Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Washing clothes


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Warren Maslowski
(CQBer) - F

Locale: Southeast
Washing clothes on 12/30/2009 10:10:27 MST Print View

I know that when people go out they only bring so much clothes and that you can wash clothes with a ziplock and some soap but, could you wash clothes with only baking soda? I really dont want to carry camp soap if I'm already going to be carrying baking soda.

Edited by CQBer on 12/30/2009 10:11:14 MST.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Washing clothes on 12/30/2009 10:20:07 MST Print View

Good question. I don't know. I just rinse mine with water and call it washed.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Washing clothes on 12/30/2009 10:27:36 MST Print View

Why not give baka soda a try in the safety and comfort of your home -- and report back your findings, please.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Washing clothes on 12/30/2009 11:35:42 MST Print View

From "How Stuff Works:"

"Baking soda makes a great laundry product because of its mild alkali qualities. Dirt and grease are easily dissolved, while clothes are softened. It is especially helpful ­in homes with hard water because it will clean clothes better, and prevent the stain buildup that can come with hard water."

It also helps with odor control (that's from me, not the site).

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Washing clothes on 12/30/2009 12:58:11 MST Print View

I use just plain water and a large ziplock bag as a human-powered "agitator."

You certainly could use baking soda, but you'd need to carry quite a bit more of it than you'd need as a dentifrice/deodorant/paste for bug bites (the most common uses). Also, remember that the stuff tastes salty. Pour out your wash water on bare ground (so the local deer, mountain goats, or other wildlife won't churn up vegetation trying to get the salt) 200 feet from any water sources.

Warren Maslowski
(CQBer) - F

Locale: Southeast
RE:Washing Clothes on 12/30/2009 17:01:44 MST Print View

Thanks for the input.

So carrying only baking soda wouldn't save much weight as to carrying baking soda and camp soap.

Edited by CQBer on 12/30/2009 17:02:14 MST.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: RE:Washing Clothes on 12/30/2009 17:31:05 MST Print View

Why carry anything to wash clothes? I walked from Ashland to Mt. Hood with the only clothes washing being done by either swimming or rinsing my clothes in a lake or showering and using pink bathroom soap on my clothes.