Grandma’s big beast washing machine.. yes or no?

Grandma's vintage washing machine

My sweet Grandma lived only 10 minutes from us while growing up. I never knew my Grandpa as he passed on way too early, so it was always Grandma’s house.

Grandma’s place was kinda cool. It was a really old, cute home with one of those scary basement with cement walls, spider webs and creepy, drippy apparatus. But upstairs was original, bright and cheerful with plenty of windows. And always smelled of freshly baked bread. Always the bread.

My brother and I often went for night to Grandma’s. We’d sleep in the spare bedroom with the big, hard bed. The room was always a little too cool, but it was Grandma’s place so that was ok. We would play with these paper coins, read plastic picture books and study the vintage images on the wall hung pictures. They were so old they were intriguing. You just didn’t see stuff like that as a general rule. You know the kind, collie dogs looking slightly to the side with their smiling faces with the sunlight hitting them perfectly. Or those little men (kids??) carrying around wine barrels in some cellar. Never did understand that one.

Grandma's vintage washing machine-1892

When you entered the tiny back porch, you were greeted with this washing machine generally humming away. I remember watching Grandma wring out the clothes in that top portion. She’d then turn around and hang the clothes on the line. It was the perfect setup.

So! As it stands, it appears the machine is being stored in my uncle’s barn. He knew my love for old stuff and emailed me these pictures, asking if I’d like to hang onto the machine. Because it was Grandma’s.

I TOLD myself no big stuff! But… it’s Grandma’s! I really don’t have the room, unless the object in question can do double duty, as in be productive in some way.

So I look at these pictures and ponder what on earth I could do with this memory inducing relic. An outdoor plant stand is a given, that would be cool, but I’m concerned with it deteriorating too much. So it would have to come inside.

But it has to do something.  Wonder if it could become a laundry tub? It might be too tall but maybe it’s not… hmmm…

I’m not usually at a loss for these types of brainstorms. With any given object in question, I just pick it up and carry it through the house, deciding what it’ll do. But being that this guy is heavy, I need to rely on imagination this round.

In a perfect world, my home would be SO LARGE that this thing tucked in the corner would be the perfect plant stand or side table of sorts. But… yeah. Tight quarters.

So! I ask you. What would you do with this old washing machine? Give it a pass? Take on the challenge? What would you have it do?

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Categories: DIY, Family, Junk Drawer, Rambling

99 thoughts on “Grandma’s big beast washing machine.. yes or no?

  1. If I were you, and I had room for it near a drain, I would USE it! When I was a teenager, at home, I spent all morning on Saturday, every Saturday, washing clothes with a machine like this. Yes, we had an automatic washer, but it saved money to use a machine like this. I would fill the machine with HOT HOT water, add soap, get it agitating, then I would fill it with ‘whites’ (socks, panties, underwear, towels) for the 8 people who lived in our house. I would let it agitate for 10-15 minutes, then put them through the ‘wringer’ into the rinse tub that sat next to it. As the whites were soaking in the rinse water, I would fill the machine with colored clothes. As those were agitating, I would put the whites back through the wringer, and throw them into the automatic washer just to spin out the rest of the water that the wringer missed. Then I would go hang the whites on the clothesline while the colored clothes were washing. When I got back inside, I would put another load of colored clothes in (remember, there were 8 of us!), rinse, repeat, wash, rinse, spin, repeat, until I got down to the very last load, which was the dirty work clothes. Usually by the time I got to the third load, the first load might be dry on the line, so I would bring them in, fold them, and put them away. Yes, it took up a big part of my Saturday, but it was really a faster way to do laundry than using the automatic, and I think the whites got much cleaner. For blouses and ‘good’ shirts, I would put them in the dryer to ‘fluff’ them for about 5 minutes, then I would hang them on hangers and hang them on rod above the dryer. Fluffing blouses is still something I do today. I beats ironing!

    I wish I had a place to use a machine like this, because I would go find one!

    • Michelle,
      We bought a brand new Maytag wringer washing machine for our camp in the White Mtns back in 1975. Everything you said is so true. They clean like nothing else. I could put whites in, set it to agitate and leave it for an hour and they sparkled. Now I’ve got this stacked front-loading pair that cost as much as our new car in 1966. They may be pretty but they certainly don’t clean as well.

