Your washing machine is a big water hog, and finding alternative ways to wash your clothes is a great way to help with water conservation at home.
The average washing machine uses 40-55 gallons of water per load, and even the most efficient washers still require about 18 gallons to get your clothes clean. Reader Norman sent me a couple of videos where he demonstrates his DIY washing machine that uses only two gallons per load. Talk about water conservation in action!
The other cool thing about Norman's washer? It uses no electricity. When it comes to water conservation, cutting back on your electricity usage makes a big impact. That might not seem obvious, but it takes a lot of water to keep electrical plants running, because they use water as part of their cooling mechanisms. That means that every time you turn on the lights or the washing machine, you're indirectly using hundreds of gallons of water.
This DIY washing machine looks relatively simple to build, and Norman gives a very thorough tour of both his two gallon machine and the larger 20 gallon version that he created for bigger loads of laundry. Check them out!
Water Conservation: How to build a washing machine
You will need:
- a bucket with a lid that's 5 gallons or larger. You'll see that Norman has done a couple of variations in his videos
- 3 piece of wood that are 1x1.5, planed to a bow (you'll see what I mean about a bow in the video)
- sheet metal screws
- castor wheels - preferably ones that don't swivel
- 1/4" bolt that's about 4-5" long
- 3 washers and 2 nuts for that bolt
- piece of conduit to cover the bolt
- another piece of conduit, about 10" long, from the look of it
- one 2x4
And here's the video for building a 20 gallon tabletop washer:
Thank you so much for sharing these videos, Norman!
Image Credit: Screenshot from Norman's video