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Use a Wringer Washer - Buying a Wringer Washing Machine for Home Use

Updated on September 19, 2017

Use a Wringer Washer - Buying a Wringer Washing Machine

As I pursue my dream of homesteading and living the simple life, I come across many items and topics that I normally would not. A wringer washer, popular with homesteading families and those trying to live off the grid, is one of those items. I hadn’t thought about them in a long time. But when I saw the picture of the wringer washer, I immediately remembered my mother and grandmother using them. The picture transported me to times gone by when things were a whole lot simpler. But, then again, when you’re four years old, everything is simpler.

I didn’t even know that they made wringer washers anymore. Out of curiosity, I decided to do some research on them. In addition to the availability of new wringer washers, you can purchase older reconditioned ones. The Maytag wringer washer seems to be the most memorable and available of the reconditioned models.


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Why would I ...?

Now you may be asking yourself, why would I be interested in anything like that? There are several answers to that question depending on where you are coming from.

  • The wringer washer provides a greener alternative.
  • The wringer washer uses substantially less water, electricity (none if a hand crank model), and detergent, therefore saving money monthly.
  • Repairs on the wringer washer are less costly; many times you may be able to perform the repairs yourself.
  • The wringer washer takes you one step closer to living off the grid if that is a goal for you.
  • If you get a hand cranked model, you have your exercise routine already built into your week.
  • The wringer washer is still the most efficient of all laundry methods.

Through the years wringer washers have come in all shapes and sizes. Take how they were powered for instance. They could be powered by electricity, gas, or by hand. They could have pumps that would be used to help expel the water or gravity could be utilized. Their tubs have been: square, round, wooden, aluminum, steel, porcelain, and copper. They could have a wringer attached to them, or not.

The one thing that they all had in common, however, was an agitator mounted on a simple gear moving back and forth, forcing water through the clothing to release dirt. A wringer washer is an efficient way to clean your clothes using a minimum amount of time, water and detergent.

See the Agitator Inside
See the Agitator Inside | Source

Saving Money

One way that wringer washers are used to save money is by washing multiple loads of clothing in a single tub of water. You would typically wash the whites first, then the light colors, and the darks are last.

As mentioned earlier, you use less water and less detergent.

By using the same wash water over and over progressing from light clothes to dark, you save on water and detergent. You can re- use the rinse water the same way. A modern electric washer will use more water by refilling each time it needs water. Considering that an average washer holds 40 gallons, and you multiply that by how many loads you do – that’s a lot of water going down the drain. Because the wringer washer has such a large capacity, it can hold approximately the equivalent of 3 loads in a modern washer.

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Where do you find one?

Unfortunately, Maytag doesn’t make them anymore – the last one rolled off the production line in 1983. But, since these things were built to last, you can still find old ones that work just fine. You can sometimes find them on Craigslist, or you can place an ad saying that you are interesting in purchasing one. You can also check estate sales, auctions, rummage sales, or eBay.

Lehmans.com, who carries many products for the Amish community, is an excellent website for non-electrical appliances. They carry an exact remake of the well-known Speed Queen wringer washer. Its stainless steel tub will hold fourteen pounds of clothing! Lehman’s also sells a reconditioned Maytag square tub wringer washer that will run on gasoline or electricity.

Check also with your local appliance stores. They may be able to place a special order for you.

Oh yeah ... one last thing that I learned when I was four … fingers are not meant to go through the wringer!

Have you ever used a wringer washer?

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© 2011 Cindy Murdoch

Comments: Use a Wringer Washer - Buying a Wringer Washing Machine

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    • profile image

      Sherri Frye 8 weeks ago

      One of the pictures posted, is a copper wringer washer. Is this items yours? I have one pretty much identical and I'm trying to find out what it's worth. Any information you can help with would be greatly appreciated.

    • profile image

      Judith Treanor 2 months ago

      I would like to buy a speed Queen wringer washer machine

    • profile image

      Jacquie 3 months ago

      I have a wringer washer I use every laundry day. laundry for eight . No easy task but I do get nice Clean clothes and the sunshine to dry them.

    • profile image

      Michael McCrae 4 months ago

      Interested in buying a wringer washing machine - New if possible, used if operable.

    • homesteadbound profile image
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      Cindy Murdoch 3 years ago from Texas

      Hope you can get to a place where you can get another ... if that is what you want. Good luck.

    • profile image

      Patricia 3 years ago

      We used one in our farmhouse growing up and hung our clothes out on the line. We were able to do all our wash in one day. I wish I had one right now. We live in an apt and our stuck putting quarters in a machine here, or at the laundry mats and they charge extra for hot water too.