      As for keeping that old one……only if you have a garage or shed and can break it out as a huge ice bucket for big get-togethers. I like the idea the gal had of framing it – maybe in a collage with other photos of your grandmother, her best recipe, a piece of calico or lace from a dress or feather from her hat?

  2. If it is the memories you love and not the object itself, I’d pass. Dress it up for the occasion, take lots of pictures to do something with and then let it go. Memories and love are not stored in things but in our heart and an uncluttered home with room to life is a gift too. Imagine your boy having to decide what to do with it in 40 years time.

    • This would be so cool framed in a vintage frame hanging on a wall near your laundry “space”. Then you always have the memory every time you look at it.

  3. Remember it and the picture is now saved forever, but don’t take it. I don’t think you can do much with it and it will just take up space. I hope I am not being unromantic. We just cannot hoard as much stuff as most of us do! I am being absolutely ruthless in clearing out my own stuff from years go by at the moment and I now ask myself – ‘is it adding value?’ use or ornament…..?

  4. It sounds like its the memories that you love and not the item itself. Take the photos you have or even a piece of the machine and keep that. Maybe the lid or the legs could be repurposed. That way you would have part of the item and the memories and you wouldn’t have to worry about it taking up space. Letting go can prove to be difficult but you will always have those memories of your grandma.

  5. First I would have my husband take out the motor so it wouldn’t be so heavy. If I remember these correctly it has a big round basin in it? If my bathroom were of appropriate size I would store bathroom items in there, like toilet paper and nail polish remover. If not then I would use it in the laundry room and store my hangers, detergent, spot remover, fabric softener etc… in there. With the great wheels and round shape, you could store those large serving dishes, even china (if you own any) in there out in the garage making room in the house cabinets. That’s what I would do anyway. It’s a great piece!

  6. Paint it with a fun, bright color and fill it with ice and drinks for your next party and then have a toast to your grandmother every time you use it.

  7. I never knew any of my grandparents…they had all passed away when I was very young..I am definitely a sentimentalist….I am with Barbara…I have seen these old washers used as a “cooler”…If you decide to keep it, I know you can give is new life with a great paint color and a stencil….cool things could be hung from the wringer…and yes, taking out the motor would definitely be a plus. So hard to decide when “sentiments” are in play.
    My mom had a really great Maytag wringer washer…I used to love to stand on that stool and help her..wish she still had it..

  8. Donna, this one is borderline for me too. It’s big. I would not have room for it inside and outside I try not to cross the too shabby and too junky line. Some neighbors may not get a used appliance sitting next to your house.

  9. I actually have one in the corner of my kitchen! 🙂 No, I dont use it, because it doesn’t work, but I have my collection of washboards in it, and a red checkered tablecloth draped on it. I used one for many years and I enjoyed using it, so this brings back memories for me..having it right there where I can see it in the corner. In fact it is sitting by my old cook woodstove that I have. This look is not for everyone, I know…but I love those old appliances.

  10. I have a client that still uses one and swears by it. She says the new models don’t get clothes clean. I think you should use it:)

  11. It is hard to decide what to do with “history” like this that has a special meaning. We were faced with a similar dilemma. The one we got had a stainless steel insert in it. We took it out and cleaned it up and plugged the bottom hole. For years we used it as a planter for a rather large palm tree. When the palm tree died, we took the huge stainless steel insert and put it in our garden and it is now a pond with a fountain! The memories have hung on all these years because it never really left us.
    I hope you find a special way to use yours.
    ~Linda Marino

  12. My aunt had one of these babies and it was fun helping her do laundry sometimes. They are soooo dangerous to use. Excuse the expression, “get your Ti* caught in the wringer, came from this machine you know. Can’t imagine that happening, sounds worse than a mammogram?! Take a beautiful picture of this old useful machine and put it in your memory book. Let the ol’ girl rest, she’s done her time. I would try to find a home for her if you could, just not yours.

  13. Definitely keep this beauty. It would make a fantastic planter in the right location. I left one behind in a move that was pastel green and have always regretted it. You’ll find a use for it. This is a real treasure.

  14. I think you should take it, even if you just end up using it as a planter in your garden. If you don’t take it, you will regret it, but if you do, youll find something cool to do with it. Worst case scenario, you could always give it back.

