6 Rules For Maintaining Cleanliness When You Move Off The Grid


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Hand WashingIf you’ve read our story of getting off the grid, you probably remember that when my husband and I did this that we went all in. You probably also remember me saying that we really weren’t very well prepared for the challenges that would be coming our way.

Earlier this morning I was thinking back to the things that presented the most challenges for us and I was reminded of how difficult it was to maintain our standards of cleanliness. In visiting with other families who followed a similar path, they conveyed that this was a challenge for them as well.

If you make a clean break (no pun intended) from the power grid with the intention of building as you go, you won’t have many of the “conveniences” that you’ve come to rely on. These conveniences may include: a washing machine, a dishwasher, a big hot water heater, and a nice tub or shower.

When we took the plunge and went off grid, we had to do our laundry in town, we got our hot water from the 5th wheel’s little 6 gallon water heater, we washed our dishes in the sink in our 5th wheel, and we showered in the 5th wheel’s tiny shower.

At first, our new lifestyle felt like an extended camping trip but we soon realized the importance of maintaining proper hygiene standards. We weren’t equipped well for this when we first started out but we were able to manage to keep things clean by following some strict rules.

  • Rule #1: Keep plenty of hand sanitizer available – This really came in handy because it could be used to sanitize our hands when our little hot water heater was working to reheat the water in the tank.
  • Rule #2: Keep sanitizing wipes on hand – These wipes are really nice because you can grab one in a pinch to wash up with.
  • Rule #3: Learn to conserve hot water while showering – We quickly learned that even though we only had a 6 gallon hot water tank, we could take nice showers by turning the water on while we were getting lathered up. Then we turned the water off while we were washing. When it was time to rinse off, we turned the water back on again. You would be surprised how long 6 gallons of hot water will last using this water conservation technique.
  • Rule #4: Teach your kids that towels are still clean after showering – It took us a while to convince our children that if they washed up well in the shower, their towels would still be clean after they dried off. We learned that you can save a lot of money on laundry if you get in the habit of hanging your towels up after showering so that you can use them again before putting them through the laundry.
  • Rule #5: Always wash your dishes in hot water – Many of you have probably “made do” by washing your dishes in cold water when you were camping but this isn’t ideal for removing germs and bacteria. We had limited hot water available due to the small size of our hot water heater so we learned to heat up a big pot of hot water on the stove to provide an extra supply of hot water while washing our dishes.
  • Rule #6 – Don’t lower your hygiene standards – We learned that it was important for our family to insist on maintaining good hygiene standards but we saw others who moved up to Bly Mountain to live off the grid who didn’t do this. At first they were clean but as time went on, they let their standards for cleanliness slip a little here and there until eventually, they didn’t seem to have any standards at all.

Just remember that if you do actually move off grid without having all of the conveniences that you are used to in place a head of time, you can AND SHOULD still do all that you can to maintain high standards of cleanliness. Proper hygiene and sanitation is good for your morale and it will also help prevent the possibility of becoming sick.

Before you leave, why not take a minute and read about how we were able to set up a homemade solar shower. You can read that article by clicking here: Check Out Our Simple To Make Homemade Solar Powered Water Heater Experiment.


2 Responses to “6 Rules For Maintaining Cleanliness When You Move Off The Grid”

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  1. Dee says:

    The 90s I lived off grid and loved it. Had 33 acres of land I had to hike into one mile in one mile out after working a 12 hours. No well had to lug water in Gatorade bottles from the local spring. An easy way to find out if ur cut out for this b4 spending your life savings is to rent yourself a ten by ten storage unit in your local town and do that as you maintain your regular life for no less than ten months. That’s your pilot to living off grid. The key to it is see if you can do it so nobody can tell. Not as easy as you think lol.

    If you are ok with your challenges doing it that way than go out and buy yourself 5 acres and I say 5 acres because 5 acres of mixed timber can realistically if managed properly if you heat with wood can heat your cabin 1,000 sq ft. For a life time.

    Providing your property/wood lot has a good mix of hard wood now at one time I knew the % info. But that was many years ago lol I’m now fifty one. Like your site around 2003 I had a off grid web site but had some health issues so it went to the wayside.

    Thank you for a interactive off grid site. And you I think off grid is and does sound more like a way if life than off the grid… Even tho it’s what it is. Off grid don’t sound like ur in a office telling pol about living off grid… Lol It sounds like ur really doing it. I look forward to your reply.

    D

    • Patty Hahne says:

      You’re right Dee, the topics that I write about here at BooneyLiving.com come from real life experience. You might say that we got our experience through the school of hark knocks! We have to haul water at our off the grid cabin too but we can actually drive to it so I can’t imagine packing water in a mile like you were doing. You must be pretty tough! Glad that you’re enjoying my website and I hope you visit often.

      Patty

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