Introduction: Dog Washing Station

Picture of Dog Washing Station

Give your dog the attention it deserves with a dedicated dog washing station! With a few off-the-shelf hardware store parts and a classy fixture by Moen, you can keep your dog clean and add a nice accent to your home.

I made this project with some basic woodworking tools, some plumbing fittings, and garden hoses for water supply and drainage. It has the added bonus of using the drain water to keep your plants healthy while you’re under state-imposed water restrictions!

Step 1: Tools & Materials

Picture of Tools & Materials

Fixture

  1. Weymouth brushed nickel two-handle tub filler with hand shower by Moen. This fixture fits the project stylistically, and the hand shower attachment makes washing a dog an easy task.

Tools

  1. Table saw (or circular saw)
  2. Hand drill
  3. Band saw (or jigsaw)
  4. Nail gun (or hammer and finishing nails)
  5. Wood glue + clamps
  6. E-6000 Construction adhesive
  7. Teflon tape
  8. Pliers & crescent wrench

Platform Materials

  1. 3/4” plywood (about 4’X4’)
  2. 1X6 redwood boards (about 27 linear feet)
  3. 2X4 lumber (about 24” total)
  4. 1 1/2" X 1 1/2" hardwood posts (four at 8" long)
  5. 30” Galvanized steel wash tub

Plumbing Materials

  1. Strainer drain1” PVC elbow
  2. Male 1" to female 3/4" PVC adaptor
  3. 3" long 3/4" PVC pipe segment
  4. Female 3/4" to 3/4" male threaded PVC adaptor
  5. Female to female faucet thread to hose thread adaptor
  6. Male to male faucet thread to hose thread adaptor
  7. 3/4" threaded pipe cap
  8. Galvanized plumbing tape
  9. Two garden hoses

Step 2: Design

Picture of Design

The design is pretty simple for this project. It consists of a plywood box with an open bottom (32 1/2" X 32 1/2" X 5 1/4") that's covered with redwood boards. There's a washtub in the center, and the fixture is placed at an angle in one of the corners.

The platform the wash tub sits on has wooden feet that give it about 3" of clear space underneath. This allows room to route the hoses. The Moen fixture I used for the project is a floor mounted tub filler with a hand shower attachment. The floor mounted feature allowed me to keep the piece low-profile since the tub filler and washtub can both be attached to a raised deck, and the hand shower attachment is essential for dog washing.

Step 3: Building the Platform

Picture of Building the Platform

The platform is made of 3/4" plywood, and the dimensions are laid out on the PDF attached in this step. The drain hole is drilled in the center of the deck, and the two holes for the tub filler pipes are placed in the corner. The placement described in the PDF aims the faucet towards the center of the tub.

First, I cut the plywood pieces as shown in the PDF. With all the plywood pieces cut, I glued, clamped, and nailed the panels together. Once the nails are in, there's really no need to keep the clamps on.

With the box built, I measured and marked the hole centers on the top piece. Before drilling these holes, it's important to double-check the dimensions of your parts (the strainer drain and the fixture pipes). I used hole saws for the holes- With these, it's easy to get flush holes with a hand drill as opposed to paddle bits.

Step 4: Making a Wooden Clamp

Picture of Making a Wooden Clamp

The tub filler pipes need to be securely attached to the platform. The package comes with some heavy duty adjustable wall framing hardware, but it's overkill for a project this small. In the tight space I left for myself in the corner of the platform, I designed a wooden clamp to be attached to the underside.

The template provided in this step includes holes for the pipes and a 1/4" gap between the two parts of the clamp. The piece with the angled ends is screwed and glued to the underside of the platform, and the other two pieces are attached to it with screws. The screws hold the clamps in place, and when the pipes are inserted they can be tightened to keep the pipes securely in place.

I made this clamp out of a spare piece of 2X6 lumber. I used the template to drill the holes on the table saw, then used the chop saw and a jigsaw to make the other cuts. I made the clamps independent, but this could also be done without the perpendicular gap in the middle.

