Learn How to Find a New or Used Wringer Washing Machine

••• Wringer Washer. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Are you interested in purchasing a wringer washer, but you're not sure where to look? While you won't find them at your local big box store, there are still plenty of places to hunt one down.

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.​

Where to Find a Used Wringer Washer

If you are looking for an antique wringer washing machine, these are your best bets for finding a used one. Unlike a modern washing machine, it's going to be harder to find one at a typical moving sale.

  • Yard sales
  • Antique stores
  • Craigslist
  • Freecycle
  • eBay
  • Estate sales
  • Auctions
  • Dump site, landfills or recycling centers: You may find a salvageable wringer washer that has been sent to the dump.

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 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 They're the only company that currently sells them, although they do 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. They say 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 to a Wringer Washer

There are several companies that still sell hand wringers.

They're designed to attach to the side of a wash tub. Paired with a plunger (for agitating the laundry), you'll 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 that small enough to sit on a countertop. It can wash up to five pounds of laundry at a time and sells for under $40.

Saving Water and Energy with a Wringer Washer

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, and progress 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 now have a cost-saving laundry system you can use off the grid.