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2 gallon, solar batch containers, free almost everywhere. They make a medicine ball washing machine  RSS feed

 
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These two gallon ( 8 liter ) containers are available for free in much of the world. They contain isolated protein and other things that bodybuilders use. There are specialty vitamin shops and bodybuilding stores that sell lots of this stuff. The first store I called, said they have no use for empty containers, and that's where I got mine.

These containers are food safe, as far as plastic can be food-safe, they have a good lid that doesn't leak when tightened normally, without having to twist very hard. Most importantly for water heating, they are black. Don't tighten the lid, when using them for water heating. Water and Air, need room to expand. I squeeze a little bit of air out, as I tighten the lid, so that there's room for expansion.

This is the perfect amount of hot water, for an outdoor shower. Or an indoor shower I suppose. Set a couple of these in front of the picture window, and you're good. When placed inside a big, clear plastic bag, they will store heat even better.

Also a good amount of water for washing a batch of dishes. When completely filled, it weighs 8 kilograms, which is about 17.5 lb

 The dash of my work truck has been used for this. When faced into the afternoon sun, this is almost always the hottest spot in the neighborhood.

Other than when I have a bath, this is about the amount of water needed for a variety of tasks.
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Medicine ball washing machine.
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The containers are also a perfect size for a small washing machine, where the only moving parts, are your body.

People pay good money for medicine balls, which are heavy rubber or leather balls , used for exercise. I use my washing machine with 5 liters of water in it. That's 5 kilograms, or about 11 pounds. Then there's a couple pounds of clothing. A container this size, is good for about a dozen pairs of socks or underwear. It's a nice size for gripping. I suppose it could be put inside a pillowcase, that has a little ball sewn into each end, for a handle. I have used it for side to side chest exercise, curls and whatever you call that thing when you swing something behind your head and then back in front. You can do pretty much anything that is done with the medicine ball, except for throwing it to your partner. Bad idea. I have had no issues with leaking, although it looks like the seal may wear out, and require some spray rubber.
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Many kids need to get some exercise. Fill this up, and tell them they can watch TV, as long as they do a load of laundry while they're at it. I did it last night, until my roommate had seen enough. The sloshing sound doesn't seem to bother the person getting the exercise.

That's about it. Free 2 gallon solar heaters, which easily become small washing machines.

For clothing that is heavily soiled, put them in cold water, with the appropriate amount of soap, and mix it up for a minute. Then leave it in the sun for the day, and in the late afternoon turn the machine on.

Probably not the best way to wash a horse blanket, but very suitable, when we run out of socks, but don't have enough other stuff to warrant a trip to the laundromat or the basement.

Very delicate things, are unlikely to be harmed inside a smooth container like this.

This could be the perfect spot to do the first washing, of anything that might lose coloring and spread it to other garments.
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A little sticky when the label is first removed. Used it to clear my friends wool coat of weeks worth of cat hair. Much better than the tool made for the job.
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I left it to drip out, before wringing the clothing out.
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They have very good lids
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This medicine ball sells for $35, and it is no good for doing laundry. Doesn't heat water either.
 
Dale Hodgins
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One lap around the internet, produced this little washer. They say 6 quarts, which is about 6 liters. Not sure if they are filling it right up or if it's also a 2 gallon container,  with an air space. Either way, it's pretty comparable.

Called the Wonder Wash. It sells for $50

I could see mounting mine to the face of a wheel. Perhaps a trailer wheel, mounted against the wall. Put it by the TV, and give it a spin every minute or so. The weight of the trailer wheel, will keep it going.
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Location: La Peche, West Quebec; hardiness zone 4a
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Awesome suggestion for heating water! Thank you!
 
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Nice idea and a excellent reuse. I might offer another suggestion -- Bato bucket. The walls look just thick enough and the volume is perfect for all but the largest plants. Price can't be beat.

Out here in the West is not uncommon to see Igloo or Yeti cooler in the back of the truck bed. They are doing their laundry! Load the clothes, add warm water then detergent. Lock down the lid and put the whole thing in the truck bed. The jostling of driving washes the clothes. Its an old ranchers trick.
 
