Human Powered Clothes Washing Machine – DIY

This is my MKII washing machine. MKI was Pedal Powered but in the end rigging up the bike was more hassle than it was worth. So I have used the same horizontal barrel supported by an internal axle, mounted in an X frame support made from reclaimed hardwood.

The improvements included making the opening longer so its easier to access the clothes and fitted two broad fins or paddles inside to help agitate the clothes in the water.

Operation is by rocking the barrel back and forth ensuring the clothes catch both opposing paddles. I agitate for 5 mins and leave to soak for an hour or so then agitate before wringing out soapy water and doing the same again to rinse in fresh water.  I empty the water up slope from my grey water swale garden mulch beds.

Even in the winter months I find hand wringing and hanging out to dry just as efficient as an electric spin cycle. If I need an item of clothing in a hurry I hang them by the fire overnight.

As I washed a load today I was pondering the large volumes of clothes some households deal with. My solution to that is, make everyone responsible for washing there own clothes. Its not hard.

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2 responses to “Human Powered Clothes Washing Machine – DIY

    • Hello washing machine – well for those of us who think making a little extra effort each day to reduce our use of fossil fuel generated electricity … its actually worth it. Not to mention reducing the need for more ‘new’ products to be manufactured that break in 5 years and get tossed on landfill. Live more ‘consciously’ – thats what I’m doing and hope to inspire others to do the same.

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