Grey Water System for Washing Machine




About: Avid DIYer, tinkerer

Your dying lawn is just one side effect of this long California drought, however with this simple yet effective grey water recycling system you can change that all while washing your dirty laundry.

Step 1: Water Diverter

1) Assemble the water diverter system as shown above or in a similar fashion.

2) With Valve 1 open and Valve 2 closed the water is directed from the washing machine to the storage tank outside. With Valve 2 open and Valve 1 closed the water is directed to the drain (this is to be used during bleach application)

Step 2: Grey Water Storage Tank

3) Make a grey water storage tank by cutting a hole for the water input and install a spigot. The location of the spigot will serve as the threshold level at which the water must be above in order to start flow.

Step 3: Grey Water Hose

4) Once the water is above the threshold level, it will start to flow from the spigot through the hose to your lawn all using gravity. For a large load of laundry you can get anywhere from 25-35 gallons of water. For best results use biodegradable detergent.

Step 4: Lint Filter (optional)

5) A cheap yet effective filter can be made by attaching the the mesh portion of a food strainer to a 3/4 x 1 inch female PVC adapter using a hose clamp.



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    11 Discussions


    2 years ago

    What do you mean gray water? The rain water?


    Reply 3 years ago

    Laundry Soap Recipie


    • 1 bar (or 4.5 ounces) of shaved bar soap (a homemade laundry bar, Dr. Bronner’s, Ivory, ZOTE, or Fels-Naptha)
    • 1 cup of borax
    • 1 cup of washing soda
    • 5 gallon bucket with lid
    • Water
    • Large stock pot

    1 1/2 gallons cold water to clean 5 gallon bucket. Then get your large
    stock pot and put 1 1/2 gallons of water and put on flame on stove. Do
    not boil water. Get water to just before
    boiling were you can see the steam coming off the top. Grate 4.5 ounces
    soap (I use Zote, half of the pink and half of the white bar) and add
    to steaming water. Mix until dissolved. Measure out 1 cup of borax and
    add to water and stir until dissolved. Measure out 1 cup of washing soda
    and add to water and stir until dissolved.

    add soap mixture into bucket with cold water. Stir until combined. Wait
    around an hour and stir again. Mixture will separate periodically. Just
    stir to combine. Use 1/3 of a cup per load or 1/2 cup for heavily
    soiled loads. You can also add essential oils into the mix to give it a
    fragrance. Remember to keep lid on.


    *This soap will not look soapy or create suds in the washer.

    * The Zote white bar works better for white clothes.

    * Add Essetial oils for added fragrance


    Reply 3 years ago

    I actually did not make my own detergent. Regular store bought detergent works fine. I just recommended biodegradable if anyone was skeptical of the regular stuff.


    3 years ago

    For a make shift filter, my Aunt adds a leg of a nylon stocking to the output end using a hose clamp. Change this filter every so often.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the comment. I have added a new step on how to build a filter from a mesh food strainer, 3/4 x 1 inch female PVC adapter and a hose clamp. Check it out!


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea! I'm in rural flyover country and have my grey water draining out behind the garage. My wife uses commercial laundry soap or homemade and none of it seems to affect the vegetation adversly. You may need some sort of lint filter. I've noticed quite a bit of lint comes out with the washer discharge.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks for commenting. I am thinking of a few different ways to integrate a filter in the system. My current line of thought is to put it at the end of the discharge hose that way if it does get clogged the water will stay in the tank.


    3 years ago

    gud project