Bug Sprayer = Hair Salon?





Introduction: Bug Sprayer = Hair Salon?

About: There are some things you should just never, never, do...

Bug Sprayer = Hair Salon?

Well almost, but not quite.... almost?

A pump sprayer can make washing you hair so much easier while camping or during emergencies.

Camping is great, but after awhile you just wish you could take a shower or wash your hair. Well here is an easy solution to washing your hair. (You can also use the sprayer to take refreshing showers.)

This 'salon' revolves around a modified 1 gallon pump garden sprayer. You provide your own hot water, shampoo, 'sink' and towels... etc. and have a splendid hair washing experience.

Step 1: Materials

You will need the following:


1 Gallon Pump Yard Sprayer

(1-1/3 gallon actual capacity is marked on it. You can also use a larger capacity tank for additional spray time and for taking showers). Please purchase this item new for this Instructable. You don't want to spray pesticide or herbicide residue on your hair or body. ;-)

1 Foot Vinyl Tubing 3/8" OD, 1/4" ID (Actual diameters may vary depending on your tank openings.)

4 Feet Vinyl Tubing 3/4"OD, 1/2" ID (Actual diameters may vary depending on your tank openings.)

Garden hose repair male barbed fitting

Plastic Pistol-Grip Garden Hose Sprayer

3/8"-Band Stainless Steel Worm Gear Hose Clamp

1/2"-Band Stainless Steel Worm Gear Hose Clamp

Black electrical tape (not shown)

(At the campsite:)

Camp Stove

Pot for heating water

Dish basin/sink

Towel, shampoo, conditioner, etc....


Utility Knife


Step 2: Disassemble the Pump Sprayer

You need to remove the spray wand. You do this by unscrewing the plastic nut where the hose meets the tank. You will not be needing this part unless you want to convert your tank back to spraying insecticides or herbicides. Don't do it! I can't bear to think of washing hair with insecticide residue :-(.

You can remove the hand pump for ease of handling.

Step 3: Install New Siphon Tube

Since you removed the spray wand and the old siphon tube (the part that picks up the liquid from the bottom of the tank) you will need to install a new one.

Cut a foot length of the small tubing. The cut should be angled on the end that goes into the tank so that it won't get sealed against the bottom of the tank.

The tubing I specified worked for my tank, you may have to pick a different diameter tubing that fits yours.

The tubing should fit snug and make a seal at the hose fitting (threaded boss) where the hose exited.

It may be so snug that it requires some dishwashing soap to lubricate the tubing to get it in.

Once a length of it is in the tank you can grap the tubing and pull on it through the pump opening to help get it all in. The tubing should just reach the bottom of the tank and just extend up out of the hose fitting about a half inch.

Step 4: Add New Hose

Add the new 4 foot length of large hose. Again, you may have to try a tubing size different from what I used depending on the size of the hose fitting external threads. The hose is specified as 4 feet, but it can be longer or shorter depending on your preference and how much length you need to comfortably wash your hair/shower.

The large hose twists onto the threaded hose fitting. The large hose clamp is slipped over the hose and hose fitting and tightened down.

Step 5: Give It Garden Hose Threads...

Next slip the small hose clamp over the hose and install the male barbed garden hose mender. Push the mender into place until the tubing bottoms out and install the clamp and tighten.

Since this end is going to be flying about in your hair I suggest covering it with electrical tape so that there are no sharp edges or other snags to catch your hair.

Screw on the pistol-grip spray nozzle and your done!

Step 6: Get Your Camp Stove, Basin and 'Bug Sprayer' and Enjoy Washing Your Hair!

Set up your salon with your basin (sink). Get your camp stove going and heat some water to the right temperature, pour it into your modified 'bug sprayer', install the pump, pump in some air and away you go with an easy hair wash.


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    In that case go for a portable warm-water shower. Check out the Thermette aka. Kelly or also Volcano kettle. This boils 2 liters water in 7 minutes using trash, cardboard scrap, etc. No need to boil, just heat the water some and add to the remaining water in the sprayer. Over time hot water will stiffen and crack the plastic sprayer vessel so you might want to invest in a metal sprayer. But hey, all you need is a curtain or stall.....

    Great portable shower, but there's a much easier way to wash yr hair without all that pack weight......1 heaping tablespoon of baking soda in about a liter of warm water. Wet hair and begin combing out the solidified grease. Repeat even when the water turns gray because the b. soda is still active. Rinse when satisfied. The b. soda both dissolves oils and deodorizes, and weighs as much as salt or sugar by volume.

    1 reply

    Thanks for the suggestion. Interesting use of baking soda.

    The intent of this instructable was for 'car camping' so weight was not as great a concern. I can see your suggestion would be great for backpacking!

    May be you could spray it black. Make it into a solar shower?

    1 reply

    Interesting suggestion. If the tank sat in the sun all day it might get hot enough to use without having to use a stove to heat the water.

    I think the paint might have trouble sticking to the plastic sprayer tank, but a plastic primer could be used.


    I'm wonder if you tried using the original hose, just replacing the gun with a hose fitting?

    2 replies

    I think that is a good thing to look into. As I recall the original siphon tube and inside hose diameter were pretty small since garden sprayers don't have to put out much volume. I think a person would have a challenge in finding a male garden hose mender with a barb that would fit the inside diameter of the garden sprayer hose, but it would be worth looking into. Thanks for the suggestion.

    I haven't looked into this myself, but that does make sense.

    Same idea as a pressure-washer, they reduce volume but up the pressure to get the jet of water.

    I connected my (new) bug sprayer to my bidet kit so that I do not have to use the cold water from the pipe. The water in the sprayer stays at room temperature which is perfect for bidet use.

    I really like this idea can't wait to try it!

    I guess I have to explicitly state it, but buy a new garden sprayer for this project! Don't use an old sprayer that has had insecticide or herbicide residue in it... Please!

    right you might want to say that in the start of the instructable