How to Manage Hygiene When SHTF

Manage Hygiene When SHTF

Usually, just a few germs will not kill you.

However, in the SHTF scene, it is an entirely different world.

A few of the instances in SHTF are compromised water supply, waste dumped anywhere, a clogged sewage supply system, various vermin disseminating diseases such as wildfire, and even taking numerous lives.

When facing SHTF, staying completely clean can keep you alive. But the question arises – how can you keep away from such a compromised scenario, and what kind of survival hygiene strategies should you implement?

SHTF is also known as survivalism.

It is a social movement run by groups or individuals who actively prepare for contingencies, including most probable disruptions in the political or social order, or scales from the local to international.

Also, survivalism encompasses preparation for personal exigencies, like job loss or getting stranded in the wild, or any adverse weather condition.

Here the emphasis lies on self-reliance, gaining survival-hygiene knowledge and skills, and stockpiling.

Survivalists generally need emergency medical & self-defense training, preparing to become self-sufficient, stockpiling water and food, and building structures like survival retreats or underground shelters that might help them survive through the catastrophe.

For overcoming  SHTF, the first step is to develop survival hygiene tactics and maintain good hygiene.

Why Does Good Hygiene Matter So Much?

Washing Face

Good hygiene is equivalent to good health.

Surely this is not rocket science, as when you keep your entire body clean, you are protecting yourself against bacteria and viruses that may create serious harm if not taken care of.

However, the real problem lies when faced with the SHTF scenario.

What are the survival hygiene tricks you should abide by?

When in survival mode, one cannot expect a similar level of cleanliness that you enjoyed once.

But just by making a few adjustments and understanding what to concentrate on, you and your family members can avoid contracting various nasty diseases.

The key lies in staying prepared before and even compromising to the extent required.

Ways To Take Care of Your Hygiene During SHTF

Wash Your Hands

Washing Hands

It is obvious to keep your hands clean. This is because, on average, you usually touch your face more than 20,000 times per day.

Thus, it is either you who should keep your both hands clean or call on the risk of contracting fancy diseases.

Washing your hands from time to time with soap is one of the best ways to keep your hands clean. Other alternative ways of doing so can be rubbing hands with alcohol, disinfectant wipes, and hand sanitizers.

When you lack such articles, a pinch of vinegar or even a diluted bleach solution can work the same way.

Here we will list some key times when you should wash your hands:

  • Before touching your mouth, eyes, or nose
  • Before & after caring for someone suffering from vomiting or diarrhea
  • Before, in the course of, & after preparing the food
  • Before & after treating a wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After sneezing, coughing, or blowing off your nose
  • After touching the garbage
  • After replacing diapers
  • After touching pet food
  • After touching animal waste, animal or animal feed

Maintaining Hygiene With Limited Water Supply

Limited Water Suply

The cornerstone of good hygiene is having access to a good water supply.

Not just to keep yourself hydrated but also to conduct the listed things such as:

  • Doing Dishes
  • Showering
  • Washing Clothes
  • Watering Garden

Here, We Will List Ways to Maintain Hygiene with a Limited Water Supply.

At Least Bathe Twice A Week

In about seven days, your body gets grimy. This is why we recommend you to bathe at least twice a week if you have adequate time and water available. This is one of the best ways to kill bacteria and viruses.

Additionally, there are a lot of other advantages attached to it:

  • Lowers muscle tension
  • Boosts immune system
  • Enhances blood circulation
  • Lowers stress
  • Calms the nervous system

While bathing regularly seems good, it is for sure a luxury when in an SHTF scenario. However, note not to go overboard with water consumption while bathing.

Remember, you will still require precious water for cooking, drinking, and cleaning utensils.

Figure Out A Way To Wash Clothes

When discussing the subject of remaining clean, laundry is a crucial aspect to note.

Unless you have a solar power system or generator, your washer will not work in case of a power outage.

And for how long can you withstand sweaty clothes?

Try and adopt some crucial outdated techniques as per your preference.

A few of the techniques which you may follow are:

  • Beat the clothes over rocks or stone, for those living near a river or stream
  • Use washboard & bucket
  • Hand wash in sink or bathtub

Ensure to Clean Your Teeth

Clean Your Teeth

Clean your mouth well at least once a day

For those with adequate supplies, twice a day would be a better option. Use toothpaste to brush your teeth. In case you run out of toothpaste, you can use baking soda as an alternative.

In case you face a situation when none of such resources are available, just pick up your toothbrush and gush it through your teeth to eliminate the buildup that is accumulated in your teeth.

Once you have brushed, use clean water to rinse your mouth.

Wash Your Hair Thoroughly

In the ongoing SHTF scenario, how can you clean your hair?

You do not require to use shampoo daily. However, when your hair requires in-depth cleaning, the use of specific home remedies can work wonders.

A few of such articles can be:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • A Brush

Do you want a better solution to this?

You can keep your hair very short. Doing so will not save a lot of time but even water.

Survival Hygiene Related Strategies

Groom Different Body Areas

Comb Hair

Believe this or not, grooming can assist you in remaining clean.

Here are a few grooming tips you should note.

  • Keep your head as well as facial hair short. This is because less hair causes fewer parasites to deposit on those parts.
  • Comb your hair regularly.
  • Stop biting your nails.
  • Trim toenails and fingernails. This will prevent several germs/bacteria from hiding underneath.

Consider adding razors, scissors, and nail clippers to your bug-out bag.

Treat All Your Wounds As Threat To Your Life

Every scrape, bump, cut, and even skin burn should be instant attention. Use soap and water, and other disinfectants to sanitize the area, which is affected.

