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Old 06-30-2009, 07:00 PM   #1
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Re: Hand crank washing machine

Yep! I've used them while on the longer camping events. They work great, and use a fraction of the detergent of a regular washing machine. But be certain to use only the amount of detergent recommended, otherwise you'll be forever trying to rinse the soap out.

EDIT:
Just wanted to add, if you're interested in buying one of these, look in the "As Seen On TV" type sites. They sell for much less than what's listed on your site.
http://www.cyberbrands.com/pub/powerwashanddry.html

This is just as good as the unit listed for $50. They are all plastic and feel pretty light-weight. But I've had mine for over a decade! And it's still going strong.
Just treat it gently:
  • wash several small loads instead of a large one[/*:m:mz1526l9]
  • don't crank the lid down too tightly, and[/*:m:mz1526l9]
  • don't expose it to extreme cold[/*:m:mz1526l9]
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:36 AM   #2
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Re: Hand crank washing machine

I also have one. Bought it a few years back. It's tagged the Wonder Washer. Seems to do alright for the load and size. You do have to rinse after. At times, I have just added clean water to the washer and rinsed that way. It's a good way to insure ya got some clean undies after a few days boondock'in.
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:33 AM   #3
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Re: Hand crank washing machine

Smitty, didnt Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) ride one of those?
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:59 PM   #4
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Re: Hand crank washing machine

I cant find any pictures of the bike on the net, so I will have to figure out how to get a screenie of it off of the dvd...

Ok, got a screenie now. Turns out it is some sort of wipping machine... But its not far off from being a washer.

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Old 07-08-2009, 11:43 PM   #5
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Re: Hand crank washing machine

Where's Elliot when you need him? I bet he could craft a machine that is human powered, washes clothes, and transports you to far away lands.
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Old 07-21-2009, 09:07 PM   #6
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Re: Hand crank washing machine

Almost wish I had one of these now. Having to wash the essentials in the bathroom sink while I wait for my $26+ belt to come in. Note to self, do NOT install washer on top of carpet. Somehow it'll snag, rip up the carpet, make a mess, and snap the belt.
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Old 07-22-2009, 10:29 PM   #7
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Re: Hand crank washing machine

I use about a tablespoon of clothes detergent. Sounds tiny, I know, but it's a relatively small space and (more importantly) it's a pressure washer. The pressure makes a huge difference. Just make sure to put the cap on tightly, or it will shoot off after the first two turns (possibly popping you in the face... yeah, there's that much pressure built up by the turning). If you use too much soap, rinsing takes forever, so use it sparingly! You'll be amazed at the amount of dirt in the water!

For the past month, I've been without a traditional washer & dryer (ex got-em) and use my little wonder wash exclusively. A week's worth of clothes (shirts, undies, socks & one pair of pants) will fit inside. I'll spin the tub for two minutes... 60 cranks in one direction, then 60 in the opposite direction. Dump the water (from the top for speed), add fresh water to rinse and repeat the spin cycle twice to make sure the soap is out. Hang to dry in the bathtub. Cheap, easy, and washes faster than a traditional electric model.

The next thing i want to buy or make (probably make) is a clothes wringer. My theory is, if I can wring all the dirty, soapy water from the clothes before adding the rinse water, I'll only have to rinse once, and thus save water.

It's such a great little machine. You won't be disappointed.
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Old 07-30-2009, 12:13 PM   #8
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Re: Hand crank washing machine

Thanks so much for the glowing review, TygerCub. I've been thinking about one of these for our bus while traveling for a while but really haven't spoken to anyone who has actually USED one, so the skeptical part of me was keeping me from deciding definitely. I will now safely say that this is on my list of things to look for/get before we take off in the bus for long periods of time.

Smitty:
I love your idea. My husband has actually half-heartedly joked about the very same thing on multiple occasions. If he really put his mind to it, I've no doubt he would come up with one. But if you beat him to it, let me know and I'll buy one from you. I teach a spin (indoor cycling) class and ride my bike as much as possible (which has been very little lately with OTHER things taking up my spare time ), so that would be right up my alley.

And I think that with a family of four, there would be no reason - with either method - that everyone couldn't do their own laundry. Right?
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Old 07-30-2009, 10:10 PM   #9
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Re: Hand crank washing machine

Awesome video links, Smitty. Thanks for sharing.
I showed them to the hubby and we both had our own little wheels turning, especially after seeing the 55 gallon drum version. We even talked ---- albeit briefly --- about just building a deck on the back of the bus to store our own version. I can't help but wonder if others have considered adding a deck JUST so they have room to haul around a homemade cycling barrel washing machine. And how many non-skoolies would look at us like we had lost a few nuts and screws at the mere mention of such a thing?
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Old 07-31-2009, 12:33 AM   #10
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Re: Hand crank washing machine

We just bought a clothes wringer on ebay for $37.00 & are getting a hand crank washer next as we will not have a washing machine when we move to the cabin. My wife is excited to try them both out! Good reading all of your input. Makes our choices a bit more convincing that the washers do work!
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