I just dropped the price of
the permaculture playing cards
for a wee bit.

 

 

uses include:
- infecting brains with permaculture
- convincing folks that you are not crazy
- gift giving obligations
- stocking stuffer
- gambling distraction
- an hour or two of reading
- find the needle
- find the 26 hidden names

clickity-click-click

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Non electric Washing Machine  RSS feed

 
Rebecca Dane
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Of course there is the old fashioned kind with a washboard or wringer outer, but check out this conventional washing machine hooked up to a bicycle!

 
                          
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I once saw a dog powered washer at an Amish auction.  The washer was powered by a treadmill powered by a large dog.
 
Rebecca Dane
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Did you take a picture of it?
 
solomon martin
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This has been a day-dream of mine for years now! Thanks, it is so cool to find out people out there are thinking like me.
 
Warren David
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Tinknal wrote:
I once saw a dog powered washer at an Amish auction.  The washer was powered by a treadmill powered by a large dog.


http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2006/11/dog_power.html

Dog, sheep and goat treadmills
These small treadmills provided both rotary and reciprocating power to operate light machines like butter churns, grind stones, fanning mills, corn shellers, and later, cream separators. They generally use two India rubber or leather belts rather than iron links to form the chain of wood treads. The few surviving dog treadmills have become popular attractions at engine and farm shows across the country. And the dogs seem to love running the mills, much as a hamster in an exercise wheel...
http://www.americanartifacts.com/smma/power/tread.htm Loads of "dog power" pics when I searched Google images. 
 
Burra Maluca
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This is what the old ladies in my village who don't have their own machines use...

 
paul wheaton
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Steven Baxter
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There was a man I would see dive around. He had a cooler strapped to the roof of his car, filled with soap, water, and clothes. As he would do his errands or just go to the market he would be washing his clothes at the same time.
 
Dave Bennett
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I use a 20 gallon plastic drum with a lid that has a steel band to clamp it on snugly.  It doesn't leak when I tip it over and roll it around in the yard.  I am building a frame to mount it so I can spin it for better agitation but haven't gotten that far with it yet.
 
                      
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Grand ma had a wringer washer. While it used electricity, it was economical to operate.

I feel sometimes that in our quest to save energy we overlook the reason behind the inventions we have today. To save time and make our efforts more efficient. While I can come up with many ways to cut my energy usage and save water, my time has a certain value. If I'm tied up with the hand washing of clothes and dishes and ridding a bicycle to generated electricity I'm not able to enjoy life and spend time with my family. All these tasks were made easier by the invention of the washing machine and the dish washer. There have been many strides in making them more energy efficient as well as resources efficient. I guess we have to determine for ourselves the importance of our time and efforts. This has to be a personal thing.

Just my 2 cents....
 
Dave Bennett
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I want a wringer washer and Lehman's sells them but they are cost prohibitive for me.  I also live alone so I wash clothes for one person but when my clothes washer is completed and I can load it wash my clothes and then run the rinse water through it total time to wash and rinse will be about 5 minutes.  Much more efficient than any washing machine available because it is based on the principal of those little plastic pressure washers that work quite well.  I have one and built a larger version.  The hot water makes pressure inside the chamber and cleans fabric rapidly.  In warm weather I fill it with cold water and let the sun heat it up since it a black plastic barrel.
 
                      
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Dave Bennett wrote:
I want a wringer washer and Lehman's sells them but they are cost prohibitive for me.  I also live alone so I wash clothes for one person but when my clothes washer is completed and I can load it wash my clothes and then run the rinse water through it total time to wash and rinse will be about 5 minutes.  Much more efficient than any washing machine available because it is based on the principal of those little plastic pressure washers that work quite well.  I have one and built a larger version.  The hot water makes pressure inside the chamber and cleans fabric rapidly.  In warm weather I fill it with cold water and let the sun heat it up since it a black plastic barrel.


