Three Letters Re: Beans, Bullets, Band-Aids and Hygiene

Mr. Rawles,
I read the article regarding “Beans, Bullets, Band-Aids, and Hygiene” by Jason L. I thought I would contribute our family’s method of making laundry detergent. In stead of paying an exorbitant price for laundry soap, we make our own using Borax, Washing Soda, Fels-Naptha soap and hot water. This is the Duggar Family laundry soap recipe. I give proper credit to that family for the recipe, and it works great. Our clothes have a light clean scent and the monetary savings is tremendous. The simple and cheap ingredients make it very easy to store supplies to make literally thousands of gallons of laundry soap. Thanks for the great blog, as I visit it every day. – J.W. in Missouri 

Mr. Rawles:
My family’s initial solution to the toilet paper problem was simply to buy two cases every time we needed one case. This was an easy way to stock extra paper.
The house we live in now is partly constructed of poured in place fiberglass entrained concrete with # 6 rebar on 12 inch centers. Because every previous house I have ever lived in eventually became short of space, this time I constructed a separate 15 x 30 x 10 foot concrete building (walls and roof) with high security, outward opening steel doors. An internal concrete wall divides this building. Half of it houses a generator and large diesel tank. The generator portion has baffled electrically actuated steel shutters for cooling/ventilation when the generator is running and the exhaust flows through a hospital muffler exiting through the roof. The other half of this building is for storage and contains shelves, two freezers one stopping time on freeze dried food, a large refrigerator, microwave, and washer/dryer.
But back to the toilet paper. Our surplus was stacked on top of the freezers and refrigerator and by the time it reached the ceiling, we had a nice reserve. Because all things eventually reach the end (a pun of course), this nice supply of TP was deemed inadequate to meet our long term requirements. So I cast about for a better alternative to the left hand.
We stocked the following:
Product: Toilet Tissue, 1 ply, jumbo roll, 2000’/roll, 12 rolls/carton KC107223 by Kimberly Clark. Amazon price $ 65.72 from the Factory Depot
(2,000 foot/roll) x 12 rolls = 24,000 feet;
24,000 feet / (2 feet/average wipe) = 12,000 wipes;
12,000 wipes/ (1 wipe/average bowel movement every two days) = 24,000 days;
24,000 days/(365 days/year) = 65 years 8 months.
If the dedicated prepper would stock a carton of 12 of these rolls per family member, all should have happy bottoms for a nice long time.
Sincerely, – Panhandle Rancher


I’d like to comment on the article “Beans, Bullets, Band-Aids and Hygiene, by Jason L” specifically on his plans to get a Wonder Washer.  Having owned one of these for more than ten years now I’d like to point out a few things about it people need to keep in mind.  First, the Wonder Washer is small compared to most washing machines we are used to using today.  I’ve used it on extended camping trips in our trailer and it works well enough for small items like socks and underwear.  I have yet to be able to fit a pair of heavy pants into it though nor would I be able to clean sheets from a Queen sized bed.  It works well enough for twin or single sheets or those lightweight sleeping bag liners that are sold.  I’d suggest getting a couple of water tubs and a laundry plunger and a washboard for larger items.  If you want to have your heavy clothes dry in less than a week during the most humid times of the year (here in Colorado we get a “monsoon flow” during parts of the summer and line drying becomes close to impossible) you also want to get a wringer.

I’d also add that the small size of the Wonder Washer makes it great for infrequent washing for one or two people, but with a family of seven at this point there is no way we’d be able to keep up with any laundry other than underwear and socks anyway.  Now, just imagine having an infant and all those diapers to wash as well. – Hugh D.