  15. p.s. I forgot to add that if you find that you can’t keep it, at least keep the wringer part, hang it on the wall as an architectural piece.

  16. Donna!!!!!!!!!!! you have to keep this! My husband and I passed on one for the same reason and are kicking ourselves! A few days latter we went to this really really great garden store and they had turned an old washer into a fountain complete with bubbles. The curtest dang thing. Have you checked pinterest for inspiration. Oh girl, I’d keep this. Put it out in your garden and give it awhile if you decide you don’t want it put it to the curb someone will come along.
    Junker to junker, i say give it a chance!!!

  17. It’s definitely a keeper in my opinion. I would either plant flowers in the tub and set it on my porch or even outside somewhere – maybe in the center of a flowerbed or adjacent to a shed? Or, I would make it into a cooler of sorts for outdoor entertaining if I did that sort of thing, but I don’t, so I’d go with the flowers! Have fun repurposing!

  18. How about a collage of black and white pics of it to hang in your laundry area/room. Then, you could remember it forever! My Mamaw had one, too and we weren’t allowed near it because she knew of somebody who got their hand caught in the wringer!!! 😉

    • No pictures are not the same! I don’t have much room but if I had it I would keep it and figure out where to put it. If it brings you happiness and lots of memories I say keep it. It doesn’t matter where it goes once you pass on, that is for the ones left behind to figure out. Keep it!

  19. Donna, I think you should KEEP it. I love all the suggestions of making a collage or one of your pictures framed in your laundry room and it would be cute right out side your backdoor for sentimental reasons. BUT, I see it sitting outside next to your old wooden shed, overflowing with ivy, red and white geraniums and trailing blue lobelia, abretia or purple petunias. You’ll get at least twenty more years of photographic mileage, memories and good feelings out of it. And you’ll have your uncle to thank for his thoughtfulness!! Enjoy it!!

  20. Take on the challenge. I know from reading your blog you will come up with something amazing.

  21. I would keep it. Take photos and use them in your home. Give it a new paint job. Definitely save the wringer part you could still use it if needed. The tub part would be great outdoors if you didn’t have room inside. Lots of uses…planter, toy bin, beverage cooler, fountain, terrarium with clear plastic top, critter home, storage in craft room….etc. good luck in your decision.

  22. Absolutely a plant stand – how about on your porch where it would be sheltered? If not, let it stand in the sunshine and elements, enjoy it and its beauty & memories ’til it does deteriorate…at least you will have honored your grandmother rather than let it rust away silently unappreciated.

  23. My grandmother had one of these too, and I remember my fascinaton while I watched her use it:>) I have seen these used as planters, what about a great party ice chest? However you use it, my advice is to use it! I know you are worried about it deteriorating, but if you don’t use it where will it go? Back in the barn unseen and unloved? For however long you use it you will look out and think with love about your dear grandmother. And when it is used up it is used up. How many items that we thrift today were never used and appreciated but tucked into a drawer so as not to damage them? It seems such a waste to store something unseen and unloved for someone else (who won’t have the fond memories you do) to use up. If you have room in the laundry room it would be a great accessory or you could actually use it.

  24. How old are your kids? Without the wringer, it looks like a rocket! Paint it up, plant the legs firmly in the ground, and open the “hatch” for astronauts! It also looks like a big time capsule.

  25. A neighbor in town has one in her front ride with beautiful pink wave petunias spilling out and down the sides. It’s gorgeous. I didn’t see it there over the winter, so I think she only brings it outdoors during the summer months. If you were worried about deterioration, I would seal it with a satin finish of polyacrylic to seal the metal and help protect it.

    Another idea would be to have it on a porch and convert it to an ice chest, but again, that’s an outside idea. Obviously I like an inside imagination.

  26. My mom had this type of machine when I was little (I’m 61, so that was a long time ago), and I remember her wringing out the clothes and cautioning us not to get our hands caught in the wringer.

    I think you should take it for sure rather than let it rot. Wouldn’t it make a wonderful beverage server for an outdoor party with colorful towels/placemate/napkins hung on the wringer?

    But, like you, I am learning there is only so much space for memories.
    I’m sure you’ll make the right decision.
    Bless you!