Good solution......:>

I saw a add somewhere that stated where to find used ringer washers. They also told folks what to look for. Wish I could remember things.....;>
 
Dave Bennett
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timby wrote:
Good solution......:>

I saw a add somewhere that stated where to find used ringer washers. They also told folks what to look for. Wish I could remember things.....;>

The one that Lehman's sells is made in Saudi Arabia of all places but it is exactly like the old Speed Queen washers.  It has a stainless steel tubs too.  Over $1000 though.  I suppose if you had a big family it would be worth it.  They sold a gasoline powered version a while back but I don't think it is offered anymore.  It has a bottom drain and is very sturdily built.
 
ronie dee
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I see wringer washers on craigs list a lot...Between 50 and 100 bucks.  The odd thing is that they have been this price for years in my area.

I've often wondered how hard it would be to hook a bicycle up to a wringer washer to wash clothes.

I work so many hours now that I don't have time to do many of the things that I would like to do to be more self sufficient.
For now I use more modern conveniences than i would if i had more time off work.
 
Dave Bennett
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ronie wrote:
I see wringer washers on craigs list a lot...Between 50 and 100 bucks.  The odd thing is that they have been this price for years in my area.

I've often wondered how hard it would be to hook a bicycle up to a wringer washer to wash clothes.

I work so many hours now that I don't have time to do many of the things that I would like to do to be more self sufficient.
For now I use more modern conveniences than i would if i had more time off work.

I think it would be a distinct possibility using a bicycle to power one.
 
Kate Nudd
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There are instructions for powering an old wringer washer with a bicycle in the book
Human Powered Home: choosing muscles over motors  by Tamara Dean
I experiment with a plunger ( with holes in it) and a 5 gallon bucket. It works for numerous small loads, cold water and Dr. Bonner's soap.
I like that one mentioned earlier with the 30 and 50 gallon drums....interesting.
Finding an old/antique hand crank wringer ( it will attach to the side of a galvanized tub) is what I am doing now.
 
Dave Bennett
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Katee wrote:
There are instructions for powering an old wringer washer with a bicycle in the book
Human Powered Home: choosing muscles over motors  by Tamara Dean
I experiment with a plunger ( with holes in it) and a 5 gallon bucket. It works for numerous small loads, cold water and Dr. Bonner's soap.
I like that one mentioned earlier with the 30 and 50 gallon drums....interesting.
Finding an old/antique hand crank wringer ( it will attach to the side of a galvanized tub) is what I am doing now.

I would love a hand crank wringer.  I saw one at a yard sale a couple of months ago so I went to find an ATM but when I got back it was gone.  I used to use Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds but started making my own liquid household soap a few months ago to save money.  A gallon only cost me 19 bucks and it only takes 1 oz. per load.  I water it down for dishes and every day cleaning.
 
T. Joy
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I'm gonna need a wringer this summer. We're off to the grandparent's cottage and will be hand washing our clothes using the hot-water-in-a-lidded-bucket method with homemade soap. No problem with that, you put in the clothes, soap, hot water, put on the lid and give it a good shaking (or have the kids roll it around in the yard, lol) and then hang things on the line. It's quite humid here though so getting as much water out as possible is a necessity.
I might try the industrial mop bucket with modified plunger method though, clothes go in the mop press part and squeezed to get water out. We'll see how it goes. My kids make mountains of laundry I'm afraid.
 
Dave Bennett
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Look what I found.......
http://store.survivalcenter.com/products/Wringer,-Clothes.html
 
T. Joy
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Oh, I know where to order them. I'm just not willing to spend that much money!
 
Dave Bennett
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It is pretty pricey.
 
Kate Nudd
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Dave, would you be willing to share your instructions for your homemade soap?
Lehman's has a couple of wringers,too but the review for them is not good.
Hmmm...I'll just keep watch at a few antique places and also ask them to keep an eye open for me. I have a few 'antiquey' things I could barter for it.
Last summer while travelling I used foot/stomping power for washing clothes. It was fun...just like making cob.
Again,though, I have trouble with wringing everything out well.
Joy, I've considered the mop bucket wringer but not tried it..please let me know how it goes?
 
