The Washing Machine With a Yo-yo





Introduction: The Washing Machine With a Yo-yo

About: A full time artist and maker. Craft mogul, yo-yo genius, comics illustrator, nerdcore rapper, and a Mission dweller.

The Washing Machine is one of my oldest tricks, but it's still one of my favorites. I get a lot of requests for this one, however very few yo-yoers actually know how it's done.

The trick itself can look very intimidating but trust me, it's totally doable by any intermediate player.

The trick; a yo-yo starts attached to the string (like most yo-yos are) but is removed from the string and popped into the air before being re-attached... All while the yo-yo is still spinning.

I have attached a video demonstrating the trick, check it out.

The yo-yo; Any yo-yo can be used for this trick as long as it can sleep (spin at the end of the string). I've even used a Duncan Butterfly. As with any trick, the longer the yo-yo can sleep, the easier the trick becomes. So I suggest using any decent ball-bearing yo-yo. Using a butterfly shaped yo-yo would also totally be recommended.

It's a bit tricky for me to describe some of the moves in text, especially when a step requires you to switch planes (such as required popping the yo-yo off the string, or using your thumb to put it back in the loop). So if you have difficulty on a step (or a suggestion for a description change) please let me know.

For more yo-yo info and videos you can check out Thanks Phil and Shan for helping out with the pics.

Step 1: Unwind the String

Hold the string about 3 inches above the yo-yo and untwist the string.

When the string is unwound enough you should be able to open it up with your fingers. The wider the loop, the easier it will be to do the trick. Usually about 20 spins will do the trick.

When it's ready, wind up the yo-yo like you would any other yo-yo.

Step 2: Getting Set Up

Throw a sleeper.

Using your freehand, grab the string about 3 inches from the yo-yo and untwist the string.

Note- In the videos you can see me wrapping the string around the wrist of my yo-yo hand. This shortens the string length and makes it easier to work with.

When the string is loose enough, open it up with your ring finger. Then insert your thumb into the other side of the loop temporarily so you can slide your pointer finger in.

Step 3: The Spin Cycle and Popping Out the Yo-yo

To make the string a little wider, I spin the yo-yo a few times around my finger in the loop. The pumping motion is all done by the yo-yo hand and the freehand stays pretty still. This is not a necessary step, but it looks cool and makes the loop easier to work with.

To pop the yo-yo out of the loop, swing the yo-yo away from your body and up into the air. Catch the yo-yo back on the string (it should no be outside of the loop).

Step 4: Off the String and Back On


You are now off-string, the sky is the limit!

Pop the yo-yo up in the air, do picture tricks, make up stuff, whatever.

When you are done, re-insert your thumb into the loop and use it to pull the loop towards you.

Now slide the yo-yo towards your freehand and let it ride onto the segment of string beside your forefinger. Once you are there, lift your thumb back up to enclose the loop back around the yo-yo. This will get you right back to where you started.

When you remove your fingers from inside the loop try to let the string twist back up smoothly. Now you are finished, pull the yo-yo back up to your hand, collect your money and you are done.



    • Stick It! Contest

      Stick It! Contest
    • Backpack Challenge

      Backpack Challenge
    • Clocks Contest

      Clocks Contest

    20 Discussions

    Is this easiest with a certain string material? i tried to get it with my Metal Drifter on some slick-6 string, and it seems like the fibers of the string hold the string "closed" past about half an inch up the string (the string will un twist but will stick to itself and not let the strands come apart) also, should the string tension be particularly low, and should i use newer strings?

    wow, dude! i went to your site and you are multi-talented! way to go!

    All I could see was eggs, there must be something wrong with me

    It's a combination of things; a decent ball bearing yo-yo, refined throw, and smooth execution of the trick. Most yo-yos are ball bearing these days.

    nice trick, nice yo-yo to what is it a viper? i have the coral snake and it rulez

    1 reply

    btw im trying 2 learn how 2 yo-yo freehand style but idk any tricks other than the basics got any kewl ones?

    oh..whoops ijust watched the vid and didnt look at the photos closely until just now heh heh

    Thanks. It's fixed now. Safari and instructables seem to have troubles together. I had a lot of trouble deleting the image on my laptop, but it looked like it was finally off. Now I can see that didn't work. So I borrowed my girlfriends computer and it deleted right away.

    Step 4 had a vintage picture of a nude woman in the background. It seemed to be the focal point of the comments, so I've fixed it.

    1 reply

    the original is still there LOL@ the orange paintjob

    I always loved watching that trick... this vid is inspiring me to practice it myself... thanks, Doc!

    Definitely PRON! C'mon man . . . watch your backgrounds in your photos. It really distracting among other things . . . Otherwise a rilly great instructable. But I'm flagging it anyways . . .

    No no no, you got it all wrong! It's pronounced "Pr0n".

    It's not PRON, it's EROTICA! Nice instuctable Doc!

    Nice trick and nice instructable...with a side order of vintage p0rn. :-)