Where There is No Water: Staying Clean

Now, there are numerous situations in which disaster could leave us short of water. They could be just for a couple of hours or situations that lasted for months or even years. Besides the lack of drinking water, how would you stay clean in a world short on water?

This brings us to the topic of waterless hygiene, and believe it or not, there are actually products on the market that provide you with quite a good cleansing using no water at all. A bottle or two in every bug out bag would be a wise investment.

I am assuming that you currently have access to a limited amount of water like most people, and that you are reliant on city water. Drinking and cooking will be your biggest priority, of course, but at the same time, you need to keep yourself clean.

Maintaining good hygiene helps to prevent disease and maintain good moral.  Today we are very spoiled; we take a shower just about every day and use many gallons of water for other hygiene purposes during the day. This has changed over the years, though. Even when I was a child, you mostly had one bath a week and washed up in the sink the remainder of the time.

Now, when we talk about waterless hygiene, most people immediately think of wet wipes and hand sanitizer. If you have these on hand, by all means use them, but you can’t count on them for long term. You can only store so many packages and eventually, you’ll use them up.

Now, many people in the past who lived without indoor plumbing, simply washed up morning and evening with a basin of water, soap, and a washcloth. You can keep yourself clean like this if you are careful. You can brush your teeth with two mouthfuls of water, one to rinse your mouth and one to rinse off the brush.

Washing your hair can be done with 16 ounces of water. Put a bowl on the ground to catch the water you use to get the hair wet and use it again to rinse with. If you don’t have water but you have cornmeal or baby powder, running it though your hair will help remove the oils and make your hair feel cleaner.

What about shaving?  Dry shaving is not fun, but if you have a tube of generic sex lube it will help. A little dab and a disposable razor and you can get a nice shave. Rub a spoonful or two of water over your face and wipe off to finish. Rinse your razor if at all possible and it will last longer.

If you have access to vinegar, a small amount mixed with water can be used to wipe critical areas of your body and it will kill bacteria and help prevent rashes and other problems.

The one big concern that many people have is lack of toilet paper. Here is a link to a post on No Toilet Paper Now What?.

What about your clothes? Even without running water, you’ll eventually need to do laundry. If you have no water at all, lay them out in the sun and “sun wash” them.  Shake them to get rid of loose dirt and lay them over some bushes. Let the sun hit them for an hour or more and you will be surprised at how much fresher they are.

Most of these ideas are nothing but common sense, but after a disaster, waterless hygiene may become a serious problem.  Remember, lack of hygiene can kill.

 

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