    • homesteadbound profile image
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      Cindy Murdoch 3 years ago from Texas

      I hope you find it useful. It is more work on laundry day, but it provides a certain kind of satisfaction as well.

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      slocancity 3 years ago

      Hi Homesteadbound, I have been pondering the thoughts of buying a wringer washer with much anticipation about how much energy savings and less water used when doing laundry. The other day I did a search and came up with a wringer washer for sale very close to my neighbourhood so I am going ahead with the purchase and will try it out to see how well it does for me with my wash loads.

    • homesteadbound profile image
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      Cindy Murdoch 3 years ago from Texas

      I am not sure, it would depend upon yours. But if it has been unused for sometime, I would think that oiling it would definitely help get it back into working order.

    • profile image

      cjwhitt 3 years ago

      I recently bought a maytag wringer washer at a used furniture place. I remember my mother in law taking the wringer off and putting oil in it. My mother said she never oiled or greased hers. I was wanting to know if lubrication was required before I start using mine. Any advise?

    • profile image

      Square Peg Guy 4 years ago

      Eight years ago I replaced a washing machine whose seals leaked. Now the transmission is shot on the replacement washer. Maybe the old-fashioned washer wasn't such as bad idea after all. I agree with those points you make as you explain "Why Would I...?"

      Anyway, great article.

      http://square--peg.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-other-...

    • homesteadbound profile image
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      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      slocancity - I really don't know about that. That would be something that i would ask the manufacturer. They would be very thick and hold an extreme amount of water. But that would be my advice.

    • profile image

      slocancity 5 years ago

      Most people say that you cannot put a hooked rug through the wringer to squeeze the water out properly. I have some hooked rugs that I wash periodically. If I did have a wringer washer to do clothes would that not be recommended for the rugs.

    • homesteadbound profile image
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      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      slocancity - I am glad that you found this to be useful. It does make sense to stick with the washing machine you have rather than buying something else. But in the future .... You can make the decision then.

    • profile image

      slocancity 5 years ago

      Thank you homesteadbound for your comment. When I first started using my washing machine I was renting here at this location and happy to have an available machine to use along with a dryer. I did have a clothesline also but I have since taken it down and I am looking forward to maybe putting up another one that was supplied by my electricity provider this washing machine only runs for one half hour per load and then I use my dryer for an hour. A wringer washer might take less time so maybe I would save some time with my load of clothes not always being that dirty. But I do have my current machine working so I will keep using it for the present time.

    • homesteadbound profile image
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      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      Slocancity - a wringer washer will save money by using less water and less electricity, but if you wash few clothes, the savings would be related to the number of loads that you do. Also, if your current machine is working, you would have the additional cost of the wringer washer to replace an appliance that currently works. That would be something that you would have to weigh. The other option would be to continue to use what you have and replace it when it no longer works with a wringer washer. Hope this helps.

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      Slocancity 5 years ago

      I am thinking about purchasing a wringer washer for my home use. I am currently using a top loading Inglis washing machine that works good but I would like to know if a wringer washer would be more economical for me if I do not have that many clothes to wash and I am on a limited income. I would be happy to hear your reply.

    • homesteadbound profile image
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      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      louromano - you are so welcome. So happy that you enjoyed the hub!

    • louromano profile image

      louromano 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing information. Nice hub.,

    • homesteadbound profile image
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      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      Andy - How cool that you still use these Wringer Washers. As more of the population moves towards gridless, I believe more will begin using again.

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      Andy Jones 5 years ago

      All of these people with memories. I never got away from the wringer washer. I still use them today and I repair them myself. I have a Speed Queen, a Maytag, a Whirlpool, and "Double Tub" made by Dexter. They all work.

    • homesteadbound profile image
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      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      pstraubie48 - My most vivid memories of these machines are quite painful - smashed little fingers. So glad to pleasantly journey with you down memory lane.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 5 years ago from sunny Florida

      O my....a wringer washer....We had several of those while I was a child. Some funny storeis came out of them....I remember more than once having to take off a shirt because it was headed through the wringer. And o how I loved how clean the clothes were....we added bluing to the rinse water...that was what did it in addition to the sun bleaching the sheets and whites so they shone. Thanks for this walk down memory lane.

    • homesteadbound profile image
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      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      LindaSmith1 - I can imagine that putting the wringer washer in reverse could cause a big tangled mess. Thanks for sharing, and for stopping by!

