The V Spot

Rants, observations and home decorating from a woman with no time for a blog.

Turn your old washing machine into a fire pit.

OK, this is not a beautiful transformation, but it sure works great.  Take the drum out of an old machine and use it as a fire-pit.

I don’t think they are so aesthetically pleasing “as-is” for a backyard, but let me tell you, these wash tub fire pits are perfect for beach bonfires and camping trips.

Using the wash tub in this campfire ring has a couple of advantages:

  • It elevates the fire enough so that when the smoke blows (always where I’m sitting, dang it) it blows over your head instead of in your face.
  • It keeps the wood and kindling nicely contained.
  • When camping, we use it as sort of a trash can during the day for paper products (paper plates & napkins, etc) and then they serve as a great starter to get the wood burning.
  • The holes in the sides allow for a great airflow, so your fire starts quickly and burns brightly.
  • We have also found that it is easy to clean and store.

With High Efficiency washers and dryers becoming more and more popular, the older top loading washers are all over the place.

Once you find your washing machine, take the drum out.  I can’t necessarily give you a step by step on how to do this because different makes and models will have the agitator attached differently.  The agitator might just lift straight out, but most likely you will need to remove the fabric softener dispenser if there is one.  Then remove the cap on the agitator.  There might be a bolt holding the agitator in place, and you’ll need to do away with that.

The goal is to remove the metal drum.  At the end of the day that’s all you need, so who cares what you destroy in the process…

Any trouble, just google “wash tub fire pit” and I am sure you will find a tutorial on the make and model you are cannibalizing. If you can’t find a wash tub, there are also good tutorials on how to build a fire pit without one.

It’s cheap, it’s relatively easy, and it is actually quite pretty at night.

wash tub fire pit, roasting marshmallow, fire, s'mores
Now who’s ready for some s’mores?




Susan @ said...

August 1, 2011 at 12:37 pm
I love it V! That's thinking out of the box! Have fun with it!

Maggie @ Midwestern {Sewing} Girl said...

August 1, 2011 at 12:58 pm
Seriously, are the most creative person I know...this is amazing! What a fantastic idea! How do you do it????

Carol said...

August 1, 2011 at 12:58 pm
We have a washing machine fire pit
on a stand that is fixed to a old
wheel rim,so that it is easy to move
around the yard were needed.

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

August 1, 2011 at 1:00 pm
That is a very clever recycle/reuse idea!

Kelsie From Our Country Home said...

August 1, 2011 at 1:38 pm
Love it...wonder what happened to our old washing machine...hmmm...I think you could possibly pretty it up by placing it inside a you said, would make clean up easy :)


Pam@OurAdventuresInHomeImprovement said...

August 1, 2011 at 2:06 pm
You are so creative! Nice!

Joni Nickrent said...

August 1, 2011 at 2:10 pm
Very clever...thanks for the share!

Connie Weiss said...

August 1, 2011 at 2:47 pm
That is a brilliant idea!

gail said...

August 1, 2011 at 3:04 pm
Very clever! Love the look of it at night!

Beverly @ said...

August 1, 2011 at 3:49 pm
What a great idea! You are so clever!! Now I'll be on the lookout for one - you're right it's perfect for the beach! :)

Jane said...

August 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm
Interesting idea...

lauren @ West Furniture Revival said...

August 1, 2011 at 4:28 pm
great idea and it looks cool as well!

Becca @ R We There Yet Mom? said...

August 1, 2011 at 7:44 pm
That rocks! Did you use it camping?


THIS IS ME....ONLINE said...

August 1, 2011 at 7:56 pm
Cool! Or hot? Whatever. Pass me a marshmellow.

Suesan said...

August 1, 2011 at 8:48 pm
Great Idea, Viv. I'll even have an extra washing machine that I can use when we move. We have a campground area in the back of our yard and this would be perfect there.

InMyOwnStyle said...

August 1, 2011 at 9:32 pm
HI Viv-

Very ingenious - looks pretty cool, too.

My best- Diane

Korrie@RedHenHome said...

August 1, 2011 at 9:49 pm
I think this is pretty darn awesome! Where do you come up with these things?? It does look spectacular at night!

MiMi said...

August 1, 2011 at 11:48 pm
Welp, it's pretty brilliant!

Cherished Bliss said...

August 2, 2011 at 12:59 am
So resourceful! Would be a great idea to convince hubby to get a new washer : ) Thanks for linking up this week!

Baye said...

August 2, 2011 at 4:19 pm
This is great. I've been using a plain metal tub--as in really old-fashioned wash tub that is wearing out. This would make an interesting replacement.

once in a blue moon said...

August 3, 2011 at 2:36 am
very resourceful~

... and fun!

Erin of said...

August 3, 2011 at 3:23 am
Wow! This is super smart, Vivienne! I actually love the look of it with the being able to see the fire through the small holes. It also looks very reliable! Thank you so much for linking up!

Shanna said...

August 3, 2011 at 5:29 pm
So funny that I would across this on Today's Creative Blog...we actually have a broken-down Maytag washer in the garage that could be turned into a firepit! Hubby has been wanting one for so long.... :)

Mami Made It said...

