I have not washed clothes in warm/hot water in years.
Dishes are washed using hot water from an electric kettle or pot heated on the stove and that only happens once a day. Rinsed in cold water. Heating the water on the stove also supplements heat in my small living space in winter. I may set up a place outside to heat water for summer.
Hand washing is done in cold water. Bacteria is removed using friction, does not matter whether water is warm or not.
I have discovered that a large pot of hot water with a pitcher to pour is a most amazing and pleasant bath. I do miss a soak in the tub not enough to run out and jump back into a mortgage for a bathtub. Soaking the feet in warm salt water is a pleasure almost equal to a tub soak.
as much as you may want for additional things, i think its very liberating to discover how little it can take to just inch along and make do without.
i have also eliminated this and made do....for years and years.
though the occasional actual bath i get is like such an enormous luxury and makes me very happy.
i have gotten pretty good at making the water go really far... the water that i heat on woodstove or with the kettle. like theres degrees of dirty water...and how to pour from one tub to another, i have several tubs and large plastic bowls that sit inside each other, each smaller than the other...so that i can start with the cleanest dishes in the top...as those get done.... pour the same water down into the next large plastic bowl with medium dirty dishes, which all sits in the large tub that has the most dirty dishes.
also with washing water, its good for reusing for the clothes.
ah hard to explain but perhaps you get it if you are on this system, every bit of water is precious and you get these methods which stretch it as far as you can. pourting from one cup or bowl from the next...then using the last of it to finish everything off good. i dont have running water inside and havent for years and years...so i have to collect water in buckets and containers.... and my nice 3 gallon jugs.
after years of this at my last place i eventually got a cheap on demand hot water heater (100$- 200$ new though i got mine used for 20$)that runs off a five gallon propane tank, a free small bathtub on craigslist and ran a water line to it, set up an outdoor bath. it was so lovely =)
but then i moved!
so now i am back on that system for now, but i do have electricity and an electric kettle now. it is not so bad...but i think i will want to set something up better once i really settle in.
I was the worst about washing dishes with hot water running the whole time. I liked the sound and the temperature. Then our water heater started making trouble with too much usage. Plus I found out our septic tank was in our back yard where we spend all our time. Time to reduce water usage! So, I do dishes cold now and only run the water to rinse. Not the most efficient, I know, but still better than I was. I'm not too concerned about no hot temp. It never gets hot enough, to me, to kill anything really nasty. If there is a lot of grease, then I will up the temp. That would seem to eliminate any meat type of nastiness.
I'm also on a bicycle tour right now, and I manage to take a nightly shower using less than a gallon of water. I'm about to make a video describing that process soon. Don't worry, not a demonstration, just an explanation.
Also, please explore my website and subscribe. I'm traveling across country on bicycle documenting permaculture projects and ideas.I plan to share tons of awesome information!
Space seems cool in the movies, but once you get out there, it is super boring. Now for a fascinating tiny ad: