Washing Machine

five gallon bucket washing machine
It’s very easy to make a five gallon washing machine, you just need the following ingredients:

  • Drill
  • Plunger
  • Five Gallon Bucket
  • Tight fitting lid

Building this unit is very simple, there are just 2 special design features to note that will make your washer work more effectively.

Tight entry hole

Cut the hole in the bucket lid to fit the plunger handle snugly, to ensure water doesn’t find its way up and into your face.

Plunger holes

Drill about a dozen 1/4″ on the sides and top of the plunger to allow the water a place to flow through.

If you skip this step, the cleaning efficiency of the system will be significantly diminished and the plunger will not pump up and down smoothly.

An even simpler design

You can simplify this design drastically, just fill one or two buckets with soapy water and your laundry, and stomp on your clothes barefoot. Here’s a clip from the movie “No Impact Man” about stomping on clothes to make them clean:


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12 thoughts on “Washing Machine

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  5. About how long would this method take to wash clothes, and about how big of a load could I fit? I’d like to try it out but don’t want to over or under wash the clothing. If it isn’t enough for my use I can use a 20 gallon food grade container.

    • This washer fits a single set of clothing, two at the absolute most (depending on weight of material.) How long it takes to wash depends on how fast you pump and how long you let the clothes soak beforehand. You will probably be happier using a larger container, especially if you are hoping to wash your linens or a full week’s clothing all at once.

  6. Pingback: What Are Some Creative Uses For X?: What are some creative uses of five gallon buckets? - Quora

  7. Pingback: Prepper Ideas » Blog Archive » Laundry day without electricity

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