Does anyone know how to make a pedal powered rotating barrel washing machine?

I'd like to make one that uses bike pedal power, derailleur and chain, and not one with a generator, batteries, or electricity. I've seen one online that MIT students created but have not been able to find any plans or directions for making it. Need to make a cheap non-electrical washing machine with rotating barrel/s.

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drwebster6 years ago
look on yutube,they have some cool ones
arnold54 (author)  drwebster6 years ago
Thanks, I'll do that.
humoogous6 years ago
Sorry forgot to include the link
humoogous6 years ago
How about a "thread-wheel" washing machine designed by a 9 year old Chinese kid?
KaydenST6 years ago
Well, you would probably need some gear system, and chains or something similar to drive the gears. You would need to make the gears successivly (<-SP) smaller so you can make the barrel turn faster...
kostya8 years ago
I read about one designed by an Indian student. There was a photo in the publication. The young lady(designer) was sitting comfortably next to the water tank and pedaling. The laudry barrel looked like a squirrel cage immersed halfway into the water.
There's a video of her here:
6528008 years ago
There is a device that would fit this bill called the Cyclean, made by Alex Gadsden. He believes that "we all have to do our bit for the planet" and so he is working on making his plans freely available at his website,

Another thing to check out would be "the Human Powered Home: Choosing Muscles over Motors" by Jamara Dean, published by New Society Publishers, which can be found here
This book:
-discusses the science and history of human power from Archimede's Screw to electricity-generating boots
-Describes the role of Human powered devices today in countries across the globe
-Details plans for making specific pedal-powered and treadled devices (including the pedal powered washing machine that you are looking for)
-Profiles dozens of Human powere inventors and provides technical details and photos of their creation

You can also find plans for plunger-type washing machines at under their list of reference publications
arnold54 (author)  6528008 years ago
Thank you for sharing your informational resources/links. I appreciate the time you took to find them -- you are very encouraging.
652800 arnold548 years ago
It's my pleasure, and I wish you the best of luck in your project!
i`m sorry....i don`t know
I've heard that modern cowboys get a plastic barrel and put it in the back of their pickup trucks. When they want to wash their clothes, they fill the barrel with water,soap and clothes, and just drive around ,letting the soapy water and clothes slosh around in the barrel. Now ,THAT'S multi-tasking!
I'm excited to see how this project turns out for you. Good luck!
arnold54 (author)  TheGasMaskGuy8 years ago
Thank you for your encouragement. I'm afraid materials, such as an inner spinner may hang me up for awhile, but hopefully I'll be able to find something to use.
lemonie8 years ago
This sort of thing?

(I was looking for a previous question a while ago)

arnold54 (author)  lemonie8 years ago
That's another concept of what I'm trying to do -- very interesting. Thanks for the info.
Kiteman8 years ago
You could replace the front wheel with a barrel, like this (caution, naughty word in photo).

Or it might be more practical to use a frame like this. Lengthen the back pair of rollers, and a barrel could be placed on them to roll around as you ride. Lengthen the rollers more, and more than one person could pedal at once, reducing the individual effort and making wash-day more of a family event.
arnold54 (author)  Kiteman8 years ago
Thanks for the suggestions. I'm afraid I am not that inventive and really need some ready made plans to follow, but I appreciate your response.