Asked on May 31, 2013

Grandma's Big Beast Washing Machine... Yes or No?

My uncle emailed me the other day, asking if I was interested in taking in Grandma's old washing machine.
This thing is BIG. And I don't have much room. Yet I'm drawn to the challenge. It evokes so many memories it isn't funny. But ACK! Not sure.. my house just isn't very big.
Would you take it in? What would you do with it? Chime in!
q grandma s big beast washing machine yes or no, appliances, repurposing upcycling, A tad jetson like isn t it Now what could this thing actually DO I like productive junk if possible
A tad jetson like, isn't it? Now what could this thing actually DO? I like productive junk if possible...
q grandma s big beast washing machine yes or no, appliances, repurposing upcycling, I d bet it weights 80 000 tons too Love that it s white though total bonus
I'd bet it weights 80,000 tons too! Love that it's white though... total bonus.
  103 answers
  • Kathy R Kathy R on May 31, 2013
    I am probably the WORST person to give my answer - I have a hard time saying no! My sister-in-law's aunt has one in her carport I keep looking at.

  • haha @Kathy R!!! I'll take on the challenge if you will! We can compare notes! LOL

  • Hi Donna, I would love to have one of these! One of my blog readers added mosiac tiles to hers and turned it into a little pond - here the photo: Lots of possiblities!

  • Kathy R Kathy R on May 31, 2013
    just wondering?! Can you make an ice chest out of it?

  • Barb Rosen Barb Rosen on May 31, 2013
    Mega- planter!!!

  • Lori J Lori J on May 31, 2013
    Or a planter? Full of cheery red geraniums with vines of some sort. May an old washboard stuck into it. Man, you will be so sorry you asked. ;-)

  • Kathi Gentry Martin Kathi Gentry Martin on May 31, 2013
    Do you have a back porch for it to be on?

  • Melissa Melissa on May 31, 2013
    I had one when I was first married. I loved washing with it. I think I was born in the wrong era. lol

  • S. Ulmen F S. Ulmen F on May 31, 2013
    Used a machine like this many years ago at our camp! At least once a week that machine worked great too! Weird but would not mind using one again! Not sure what I would do with yours maybe if you have a deck a neat planter or cooler for a party?

  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on May 31, 2013
    @FunkyJunk Interiors - Donna you should take for the nostalgia alone. You are so amazing at repurposing things I am sure it would turn out fantastic. I would take it in a flash as focal point for the garden - so many things you could do to the outside as well as add hangons - love it. Please share the results :)

  • Eva Baldridge Eva Baldridge on Jun 01, 2013
    I had one of these. As a child my mother had one. I used mine until I got my first automatic washer everyday. Then it was the best rug washer in the world! If it still works and you have a covered back porch or a out building, I would use it as a heavy duty washer for rugs or things you can not wash in your regular washer. They are the best. CAUTION: These are dangerous around children as they can get hands/fingers rolled in the ringers! I did as a child. My sister did when she was 16. An ex sister-N-law got her breast in the ringer when she bent over to catch her ring when it fell in the tub! Thank God there were people there to pull the plug!

  • Kay H Kay H on Jun 01, 2013
    I would put a little bubbler in it and make it a birdbath for my deck..I would love to have one.

  • Kayteelou Kayteelou on Jun 01, 2013
    I would take it in a heart beat. Oh yes, I live in Ohio.

  • James Bryan C James Bryan C on Jun 01, 2013
    I would make a drink cooler out of it... Spray some foam Insulation between the tub and outer wall... paint it Coca Cola Red maybe an artist could reproduce the coke emblem.. all you would need then is some Ice and a case of drinks.. the drain tub would serve it's original function to drain the icewater away

  • Sumaya Warwick Sumaya Warwick on Jun 01, 2013
    Don't know the height but it could make an awesome, quirky stool/barstool. Remove the lid and insert a padded, upholstered seat. You can freshen up the outer with some spray paint!

  • Dawn Dawn on Jun 01, 2013
    I would have it sandblasted , paint it n put flowers n vines in it. I paint n would paint a scene around it.

