Washing dishes

Washing dishes flow chart

Once they’ve eaten, how are Lunar Homesteaders going to clean up? Let’s ignore dishwashing machines for now. Homesteaders may eventually be able to build them from local materials (they sure aren’t paying for them to be shipped from Earth) but there should always be a manual backup.

This project contains a number of sub-projects. The purpose here is to identify everything we need. Then we’ll dive into each individual item.

Here are the things I’ve identified:

Access to X liters of potable water

  • How the water is created, stored, and made potable (drinkable) is beyond the scope of this project. Let’s just assume that potable water is available.
    • We’ll need to figure out water saving devices though. Homesteaders will need to be very careful with how they use water.
    • I like a pump system (similar to what is used on boats) instead of a constant high-pressure stream. A foot-pump would allow you to exactly control how much water is used.
    • It would be useful to get some numbers on how much water is used for manual dish cleaning.

Soap or detergent

  • This needs to be something that can be produced using only local resources, completely organic, and completely biodegradable using some sort of processing.
  • Probably not detergent as I think that’s petroleum based.
  • This is a completely separate research project.

Sponge/rag/something to scrub the pans/dishes

  • Needs to be 100% reusable/degradable/locally made.
  • I’m not sure how someone would make such a sponge.
  • Rags can simply be worn out towels (see below).


  • To dry the dishes or maybe a rack to air dry (adds moisture to the atmosphere that needs to be removed?)
  • This is connected to the Production part of the Food section. Homesteaders will need to grow crops that can be used to produce textiles.

Removal of dirty water

  • Y liters of dirty water (with food particles and soap/detergent) are generated for each event.
  • I don’t think we need a garbage disposal (adds complexity and requires electricity). Maybe large particles can be strained at the sink and disposed of separately (and manually). I’ll need to find out how it’s done on cruising boats (not cruise ships which are a completely different animal).
  • Again, some good data on how much dirty water is produced would be useful.
  • A way to move the dirty water to the water processing equipment. Pipes come to mind but we could have Homesteaders tote buckets. This isn’t part of this project however.
  • Equipment to process the dirty water. Needs to return the water back to a potable state. Not sure what to do with the food particles and soap. This is a separate research project.

What else do we need to add to this list? Let’s start looking into the details and get some data!

Comments are closed.