  27. Office? Storage in or on, supplies stationed in the wringer, side is a great magnet surface.

  28. Donna,

    This would be adorable on a porch with plants and flowers spilling out of it. It would make a great hamper too! I would Love to have one of these! ~Tammy

  29. Poor Donna… such a decision you have to make and all these comments to ponder. I know your head is just “spinning” with all these suggestions. Let these suggestions “agitate” for a little while and I know you will come up with the perfect solution.
    Good luck.
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

  30. If it worked, I would use it! Nothing better to wash jeans, men’s work pants, and rugs in…..

  31. Good junk is hard to pass up, so I’d bring it home. I would be of the “use it as an ice bucket” group. How cool would that look on the patio at a party in a fun color filled with vintage sodas, some vintage graphic’s on the tub. You know, something like Gramma ______’s old fashioned root beer…..


  32. We just returned home from a trip to Kansas to go through all the items from the house my husband’s grandmother lived in for over 50 years. Not one other person in the family wanted anything and I came home with a lot of neat stuff and the memories to go along with them. I promised myself and my husband I wouldn’t bring home anything I couldn’t use or repurpose. So far, so good, and I brought back quite a bit.

    If my bathroom were large enough, I would definitely clean this up and store towels in it. You could easily roll your towels rather than fold them and stand them on end. If you have a laundry room,it would be fun in there as well. You could put your laundry soaps, dryer sheets, etc. in there – even dirty laundry.

    Tucked in the corner of a breakfast room, it would be adorable with vintage linens and tablecloths displayed in it. Oh, I could go on and on, but I too, just “know” that eventually, I can re-purpose just about anything. Best of luck!

  33. You know if you pass on it, once it’s gone you’ll think of the perfect thing to do with it! I have a friend that has one and she uses it as a drink cooler. This may not be possible, but it sure would look cool if you could turn it into a floor lamp!

  34. There’s a similar stove sitting in one of my outbuildings; it didn’t belong to any family member but it’s still in working condition. Aunt Bonnie had one and I helped her with washing clothes…no dryer unless you count the clothes line. Good Memories!
    I keep my washer for washing sheep fleeces but have found a wash tub works even better so my Maytag is leaving here. I like things that are useful and pretty but if they aren’t functional, I don’t want them. It’s taken me a long time to get to this point and it’s fairly freeing.

  35. I would keep it! I remember my grandma’s old washing machine too. Even though I was a little girl when she still used it, I always loved the looks of it. I always thought of it as a work of art. You could put cold drinks in it like a cooler. Or use it as storage for other household items like quilts, blankets etc. Put it in the corner somewhere in your house and put a flower display on top. Maybe artificial geraniums or a trailing vine. Put an old doily underneath the flower display. You don’t think you could *squeeze* it in somewhere in your home?? Bedroom maybe?? Good luck!

  36. Memories! My mum had one in the early ’60s. I think the wringer part is called a “mangle”… gee, wonder why? Keep it for a while until you no longer love it, then donate it to a small community museum. In the meantime you can use it for an ice bucket, or… for dyeing clothes, slipcovers, anything that you don’t want to mess up your appliances or laundry room with. Cheers!

  37. I have a friend who has an old washer similar to this one. She keeps it in her garage and pulls it out when they entertain in the summer for cookouts and such. They fill it with ice and bottled/canned drinks. It’s really a cute idea. I have very little from either one of my grandparents. I would jump at the chance to have the washer. I also really like the idea of a framed picture if you feel you really just don’t have the space. Either way you’ll be saving that great memory of your grandmother!

  38. Dear Donna
    Hi ! I also have my granmother’s “washing machine”. It’s pretty much a huge pan to be heaten in the kitchen, where the clothes probably used to boil !
    I’ve had it for years and I have no idea what to do with it but I will never give it away. When I told my daughters it was a washing machine they never believed me. This is a perfect reason for me to keep it : so the next generations know about it !
    Thanks for your lovely ideas and great humour (and sorry for my english !)

  39. Donna, just looked at the picture of the washer a second time. What if you keep only the wringer part and hang it on the wall with a cute towel or piece of vintage cloth hanging from it???

  40. I think if you sprayed it with some clear (rustoleum?) sealer, maybe you could keep it outside without it deteriorating. I would definitely keep it tho – that is TOO COOL!

