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Your experience with a hand powered washing machine?

What is your experience with a hand powered washing machine? I am looking at a picture of the Wonder Wash and wondering if it would work.

Even thinking of improvising with a water tight plastic jar big enough to hold a pair of jeans. I could roll it on the floor while stretching my hamstrings, lol.

Seriously, I am sick of a washing machine that requires repairs, makes me save up stinky laundry until I have a full load, uses energy and wastes water.

I am on the brink of selling it for scrap, or freecycling it to someone who can make a buck out of it, and using the space for something useful.

What simple, green, alternatives to the monstrous washing machine are there for apartment dwellers?

I have a shared coin laundry on site (but it chews up delicate clothing) and there is always the dry cleaners/professional laundry for bedding and things that don't drip dry easy.

How long have you used a green laundry machine? Are you saving money? Do you improvise one or buy one? Are you happy with the cleanness of your clothes? Any drawbacks? What do you think about it?

3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I used a 5 quart ice cream bucket for years. I would put in a shirt and pants and soap and water, put the lid on, and rock it with my toe while I read email. I found it hard to convince myself that the rinse cycle worked right, but I sure liked the price. I have also used a large coffee can with the plastic snap on lid, but it wouldn't hold pants and shirt at the same time.



    5 quart bucket

    1/4 bar Fels Naptha

    1/2 cup borax

    1/2 cup washing soda

    Take your bar of Fels Naptha and run it through your grater. I use my food processor, zaps it up quick then a hot rinse cleans it. Put the grated soap and 1/2 cup of Borax and 1/2 cup of Washing Soda (not baking soda) in a large sauce pan. Add some water, however much you like. Put it on a low flame and heat it till it is all dissolved and melted. Stir it a lot. When it is all melted pour it in your bucket and start adding hot water. Keep stirring as you add. Let it stand 24 hours and it will become a congealed glob. It will be the consistency of soft jello, and not look real pretty. Transfer it to more convenient containers. (I got empty soap bottles from the laundromat.) Use about 1/2 cup per load. There will be no suds.

    I also use vinegar for the rinse, it makes everything bright and removes wrinkles. You don't need food grade vinegar, the cheapest works fine. I use only cold water for all laundry and no bleach. You are going to say look at how clean the laundry is.

    TIP: I recently learned about TSP, and that is a wonderful additive. I use 1/8 cup per load.

    Why everything is dirtier: -- Or from any paint store.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    The Wonder Wash does work, but you can only do a few items at a time. It is great for delicate items like your bras and underwear or delicate sweaters. But, I'm not sure why you are having such bad luck with your washing machines. I have been married 35 years and am on my 3rd washing machine. They have all been Sears Kenmore machines and I have never, ever called for service on any of them. I just plain wore them out - that was the only reason for replacing. I never over load the machine and never wash items that the machine can't handle like really heavy quilts or blankets-those go to the laundromat. I use good laundry detergent like Tide and only use the correct amount. As far as holding my laundry to do a full load, I made sure the machines I bought had different water levels so that I can do a small load if I have to. But, if you want to do laundry by hand, the Wonder Wash is your best bet, but be prepared to do several very small loads and don't purchase any other machine. The Wonder Wash is made in America and is very well built....the imitators do not work as well and eventually crack and start leaking. And no, I don't work for the company. :)

  • Anne M
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Well, when i first left home I did not have a washing machine nor money for laudromats, so I washed everything in the bath. It was a full morning's work and absolutely no fun.

    Since being married and having babies I have had only 2 washing machines in 35 years. The first still worked really well after 18 yrs but the family shrank and I did not need it's huge size. I sold it and have had a smaller machine which gives me just as good service for 12 years. Not one single problem with either of them. So, maybe I am just lucky or I take care of my machine.

    Ditto with my dryer. I would love a new one but the one I have is the first one I bought some 17 yrs ago.

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