  • Kathie taylor Kathie taylor on Jun 01, 2013
    LOVE IT!!!! I would take in a heartbeat! My Grandmaother used it, but it belonged to my Mom. Then I used one at an apartment I lived in. I agree with Dawn...but I would see if I could find a pot/tray insert for the flowers. Probably invert a pot for it to rest on inside. I would leave it white like Mom's and all the rest of that era. Please let us know what you do...if nothing else sell it on Craig's list!!!!

  • Kelly S Kelly S on Jun 01, 2013
    I agree with everybody else, it would be a really cool planter or drink cooler.

  • Andrea R Andrea R on Jun 01, 2013
    I've also seen them used as planter boxes ,some pretty geraniums, pansies,assorted flowers. sanded down and put a fresh coat of white or a beautiful buttermilk yellow or dusty rose or leave it rustic. also add a cute little vintage tea towel through the rolls or hang over it,whats neat to let your imagination fly,anything goes! have fun with it!

  • Diana Busey Diana Busey on Jun 01, 2013
    I have one that I am going to put on my back porch and add flowers

  • Annette White Annette White on Jun 01, 2013
    I'd grab it myself, but I'm like that. You can fill the tub with ice and use it for drinks, for a party or I would more likely fill it with soil and plant hanging, viney plants in it. Cute, so many options!!

  • Kathleen M Kathleen M on Jun 01, 2013
    Not sure what I would do with it (so many ideas) but I would DEFINITELY take it!

  • Thelma H Thelma H on Jun 01, 2013
    I visited a friends home one time in Vermont and she had one in the living room with spider plants, etc pots sitting in side of it .....I loved it and always thought it would be cool to do that. I think planting directly into it would be a mess. Yes, I caught my arm in the wringer as a child also. Monday was wash day.

  • SicilianMa SicilianMa on Jun 01, 2013
    You can get a small water pump and design layers that will go above the top of tub for gentle water fall effect and can either stagger plants or add some stones with water plants. On a funny note, fill with gold fish and let the kids go fishing. Don't pass up this opportunity. Sometimes it takes time to brainstorm something wonderful. You will know when it comes to mind. All the best with this project. Keep us posted.

  • Cathy C Cathy C on Jun 01, 2013
    If it still worked, I'd take it in a minute and use it for its original intention! Best washer I ever had was my old wringer and would love to have another!

  • BONNIE J BONNIE J on Jun 01, 2013

  • Jessica C Jessica C on Jun 01, 2013
    Absolutely! It would make an awesome planter in your garden!

  • Debra Peters Debra Peters on Jun 01, 2013
    Definitely take it - figure out what to do with it after it's in your life. Don't think I would repaint it - but that's because I like the grungy. Planter, fountain, cooler - just don't try to clean a bunny in it - doesn't work! (I know from experience! lol)

  • Gretta G Gretta G on Jun 01, 2013
    great outdoor water feature or planter!!!

  • Sue Weiker Sue Weiker on Jun 01, 2013
    I'd cover the whole thing in mosaic or colored glass beads in a nice pattern, and put it in the garden with plants

  • Janet McFadin Janet McFadin on Jun 01, 2013
    yes take it......what a wonderful thing! If you don't want it can I have it ?? Lol

  • Riggs Laughlin Riggs Laughlin on Jun 01, 2013
    Wonderful janet you would have tell sue to give it out freely lol

  • Sandra T Sandra T on Jun 01, 2013
    My Mother and Grandmother used these, really gets the job done. I would take it and figure out something to do with it later.Use it has a clothes hamper in the meantime!

  • Nancy Hatcher Nancy Hatcher on Jun 01, 2013
    I love Debra's idea of a cooler. What a great way to have a bbq with ice in it and loaded with sodas, beer, etc.

  • Patty Patty on Jun 01, 2013
    I have one that I made into a planter. FYI-it sits in front of my clothesline LOL

  • Pat Mozer Pat Mozer on Jun 02, 2013
    It reminds me of R2 D2 from Star Wars. But bigger.

  • A1tec service A1tec service on Jun 03, 2013
    NOT A COOLER NOT FLOWER POT FIT IT UP TO WERE IT WORKS sale it or keep it it win fix up it could sale from 200 to 500.00 i've sold one two years for 400.00

  • Marie S Marie S on Jun 03, 2013
    it would be a keeper for me in case my washer break down.