  41. Take a picture of it. Have it made into a large picture or canvas and put it in my laundry room.
    Everytime you do laundry you will remember her.

  42. i would go with the planter idea. And who says it has to be outside? im sure you could fine a place it would work perfect in your place….like the KITCHEN! What a twist on an old antique. and it would be a great memory to recall to mind everyday!!!

  43. How I would love to have one of these! My SIL has one on her deck but it’s covered whereas mine isn’t. I too like the hamper idea. You can always donate it to your local museum! I volunteer at our local museum and, although we have a small wringer washer, one of these babies would be most welcome!

  44. Well, believe it or not, I would try to use it for laundry! 🙂 But you may not be into that. If not, why not indoor plants? Maybe with a little ivy too that would fall down the side? Display things on it with some plants? It would be hard to turn down tho for sure with it being Grandmas!!!

  45. If you take it apart you could make an make a small end/side table out of the top part & put some wheels on it. Just a thought.

  46. I have an old one that was painted white but underneath is a beautiful green graniteware finish. I have yet to strip it but will one of these days. Mine is a little different and doesn’t have a lid so I bought an unfinished round table top at Lowes and just push it on – it’s a tad bigger but makes a perfect “table”. In the cavity I keep my fiberfill and wool fiber – it’s the perfect size to stuff full!

  47. I remember my MOTHER using one of these!!!
    If you have the space, I would try to put it in
    The laundry room and use it – even if just to store stuff in it (laundry products, etc.)
    You will think of her everytime you go in there! 🙂

  48. I’d paint it a co-ordinating color for my laundry room and use it as the clothes hamper. It’s close to the same size as big laundry baskets so the footprint wouldn’t change… you’d have memories of Gramma each time you went into the laundry room and you wouldn’t see clunky plastic baskets. There’s plenty of room inside for those dirty clothes and with your talent with junk you would add a lot of class to the wringer and the base too!

  49. Definitely take it! You’ll be sorry you don’t have it later. Could you find a plastic tub for inside and use it as a cooler for drinks at parties? You could fill the plastic tub with ice and put the drinks inside.

  50. Keep it – it makes a great fountain/water feature! Thanks for the memories you brought back for me – watching my Mom wringing the clothes from my perch up in our big old mango tree, and seeing the buttons pop off the shirts from the wringer! Our neighbor did get one of her breasts caught, another funny memory, even though quite painful for her!
    Looking forward to what you decide to do, good luck!

  51. Donna, if you have room I would put it in the kitchen or bathroom for a pretty storage. If not put it on your back porch and use it for an ice chest when you have a cookout or party. Blessings

  52. I believe my mom and dad’s ringer washer is still in their basement. This is the one that my older brother got his arm caught in-still has the scars, I believe. It’s an awesome conversation piece, so if I were you, or the lucky new owner, I’d clean it up as much as you can without changing the ouside, and turn the inside into a party cooler. If I remember correctly the lid opens up – great for a tub of ice and some cold beer!!

  53. I would definitely keep it. Clean it up. Paint it and use it as a cooler for parties. It could keep cold drinks cold plus it would be useful.

  54. Well, I think you should hang on to it…My mother used one of these til I was a junior in high school and I only turn 60 this year…and when I think of how long she used it and how much I hate laundry…well I just have to think of myself as spoiled…anyway…in my little laundry room I have my washer and dryer and was able to find a wringer top…and I do have my mom’s First washing machine, a washboard that she used for who knows how long as an immigrant from Ireland in the 50’s…I also have a nice clothespin bag….and when I fell kind of bratty or whiney about doing laundry…I glance up at my reminders and kick myself in the patootie…..and smile, get on with it, and be thankful!! Keep it!!

  55. My grandmother had one too in her cellar. I have so many memories washing clothes… was so fun to put them through the wringer. I would do one of two things with this memory machine… One, use it on our deck filled with ice to keep drinks cold or two, frame this photo and every time you look at it, it will pull your heartstrings. Have a great summer.