August 3, 2011 at 7:08 pm
Fabulous idea!
Love your clever recycling project!

The Pennington Point said...

August 4, 2011 at 1:40 am
Very clever! Lisa~

Johnnie said...

August 4, 2011 at 5:09 pm
Ok, Viv, that is just cool. I would never have thought of that!

Alison@Oopsey Daisy said...

August 4, 2011 at 9:17 pm
Wow? Seriously?? What a great idea. You really can recycle everything!!

Sandy said...

August 6, 2011 at 3:19 am
What a neat idea! And it is pretty at night.

HI THERE! said...

August 7, 2011 at 7:06 am
So smart! Of course we just sent our washing machine to recycling about one month ago! Wish I could get it back! Thanks again for linking up to the Creative Spark!
jenn :)

Rachelle @ Adventures in Creating said...

August 7, 2011 at 6:58 pm
Awesome! We made one to but put old claw foot tub feet on it- check it out!

Jenn Erickson said...

August 8, 2011 at 8:16 pm
Viv, this is so darn cool! This deserves not only a Stumble, but a Pin and FB feature too!


allenaim photography and design said...

August 9, 2011 at 2:00 pm
BRILLIANT! I love it!

The Ellis' said...

August 9, 2011 at 8:29 pm
Oh my goodness! That is the best idea ever! We would love for you to share this at our link party and come enter our free digital scrapbooking software giveaway!

The Sisters @ Six Sister's Stuff

Amy K said...

August 14, 2011 at 10:48 am
Great idea....pinning!

Jami said...

August 15, 2011 at 2:51 pm
Love the look of this! Thanks for linking to the Tuesday To Do Party!

Outdoor Fire Pits said...

February 4, 2012 at 4:56 am
This is a nice post.
It is good that, if we reuse our wastage things to some important and useful things. Not only old washing machine but also we can use more other old and waste items as fire pits. This post is beautiful transformation and shows great information.

abbie said...

March 1, 2012 at 4:47 pm
I love the fire pit washer!! Linked to it via my newer blog "Abbie in Wonderland". If you wanna have a look-see, go here:
Thanks! And I'll be watching your space for more great ideas. : )

kathisgardenart said...

March 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm
Great Idea, we use them for raised planters in the garden. My hubby use to work at an Appliance store so we have a few around :)

Darryl said...

April 2, 2012 at 12:44 pm
These do make idea firepits, however I CAUTION you... I salvaged a washer drum from a reasonably new washer, and used it as a firepit.. However, the very first time I used it. I was fortunate enough to be well away from it when there was a significant explosion. With some investigation, I discovered the debris from the explosion was tiny metallic BB's.. several pounds of them strewn around the yard. These BB's are sealed in the rim of the washer drum (I found out later) to help balance the drum when spinning. This sealed area on the drum, has a welded plug used during manufacturing to pour in the BB's. When the drum heated up for the first time, the pressure built in the sealed are to the point that the filling plug failed and the BB's exploded out of this hole. They covered a 25 foot diameter around the drum, and flew 20 feet in the air.. certainly enough to do significant injury if in the area.

Michelle L. said...

May 24, 2012 at 1:06 pm
Need this! Thanks for the brilliant upcyled idea - now off to troll Craig's List!

Nancy said...

June 5, 2012 at 10:09 pm
While it's a good idea, it's definately nothing new. Everyone around here has this.

Darryl is right. Be careful the first time you use it. Remove plastic around the rim.

Vivienne @ the V Spot said...

June 5, 2012 at 11:24 pm
Nancy, I am not sure why, but your comment struck me as a little snippy and dismissive.
While I'm sure that "everyone around here has this" where you are, please read the 40 comments before you and check the 2,000+ pins it has on Pinterest... it appears that not everyone knows about this possible transformation. I did not claim that I invented this... just sharing information with people who are NOT your neighbors about something they might not have known about.

Christie said...

April 29, 2014 at 6:23 am
Great idea that you shared the drum pit into fire pit..thanks for the sharing.

How to DIY Repurpose Washing Machine Drum into Fire Pit | said...

August 3, 2014 at 4:54 pm
[…] source: […]

Tammie said...

September 6, 2014 at 6:58 am
We have been doing this for a long time using a drum from a dryer. The last new one we used, burned all around the outside, as it had a porcelain painted finish. Just a warning, be careful the first few times you use it. So easy to use.

Marion said...

February 14, 2015 at 6:57 am
Do you have a picture of your firepit connected to a wheel drum,etc? I am trying to figure out a way to keep the drum off the ground since I am renting where i live. Also, do you try to roast hot dogs or marshmellows on your wash machine fire pit??? it looks like it might be kind of 'alot of fire and no coals' since the sides are high. Thanks! Marion 541-214-8262

Vivienne said...

February 16, 2015 at 9:41 am
Hi Marion, sorry, but I don't have a photo that shows it connected. You can elevate the drum by stacking it on cinder blocks or bricks to keep it off the ground. We don't roast the marshmallows or dogs over the coals, but the heat from the flames does just fine.

15 MINDBLOWING OUTDOOR DIYS - Mad in Crafts said...

May 14, 2015 at 4:31 am

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