You can see in the 3rd photo in this step that there are two intersecting holes in my clamp. This is because I didn't measure properly when I drilled the holes the first time. The clamp still works fine, it only needs semicircular grooves that line up with the holes in the platform.

Step 5: Finishing the Deck

Picture of Finishing the Deck

When the clamp was finished, I attached it to the underside of the deck so that all the holes lined up.

Next, I cut my finish boards down to size. These dimensions will differ depending on the size of the boards used to finish the plywood box. The important thing to remember is that the edges of the finish boards on top need to overlap the edges of the box so that they end up being flush with the faces of the finish boards on the sides.

For example, if my plywood box is 30" wide and my finish boards are 1/2" thick, my finish boards on top will need to be 31" long so that they overhang by 1/2" on each side.

With my boards cut to size, I glued the ugliest side of the boards, lined them up on the box, and used the nail gun to fix them to the box.

With all the boards glued and nailed. I flipped the box over and drilled the holes through the finish board- this part is easy because the holes in the plywood box are already there to align the drill.

Lastly, I attached the 1 1/2" square posts at the corners.

Step 6: Attach the Wash Tub

Picture of Attach the Wash Tub

The next step was to attach the wash tub. First, I used a hole saw to drill a hole in its center the same size as my strainer drain. Next, I used a lot of silicone caulk around the hole in the center of the platform for an extra layer of protection against water.

With the wash tub in place, I used more caulk around the strainer drain gasket and around the hole in the washtub. Having applied all the caulk I would need, I inserted the strainer drain and tightened the nut on the underside of the platform.

Pro tip: WATER ALWAYS WINS. If you want to keep a project like this in good shape for years, best practice would be to remove the drain and reapply caulk about once a year to make sure no water was leaking out and rotting the wood.

Step 7: Assembling the Drain

Picture of Assembling the Drain

I designed the project so that the drain would attach to a garden hose. That way, I could use the waste water to water my plants ( a big bonus in a drought!).

First, I applied a healthy dose of E-6000 to the metal nipple that comes with the strainer drain. E-6000 is waterproof and bonds to just about anything, so it seemed like a good choice for this application.

This nipple inserts into the 1" PVC elbow. The open end of the elbow gets the 1"-3/4" adaptor and the 3" long 3/4" PVC pipe inserts into this adaptor. The open end of the 3/4" PVC pipe then attaches to the threaded adaptor, and this adaptor later attaches to the hose adapter, and finally the garden hose.

This seems like an awful lot of parts to hook up a drain to a garden hose, but I had three guys at the hardware store brainstorming with me, and this seemed to be the best solution based on their inventory. In any case, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and this worked like a charm!

With my Frankenstein hose adaptor assembled, I put some Teflon tape around the threaded end of the drain nipple and screwed it securely into the end of the strainer drain with some channel locks.

When this was in place, I used some plumbing tape to keep the adaptor securely fastened to the underside of the platform. This is very important because any stress put on it by the garden hose could break the E-6000 seals I'm relying on to keep my floor dry!

Step 8: Assembling and Attaching the Tub Filler

Picture of Assembling and Attaching the Tub Filler

The Moen Weymouth tub filler comes with everything you need to assemble it in the box and includes clear instructions. I assembled the entire fixture before inserting it into the pre-drilled holes in the corner of my platform. Thankfully, I properly measured everything before I drilled the holes, so the water pipes on the fixture fit perfectly.

Making sure the pipes were in the same location to ensure a level finished fixture, I tightened the screws on my wooden clamp to keep the fixture in place. This made for a very secure fit, so I had no worries about the fixture being stable.

I was planning on hooking up the water line to the kitchen faucet, so I only needed to use one of the water pipes for supply. I attached a female - female hose thread adaptor to the cold water pipe on the underside of the platform and added a cap to the end of the hot water pipe. This is an important step! If I hadn't added that cap, water would be coming pouring out of the pipe if I ever turned the hot water valve lever.

With all the plumbing fittings attached, I finished assembling the Moen Weymouth's hand shower attachment.

