Vlog 20: Dirty Laundry

How on earth do you keep your clothes all clean and lovely whilst on board a narrowboat cruising round the canals? In this video, I explain the options.

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Twin tub washer: https://geni.us/CtC_TwinTub

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  1. I spotted the 35 litre Really Useful Box in the vlog. They are really useful, aren’t they? I’ve got lots of them of all sorts of sizes at my place.

  2. Aylesbury Canal Society provide a list of Launderettes near canals.

  3. Actually there are more launderettes out there than you might think. The excellent firstmate guides (see http://www.firstmateguides.co.uk/downloads.html), although no longer being updated, contain info on launderettes , and many other useful services.

  4. Anonymous wannabe boater

    Greetings from Finland and thank you very much for these informational vlogs. Here’s one idea how to set up your washing machine, although you might want an electrician to do it for you. Since heating water takes the most of the electricity, why don’t you just plug off the heating element and connect a hot water line to your washing machine? I’ve read that some narrowboaters have done this. Some washing machines are able to use hot water intake, so that you don’t need to plug off the heating element. Might want to check that also.
    Is your engine’s cooling system connected to your boiler via heat exchanger? That’s another thing to look for, heating your water while cruising the cut.
    Looking forward to the next vlogs. Be safe out there.

    • Hi. Thanks for watching. Yes, the engine heats the water as I cruise. I’m unsure of how I’d get the water to the right temperature if I just connect the hot water to it though.

      • Anonymous wannabe boater

        I’ve been thinking of that and the easiest way would be just to use as warm water as your boiler gives out. The downside is that your warm water consumption would be enormous. In normal situation the laundry is rinsed with cold water but with warm hookup it would be always hot water, no matter which phase of the wash cycle the washer would be. Another option would be to bring both hot and cold water pipes to the washing machine and install a servo controlled valve. Whenever the washing machine would normally start heating water, the valve would let hot water in and same with the cold water intake. Sounds a bit complicated but nowadays you can pretty easily build stuff like this with Arduino for example. The temperature would still be a bit problematic, you would have to do all your laundry in the same temperature but at least your electric system wouldn’t be in for such a rough use.

        • Crikey. It might be easy for you but I wouldn’t have a clue how to build such a device and, though I was once a programmer, have no idea how to do anything with an Arduino. I think I’ll just stick with the plan of a conventional machine on shore mains! :-)

          • Anonymous wannabe boater

            That is a viable option too. After all, what gives you the least headache is the best. :)

  5. I don’t know if you would be permitted to use this on the cut but it could be used with no heat at all.

  6. Stunning, as expected. We have a Dometic travel pack, which is just an extra alternator on the engine, which generates 230V at 3.5kW. This means once the engine is going we can run the w/m or run any mains device, even run the central heating system electrically! They’re not cheap but you can get second hand (see http://www.fc-marine.co.uk/For_Sale.html). Plus you could fill the machine with hot water from the kettle, saving on heating. Our Ariston is a slim machine and only has a 1850 W heater.

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