Dave Bennett
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I will do my best.  If you have made soap before then it will be a piece of cake but if you haven't read this: http://www.soap-making-essentials.com/hot-process.html  I will also list some links for a great source for both Potassium and Sodium Hydroxide.  This recipe will use Potassium hydroxide (KOH) because it is liquid soap.  
Coconut Oil: http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/ (I buy the expeller pressed non organic)
Chemicals: http://www.dudadiesel.com/
essential oils: http://www.wellingtonfragrance.com/Essential-Oils--C35.aspx?afid=6&gclid=CPSq_LOi_KkCFeVx5QodoFbvbQ

This recipe only works with coconut oil.  I never use anything else for household soaps.  As a multi-purpose cleaner it is excellent.  I use it straight undiluted for laundry (1 oz. per load), diluted for dishes, diluted more for general purpose cleaning.  I just realized that my statement about using it straight undiluted could create confusion.  This recipe makes soap paste.  The soap paste gets diluted to make one gallon of finished soap.  Then I use it for laundry.  I water it more for dishes etc.
Makes a gallon.
Weights are in ounces.

These numbers came from soapcalc.net

Total oil weight 53.4
Water as percent of oil weight 70 %
Super Fat/Discount 0 %
Lye Concentration 26.855 %
Water : Lye Ratio 2.724:1

Sat : Unsat Ratio 89 : 11
Iodine
INS
Fragrance Ratio .7
Fragrance Weight 2.336 Oz

Ingredient Pounds Ounces Grams
Water 2.336 37.38 1059.704
Lye - KOH 0.858 13.724 389.063
# √ Oil/Fat % Pounds Ounces Grams
1 Coconut Oil, 76 deg 100 3.338 53.4 1513.863
Totals 100 3.338 53.4 1513.863
Tools:
Digital scale
I use a crock pot for making hot process soap.  
I also use a stick blender with a stainless steel shaft.
Large Stainless Steel Spoon

Add the KOH to the water a stir until the water clears.  This is an exothermic reaction (makes a lot of heat and fumes) so be careful and make to do it in a well ventilated area.  I do it out on the porch in a very large pyrex measuring cup.

Add the coconut oil to the crock pot and set it to low heat.  Add the lye SLOWLY and blend it thoroughly with the stick blender.  It doesn't trace the same way as using Sodium Hydroxide.  It will start to thicken and eventually become very thick.  Put the lid on the crock pot at this point and leave the temp on low.  pay attention to it so when it starts bubbling that it doesn't boil over.  Gentle stirring will prevent a boil over.  Put the lid on a stir it every 30 minutes for 3 hours.  It will become a translucent blob that is firmly stuck to the bottom of the crock.  Turn off the heat.

Boil up enough water to wind up with about 80oz. by weight not liquid measure and add it to the crock.  Break up the blob of soap paste and stir it to dissolve the paste.  Once it is thoroughly incorporated with the water boil 1.7 oz. water and add .85oz. of borax and add it to the liquid soap to neutralize any free lye that may be present.

When it has cooled down considerably (below 100 degrees F) I add my fragrance (.7oz. per lb. of soap paste)  and mix thoroughly.  I then put it a plastic bottle that once held Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds. Do not use milk jugs.  Use a heavy duty plastic jug or glass.   My soap cost much less than Dr. Bronners Sal Suds and smells better too.  I use lemon essential oil but the sky is the limit.

This stuff averages about $0.18 per load of laundry.  The best part is that I know what is in it.


 
Dave Bennett
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PS:  If you are new to soap making clean everything with lots of distilled vinegar to make sure the lye is neutralized.
 
jacque greenleaf
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Dave, could you also describe how you made your version of the little pressure washer?

