Is a Junk Washing Machine Really Junk? Usefull Materials for Cool Home Builds From a Dead Washing Machine.




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I recently took apart a junk washing machine to salvage the drum for my patio heater instructable.  I discovered that there where many other cool parts that could used again for other projects.  most of the good bits had already been plundered from this rusting piece of junk so when i discovered that there was another washing machine in a shed i decided to junk that one too for parts for my next project and I would do an instructable about what nice goodies are to be found inside.

I will not go into details much but the photos are tagged with anything i think may be useful.

If anyone can think of good uses for some of the bits and pieces, please make a comment as i would be interested in your ideas.

Some of the goodies include the following.

Stainless steel drum, can be used as a fire pit, BBQ, incinerator and much more.

Bearings and a casting the could be used for a wind turbine.

The glass door.  Makes a cool bowl or could be used as a port hole style window.

The motor, could be used to power another project or you could add magnets and make a generator for a wind power project.

A water pump.  some of these have simple monopole motors whit magnets in and make a nice little generator but they do tend to cog a fair bit.

The wiring loom. there are loads of nice long decent quality wires all crimped with spade connections.  A as always you never know when those nice made up wires will come in handy.

Assorted switches and solenoid valves. all kinds of interesting gubbins.

The metal case. a good source of sheet metal for other projects.

Nuts, bolts, screws, washers, pipe clips and brackets, I had a box full of bits that would cost quite a bit to buy in a hardware store.

Thanks for looking, I hope you get some ideas from what you see. Please post comments of any ideas you may have for possible uses for the bits.


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Step 1: Removing the Case.

Just get stuck in with a screw driver and remove anything that can be removed.

The only tools needed are screw drivers, pliers and a few assorted spanners.

Be careful to watch out for sharp edges on some of the metal panels on the inside they can be like old computer cases and have nasty sharp edges that catch you out when you least expect it.

Step 2: Pipes, Valves, Pumps and Pipe Clips.

There are many pipes and hoses in the machine. the pipe clips should be easy to get of with pliers of a screwdriver, if the rubber has not dozed then the pipes should pull off easy if the clip is removed.

Step 3: The Glass Door.

The glass is made from toughened glass and makes a perfect glass bowl. there are many different shapes Had its just luck as what you will find. This one has a flat side that makes it unusual.

I'm not sure if this would be safe to use in a microwave or oven, so If you do try and it breaks and you get hurt please do so at your own risk.

And I even made something so it is an instructable.  Well I washed the glass door in hot soapy water and put some fruit in it.  A good lawyer would say that I had technically made this as I contributed some effort in the removal and cleaning process . lol

Step 4: The Wiring Loom.

You can just get stuck in with the pliers and cut the wires out but if you take your time you can salvage allot of long pieces that are perfect for other projects.

All the wire should be easy to disconnect from the switches and things, I only had to cut 2 or 3 wires out.  there a good few metal and plastic clips that attach the loom to the case these are all wroth saving too.

Step 5: Deeper Into the Guts of the Machine.

Once you get the top tarts removed you can get access to the wiring loom better and once it is disconnected and removed it will be much easier to get at the rest of the parts.

Step 6: The Assorted Goodies.

I'm a bit of a pack rat when it comes to stuff like this, I find that it is the people who give out about the amount of crap i keep are the people who also come asking if you would happen to have such and such to make something they are working on.

Sods law says if you throw it away today that tomorrow you will be searching the place for it.

Step 7: The Tub and Drum.

Once you have the machine striped out you are left with the tub and drum assembly.

Just undo all the clips and the drum should come out quite easy.

I don't have an idea for reusing the tub yet, but the steel drum will make a nice patio heater.

I plan to use the aluminum casting as part of a wind power project , i can use it to attach the blades to, it already has a set of sturdy bearings and an axle.

Step 8: The Rest of the Case.

The base is a very heavy solid pressed steel sheet unit that has wheels at each corner.

I may use these wheels the stand of my lathe to make it easy to move out for cleaning.

the base of the machine is prone to rusting and i had to use the grinder to cut the heads of 2 screws to free the base.

With the base removed there are just a few rivets to drill out or rind off and the rest of the side panels will come apart.

Step 9: And Finaly the Junk.

I was left will a few bits of plastic and rubber that I can't use and this is what will be going to the recycle depot.

The cinder blocks may be useful for brazing stuff on, if it don't explode bits of when its hot, test will need to be done.

That is all from this Instructable, I hope that it gives you some ideas for reusing an old washer or drier.

Comments and suggestions welcome.

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39 Discussions


I used an old dryer and turned it into a insulated dog house. All you need is some type of insulation...I used an old dresser...

Courier Six

2 years ago

So I noticed that the washing machine motor is small (compared to a forklift motor) and comes with a flywheel for a belt. Could A washing machine motor be used for an electric car? Assuming I had a 12V inverter (DC12V for lights, horn etc) some 12V batteries, speed controller and a welder/bracket thing. It wouldn't have to be fast, maybe 35MPHish and hauling one-two people and maybe some groceries.

1 reply
Dr QuiCourier Six

Reply 1 year ago

NO!!...., please dont take offence at this but that is the be nice answer.