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Excellent again Dale! I'm gonna find a few for camping, or zombie invasions.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Thank you everyone.

I decided that we need a way to move this thing without bearing the weight. As with other things, I need to be able to watch a movie, while doing it.

I picked up this old office chair for free. Some of you may recall my office chair / chainsaw mill. The office chair has a swivel that can withstand several hundred pounds of pressure. The horizontal plate provides a good spot for containers to sit, and there are already many holes in it, for strapping.

My simple test involved lashing it down and and attaching a set of reins. Hold on to the ropes and move your arms in a rowing sort of motion, one arm at a time, like you're jogging. I held this model in place with my feet.

A more permanent installation could mount it on plywood or have some sort of strapping device on the floor. I like the mobility of having the wheels on it. Fill it up in the bathroom and roll it in front of the TV. Every pull of the rope, rotates the thing about 120┬░. You can do it slowly or quickly. The water really sloshes around, with the abrupt change in direction.

They make canoe barrels that hold 30 liters. This would make the whole thing about 32 kg, which is close to 70 pounds. Not a heavy load for an office chair.

With black rubber straps and black reins, your significant other may let you keep this thing in the house. I imagine putting a larger container out in the sun. It would already be filled with a suitable amount of water, clothing and a little soap. Load it up, give it a dozen sloshes, to mix the soap in, then let it roast in the sun all day. Then it's time to grab the reins and do your lat exercises. Roll it to the edge of the patio, where you take off the lid and water the grass.
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Dale, I think we need to name you, "The MacGyver of Permies."



Just, don't grow a mullet, K?
 
Dale Hodgins
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Thanks Nicole. I often have ideas that could be a 10 on the McGyver scale. My skills and knowledge of the particular subject, are usually at 5 or less, on that same scale. By putting idea in Internet land, I hope to increase the skill level and the chances of success with these ideas.
 
Dale Hodgins
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john mcginnis wrote:Nice idea and a excellent reuse. I might offer another suggestion -- Bato bucket. The walls look just thick enough and the volume is perfect for all but the largest plants. Price can't be beat.

Out here in the West is not uncommon to see Igloo or Yeti cooler in the back of the truck bed. They are doing their laundry! Load the clothes, add warm water then detergent. Lock down the lid and put the whole thing in the truck bed. The jostling of driving washes the clothes. Its an old ranchers trick.

I have done the driving thing, using a black Rubbermaid tub. Similar in shape to the Bato bucket. The problem, is leakage around the lid. Any container with a secure lid, could be used. I've seen a few versions of 12 volt washing machines, using a windshield wiper motor. They go back and forth in the same manner as my machine. Every example that I found, was using a round bucket, stood upright. The tub tends to move, while the clothing inside remains relatively stationary. When put in the configuration I have used, the water sloshes around with every movement.

I could see applying heat to the side of a 5 gallon bucket and making little indentations while the material is warm. This would turn the interior of the tub into a sort of washboard, and it would cause the water and clothing to move more.

There are many, small RV type washing machines. Some of them have a circular tub, that has quite a few indentations, meant to work as a washboard. One of these tubs could be placed inside a larger tub, and the whole thing could be agitated. It's often been said that I'm an agitator. This is further proof.
 
Dale Hodgins
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It doesn't have to be a space hogging piece of exercise equipment. If the rotation post, were mounted close to a comfortable chair, it could be agitated simply by moving a short extension arm. I tried it using the little handle that is meant to let the chair go up and down. Works great.
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No washing machine is complete without a spin dry function.

I'm sure you've seen those spin mops. You push the handle down, and they spin quite quickly. I use one that I'm happy with.

Today, I found a more commercial looking unit. This one is called, The Ultimate Spin Mop. Unfortunately, it didn't come with the mop. That's probably why I paid $5 Canadian, at Value Village. I'm going to find a way to adapt this to my cordless drill. Not sure how fast it will go but, I'm sure it will go faster than the one I was pumping. The trick will be to do it without wrecking anything, so I'm going to start it off slowly. The variable speed drill can start off at quite a slow rate.
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It's fun to be me, and still legal in 9 states! Wanna see my tiny ad?
Alternatives to Dentists - From Marjory Wildcraft
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