    • homesteadbound profile image
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      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      Barbara Kay - I would hate to have to have laundry be an all day chore like that - having to be hands on. It is much easier the way we are able to do it now. Thanks for commenting!

    • homesteadbound profile image
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      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      freecampingaussie - These wringer washers could be particularly hard on body parts. And the fabric just seemed to pull the fingers in. I can well imagine that you were very happy to more on to a more automated process!

      Thanks for stopping by and for sharing!

    • LindaSmith1 profile image

      LindaSmith1 5 years ago from USA

      Yep, ours ran by electric, and tossing it in reverse just made it worse. I am sure the fingers were not happy with the rollers either. What can I say, teenagers aren't too bright, I Know I wasn't.

    • homesteadbound profile image
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      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      LindaSmith1 - I would say a definite OOOP's would be in order. They were fortunate that they were not hurt. As I remember, my fingers did not find those rollers to be very forgiving.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 5 years ago from USA

      I can remember using one of these when I first married, because someone gave me one and I couldn't afford a more modern machine. Doing the laundry was an all day chore.

      Be happy Maytag doesn't make them anymore. They aren't the company they used to be.

    • freecampingaussie profile image

      freecampingaussie 5 years ago from Southern Spain

      I used to spend Saturday afternoon helping Mum with the washing spending what seemed like hours putting clothes thru the wringer . When my baby was born my wringer machine broke & I had to empty it by hand . When my ex husband was young his arm got caught .

      I loved my fisher & pyklel Automatic when I finally got one !

    • LindaSmith1 profile image

      LindaSmith1 5 years ago from USA

      We had one, and somebody tried to straighten hair with the roller. OOOPs, wrong move, but no injury or new hairdo required.

    • homesteadbound profile image
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      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      mljdgulley354, it is so good to see you again. You are right - it is a lot of work. And it does conserve water. In addition it is a green alternative. Should we ever find ourselves in truly hard times, using a wringer washer could be the answer to prayers.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

    • mljdgulley354 profile image

      mljdgulley354 5 years ago

      Great hub homesteadbound. I used a wringer washer when my first two children were born. Lot of work but like you said conserved water.

    • homesteadbound profile image
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      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      inthenickoftime77 - I'm glad you enjoyed it. And if there is a next time, thinking outside the square would be the way to go for sure. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • inthenickoftime77 profile image

      inthenickoftime77 5 years ago from New Zealand, aka: Aotearoa, aka: The Land Of The Long White Cloud

      Great Hub. Brought back a lot of memories. One where my Grandmother got her arm caught in the wringer !! But also we lived on our section in a caravan for 16 months while our section was being cleared & our house was being built. The washing was the the pits !! Maybe if I had thought outside of the square at the time & got an old wringer, it would have been different. Next Time !!

    • homesteadbound profile image
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      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      vocalcoach - I remember getting my fingers pinched in those roller. I was very "vocal" at that point and time. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. Thanks for stopping by!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I still remember my Mom using a ringer washer. She kept hers long after electric washers were introduced. I loved watching the "flat" clothes going through that wringer. We should all go back to the ringer washer. Great hub!

      vocalcoach~

    • homesteadbound profile image
      Author

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      Anne B., thank you for your comment. Sounds like a mess. Those wringers seemed to cause havoc in more ways than just smashing fingers.

      jodiejay71, I'm glad that it brought back good memories for you. It's always good to remember good times with those we love - to remember times that we were blessed.

    • jodiejay71 profile image

      jodiejay71 6 years ago

      This brings back memories of when I was a young girl. Every Saturday the wringer washer was ready to go with my mother sorting the clothes for Saturday wash..hot weather, cold or rainy we were on the back porch washing clothes. We would wash the sheets first and mom would add that 'bluing' liquid. Into the wash water, through the wringer, into the rinse, back through the wringer and on to the line for drying. Good memories..wonderful mom.

    • profile image

      Anne B. 6 years ago

      I do remember how wringer washer and put rubber diapers through that wringer diapers and explodes and I ruined a couple of shirts

      Did you ever get anything caught in a wringer?or ruined a couple of shirts?

      an article of the wash may

      wrap several times around a roller before it is noticed; unwinding such a

      piece is often difficult, sometimes impossible without removing a roller.

    • homesteadbound profile image
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      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      Deborah-Diane, I believe it. I was four in the early 60's and that's when I got my fingers pinched more than once. Thank you for commenting.

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 6 years ago from Orange County, California

      Believe it or not, back in the 1950's my grandmother lived in an extremely rural part of Missouri, and she used a wringer washing machine. I can still remember watching her!