Introduction: Composter From Old Washing Machine

About: I am a student, experimenting and using Instructables to learn and share my creative thought process.

In this Instructable, we will teach you how to make a composter from an old washing machine. After our old washing machine failed us, we had to get rid of it. To keep it out of the landfill, we turned it into a composter for our garden. This composter spins, to tumble the compost without getting your hands dirty.



  • Old washing machine (we only need the drum and the rear ball-bearings)
  • 2x6 studs
  • Long screws
  • Scrap wood or plastic for lid


  • Screwdriver and drill bits
  • Circular saw
  • Bandsaw
  • Chisel

Step 1: Prepare the Washing Machine

The washing machine (front loading) has a plastic cover that holds the drum in place. This plastic cover is attached to the bearings, which we want to keep. So we carefully used a chisel to remove the plastic so there is only a small amount of plastic surrounding the bearings.

Step 2: Remove the Paddles

Next we removed the paddles inside the drum and plugged large holes with plastic. We removed the paddles, but it isn't necessary.

Step 3: Ball Bearing Holder

We cut the 4x6 into 2 trapezoids that joined to make a bigger trapezoid and then repeated to a total of two large tapezoids. Then we cut out a semicircle from each of the 4 pieces to form a holder. It is then used to sandwich the ball bearings in place. See pictures above.

Step 4: Add Supports

Next, we cut supports out of 4x6 that attach to the ball-bearing holder. The first photo shows the bottom-half of the ball bearing holder. The top half is then screwed to the bottom half. We also added legs to the supports at an angle, so the drum can hold more compost. I would recommend increasing the backwards slope or angle, so the drum can hold more.

Step 5: Lid

We made a lid to keep creatures out and to keep compost in when we use it. This lid is made from scrap materials and is friction fit, but you can also make one from wood or plastic.

Step 6: Add Compost

As a final touch we added in our organic food waste. Since the drum has ball bearings, it can spin and you can tumble the compost for perfect results.

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