my favourite preppers!
I’ve purchased four small Rubbermaid totes to use as kitchen sinks (dedicated basins for washing and then rinsing dishes, and whatever other stuff ones does in a normal kitchen) and bathroom sinks (dedicated basins for washing and then rinsing hair and other stuff one does in the bathroom). I’m really going to miss my taps!!
I also found a small blue bucket to go into our Luggable-Loo for easy waste removal (both of which will need to be scrubbed regularly). We will have to place something small underneath the small bucket to raise it up to the top edge of the Lug-A-Loo to reduce spillover, but that’s not a biggie. And that reminds me to stock up on rubber gloves, each pair of which will have a dedicated purpose. I don’t want to be washing clothes with rubber gloves that were used to scrub the toilet!
I’m loving the powdered laundry soap I made from borax, super washing soda and Linda bar soap (see a previous post on that) so I have no problem using the same ingredients for washing dishes. My major concern while searching out a suitable recipe was whether or not any other ingredient was necessary. I don’t really see using a laundry bar soap to wash dishes, but Octagon was highly recommended on Annienygma’s website and she’s one smart frugal cookie. Hey, if a bar soap helps with washing dishes I might just as well use the same homemade laundry detergent for my dishes! But why bother with a recipe at all if equal parts borax and washing soda can do the job with no additional ingredients? I may still search out a recipe and/or a local source of Octagon bar soap but in the meantime, I think I’ll buy another box of borax and washing soda and experiment!
By the way, in the course of all this research I’ve discovered there is a raging controversy over whether or not borax is some foreign toxic poisonous substance. I’m satisfied now that it’s not–it’s perfectly safe to use for all the cleaning we’ll need to do and might even be a useful dietary supplement! Wow, did I really type that? Check out this (lengthy) article “The Borax Conspiracy” and decide for yourself!