How to Find a New or Used Wringer Washing Machine

Save energy with this alternative to automatic washers

Old fashioned Wringer washer
••• Wringer Washer. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Are you are interested in purchasing a wringer washer but not sure where to look, there are plenty of places to hunt one down even if your local big box store is not one of them.

Wringer washers come in many sizes and shapes. The defining feature is that they have a tub with an agitator to get the suds through your laundry and dislodge dirt and grime, and then rinse it out. Rather than having a spin cycle to remove the excess water, you put the laundry through the wringer to press out the water. Some models are completely hand-operated while others are powered by electricity or gas.

Used Wringer Washers

If you are looking for an antique wringer washing machine, it will be more difficult to find one at a typical moving sale. Your best bets include yard sales, antique stores, Craigslist, Freecycle, eBay, estate sales, and auctions. You may find a salvageable wringer washer at dump sites, landfills, or recycling centers.

If you're looking for a pristine unit to use as decor, you'll pay more. But if you're looking for one that will work after a few minor repairs, you often can pick them up for $100 or less, even cobbling together the usable parts from different units. If you are good with tools, wringer washers are simple enough that you can repair and replace most of the parts yourself.

Where to Find a New Wringer Washer

For a new wringer washer, try lehmans.com. It's the only company that currently sells them, although it does not always have them in stock. Their Home Queen Wringer Washer has a stainless steel tub that can hold 14 pounds of clothing. It runs on 120V electricity. The manufacturer says it needs no water pressure and uses much less water than an automatic washing machine. It drains by gravity into a drain or bucket.

Alternatives

There are several companies that still sell hand wringers designed to attach to the side of a wash tub. Paired with a plunger for agitating the laundry, you can have an electricity-free wash set up.

If you just need something for occasional use in between trips to the laundromat, on RV trips, etc., there's a product called the Wonderwash that is small enough to sit on a countertop. It can wash up to five pounds of laundry at a time and sells for less $50, as of 2018.

Saving Water and Energy

Using either a wringer washer or a wash tub with a hand wringer, you will use less water than an automatic washer. You can wash multiple loads in the wash water, starting with the whites or the less dirty items, then progressing to the dark colors and more soiled items. With 15 gallons of water for the wash and 15 to 30 in a rinse basin, you will use less water than a single cycle of an automatic washing machine.

You can use the gray water from the wringer washer or tub to water your garden, saving on irrigation water. Combined with line drying your clothes, you can have a cost-saving laundry system you can use off the grid.