  • Donna S Donna S on Jun 03, 2013
    I sold my old one to the Maytag guy and wish I hadn't..I used it for rugs and big blankets...Now I go to a laundrymat for that stuff...I really miss it more than I thought I would..LOL

  • Donna S Donna S on Jun 03, 2013
    I kept mine outside and it never hurt it..

  • KathrynElizabeth Etier KathrynElizabeth Etier on Jun 03, 2013
    How could you turn it down? I would use it outside as a planter.

  • Andrea R Andrea R on Jun 04, 2013
    how about a water fountain! with waterfall ,sitting in a garden of flowers and pavers and little fairies,and all kinds of stuff,lol!

  • Barbara Weatherly Barbara Weatherly on Jun 04, 2013
    I have a couple of chest of drawers I would like to turn into a storage chest how?

  • BONNIE J BONNIE J on Jun 04, 2013

  • Jeannie Scott Jeannie Scott on Jun 05, 2013
    I follow Tony Turner on HT and he has a pic of his grandmother's old washing machine with a story of his childhood remembering growing up watching his Gram use the washer. He has it planted with beautiful flowers and it is great!!!! Take a look at his profile.

  • Pam Perkins Zirbel Pam Perkins Zirbel on Jun 05, 2013
    That is just crazy gorgeousness!!!! I certainly hope you DID take this!!!

  • Pam Perkins Zirbel Pam Perkins Zirbel on Jun 05, 2013
    OH!! And make it into a fryer!!

  • Cathy M Cathy M on Jun 05, 2013

  • SicilianMa SicilianMa on Jun 06, 2013
    The suspence is killing me. Since we all want you to keep the machine I want to know if you have made a decision. :D

  • Andrea R Andrea R on Jun 06, 2013
    we want to know,whats the verdict? lol

  • A1tec service A1tec service on Jun 07, 2013
    jif you save it and fix it up win you did your wash run them on the roller this would take out a lot of water and cut down almost 1/2 the dryer time that wy it on it

  • Joanne McMullen Joanne McMullen on Jun 07, 2013
    How about an outdoor ice chest?

  • Cathy B Cathy B on Jun 07, 2013
    My first thought was to make a liner for it and use it for parties as a cooler. Love it!

  • BONNIE J BONNIE J on Jun 08, 2013
    Speaking from experience--those ''old'' rollers may not get out much water!! u got lots of replies, for sure!!

  • Nancy Hinds Nancy Hinds on Jun 09, 2013
    Yard Art...Keep the roller on the top and grow a trailing white flowering plant that may look like overflowing bubbles. Add some small globes like refecting balls to look like bubbles in the top!

  • Bonnie G Bonnie G on Jun 09, 2013
    Absolutely take it. With your talent and ideas I am looking forward to when you pin it!!! I can picture all the ideas just running through your head. I would stick it on the front lawn as a planter just to upset the HOA :)

  • Deanna Riles-Cox Deanna Riles-Cox on Jun 10, 2013
    Yard art full of flowers

  • Sharon Sharon on Jun 18, 2013
    Think you're just teasing us... YESSSS! of course you want it... can NOT WAIT to see what you do w/ it... I vote plants and in the yard,P.S. IF you don't keep it DIBS!

  • No tease @Sharon , I was really scratching my head on this one! Another family member wanted it more than I so that is where it is going as far as I've heard. If she doesn't take it, I may attempt. I just don't want to see it at some land fill! :)

  • Karen Prescher Karen Prescher on Jun 19, 2013
    I have 2 of them. I use them as planters outside. They look so pretty with flowers spilling out of them, down the sides! Take it girl!!!!!

  • Tracy Chamberlin Tracy Chamberlin on Jun 23, 2013
    Make it into an outdoor sink with a drain tray

  • TJ TJ on Jun 24, 2013
    I have a square one waiting to be sealed for outdoor use. I love the idea of using it for a water feature. But if this works I would definitely keep it to use. When my oldest was born I used it to soak and wash her cloth diapers (disposables were too expensive for us). Because you control the soak and wash length, it will get things white that is impossible in an automatic washer. would be great for blankets and other big stuff.

