Vacuum Clothes Dryer

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About: I studied computer science at the University of Maryland. I have done computer projects for NASA, various defense and intelligence agencies, AOL, UUNET ect. I am currently working on a project which is des...

Make a very effective clothes dryer out of a five gallon paint/pickle bucket.

Step 1: Take a Five Gallon Paint/pickel Bucket and Cut a Hole in the Bottom

Many of the bucket have an inner lip which is exactly the same size as a standard wet/dry vac hose. You can of coucuse use this as a ready made guide. I used paint striping gun to start the whole.

Step 2: Take a Mesh and Glue It to the Open End of the Bucket.

I used a nylon screen material that I picked up in a fabric store.

Step 3: This Can Also Be Used to Dry Rugs and Carpet.


Step 4: Use

Make sure that you create a vacuum. This will suck the water off of the garment.

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    35 Discussions

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    tomfolkesHowtoons

    Reply 13 years ago

    What would you like to know? It is great for drying delicates. The key is to maintain a vacuum.

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    mmccarneytomfolkes

    Reply 13 years ago

    hi, i am currently doin a project, tryin to vacuum pack wet sailing gear. i am tryin to get it as dry as possible before i vacuum pack it in a reusable plactis bag, that has a valve on it! cud you give me any advice or data u have so i can see if it is actually feasible for me to dry sailing gear like this. many thanks. hope to hear from you soon, michael michael.mccarney@ucdconnect.ie

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    jsadler1mmccarney

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    If you want to dry boat sails the chamber could be a huge issue. That would require a large chamber and the larger the chamber the greater the forces acting upon it. The force equation tells us that the square inches multiplied by the air pressure yields the total pressure in the vessel. You would need a sturdy metal container and the consequences of the container implosion can be fatal injuries. But if you pump down to zero air and hold the vacuum there will be zero water in the container. Water simply can not exist in a vacuum and that is true for ice as well.

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    tomfolkesmmccarney

    Reply 12 years ago

    Hi, I am sorry that I have not gotten back to you earlier. I have zero data. It is such a cheap product that it did not make much sense to do so. I would suggest that you create a hole in your vacume seal to permit using a wet/dry vac to finish off the job. -Tom

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    jsadler1

    4 years ago on Introduction

    What may be an issue is a scratchy feeling to the dry clothing. If you hang a towel on a clothes line the wind tends to help get all the normal contaminants out of the wash. But if you have a clothes line strung up in a shower things like calcium carbonate in the water tend to stay with the fabric even though the water drips off as well as evaporates. Towels will not feel soft and will be scratchy. I suspect that vacuum drying would still require tumbling to be competitive.

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    paronomasiac

    8 years ago on Step 3

    It is my guess that the article of clothing is laid flat across the mesh opening and then the vacuum is turned on.  If there is no broken seal, this should draw air through the article of clothing. Then one would move the wet spots over the mesh as needed.  But I would think to dry carpet, one would need to have a means to lift the carpet so that the air that would be sucked would get under the carpet.

    1 reply
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    tomfolkesparonomasiac

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Actually this is not the case. It will draw water from the area surrounding the vacuum. I do understand your point of view. This was were I started.

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    FerrumFatum

    8 years ago on Step 3

    In vacuum, pressure is decreased, the boiling point of the liquid drops, and water can then evaporate. So placing clothes into a vacuum chamber and sucking all the air out is a possible way to dry clothes. At room temperature and in vacuum conditions, water starts boiling.

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    brs480

    9 years ago on Introduction

    In order for this to work, you really need a substantial vacuum that won't be effected by water. A/C evac pumps and venturi based air solutions are more inline with what you'd need.

    I actually use:

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=92475

    and whats nice about it, is it is indestructable. I'll put the entire unit in a bucket, put the vacuum port into the thing I want to suck from, and it deposits the oil/water/etc in the unit, where it drips into my bucket. It pulls a strong vacuum too. Dirt cheap if you have an air compressor.

    Assuming you can keep your plastic from collapsing, place unit outside for a half an hour and let it get up to say 70-80 degrees, pull 29" of vac, and the water will boil off.

    The key to this working is whether the bucket survives and you can pull 29".. A home vac will not do this.

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    dsanco

    9 years ago on Step 4

    What I am looking for, and this might just fit the bill, is a way to apply vacuum to my tumble dryer. Open the dryer door, the screen will keep clothes in dryer, bucket should be big enough to trip the door closed sensor, and drying time for clothes should be cut in at least half, depending on vacuum.

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    glorybedsanco

    Reply 9 years ago on Step 4

    I would use caution in that many electrical components count on air flow to avoid over heating and fire. A sharp engineer might be able to show us the energy consumed if a known pile of clothing is saturated with a measured quantity of water and a high vacuum is pulled, I suspect it would use more energy than tumbling in hot air. But nothing beats a common clothes line. A small vacuum container can work wonders for pulling water out of wrist watches and electronic items.

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    dsancoglorybe

    Reply 9 years ago on Step 4

    Thank you Glorybe! I agree when applying vacuum to the dryer care must be taken to supply it to the chamber only and not to the entire cabinet. for one thing the cabinet might collapse, being thin sheet metal in a ballanced pressure environment. Here is a link to some comercial applications. I don't know if tumbling is involved at all comercially but I think in clothing it would be a bonus.
    http://www.mcgillairpressure.com/vac/textdocs/aboutus.html

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    JanicePrice

    9 years ago on Step 3

    The construction is simple enough, but how does it work?

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    deadsnakebiting

    9 years ago on Step 3

    I am truly at a loss of what this Instructable is and what it does. Having never seen this idea before, I cannot "picture" its use in my mind. How does it vacuum clothes and carpets, etc." I am sure the write knows but I just cannot connect a bucket with a screen on it to a clothes dryer! I need a little help on this one, please!

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    Spinergy

    12 years ago on Step 4

    no wet/dry vac really needed, just put the vacuum hose hole in the side of the bucket towards the top and the water will collect at the bottom of the bucket. This is basically how wet/dry vacs work. If you do use a standard vac, just remove the bag so you don't wind up with a soggy paper mess from the humidity. Newer "bagless" vacs would work great.