How to Make a Spin Dryer


Most people doing laundry use one of two ways to dry clothes: a tumble dryer or a clothesline. Tumble dryers use energy and electricity but are faster than allowing clothes to dry on a line. Spin drying is a third method that combines the previous two. Making a spin dryer uses almost no electricity, compared to tumblers, while using airflow and centrifugal force to dry clothes. You won’t get completely dry clothes, but drying time and energy cost are significantly reduced.

Things You'll Need

  • 3-gallon plastic bucket with screw-on lid
  • Marker
  • Ruler
  • Claw hammer and thick nail
  • 1-by-2-inch wood plank
  • Two 1-by-2-by-3-inch wood pieces
  • Handsaw
  • 2-inch screws
  • Power drill
  • 6-inch metal bolt and nut set
  • Wrench
  • 3-inch nail
  • Caulk or waterproof adhesive
  • Level
  • 5-gallon bucket


  • Clean a 3-gallon bucket of debris and residue. Remove stickers or coating covering the bucket. Unscrew the lid and set it aside.

  • Hook a measuring tape to the bottom of the bucket. Measure 1 inch from the bottom and mark the location. Move the measuring tape 1 inch to the right or left and mark again. Encircle the bucket base with marks every inch.

  • Measure 1 inch up from the original mark along the side of the bucket. Mark this location. Repeat the process, creating a second row of marks 1 inch apart and 1 inch above the previous line.

  • Repeat the measuring and marking process until you reach the top of the bucket.

Adapting the Bucket

  • Hammer a 2-inch nail halfway through one of the marks on the bucket. Wiggle the nail as you remove it, to enlarge the hole. Repeat this process with each mark on the bucket. This creates the air vent for the dryer.

  • Measure the interior dimension of the bucket base. Cut two 1-by-2-inch boards to this measurement.

  • Place one of the boards in the bottom of the bucket. Drill wood screws through the sides of the bucket into the ends of the board.

  • Position the second board on the underside of the bucket, aligning it with the other board. Drill two 2-inch wood screws through the sides of the board into the bucket and the interior board at each end of the board. Drill two more 2-inch screws through the sides of the interior board through the bucket and into the exterior board.

  • Measure the length of the exterior board to find its center, using a ruler. Mark the center of the board. Drill through both the boards and the bucket with a 1-inch drill bit.

  • Insert a 6-inch metal bolt into the bottom board and through the bucket and interior board. Screw the corresponding nut to the end of the bolt hand-tight. Hold the nut with a wrench while tightening the bolt with a screwdriver bit and your drill.

Adapting the Lid

  • Measure the exterior surface of the bucket lid with a ruler. Mark the center of the lid. Record the lid dimensions.

  • Hammer a nail through the underside of the lid at the center mark.

  • Cut two 1-by-2-by-3-inch pieces of wood with a handsaw. Use the ruler to find the center of one of the boards; mark it.

  • Line up the board so the center mark meets the nail extending through the lid. Hammer the nail into the board with the lid still attached to the nail.

  • Apply a bead of caulk around the nail and the bolt head. Allow the caulk to dry overnight.

  • Line up the remaining 3-inch board on the underside of the lid so it matches the first board. Attach this board to the lid as you did the boards to the bottom of the bucket.

Assembly and Use

  • Remove the drill bit from your drill. Clamp the drill to the bolt on the bottom of the bucket.

  • Load the 3-gallon bucket with laundry. Use a small load for efficiency.

  • Screw the lid onto the bucket.

  • Position the 3-gallon bucket, nail end down, in a 5-gallon bucket. Set the nail in the center of the base for the larger bucket.

  • Pull the drill trigger until the interior bucket begins to rotate. Increase speed on the drill to increase bucket rotation. The water from the laundry escapes through the holes of the smaller bucket into the larger bucket.

  • Remove the drill. Remove the smaller bucket. Turn the smaller bucket upright. Unscrew the lid. Remove the clothes.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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