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How to Wash Clothes in a Lake with Phosphate-Free Soap

Don't wear dirty clothes when you're camping at the lake. Clean your clothes with environmentally friendly soap and keep that stink localized to the skunks.


  • Step 1: Collect water Collect water from the lake with the bucket and bring it to your campsite.
  • Step 2: Hang rope Hang a clothesline between two trees to dry your clothes after washing them.
  • TIP: Wash your clothes before the heat of the day, so they'll be dry by the time you will need them.
  • Step 3: Drop clothes into bucket Drop your dirty clothes into the bucket and soak them in the water.
  • Step 4: Lather with soap Lather each item of clothing with phosphate-free soap and scrub the clothes with your hands to clean them.
  • Step 5: Rinse Rinse your clothes in the bucket of water and then ring out the excess water.
  • Step 6: Hang clothes Hang your clothes on the line with clothes pins and allow them to dry.
  • Step 7: Dump water Dump the soapy water onto a rocky or sandy area to allow for evaporation.
  • FACT: Phosphates are a food source for algae and can cause algae growth to increase, which may make water sources unsuitable for drinking and swimming.

You Will Need

  • Bucket
  • Clothesline
  • Clothes pins
  • Rocky or sandy area

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