  56. Donna,

    If you’re having such a hard time just giving it up, you need to take it. You can look at it for a while and then do whatever your little heart desires with it. But you’ll have it. If and when the time comes that you decide just having photos of it, or parts from it (the wringer) you will feel that it’s time to let it go. I like the suggestion of putting it out by your shed, planted with red geraniums and blue lobelia and whatever else was suggested in that post — paint the washer and spray it with protectant and it will last another many years before you need to ‘toss’ it. It’s just too special to do that right now.

  57. Like all the ideas posted here….and understand the frustration of trying to find space for an item that takes up more room than we’d like.
    A planter would be very pretty, inside or out, but what about removing the top pieces and putting a ‘flat top’ on it…possibly marble or stone, and making a table out of it that you can use on your porch or inside? Something useful, yet pretty. And yes, I would definitely take the motor out, LOL! Best wishes to you….but definitely take lots of nice pictures regardless of what you decide to do!

  58. I would clean it up and put it outside by a clothes line fill it with soil and make a container of it. Absolutely you must take it. You have such a great gift for repurposing that inspiration will come! At the end of the day, if you do not find a use for it, then get rid.

  59. O my…a FIRE PIT comes to mind, planters/plant stands, wood storage next to the fireplace, the hamper idea is cool since it has wheels, a blanket box(or two) next to a sofa , ice bucket on wheels, or you can restore it (my favorite choice) and display it or use it, you can even make a cute koi pond that can easily be wheeled inside in winter(liner is assumed) :))).

  60. Hi Donna!

    I love your story about your Grandma – it reminds me of my Grandma’s house and the stories my Mom used to tell of how the morning after Grandma had a baby, they’d come in from the “bus” they slept in and find Grandma baking bread with the new baby on her hip. (If you’re interested, you can read more about it here:

    I would have to keep the washing machine too – because it was Grandma’s. Do you have space in a mudroom so it could hold mittens or hats? Or tuck it into a front porch and yes, put a beautiful fern in it – maybe sitting by your wonderful pallet bench? That would be a GREAT spot to sit and remember your Grandma!

    Whatever you decide – I hope you choose to keep it and enjoy your wonderful memories – I know I do (minus the washing machine).

    Have a GREAT DAY!

  61. My mom has one of these that uses to store dog food in at her camp. I t keeps any critters out and keeps the food fresh.

  62. Hey Donna; I would most definately keep it, as you never do see them anymore. I think that it looks really neat, and I would keep it in either a Bathroom or else in your Laundry room, if you have one. If not, I would use it in the Livingroom, as it has so much charm, and I think that it would look so nice close to the TV and Fireplace. You could always use the top to hold something lightweight, and hang something from the ringer area.
    I sure do wish that I had it, as I could find so many uses for it!!!
    Take Care 🙂

  63. What fun memories you’ve stirred in my visits to grandma’s house. She had one like this in her basement. I recall helping her out and getting my hands caught in the ringers!

    What if you cut the first ring of metal in half, hinge the back so the front could swing open to hold a mini bar or reading material. Take out the rollers to wire the top as a lamp.

    Frankly, it looks like a rocket or robot with a rectangle head, lol.

    Have fun!


  64. Sweet Ms. Donna… Make sure you show us what you did with it because I know that you will keep it. <3

  65. My first question is.. does it work? I was actually looking for an old school, low/no electricity load machine not that long ago. These things sell for a MINT! I wouldn’t put it as part of my decor; I’d clean it up and USE IT!

  66. Nope, I would not keep it. I personally feel like bloggers are starting to cross the line with having/keeping/trying to transform every little piece of junk they come across. With no disrespect to you, and certainly not to your memories, I would suggest doing something special concerning this item with your video/photography skills, and let the washer find a new home. Somewhere there has to be a “too much” line.

  67. My son bought an older home several years ago and has since done a lot of remodeling. On a walk in his woods last summer he found the previous owners washer sitting alone in the woods several hundred yards away from the house where it had been unceremoniously dumped and left to rot. He bought it home, painted it up and put it on his newly finished deck to use as a conversation piece, cooler, planter….whatever….but it is back home, and that is just where it belongs….so no matter what you finally decided to do with it…..just take it for now and give it a new home….inspiration will follow…..

