Do those little hand crank clothes washers work? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

Damark is selling a small hand crank powered "portable washing machine" for $40. I looks like a little cannister jobbie with a hand crank on the side, a lid on the top, and says "Super Wash" on the front. Supposedly holds up to 5 lbs. of clothes (wet or dry? ;-)

Anybody have any experience with something like this?

-- Eyell Makedo (, October 09, 1999


Save your money and buy a wash tub, a plunger, and a mop wringer.

-- b (don't@do, October 09, 1999.

But do they work?

-- zoobie (, October 09, 1999.

I bought one from e-bay for $25.00, so watch and you may get a deal. It's a clever device, and works great for some things, like socks, underwear, children's clothes, but it doesn't wring things out.

I would also get a wringer and a wash tub along with this, to do heavier things.

-- Mabel Dodge (, October 09, 1999.

Thanks all, I was wondering about those thingamajobbies too.

Hi Mabes!

-- Mumsie (, October 09, 1999.


Mabes sez "Hi", back to you.

I might add to what Mabes said, that those crank washers are a great addition to your Y2K exercise plan(G).

One word of advice: don't try to crank them in a circular motion, but rather work them back and forth, in a pendulum type of swing. The overall concept is a good one, and they do the job, but the crank handle is the weak point, in their construction. If you aplly just enough force to keep the cylinder rocking, you won't overstress the plastic on the handle.

-- Bokonon (, October 09, 1999.

also...lil hint...check out in the countryside at auctions and yard sales. Found me an old fashion hand crank washer w/the clothes wringer for sale at a yard sale for $20!!The washtub was shot, (rusted/rotted out on the bottom) but the wringer was awesome!!

-- Billy-Boy (, October 09, 1999.

Can anyone tell me where one might find a wringer -- other than a flea market. I've seen buckets with a wringer gadget attached to it for wringing out mops. Is that what you need to get? If I'm not mistaken they run about $35-40. Anything cheaper? Would Walmart have something? Thanks.

-- Diana (, October 10, 1999.

My sister bought one and she told me not to waste my money. The plunger and wash tub is the best way to go.

-- bardou (, October 10, 1999.

Somewhere recently, I saw a few posts about these little washers - the device wasn't suitable for washing clothes - but it made great butter according to these posters.

-- mom (, October 10, 1999.

>>Save your money and buy a wash tub, a plunger, and a mop wringer<<

What a great idea! Anymore washday suggestions? How would you handle the big stuff (bedspreads, mattress covers, etc.)?

-- mom (, October 10, 1999.

I have a Wonder Washer as well, great for small jobs. Made several alternative plans for washing. 2 wringers (bought on ebay and restored). 22 gal plastic tote with lid, hole cut in lid to use plunger (bought a Rapid Washer, more ridges for forcing clothes to move about in the water) for sheets, etc. Also purchased 2 washboards (1 glass, 1 metal) and a mini-washboard for smaller delicate items. Stocked up on liquid laundry detergent and recipes for homemade stuff when it runs out (with appropriate ingredients of course!).

I am certainly NOT looking forward to using all these ingenious non-electric gadgets, but it sure beats being smelly and disease prone. Now, if the hand pump well water holds up all this will come together nicely, including all the aerobics you could ever want!

Just keepin' on, keepin' on

-- Sammie Davis (, October 10, 1999.

Thanks everyone for the comments. I received another catalog in the mail today from Heartland America (, who is selling the same thing for $29.99 (free shipping). Just in case anyone else is looking for a combination butter churn / sock washer. :-)

Meanwhile, sounds like I should also be looking for a washboard. Do you just use regular detergent with such a thing, or is there another soap made for it that works better?


-- Eyell Makedo (, October 10, 1999.

Eyell Makedo

With washboards any type of washing soap should do. I bought liquid mostly as it is 'ready to use now'. Just have to experiment with amounts to put in as the size of washing containers vary. Start with a little and add more for desired suds. Use a brush on bad stains prior to washing and don't beat the clothes to death on the wash board, get a rhythm going up and down while turning the clothing. Not fun, but will do the job.

Many years ago I used to use the bathtub and a broom handle for washing diapers, but figure this time that would take too much water. You'll want to keep up on the wash so as not to have 'tons' to do at one time and conserve water.

Been there, done that

-- Sammie Davis (, October 10, 1999.

One valuable way to save labor when washing clothes without the benefit of electricity, however you do it, is to let the clothing soak in the soapy water for an hour or two. Loosens the dirt so the clothes come cleaner with less effort.

-- Bingo (, October 11, 1999.

Remember Borax? Wasn't that product used to kill infectious germs in the laundry? Is it still available?

-- mom (, October 11, 1999.

The neat thing about the "superwash" is that it uses very little water because they work off the pressure that builds up inside from the use of hot water. May still have a place post Y2K for the water conscious...

-- matt (, October 11, 1999.

Someone I know talked to a Chinese gardener who managed to sell market vegetables despite being under severe water restrictions. The secret? He said he used all his water 4 times: 1-wash face, 2-wash vegetables for eating, 3-wash body and feet, 4-use in a watering can to water the garden. You can also save your laundry wash water and use it to water the garden, but its better to use soap then detergent and use minimal amounts.

-- Davo (, October 13, 1999.


After reading the suggestion about using the mop wringing buckets for wringing clothes (thought that was ingenious BTW)...I went into WalMart tonight and saw they had a bucket with attached wooden rollers. You place one end of the piece of cloth so an end of it sticks out of the wringer. You then place your foot atop the wringer platform and pull the clothing thru the wringer. Looks like it might be a little awkward, but would beat the heck out of raw hands. (Been there-done that in the past) The price was $11+change. Sam's Club had a much nicer orange colored bucket that you actually push down on the handle and squeeze the liquid out. The price wasn't listed and I didn't find out what it was. Sorry!


-- beej (, October 15, 1999.

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