  • Shari Baker Shari Baker on Jun 27, 2013
    I took one similar from my grandparents old farmhouse, and repurposed it into a snowman for the front of my business. Check out photo on facebook/finderskeepers.

  • Mary C Mary C on Jul 01, 2013
    I'll take it if you don't want it....would pay to have it mamma used one of these and i can remember helping run the clothes through the ringer! i would love to have one!!!!! :)

  • BONNIE J BONNIE J on Jul 01, 2013

  • Teresa Teresa on Jul 01, 2013
    yes!! take it!!

  • Pearl Doubleday Pearl Doubleday on Jul 02, 2013
    Take it. Take it. Makes a great planter for the front yard. Wish I had one.

  • Thank-you EVERYONE for your thoughtful replies! I was ready to give it a whirl when another family member wanted it more than me. I'm good with that! But wow, what a wonderful collection of ideas for anyone else landing one of these! Thanks ever so much! But I'll admit, I was hesitating. I wasn't sure I wanted to look at it. I'm glad I never had to make the final decision. LOL

    • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Aug 25, 2014
      @FunkyJunk Interiors - Donna how thoughtful and unselfish of you. I would have done the same. Family is so important and you have demonstrated that they mean a lot to you :)

  • Andrea R Andrea R on Jul 03, 2013
    it was so generous of you to give it up. Sometimes it is better for the soul to give something that you know someone else wants,and also since its in the family,you'll get a chance to see it in its new use. you're a good person for doing that!

  • Kat Davis-Moran Kat Davis-Moran on Jul 29, 2013
    awesome planters is what I see

  • Judy Wootan Judy Wootan on Oct 25, 2013
    Looks like a great place to ice down your Coca-colas for an outdoor bar-b-que. :)

  • Rose Westmoreland Rose Westmoreland on Oct 25, 2013
    Turn it into a cooler and have powder paint on it so you can leave it outdoors. Would be so cool! If you get a spill crank the wet item thru the wringer!

  • Kelly S Kelly S on Oct 27, 2013
    Who knows, you may get it from the other family member later. What a lovely piece of family history!

  • Mona$ Mona$ on Dec 05, 2013
    Take it! Take it! Take it! Even if you put it on the porch with a potted plant in it, I think you'll be glad you did. There are so many things of my mom's that I wish I had kept.

  • Bobbi sensenig Bobbi sensenig on Jul 06, 2014

  • Shirley Bailey Shirley Bailey on Jul 07, 2014
    My mom had a wringer washing machine & I had one years ago & you never had one to go out on you like the new ones do. You could wash those clothes as long as you wanted to & they got my clothes so clean but they are a lot of work but if someone offered me one I don't know where I would put it.

  • Terri Terri on Aug 25, 2014
    My mother finally had to give up her wringer washer after 56 years because no one could find parts for it. Growing up that was the only washer I ever used, and it always did a great job, but the finger pinches from the wringer were scary! Glad someone in your family can still use it, either as it is or repurposed ala the many super ideas listed above.

  • Fenya Kashergen Fenya Kashergen on Dec 28, 2014
    in my hippy days, I used the old button buster a lot. When I was ready to join the washing machine co-op, I sold it to a potter who used it to agitate slip for his work. Good times.

  • Mamamojoe Moore Mamamojoe Moore on Dec 28, 2014
    I would take it and wash clothes on my porch dont have back porch but side porch fine and then hang them outside like i did as a child teen then mom now i am 73 yrs old and memories are sso wonderful granny would be proud of me thanks for the offer so many fun fun memories oh an my daughter remembers to at 14 yrs ol now is 51 so see very valuable in hearts and miinds thanks again for the moments.

  • Stormie Remus Stormie Remus on Dec 28, 2014
    OH MY GOSH!! I'm so jealous. It's beautiful. I would plant flowers in containers and put in top.

  • Kathy Sperling Kathy Sperling on Mar 08, 2015
    I would POWDER COAT PAINT IF POSSIBLE even if this is not available I would still paint it , then turn it into a planter in the yard . I would NOT throw away any parts that you take off to accomidate using the washer as a planter .

