homemade washer

Homemade Washer Cleans Up

 homemade washer

No washer, no problem! My homemade washer cleans up for me once again. Homesteading skills are not just for when the SHTF, as they say. They have served me well in the RV and now in the city.

Our washer broke down on Saturday. Luckily, I had done my wash on Friday, but my daughter-in-law just started a new job and hers needed doing. We have a master protection plan with Sears, which has really been a great deal for us, but several times we have had to wait over a week for the earliest available service. Which is the case this time.

Fortunately, I have my good old 5-gallon bucket washer in the trailer and I can still use it! It is a bit labor intensive, though. I do plan to get one of those panda washer/spinners, but for today, it will suffice for a supply of underwear and a few shirts.

There are tons of YouTubes on how to make and use one of these. I will link to mine here when I get it posted. Very simply get a:

5-gallon bucket and lid


Cut a hole in the lid to accommodate the plunger handle.

homemade washer plunger and lid     homemade washer hole in lid for plunger

Put a couple tablespoons of laundry soap in the bucket. Add clothes no more than halfway, they need room to agitate. Cover with water. Place plunger and lid on top, closing the lid over the bucket. Plunge away for several minutes.

Open the lid and drain water. Cover clothes with clean water. Replace plunger and lid and repeat.

Repeat above once more.

Wring water out of clothes by hand or using a rolling pin, wringer or another clever trick. Place clothes in the dryer or hang to dry.

Fortunately, I only had to do this once, as we were able to grab a cancellation and get our washer fixed a few days sooner. But I felt empowered that I could still have clean clothes, even when technology failed.



  • Regina Bates August 19, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    I have found that you need even less soap. I used maybe 1Tbs for my cloth diapers and 1tsp for regular clothes. Definitely get a work out tho! Boys have been plunging and that helps me a lot!

    • Mrs. D August 20, 2018 at 3:51 pm

      Hey, Regina, glad it’s working for you. Yes, you are absolutely right, much less soap needed. So lucky to have your crew to help!


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