Step 9: Water in / Water Out

Picture of Water in / Water Out

Finally, I attached the supply hose to my kitchen faucet, and routed the drain hose over the balcony to the plants downstairs. It's important to make sure that the supply faucet is securely attached to avoid spraying. It's also important to make sure that the end of the drain line is lower than its opening, because water flows down hill!

Step 10: A Clean Dog Is a Happy Dog

Picture of A Clean Dog Is a Happy Dog

Finally, I played outside with Elsie and let her get as dirty as she wanted. The Dog Washing Station worked like a charm, Elsie didn't seem to mind a good wash too much, and the hand shower attachment made this chore a lot easier.

I'd love to hear if anyone has good ideas for a more elegant way to attach the drain to the garden hose, I have a feeling there's a much simpler way to do this part.

Comments

AJMansfield (author)2015-11-07

This is a bunch of dogwash.

JON-A-TRON (author)AJMansfield2015-11-07

-_-

PeggyS16 (author)2015-10-26

I think it would be better to raise the platform up so you don't need to kneel to wash the dog. Need a larger basin for bigger dogs for me. If raised, then a ramp up would also be nice to have for older dogs.

impied (author)2015-10-23

This instructable is fine and everything, but I think to prove beyond any doubt that this station is as effective as you claim you should really include more pictures of Elsie. Maybe a video of her splashing around in the mud, some shots of her looking sheepish about being so dirty, and a gif of her shaking off the water to get dry? Just some constructive suggestions.

JON-A-TRON (author)impied2015-10-23

I couldn't agree more. We tried to get footage of that, but it hasn't rained here in at least 4 years, so mud was out of the question.

Turkish1 (author)2015-10-21

Tough crowd here.

Props for your design and build.

Nice work and post.

Thanks.

JON-A-TRON (author)Turkish12015-10-21

Thanks!

realBKW (author)2015-10-20

i already have a dog washing station. It has a nice Moen fixture .We refer to it as "the bathtub." Cuz that's what it is. Hey, if it's good enough for me it's good enough for my dog!

JON-A-TRON (author)realBKW2015-10-21

I dunno, I'm not crazing about taking a bath with leftover dog hair...

realBKW (author)JON-A-TRON2015-10-21

Haha! I know! But that's why ya get one of those strainer covers. Plus, my border collie is 75 lbs so I'd have to get a bigger place to give him his own bathtub! I mean, I love him and all, but...

ccooper-burke (author)2015-10-21

Here are my $.02 - I agree with Hammer - and you - about getting off your knees, and the storage space - which I'd use not only for critter toiletries, but also home-type pet health care items. I'd also make the table portion bigger, to allow for additional grooming, and health checks/1st aid (ear mites, a thorn in your lion's paw, etc). The only other thing might be a low-heat blow drier, and for myself, it would be great for all of the critters on our (future) 'compound', lol.

hammer9876 (author)2015-10-20

But, but, you are on your knees! I would build this up where I could stand rather than be this low.

JON-A-TRON (author)hammer98762015-10-21

Good idea! You could have storage beneath it too.

pmorse1 (author)2015-10-20

Wow! That's neat, but what impresses me even more is the photo of you and your dog bonding over a bath! As the saying goes, "Those pictures are worth a thousand words!"

JON-A-TRON (author)pmorse12015-10-21

Thanks!

Phil_S (author)2015-10-20

Reminds me of Sunday night baths in the kitchen, in a galvanised tin bath, which I still have (couldn't get in it now). Put me off baths and washing for good. How times have changed - the pooch gets better treatment than kids did in the fifties - but who wouldn't?

Mark 42 (author)2015-10-20

You can get galvanized tubs which are elongated (oval shaped).
Farm Supply stores, Feed stores, and "Mom & Pop" hardware stores tend to have them.
Unless you have a round dog, it should work better.

clazman (author)2015-10-20

Very clean design!

I have only a couple of thoughts.