  • Robby Treichel Robby Treichel on Jan 01, 2017
    It looks just like my Grandmother's old washer. I don't know what happened to it but would love to take yours off your hands!

  • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Jan 08, 2017
    Me too..(I would use it for flowers) Looks like a great planter to me.
    I have used an old wheel barrow, an old kitchen sink, a bird bath, an old horse water trough....oh and several boots that here in Louisiana we call cajun Reeboks...old holey white rubber boots.

    If it will hold dirt ..plant it.

  • Martha jayne siprut Martha jayne siprut on Jan 09, 2017

  • Joan Joan on Jan 22, 2017
    Paint it silver apply some weird eyes and antena. set it on porch or lawn.

    Based on your comments it might not be operating. I can't believe pasrts can't be made or found, but anyway I would use it to dye fabrics.

  • White Oak Studio Designs White Oak Studio Designs on Jan 26, 2017
    I love these situated in the garden planted (in an area that has tall plants around it) filled with with colorful and draping over plants. So funky and so fun!!

  • Ani13089233 Ani13089233 on Jan 27, 2017
    Such a sweet memory "machine"! Silly Sentimental me, I couldn't bear to put it outside in the elements as a planter. But maybe on a porch so I could see it often. Use as a catch all for umbrellas, throw wet coats, beach towel, etc across?

  • Johnni Johnni on Jan 31, 2017
    I would paint it ,a bright pretty color ,remove insides,place right by my small outdoor clothes line ,fill with favorite flowers and trailing vine, something to make you smile every time you go outside.maybe put a small bench at the side to set your clothes basket on when you are hanging or taking down your laundry ,

  • Cartwrightd Cartwrightd on Feb 01, 2017
    I would spray paint it a bright color, line the tub if necessary and use it outside as a beer cooler.

  • Robby Treichel Robby Treichel on Feb 01, 2017
    All of these suggestions are interesting, but if you are prepping for a possible disaster, like I am, you might find this item to be exactly what you need,
    if we end up without power for an extended period of time. Even if the washer no longer works, you could still use the wringer part to wring out hand washed clothing and towels, etc.

  • Lucy Marie Bernier Lucy Marie Bernier on Feb 02, 2017
    My mom had something like that. Where the ringer is devise a board / small table like. Use the rest of it as a rolling ice bucket for the outside?

  • F H Young F H Young on Feb 04, 2017
    Still use grandma's wringer washer, gets the clothes clean and doesn't use half the water the newer wash machines use.

  • Lisa Petersen Lisa Petersen on Feb 07, 2017
    I ran my arm through the wringer on my great grandmother's when I was very young - glad your memories are more pleasant, lol!

  • Paula Hodges Paula Hodges on Feb 08, 2017
    scrub it out really well and put a couple of gold fish in there.. you would need shade and something to aerate the water since it is a small are and would go stagnant and hot if out in the sun.... but what a conversation starter!! you can get solar power cells that would easily power a small pump.

  • Donna Sides Donna Sides on Mar 18, 2017
    I would chalk paint it and seal it and use it as a cooler...,in the winter u could use it to store your garden houses

  • Stephanie corley Stephanie corley on Mar 31, 2017
    A cooler or planter and leave on a cover patio or porch.

  • 13526476 13526476 on Apr 01, 2017
    I would so use it for its original intent if it worked...So environmentally friendly and the cleanest laundry ever! If it doesn't work, take it any way and play with the ideas...I love the planter ideas especially.

  • Em Em on Feb 21, 2018
    If nothing else.....the inside tub make amazing planters, especially the old porcelain spackled ones. It takes a bit of dismantling but they already have the drain holes and look great in the front yard. I takes a bit of dismantling but parts of it including the legs can be used for different projects.

  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Dec 14, 2020

    Oooooothat's so pretty. Did you ever take it Donna?

  • Kris Kris on Jan 01, 2021


  • Eleen Eleen on Feb 17, 2022

    This is very nice to have ,i would put it on a back porch ,but it need to be paint a nice bright color