After this, apply an ointment and then cover your wound with a bandage. You must avoid activities that get you unnecessarily exposed to dirt or pests in case of injury.

Your wound should get room to breathe for it to heal faster.

Do Not Forget Your Feet

Keeping your feet dry and clean is crucial. This means you should avoid wet socks in situations of plague. If you do not do so, you might develop a disease, which you may not easily overcome.

Such diseases may be sores, fungus, blisters, and trench foot. For those with a fungal infection, usage of baking soda can help you get rid of it. Ensure to apply a paste of baking soda with water to the affected areas.

Wait until it dries before rinsing it.

Ensure to Prepare A Survival Hygiene Kit

Do you think you can manage to go on a hygiene stride as you have adequate toilet paper that can last nearly a year? Despise to break this, but it is a morbid mistake.

Many preppers concentrate on stocking up with various things that are usually useless in emergencies.

Do agree packing in personal hygiene supplies is important, but other things required in case of emergencies are even crucial.

Survival Hygiene Products You Should Stock Up

Listed here are few of the top most crucial things to consider when packing your survival hygiene kit:



No survival hygiene kit is complete without the inclusion of soap. While there stands a way of making soap, stocking a couple of such bars will be much easier.

Besides cleaning your body and hand, soap has other uses:

  • Works as an insect repellent
  • Good for cleaning wounds
  • Effective in eliminating fabric stains

Baking Soda

Baking soda is known as a holy grail for those trying to survive. It is precious in situations of SHTF owing to its versatile nature.

Baking soda can also be used for cleaning various things and best for maintaining personal hygiene.

By just blending in a little quantity of baking soda along with water, you can prepare the listed:

  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo
  • Deodorant

Thus, including baking soda in the stockpile is necessary and highly recommended.


As mentioned before, with baking soda, toothpaste can be prepared. But without a toothbrush, what good would be a toothpaste.

Surely using your finger can be an option, but a toothbrush can work better.

Ensure to purchase a toothbrush for your survival hygiene kit and place it in a zip lock pouch or a hard plastic bag to prevent any kind of contamination.

Just avoid the toothbrush kept in your bathroom and do not think about it much as in the course when you will have to evacuate, there will be nearly no time left for you to rush to your bathroom for your toothbrush.


Many of us tend to forget about sunscreen when preparing the survival hygiene kit.

However, this should not be the situation, as sunburns can hurt very much and can even slow you down on occasions when you require going a long way. Thus, making room for sunscreen in your kit is important.

Apply the sunscreen to your bare skin area wherever you think the sun rays may reach. Ensure to act instantly – do not delay and procrastinate until your skin and face begin to itch.

Toilet Paper

Toilet Paper

Toilet paper for sure is a brainer unless you are comfortable using plants to wipe off your ass.

Have you ever tried wiping your buttock with poison ivy just by mistake?

This is not a very pleasant experience. That is why when people begin to hoard, they think about it the first and stock up toilet papers the most.

Other Items

Besides the above listed essentials, you must also grab in the essentials listed below:

  • Dental floss
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Conditioner
  • Shampoo
  • Deodorant
  • Comb
  • Scissors, razors, and nail clippers
  • Laundry detergent
  • Baby wipes
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Disposable gloves
  • Diapers, if required.
  • Trash bags for disposing of waste products and garbage.
  • Female hygiene supplies, if required.

Hygiene and sanitation are two different things; however, they are connected.

This is the reason why waste management should not be avoided. And if you require it spelled out, you cannot throw your accumulated crap just anywhere.

You need to dispose of them; if you fail to do so, be ready to meet an army of animals, bugs, bacteria, and rats, spreading various diseases.

Few common hygiene-related problems are; food poisoning, gastrointestinal infections, skin disease, etc.

Waste Disposals Tips You Should Follow

Sort the Waste

Sorting Waste

Different kinds of waste require different treatment types. It means you require sorting through your waste and collecting them separately in bins. By doing so, you can avoid cross-contamination and even make disposal procedures easier.

Food Waste

In the SHTF scenario, you will have reduced food waste than usual.

Still, whatever waste you accumulate will attract animals and bugs’ attention. Thus, you require dealing with it as soon as possible.

The good thing is, you can incorporate maximum food waste in a compost pile. However, note, you cannot compost every.

A few of such things are: 

  • Cheese and milk
  • Bones and meat
  • Any lard, oil, or grease
  • Diseased plants
  • Treated wood
  • Chemical treated plants
  • Animal and human feces, which includes diapers

Leftover meat, milk, and even greases can entice animals towards the pile, involving the ones that even spread diseases.

You can feed such scraps to your pets or even burn the greases or meat.

Burning Waste

Environmental organizations often give lectures on burning garbage being massively dangerous. Yes, they are correct.

Thus, you must only burn your garbage when you have zero options left. You would also not like to get poisoned in an attempt when you may be destroying them.  Thus, there are not many products you can burn.

A few of them are: 

  • Treated wood
  • Paper articles with ink on it
  • Metal involving pop cans
  • Human and animal feces
  • Plastics and rubber
  • Articles that contain chemicals

Also, you should remember fire safety rules. When burning your stuff, ensure to do it away from plants and buildings and ensure to keep water ready just in case any immediate need arises.

Burying Waste

For those articles that cannot be burned, reused, or composted, one of your best options can be to bury all of them. Items like plastics, treated wood, rubbers, and metals are included in this list.

Note not to bury such items in areas where you would most probably grow food. Remember to mark the spot for your remembrance. Bury such items as deep as possible so that no animal can dig and reach them.


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