I do not like the idea of securing of the drain to the tub with the wood "floor" as part of the water path. I would rather see the drain clamped to the tub directly and the tub then secured with a secondary clamp now separated from the water flow system as would be done in a "normal" tub installation.

I am not too happy with the minimal clamping system for the pipe risers to the faucet. The clamping method is excellent. I would only like to see it more robust. There is considerable bending moment stress at the clamp due to the length of the risers. When you write that Moen supplies wall clamps I am unfamiliar with what Moen supplies, and therefore, I am confused. It is a clean design with the risers unencumbered by wall clamps. Consequently, a floor clamping system must adequately perform the duty that a wall support would give. I do grant that the loads encountered by this pet washing system would probably be less than the loads encountered in a normal tub install, but I am still concerned.

I agree that a metal tub is an excellent choice. A "laundry" tub, as some have suggested, would be a terrible choice. The flexing encountered due to the very low stiffness of that product would create many problems.

Again, a very nice design and execution.

JON-A-TRON (author)clazman2015-10-20

Thanks for the compliments! The clamp I made feels really sturdy, but I'd love to see an example of the method you're talking about. I know very little about the nitty gritty details of plumbing installation.

Here's a photo of the "double riser tub filler floor-mount rough-in" that comes with the fixture. As you can see, using this would leave you with a rock-solid installation.

ReMaker (author)2015-10-20

Wow! That build looks like a lot of work! But way to go on gettin' er done, and even get sponsored by Moen!

I use the bed of my truck. Maybe I'll post an instructable since it drains great on the sloping driveway, is the perfect height and my large breed dog prefers it since he hates being confined. I used to use a kid pool but I was bending over and he hated being penned in there.

JON-A-TRON (author)ReMaker2015-10-20

Man, that's a great idea! Already sloped to drain water, plenty of space... A nice project might be a truck bed hose/bucket setup: a basket that hangs on the side of the bed keeping your hose in place and all the soap and towels handy.

mikeasaurus (author)2015-10-20

This is perfect for those with smaller apartments, or without a yard.

Next time, can you please find a cuter dog? :)

JON-A-TRON (author)mikeasaurus2015-10-20

Ugly dogs only!

CorgiCritter (author)2015-10-19

Good work and cute dog! I had to wash my puppy in the sink one time... it looked as pathetic as is sounds.

JON-A-TRON (author)CorgiCritter2015-10-20

Sinks are not for fancy dogs.

Joekevdv (author)2015-10-20

Love the look on Elsies face, great video!

JON-A-TRON (author)Joekevdv2015-10-20

Yeah, she was very cooperative.

sharpstick (author)2015-10-20

Will this work with my cat?

JON-A-TRON (author)sharpstick2015-10-20

No cats allowed!

jberrones1 (author)2015-10-20

Terriffic idea. I would like to make this for an outdoor setting. Great instructable.

JON-A-TRON (author)jberrones12015-10-20

Yeah, a garage would also be a good place.

BretG (author)2015-10-20

Great idea but i went to Lowes and bought a laundry tub,deep enough so dog won't jump out.

JON-A-TRON (author)BretG2015-10-20

Goo call. I had a really hard time finding this tub! I searched far and wide and the best one I could find was this one at Home Depot.

Hamstersniffer (author)2015-10-20

OMG! Did anybody price this plumbing fixture? This is a really cool design but Moen lists that faucet fixture at over $2000. Still, a really nice design and I'm pretty sure a post apocalypse version could be made for under $70. Thanks for the inspiration, my dogs will hate you forever.

Fancy dogs only!

pennyfarthing (author)2015-10-20

Why wouldn't you just use the laundry tub??

JON-A-TRON (author)pennyfarthing2015-10-20

What's a laundry tub?

jessyratfink (author)2015-10-20

This is fantastic! The perfect size for little Elsie too. :D

Roscoe needs a kiddie pool sized version of this! ha

jessy, my Rascal would need a cattle watering tank version. i feel your pain.

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Bio: I'm a full-time Designer at the Instructables Design Studio (best job ever). My background is in residential architecture, film set design, film animatronics, media ... More »
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