I like your idea young man, keep on thinking of owning and using an EV. but the truth of it is you are dreaming of running before you can even crawl. Financially you will burn through the price of several commercial EV's by the time you could SAFELY build you own. there are just to many variables in the equation for me to even start to explain why

35mph!!! at 20mph if you could even achieve that, your homemade EV will be fully classified as a road vehicle and will require a full and very expensive safety inspection and require registration plates, road tax, a full drivers licence and insurance if you could even get an insurance company to consider insuring you after they stop laughing :).

If you truly want an EV start saving and buy one, for you own safety and the safety of other road users and pedestrians.

It would be better to buy an EV and put your build efforts into producing renewable energy to power it. Even this will be a money pit with many commercial options that will out perform what you could build for the same budget for materials and the required tools needed to make a safe system.

EV's are just about to hit saturation point and every home made disaster story only helps reinforce the negative press that the petroleum companies need to try and suppress the development of commercial EV's

I have a feeling that buy the time you are into your 20's there will be an abundance of used EV's on the market and I hope that some day you achieve you goal of driving an EV.

Good luck in you endevours.


1 year ago

the solenoid/water valves are worth keeping just as spare parts. they are usually common across many brands. I've picked up a few "broken" washing machines which only needed a new solenoid/water inlet. 10 minutes of work to swap the broken one out and you have a perfectly functional machine again.

I've been stripping out a few washing machines for all the plastic parts, wiring, etc to make a "mecha" robot suit for cosplay. the rubber door seal is going to be used for a "helmet" seal. various hoses will be used as fake "hydrolic" hoses or air supply conduits, etc.


9 years ago on Step 7

If you don't have a use for it you can recycle that stuff, especially the metal parts.

1 reply

Reply 3 years ago

I use the sheet metal to replace rocker panels in trucks and minivans in cold snowy climates. The salt on the road works. You use a 30 inch bender from harbor freight and with a piece of cardboard and a scissors cut a 90 degree profile of the shape you need. The tab on the top of the panels of the washer is bent in at 90 degrees all around this is the same as the tab on the bottom of your car panels.The 2 tabs get attached.You bend the profile shape of the panel from the tab up on the harbor freight bender.Use rivets or mig spotwelds ground flush to attach. Hint... an air powered riveter is much easier to use. Using a harbor freight flange and punch air tool is a good idea drilling in tin tends to break drills. Cauld the back of the new panel where they attach. The laundry factory paint is baked on and just about never rusts inside or out.


3 years ago

Wow! I definitely need a washing machine now!


4 years ago

having looked at the way a washing machine comes apart I think one of the sides could be used as a splashback on our shower and possibly bbe used along with other parts to make a sort of junk sculpture or robot


4 years ago on Introduction


I've kept an old Siemens machine for more than 30 years with the same idea, but did not execute. Now I'll rip it open with confidence

hakuna matata

4 years ago

Thanks JUST thanks a lot is all I could say I have two old washing machines!


6 years ago on Introduction

I have used a circular cement weight (it was terrible to remove it) to make a small flowerbed.
I simply removed the grass inside the circle and made the terrain softer, then I added rocks and one sempervivum, which has produced another small 'child' next to it.
Looks great, awaiting for it to fully grow now!

1 reply

you can get many water pumps at a repair shop and take the magnets out to use as toys. or sell as toys , and decorations , they stack up and connect in funny ways with a mind of their own. glass doors glass might be unhealthy if leaded. could be used to shield a light bulb , or many in a big chandelier, two together and candle in betwen , rubber gasket and clamps , water filled shells, rotating on a string in front of light or candle.


6 years ago on Step 2

I once used the solenoid coil from an old washing machine to fix my broken shower. Luckily it was an exact fit, and worked well. I recently had to replace our washing machine, the old one is on our backyard. I'm going to strip it down this weekend and make a fire pit with the drum. Great instructables, thankyou.

Peter Fnord

6 years ago on Introduction

Two weeks ago i used the waterpump for my "Zero-Euro-Hottup-Project". After the cleaning it works fine!

1 reply

7 years ago on Introduction

Nice instructable. I have used bits for various things in the past, but have come up with a problem, that someone here might be able to help with...
I want to re-use the motor control board, to drive the motor. It already has the tachometer feedback coming into it and should have the ability to regulate speed quite well... But what signals to send it to achieve certain speeds?? Any ideas?


7 years ago on Introduction

that pulley thing would make a nice clock as well as some of those other things attached to it. Kind of a Steampunk type of thing. Even the black hose cold be attached if spray painted a metal silver color and attached at the top.

Even the over complicated switch could be used as a clock, and industrial type of look.

the sheet metal would make a nice dry erase board mounted inside of a frame.

the wires cold be used to make wire wrapped jewelry.

the possabilitys (sp?) are endless with all the cool stuff. I would have a ball with it.

2 replies
Dr Quitaria

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Indeed, all you need is a spark of imagination and something like this can be reused in a number of ways. I have found use for about 50% of the machine and the rest will be sold for scrap once i have enough to make the journey worth while.