Intro: See-Through Washing Machine Lid
If you own a fancy washing machine, you may already have a see-through lid. This is for all you un-fancy washing machine owners.
When I was a kid and bored, I remember going and lifting the washing machine lid and watching it operate. I'd stand there for hours? (probably just minutes - surely I wasn't THAT bored) just watching the fill cycle, the "swishing back and forth" wash cycle, drain cycle, and best of all of course - the spin cycle. Back then, I'd use my finger to override the safety switch. I remember my finger after a while from doing it so long! I got smart later and started using a screwdriver. (I don't recommend doing that though. A screwdriver might damage or short the switch.)
Well I'm older now, and I've got my own kids. So I decided to make a (safe) way for my kids to watch how a washing machine works.
If you want to try this, do at your own risk. You may void your warranty for all I know.
- Screwdriver to remove existing lid.
- Jig Saw
- Drill and bit to drill hole (OR EVEN BETTER, ice pick or 10-D nail to melt a hole)
- Piece of acrylic. 1/4 inch or thicker. Anything thinner won't do.
- Golf Tee
Step 1: Remove Your Existing Lid
This is pretty simple. Just remove with appropriate tool (screwdriver, hex, torx key, etc.)
SAVE the original lid, screws and parts here. You may want to reinstall the original some day.
Step 2: Cut Your Plexiglass
Cut your acrylic to the size you need. Use your original lid as a template. You'll need a jig saw or scroll saw here.
I've found using a small torch (like this Dremel Tool VersaFlame™ Multi-function Butane Torch that I won from an Instructables contest - Thank you Instructables!) to clean and polish the edge of cut acrylic makes it much more pleasing to look at. Not necessary but if you have a way to do this, give it a try.
Step 3: Make a New Hinge
Easiest way to make a hing is to use Gorilla Tape®. Put a layer of tape on both sides as pictured. Best part here, this is it's not permanent and you don't need to drill any holes to attach a hinge to your washing machine.
Make sure you clean the washing machine well before you attach the tape. Remove all any soap residue or dirt before you do this.
Step 4: Install Golf Tee
Now you need to install a golf tee as a "strike" for the switch. I think a golf tee is good because it's wooden (or plastic). You don't want anything metal poking down in the switch cavity.
Sidebar - How a washing machine works: For safety purposes, you can't operate the washing machine with the lip open. That's why there the little safety switch (on the washing machine) and the strike (on the lid). When it's closed it works. When you open it, it stops.
Measure the strike against your original and cut accordingly.
Carefully drill a hole (or use a heated nail or ice pick to poke a hole) into the appropriate place on your new acrylic lid. Make sure you mark where the hole needs to go before you do this.
After it's finished, glue the tee in place.
Note: If you try this and it's your machine isn't working properly, make sure your strike is triggering the safety switch.
Step 5: Tell Your Kid to Put Down Her Cell Phone to Come Have a Look
Actually my kid really doesn't have a cell phone. I've told her when she's 18 she can have one!
It is fun to watch. A see-through lid can actually help teach the stages of a washing machine and can come in handy to troubleshoot a broken washing machine.
Lastly, it was a hit with my wife. She likes it because she knows immediately if she's left wet clothes in the washing machine that need to go in the dryer!
Next up: Dishwasher!