I have the one from Lehman's, and it works OK, but like everyone else, I think it is poorly built, and I know it won't last long.

 
Dave Bennett
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jacque g wrote:
Dave, could you also describe how you made your version of the little pressure washer?

I have the one from Lehman's, and it works OK, but like everyone else, I think it is poorly built, and I know it won't last long.


I am using a 15 gallon heavy duty plastic drum with a removable lid.  It is the type with the metal clamp.  Very heavy duty.  I tried one with a screw top and when the water is hot it leaks from pressure build up.  I am building a cradle and frame for it so I can spin it like that small one you have.  I have one of those from Lehman also and in fact am on my 3rd replacement lid.  The plastic drum I am using came from here: http://www.globalindustrial.com/p/material-handling/drum-barrel/drums-pails/drum-open-head-with-plain-cover-3
I bounce around in the yard for now but finally got access to a wire feed welder so I will be putting it in my crank operated frame soon.  It is going to work much like that small one except..... I am adding a drain valve so I can add the rinse water easily.  So far the only down side is having to roll it around in the yard.  It can be a drag when it is raining and especially snowing.  I do need a wringer though.  I will do my best to post photos when I have it completed.  I am still working out the gearing so it won't take Hercules to spin it but I do plan on using readily available parts so anyone can build one.  I could have assembled the frame with nuts and bolts but I enjoy melting metals together. 
 
Kate Nudd
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Thanks for the instructions Dave. I've never heard of using a crockpot for soap making although I am not that familiar with the process. I admire your talents.

I envision a barrel in the back of a half ton truck and each week before going to town it's loaded with clothes,water,soap and the jiggly ride washes them then perhaps a prearranged place to dump off the soapy water (? a carwash or friendly fellow permie's house) and fill for a rinse which happens on the way home. Hmmm... park beside the clothesline, mount the wringer on the tailgate and....
 
Dave Bennett
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That might work.  I can't say.  I do know that moving either the water through the material or the other way around works best though but I am not a clothes washing engineer 
 
jacque greenleaf
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"I tried one with a screw top and when the water is hot it leaks from pressure build up. "

Hmmmm. I wonder whether those gamma seals that are sold for long-term food storage in 5-gallon buckets would work. I'm going to order some anyway...
 
Dave Bennett
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I have considered them. Let me know how they work so I can have a small load washer too.
 
Dale Hodgins
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      Sometimes I put my dirty work clothes into a black rubber maid container with detergent and water. I leave this in the sun and let it cook. Sometimes I'll load it into the van and let it slosh around when I go somewhere. I only do this if I'm running out of clothing at a live in jobsite and will use a proper washer whenever possible. The clothes need very little sloshing because they spend hours in the hot water. People often leave cleaning supplies including laundry soap at the houses I recycle. I accumulate laundry soap, bar soap, brooms and garbage cans faster than I can use them up and end up giving stuff away to friends. They also leave me perfectly functioning washers and dryers but usually the power is shut off before my arrival. Such is life
 
Dale Hodgins
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       If hot water is being heated electrically that represents a much larger consumption of electricity than the power required for the motor. Heat is a much easier thing to provide by low-tech means than is motive power.
 
jacque greenleaf
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Just ran across this...

http://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/laundry-day-at-homestead-kitty/
 
Tara Sanders
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This is the non-electric washer machine that I want to buy but it isn't out yet.  You sit on it and use your feet.

http://expand-your-consciousness.com/this-pedal-powered-washing-machine-is-electricity-free-and-costs-only-40/?t=snhhl

http://inhabitat.com/human-powered-giradora-washer-needs-no-electricity-and-costs-only-40/

And here are some others to look at:

http://mayapedal.org/machines.en
 
Nancy Troutman
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For small loads, my favorite washer is this one:   https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OTYK3O6/  ; Alas, I have not weaned off electric all the way.   I still use an electric spin-dryer.

