At the end of a long day, there’s nothing better than a nice hot shower. If an emergency comes your way and you have to skip a day or two of showers, it might not be ideal but you will probably feel okay. But after that third day, you’re going to start feeling dirty, grimy, and gross. If you were to be without running water for a time, how would you get clean? What if there were a disaster or some other event that prevented you from having access to water in your home? Do you have a plan? You can get clean (or at least cleaner than you were) without using water from the tap. Here are five things you can use to get clean when there is no running water:
Even if you don’t have little ones at home, baby wipes are a great alternative to soap and water when you are in a pinch. Even though my kids are getting older, we still use them all the time. Even a quick wipe down can make you feel fresh and less grimy. Toss several packs into your emergency kit, and a package into everyone’s bug out bag. Keep some in your car, and in your first aid kit. It’s probably a good idea to get the unscented variety, and some for sensitive skin versus the ones with fragrance, since you will be using them in place of soap and water.
Local Pond or River Water
Ok, so yes, this is actually water, but it is not coming from your faucet. If you are bugging out, it is a good idea to know where a local natural water source is, and if you hike and camp a lot, you may want to mark certain places on your map for future reference. You can use river or pond water to take a quick bath in a pinch. Just be sure not to get the water in your mouth as it could have microscopic pathogens that would make you sick if ingested.
This is a commercially sold product you can use to get clean without using water. You actually just rub it on your body, then when you wipe it off, and you are wiping off the dirt, too. This is something you might want to think about buying for everyone’s go bag, as well as putting it in your emergency kit. It is a little pricey, so you may only want to use this if you have no other choice.
What About Your Teeth?
This is tricky, but needs to be addressed because you still need to care for your teeth when the SHTF. If you have ever had a dental issue come up on a weekend, you know how awful it is to wait for the dentist to open. You definitely don’t want this to happen when you are in survival mode, and there’s no dentist available to help. This is why you still need to brush your teeth, and floss, even if you don’t have water. You can use some baking soda with a drop of peppermint oil on your toothbrush to help, and be sure to floss. This is a reason why you should stash dental care items like floss and travel toothpaste tubes, in your bug out bag and emergency preps, along with clove oil (should you get a toothache), and a basic dentistry handbook.
Obviously, you can’t use all your bottled water for cleaning your body, but you should allot some of your stored water for this purpose. You can make a collection barrel for rain water on your property, which will be an additional source should you need it, and try to store water in bottles as well as gallon jugs if you have space. You should also have some water purification products on hand and in your preps to use on water to make it safe for things like brushing your teeth and drinking if you run out of the bottled stuff.
The bottom line is that you can get clean without running water. While it won’t be quite as easy as running a hot shower, you can still maintain some semblance of personal hygiene if you plan in advance.