We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Ringer Washer?

Malcolm Tatum
By
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The wringer, or ringer washer, is a precursor to the modern washing machine. Introduced in the early years of the 20th century, the typical ringer washer included a vat for washing clothing, a simple agitating system recessed in the vat, and a washboard and ringer combination. Considered to be an innovative appliance at the time, this type of clothes washer made the process of cleaning clothing a much easier task for many households.

In appearance, the ringer washer featured a body that was composed of a vat mounted on four legs. Many models included rollers or caster wheels on each leg, making it possible to move the washer from storage when needed. Built into the vat was a simple agitating device, located in the middle area. The agitator normally had two extended flaps that would move the clothing around during the operation of the washer. At the base of the machine was a drainage valve that made it possible to remove water from the vat once the washing process was completed.

The early ringer washer also included handy tools that were attached to the top of the vat, normally on one side. A sturdy washboard provided the ideal place to scrub stubborn stains on shirts and other garments before immersing them in the wash water. In order to wring as much water from the clothing as possible before hanging them on an outdoor clothesline, a wringer composed of two sturdy rollers and a crank handle was provided. After the clothing was washed, it was ran through the rollers, effectively squeezing out the excess water, which dropped back into the vat.

Original designs for the ringer washer used the newly harnessed electricity in order to operate. A single power cord with equipped with a wall plug ran from the washer to the power source. Once the vat was filled and the clothing immersed in the water, washing soap was added and the device was turned on. The agitator moved the clothing back and forth in the filled vat, helping to remove dirt and grime from the clothing.

Later designs mechanized the wringers, eliminating the hand crank. By flipping a switch, it was possible to start the motion of the ringers and run the wet clothing through with relative ease. Due to some accidents involving the electrical rollers, a hand guard was added to the last generation of these types of washers.

Draining water from a ringer washer involved opening the drain located near the base of the unit. Many models include a fixture where a hose could be attached, making it possible to control the flow of the water as it left the vat. Other models were set up to allow the water to drain into a bucket, which could then be dumped into the sink or out of doors.

Over time, the ringer washer was replaced by the modern washing machines of today with their multiple washing cycles and spin technology. However, it is still possible to purchase replica editions of the ringer washer from a few select vendors. The replicas are fully operational devices to clean clothes and may be ideal for use at a lake cabin or other location where plumbing or space restraints make the installation of a modern clothes washer impractical.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including HomeQuestionsAnswered, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

Discussion Comments

By Buster29 — On Mar 07, 2014

I remember some ringer washers actually had gas engines instead of electrical plugs. My grandmother still used a ringer washer when I was a child, and I remember the clothes ringer would scare me to death. it was two long wooden rollers with very little space between them. Grandma would crank the rollers with one hand and feed clothes between the rollers with the other. They came out flat as a board at the other end. We all got our fingers pinched in that device at least once.

My mother used one of the last ringer washers available during the late 60s or early 70s. The rollers were made out of rubber, and they turned by electric motor. There was a metal guard that kept up from sticking our fingers too close to the ringers. I still think the ringers did a better job of removing excess water than the new spinning drums.

Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum

Writer

Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.