Energy & Sustainability
How-To: Human powered laundry

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Instructables user Thinkenstein tours us through his homemade hand-powered washing machine!

I have probably been washing clothes in this hand-powered washing machine for over 25 years. It has two funnels inside the tank that serve as plungers, agitating the water every time the handle is pumped.

The idea was originally for construction in wood. It came from a village technology handbook. I built mine out of iron and cement, and came up with the funnel plunger idea. The rectangular tank uses a special sheet metal with holes for plastering called Hi-rib. It is sealed with a cement-base sealer.

My method is to soak the clothes in detergent and water overnight, pump them for about 5 minutes in the morning, rinse them twice and hang them up on the clothesline.

From the pages of MAKE, Volume 18:

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Off-Grid Laundry Machine by Michael Perdriel, pgs. 60-67. Subscribe to MAKE or preview the article in our Digital Edition.

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Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

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