When I grew up,  there was an old Amish farmer who used draft horses to plow fields.   His horses were always in excellent shape.   He kept them in shape by hauling around barrels of water in the wagon he used for shopping and errands.   When I attended his funeral,  I found out that the barrels were actually full of his family's laundry.   The rough roads did an excellent job of agitating the laundry.

100_1409.JPG
[Thumbnail for 100_1409.JPG]
 
Andras Hajdu
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For me it seems unrealistic that someone who wishes to run a self sustaining lifestyle and homestead would have time to waste on pedalling a washmachine for hours.  If you plan on having a fridge freezer around then you ought to have enough capacity to spin a wachmachine electrically - just make sure to provide the warm water from non electrical sources and thats it. You can still find wachmachines that have separate warm water intakes. Life is too valuable to waste on pedalling a drum of dirty clothes.
 
Sadie West
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Hm, all this has got me thinking....  I have an exercise device that can lift a several gallon container of water up to about 20' height. The problem is that it would not agitate as I lower it. It is just a rope and pulley, so it can only lift the weight straight up. I wonder if I could add something that would let it down in jerks
 
Devin Lavign
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Andras Hajdu wrote:For me it seems unrealistic that someone who wishes to run a self sustaining lifestyle and homestead would have time to waste on pedalling a washmachine for hours.  If you plan on having a fridge freezer around then you ought to have enough capacity to spin a wachmachine electrically - just make sure to provide the warm water from non electrical sources and thats it. You can still find wachmachines that have separate warm water intakes. Life is too valuable to waste on pedalling a drum of dirty clothes.


For many it can be part of wanting to be off grid. Reducing their energy dependence, making cuts in what your willing to do with electric and opting for manual labor instead. It is easy to say "sure I can just use an electric thing a ma bob, it hardly uses anything." which just makes it easier to then say "Why not this whirly dooddle ring too" then "and why not that watzamgig also." until your sucking more and more energy that you have a $100,000 solar set up or you are sucking juice from the grid again.

Many folks trying to do a self sustaining lifestyle and homestead are trying to go off grid. You have to make cuts in what your going to use power for, and laundry often is one of those people experiment with can they do it without electric. Some can handle non electric laundry, some can't. You really don't know until you try it. Some folks opt for oil lamps instead of electric lights, some have to at least had DC lighting. Some even opt to not do the fridge and freezer, there are some homesteaders who use ice boxes.

As for wasting time while pedaling a washing machine. Why would you call it a waste? You still have your hands free to do something else. You could knit or crochet, do wood carving, read, practice juggling, prep food for the next meal, or what ever you want. I think that is part of the point of the peddle powered vs hand powered. Freeing up your hands so you can multi task.

I am actually currently trying to figure out if I want to invest in a nonelectric laundry washing method or electric as I am just starting a homestead. So I have been looking a lot of the pros and cons on electric or non electric washer as I need to find ways to lower energy use for a small solar and windturbine set up.
 
Anne Miller
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Maybe I missed it but I didn't see any mention of using a toilet plunger.  A new one of course, that has not been used in the toilet.  You put the clothes in a tub, bucket or bath tub with soap and water then use it like a churn.
 
Cl Robinson
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I am by no means technical or mechanical and I can not build this, but I am sure some of the people on here who are could figure something out.  Ive seen people building amazing stuff and sharing it on here.  I think it might be possible to build your own wringer like so: 

2 paint rollers or the feed mechanism from a large printer or something of the sort. anything cylindrical that will hold up to pressure and turning
a hand crank...use old auger driver or build something...if other powered the appropriate imput device
small pulley/s? connecting them with a belt

I am sure there are lots of other little bits and bobs that would be needed but that is what my head came up with.  I intend to take a building workshop as soon as I can find one close enough to attend.  It frustrates my creative side to have these ideas and not know whether they would work or not because I can't build them!!! 
 
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