This week the challenge is to back-up your supply of dishwashing soap and laundry detergent. Knowing that you can take care of normal household tasks like doing the dishes and washing clothes decreases panic and stress and brings a certain amount of normalcy—no matter how crazy the world might get in a crisis.
Week 28 Preparedness Challenge
How Much Dishwashing Soap Should You Store?
A good practice is to have two or three containers of dishwashing soap—both liquid dishwashing soap and dishwasher detergent—one you are currently using and one or two in storage. When the first one is empty, begin using the second one and replace it. That way you will always have at least two in your supply.
Write the date on the label when you begin using a container of soap or detergent to give you a good idea of how long a container lasts. Adjust the amount you store accordingly. For economy, store large containers of liquid dishwashing soap and use them to refill smaller, easier-to-handle containers.
In an Emergency You May Only Be Able to Wash Dishes by Hand
In some emergencies you may not be able to use your electric dishwasher and will need more liquid dishwashing soap than normal. Be prepared storing extra liquid detergent. In an emergency be mindful of how much dish soap you are using and conserve dish soap by using less than you typically do.
Be prepared with a generous supply of dishcloths, scrubbing pads, and dish towels in case you end up washing dishes by hand.
Use Bleach for a Dish-Sanitizing Solution
One tablespoon of plain bleach added to a gallon of water makes an effective dish-sanitizing solution. Bleach has a full storage life of about six months, longer if properly stored in a cool place. It’s effectiveness diminishes by about 20% a year.
How Much Laundry Detergent Should You Store?
Begin by estimating how much laundry detergent you currently use.
How long does a container of laundry detergent last? If you are not sure, the next time you start using a new container of laundry soap, write the date on the container and make note of how long it lasts. Or, you can estimate how many loads of laundry you typically wash and then calculate how long a container will last—the number of washes is often listed on the label.
Also, add bleach, fabric softener, or other laundry additives to your list.
Add a Clothes Line and Clothes Pins
Don’t forget to include clothes lines and clothes pins to use for drying clothes if you have no electricity. Fifty clothes pins and 100 feet of clothes line should be enough. An indoor drying rack is also handy.
This article is about storing non-food necessities. In my new book, Crisis Preparedness Handbook you will find even more methods and tips for storing those important non-food essentials. You can find the book on my website CrisisPreparedness.com. Or, get it on Amazon, either in the hard copy or in the Kindle version.