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How to Wash Dishes with Dirt

Getting dishes clean with dirt only sounds contradictory. It's actually a great way to remove food particles in lieu of soap in the great outdoors.


  • Step 1: Get some dirt Place a handful of dirt directly onto the dish. Work it around thoroughly with your hands until it picks up food particles.
  • TIP: Don't be tempted to rinse dirty dishes in natural bodies of water, such as lakes and streams. It pollutes and attracts pests.
  • Step 2: Burn Throw the dirt into your campfire after it has picked up food particles. Then take another handful of dirt and repeat, picking up the last traces of food. Throw it in the fire when you're done.
  • TIP: Discard the dirt 50 to 100 yards away from your campsite and bodies of water if you don't have a fire burning.
  • Step 3: Rinse Rinse the dishes thoroughly with bottled water or put them in a pot of boiling water to sanitize them.
  • Step 4: Air dry Let the dishes dry naturally on a clean surface.
  • FACT: The average age of travelers who go camping is 37.

You Will Need

  • Dirt
  • Campfire
  • Water

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