#FlatsChallenge: How to Make a Camp Style Washer Instructional Video

I am slowly getting information together for participants.  You can see in this video how easy it is to make a camp style washer out of a 5 Gallon Bucket and plunger.  Total cost for the basic version-0.00-10.00.  Cost for the “luxury” version-10.00-20.00.

You could also purchase the Mobile Washer (Hand Operated Washing Machine) in lieu of a plunger with holes.  As I quickly learned, a plunger with no holes creates a lot of resistance in the water and makes this method far more labor intensive.  If you want tone arms, don’t drill holes!

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  • Arielwitt

    It says the video is private…

  • Ziggy28028

    It says that the video is private & cannot be viewed. 🙁

    • Anonymous

      Argh hate when I do that! Just updated it. The default setting when I
      upload videos is private. Big pain in my butt when I forget!

  • Ziggy28028

    It says that the video is private & cannot be viewed. 🙁

  • This is great. I assume you add a minimal amount of soap and then do a rinse cycle or two? My toddler and I loved the music too.

  • Fun. Thanks for sharing.

  • sXenerdX

    Wow that is REALLY cool!!!!

    • Anonymous

      Yay! I saw you filled out the form, I hope to see you join me!

  • This is great! I’ll get the hubby-to-be right on it =)

  • I can’t wait to make one of these. I’m going to do a “how to” video as well. I’m also considering making my own cloth diaper detergent for the challenge to give ideas for what you can do if you don’t have internet access or specialty stores in your area to buy the detergent.

  • When hand washing, an old salad spinner can really help get some of the moisture out. It’s easier on the hands than regular wringing, and then the flats dry faster.
    I love this method of hand washing, BTW. I can’t enter the challenge (no babies anymore!), but I wanted to share that I washed ALL our clothes with a similar method for 3 months, and thankfully I had a hand operated wringer to squeeze out the water. I’m not nuts though – as soon as I had access to a washing machine again, I went right back! I still hang everything to dry, though.

    • Anonymous

      Great information! Thanks for sharing those tips. I have been twisting, wringing, and snapping my flats.

    • When I first left my ex-husband, I didn’t have the money to go to the laundromat more than once a month. So, we wore our jeans multiple times, but washed underwear, socks, and t-shirts by hand in buckets. Even rigged up a clothesline that hung off the narrow catwalk style balcony of my apartment complex. Jeans and towels were the only thing we didn’t wash by hand.

  • When hand washing, an old salad spinner can really help get some of the moisture out. It’s easier on the hands than regular wringing, and then the flats dry faster.
    I love this method of hand washing, BTW. I can’t enter the challenge (no babies anymore!), but I wanted to share that I washed ALL our clothes with a similar method for 3 months, and thankfully I had a hand operated wringer to squeeze out the water. I’m not nuts though – as soon as I had access to a washing machine again, I went right back! I still hang everything to dry, though.

  • Allyson @ A Heart for Home

    Thanks so much for the tutorial. My husband has already agreed to make me one soon. Can’t wait for the tutorial on how to use it. I want a few trail runs before the actual challenge. Also, I’m still looking for a company to sponsor our family’s participation. Any ideas?

  • Haggie10

    My question is…does drilling the hole in the plunger affect how effectively it cleans? It seem like the suction would be part of what helps it clean so well, but there wouldn’t be any if there are holes in the plunger. I have the materials to make this already so I think this might be how I wash during the challenge!

    • I think it actually helps because agitation is what cleans, which is why there are baffles in your washing machine. 

      The holes allow water to pass through more easily and create more agitation.  Feel free to test yourself by not drilling the holes, wash some diapers….and then do the same after you drilled the holes.

      Let us know what you find…

  • Clickerdogsmx

    I can’t watch the video either 🙁 It just shows up as a pic.

  • Finished mine yesterday, $15.66 total at home depot because I didn’t have any drill bits (those were $8).

  • Maggie Martin

    Thanks for posting this! We’ll be going camping for a week soon and I was looking up ways to wash diapers while camping. This seems to be the easiest way so far! I’m excited to make my own! Thanks again:)