Plans for an Off the Grid Clothes Wringer

Off-the-grid living entails challenges that would undoubtedly shake you up in the first few months. People who opt to live off-grid must have a sheer commitment to their decision. Since you are leaving the town for some quiet place away from the hustle and bustle, you will expect to have new rules in your new environment.

Aside from a lifestyle change, several major obstacles in off-grid living can also give beginners a hard time. Sourcing your home’s energy, growing your own food, keeping everything cost-efficient, and properly managing your waste can be considered the basics. However, little details like efficiently doing the laundry can sometimes be grueling in the long run.

Doing Your Off-the-Grid Laundry 

hands wringing a rug on a cleaning bucket with soapy water

Assuming you are already living off the grid, you must have some queries about how others do their daily chores – especially given the limitations of your new lifestyle. The conditions of living off-grid should, of course, limit your use of electric power. It means that you can accomplish such household chores that would require more manual effort, different from what you were used to with the help of machines.

For example, in washing the clothes, several off-grid living veterans would recommend reverting to the traditional way of doing it – the handwashing technique. Handwashing your clothes is a more personal and effective way, too, of getting the stains off your shirt. But, dealing with the excess water (an important off-grid living resource, by the way) of your clothes can be cumbersome. 

Wringing devices are made just for that job. Although a pool of commercial wringing devices is available in the market, spending money on it seems rather ‘unnatural when you live off-grid.’ After all, this lifestyle change encourages you to manage and lower your cost of living. This article will give you insights into dealing with your clothes wringer problem.

Starting Simply with Laundry Basket Stomp

a violet laundry basket with children’s socks inside

This method is perfect if you’re still on a tight budget and not yet confident to embark on more complicated projects. You will only need two laundry baskets and a drill to make this wringer. Most laundry baskets already have holes on the sides. So, to make this cheap and simple wringer, you will only need to bore several half-inch holes in the bottom of the baskets.

When it’s time to wring out your laundry, place them on one of the baskets. Then, place the other basket on top of the one where you placed your clothes and press down. The pressure created in this manner will expel the water through the holes, helping you get rid of excess water. 

The cute part about this is that you can use the chore as a fun time with your kids. Instead of a basket, you can let your kids stomp at your laundry and use their body weight to apply pressure. Just make sure their feet or flip-flops are clean, though.

Making Good Use of Available Home Tools

A rolling pin and a towel are all you need to execute this simple technique. The rolling towel method is so easy your kids can even do it. The technique is pretty convenient for those who already have the mentioned items.

To do this, spread out a decent towel on a flat surface – anywhere that’s smooth such as plywood or an outdoor table or platform. Then, place the clothe flat on the other half side of the towel and fold the other half side to cover the clothing completely. Run the rolling pin back and forth the towel to apply pressure and force the water out to be absorbed by the towel.

However, you can only wring an item or two at a time for this method. It is also especially effective for thinner pieces of clothing. Hence, the downside is having tons of laundry and heavy loads of clothing.

Trying Out DIY Cloth Washer-Wringer

Mangle (wringer) on display at the Apprentice House at the Quarry Bank Mill in the UK

To deal with your laundry problem, why not try and use the free information you can find on the Internet? DIY devices and hacks have made incredible impacts on homeowners, especially those living off the grid. Crafting your DIY Cloth Wringer will not only save you a few bucks but will also allow you to make good use of recyclable stuff.

Most common DIY wringers would require several large buckets with tight lids and a plunger (the one you use in toilets). To make this, you will need to drill a hole in the middle of each lid. The hole should accommodate the handle of the plunger. Then, on one bucket, bore multiple holes in the bottom to allow the water to drain later.

The remaining buckets will be for the washing part, where the detergent and water will be added together with the clothes. Remove the lid and place the plunger inside the said bucket. Feed the handle through the lid with the hole in it, secure it, and start plunging to allow for tumbling the clothes. Doing this helps get rid of the dirt from your laundry.

To wring the clothes, do the same process, but this time, on the bucket with holes in the bottom. Keep plunging it until enough water has drained and your clothes are damp. After that, you can hang your fresh laundry out in the sun.

Using the Wringer System

This technique is also widely popular among homeowners. Aside from the methods mentioned above, this one employs a mechanical rotation, usually using wooden pipes. If you are one of those DIY fans, you might want to research how to create yours, as it is super easy for those who have the guts.

After handwashing your clothes, you can use the tool to wring out excess water from them. To do that, we need to push the clean and wet clothes through the slit of the connected pipes. As you rotate the lever on the side of the tool, the clothes will pass through the slit and come out on the other end, leaving excess water behind.

Repeat the process until the cloth is damp and ready to be hung. Depending on the size of the tool, it can effectively wring the water out from the items, but take note that it can only do it on lightweight ones. You might want to think twice before trying it out on your coats and winter garments.


Several content creators on off-grid living swarm the Internet, and if you are keen enough to do some research, you’d undoubtedly end up with tons of useful information and insights about clothes wringer plans. Watching videos and reading guides such as this can ultimately save you from committing common mistakes. You can even innovate those ideas and make them your own!

Keep in mind that your project should be a product of thinking about what you want to achieve. Are you looking for a quicker technique to do your laundry? Or are you more about conserving as much water as you can? These things will eventually improve your design and set it apart from the standard wringer you know.