  68. I do remember how wringer washer! Was renting a flat up in Darwin way back when I was in my early to mid twenties. They had one of these and I just HATED it as everytime I tried to wind my sheets through they would start winding around the top part and hitting the lever to stop it wouldn’t work so by the time I did get it to stop I had one big mess and would take me ages to unwind it as it was wound around so tight.
    and put rubber diapers through that wringer diapers and explodes and I ruined a couple of shirts
    And you had the clothes you déjas caught in the wringer? or ruined a couple of shirts?

  69. I just saw one at Farm Chicks made into a fountain. The water ran down over the rollers into the tub. I am sure it would look great next to your pallet bench.

  70. Keep it ! Not sure what the construction of this is, but reading some of the comments sounds like there is a nice solid tub. If you can I would use the wringer part as a decorative piece in the laundry room, hang a vintage tea towel or granny’s old lace hankie or something from it. The lid I would remove and paint it like a sign (which we all know you are the master of) and the base (with the tub) I would try and make into a fire pit. Decorated Funky Junk style of course. So you can enjoy your lovely garden on those cool nights as well. You’d get 3 cool new decorative elements from one.

  71. That is amazing, I would not pass it up, i would use it somehow, either for a planter, or some kind of bird bath, anything! Its just a classic looking piece with so many memories….
    I have no doubt you will come up with something very cool. Keep us posted…
    thanks so much,

  72. I would take it in a heartbeat. I would take it apart and make some different things out of the parts. My first thought is to separate it at the seam in the middle and make a table out of the bottom part. Good luck!

  73. Should it stay or should it go? If it was me I would keep it and use it. I had one years ago and miss it for such things as rugs, comforters, blankets, anything big and kind of heavy. I do NOT miss using it for jeans. Those wringers are why I got very, very good at replacing jean zippers-the pull would pop right off! :-/

    Even if you kept it to use it as an actual washer it also works as a place to stash ice/drinks for parties. I did this way back in the 70’s.

    But if you do not want to use it and do not have the room for it I would say pass it on to someone that would want it. Me!!! haha. You are way too far away, but I have actually been looking for one for about a year now. So there are folks like me out there that would probably even PAY you for it. 🙂

  74. I saw where someone had made a waterfall feature in their garden using ones of these. It was way cool.
    My mother used one of these washers when I was growing up, and later when I was on my own, my first washer was one of them as well. Wishing I still had it!

  75. I hope you decided to keep it. There are so many possibilities and if you use a good quality paint or even take it to an auto body shop and have it painted you can put it outside and it will last for years. I like the one idea of putting water and a fountain in it for your garden then the birds have a bath and water plus you could put fish in it. Good luck with your projects and post pictures if you decide to keep it.

  76. Donna,

    Please tell us you accepted the gift of your Grandma’s wringer washer!!

    I actually dreamed that I saw it next to your pallet shed, and dreamed, “how cool, she filled it with potting soil and planted geraniums in it”. I’m dying to know if you really did it!!

    • I turned one in to an actual cooler for my patio. I didn’t just throw ice n drinks in. Took out the motor,fabricated a piece of sheet metal for the whole also cut a hole in than and put a drain with a plug. Insulated between the tubs and painted it red n white! Turned out absolutely amazing!

  77. I love old repurpose items. You could take out the inner tub the one with the holes and paint it and add a round wood cover with a big foam covered with some cool old fabric maybe a gunny sack or flour bag, then use it as a ottoman or chair. You can even leave the wheels on it or add new ones.

    The other idea I think would be great if you can have it in your back yard where you live is a fire pit. Use the same inner tub with the holes. The fire will get enough air with the holes.

    Have fun, love to see what you do with it.

  78. Swing-out roller reminds me of my favorite reading lamp. Wire the roller part as a lamp, then put next to your favorite reading chair & store books inside.

  79. this picture of the old washer brings back wonderful memories!! My mom had one but she also had one with a motor on it and it ran off of kerosene……..I believe. I hated the smell but I loved those days as a child. Thanks for showing it.

    • I scrolled through each comment for ideas. I have an old washer, doesn’t look exactly like yours though. I am very sentimental but I don’t have much “junk”. In fact I wish I had more. You have brought upon so many memories even though I am young enough to have never seen one of these washers used. I use mine now under the patio to as décor but it also holds bird seed. I have often wondered if I should do something different. I would never think of getting rid of it. What have you decided? I am new to your site (& love it!) but wonder if there is a follow up to this story of the old washer.

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