Monday, May 3, 2010

My new frugal laundry machine

Need I say more? A real, vintage, Maytag wringer washer. And it works great! I could hardly wait to try it out so I washed a load of rags I'd been saving just for that purpose. A half hour later, they were on the clothesline in the sun.

The basement in this house has a set of old granite laundry sinks. I don't know how much they hold, but it's probably around 40 gallons each. It's a perfect setup, just the way it was planned to use a wringer washer.

Ok, so you're not interested in actually using a wringer washer. That's old fashioned, anyway. I mean, now you have an automatic washer that you throw clothes in and just wait... and wait... and wait. Eventually, it does all the work for you. And if you miss a stain, oh, well. You can just buy some stain remover. Or buy some new clothes. After all, you just bought maybe a hundred gallons of water.

You know what I'm saying. It's cheaper, by far, and faster, too. Wringer washers do a better job of getting clothes clean. Think of it. A machine that gets clothes cleaner faster using less detergent, less electricity and is cheaper to buy, too.

I know most of you are not convinced. Wringer washers do take a little  more of your time instead of just time, but they take less time to do a load. They take a little more energy and work to do that load, too (but I know the modern way is to pay the gym to get your exercise).

Still with me? I already wrote about the benefits of using wringer washers and a little more, too:

The Ultimate Frugal Laundry Machine

What to Look for in a Wringer Washer

How to Properly Set Up and Use a Wringer Washer


  1. Ho! what a beautiful antiques I do remember how wringer washer was a thank you you are good.
    The clothes are sometimes mixed in the rolls? Does anyone have video of this machine in action? I would love to hear how it sounds
    ... Jullie

  2. Occasionally, clothes will roll together, yes. I never thought to take a video of it in action! I'll try to remember to do that the next time I use it.

  3. I bought a wringer washer several years ago and used it a couple of times. The wringer bar on top doesn't work very well (keeps popping up. I sent it back to the man I bought it from and he said there was nothing wrong with it. I haven't used it since. Sad.

  4. Carole, there are a few different reasons the wringer won't stay locked down. First, be sure that when you turn it, it clangs into place. It can look like it's locked, but not be and it's easy enough to make the mistake. Second, don't let clothes bunch up as you're wringing them. The wringers are set to pop open when something large or hard goes through them. It's a safety thing, because that something large or hard could be your hand. The screw on top of the locker bar can be adjusted so that it doesn't pop open too quickly.

  5. Hi Pat,

    I love the idea of a wringer washer, but have a couple of concerns. Where can i start looking for one in good condition? I never seem to run across any even though I do the whole thrift /garage sales/craigslist thing.

    Also, if it breaks - how do you fix it or find spare parts?

    Other than that, I actually love the mechanics of how it works. You've totally sold me.:)

    Congratulations - looks like a great machine!


  6. Jayne, call around appliance stores. The smaller stores will be your best option. Also, check out estate sales, auctions and so on. I have seen them for sale online (eBay and other places) but the shipping is expensive! Put the word out that you're looking. You never know who might have one stashed away somewhere. sells parts for them and the old ones are so simple that they're easy for anyone with a little handyman in him or her to repair.

    I'm glad I sold you. :) Hope you find one soon!

  7. Pat, I've just found your blog and this post. I'm completely in love with the wringer washer! I'll be keeping an eye out for one of these...

  8. I hope you find one, Natalie! :)

  9. Oh, Pat, I long for one of these beauties! It seems they would conserve on rinse water since you could rinse several loads in the same water and re-use the same water as long as it was clean.

    My grandparents and my parents "shared" one of these in the early 60ies until my parents finally had enough money to buy their own new-fangled Maytag.

    Thanks for sharing and inspiring!


  10. Bette, they do save a lot of water, as well as detergent because you can wash more than one load in the same water, too. One of the links in the post explains how to use one.