11 Creative Ideas to Recycle Washer and Dryer Drums

Washer and dryer drums can be repurposed in several ways with some clever and creative ideas. You can use them as planters, laundry storage, makeshift tables, decor, fire pits, rain barrels, sinks, containers, and more.

Key takeaways

  • If you are a DIY person you can make the most out of your washer and dryer components at home.
  • Their shapes and sizes make them the best fit for utilizing them in many ways even after the machine dies with aging or due to a premature failure or breakdown.
  • Scrapping the old drums may not offer you much in terms of money but creative ideas can make the most out of them.
  • You will need to be a bit creative in order to make the most out of your old washer and dryer drums

The very first thought that comes to our mind for any dead or faulty appliances is to scrap them away.

But that scrap value may not entirely meet your expectations.

Instead, there are a lot of ways to repurpose your loyal robots.

All you need is a little bit of creativity and they will be with you for even longer.

Before we proceed further, make sure you carefully disassemble the drum from the machine.

No matter what type of machine you have, you will need to unscrew the outer body panels first in order to separate the drum. You will need a Phillips-head screwdriver for this.

So, unbolt the drum from either end and pull off the drive belt that connects to the motor.

For front loaders, you can loosen the retaining nuts from the back. Likewise, for top loaders, it can be done through the top panel.

Finally, pull out the drum after it’s been released from the fixture.

Voila! The drum is off and ready to be repurposed.

Note: Clean any debris from the surface of the drum thoroughly. If you notice rusting or limescale patches, treat them accordingly before using them.

Creative Ideas to recycle washer and dryer drums

Ideas to recycle washer and dryer drums

Here are some best ways to make use of your old washer or dryer drums

Use it as a Laundry Bucket

To keep dirty items for laundry, an inner drum with tiny dotted holes can be utilized.

Similarly, it can be used to gather damp clothing after each wash to later hang them for drying.

If the garments are kept for an extended period of time, the tiny holes or pores on the drum will enable sufficient airflow inside the drum to release excess moisture.

Use it as a Planter or Planting pot

You can choose your favorite plants and do the planting according to their sizes.

A dryer drum can be a great option if you have a small garden or patio.

To further enhance the look of your garden space or to give a splash of color to a specific area, you might also consider painting the drum.

Make sure there are at least a few holes in the bottom of the drum for drainage and that it’s filled with the right quantity of soil.

Lastly, make sure to water the plants in a timely manner.

Additionally, you can paint the outer and inner surfaces to enhance your garden views.

Turn it into a fire pit or a Roaster

If the drum is made of metal, you can turn it into a safe and stylish fire pit.

Just add some sand to the bottom for drainage, followed by some river pebbles or stones.

And your personal fire pit is ready.

You can then place the drum on your patio or deck and enjoy it as a bonfire.

Note: Dryer drums should be the preferred choice as they are more durable.

Make a rain barrel

Converting the washer’s drum into a rain barrel is a great way to conserve water and save money on your water bill.

The conserved rainwater can also be used to do some laundry, water your plants, wash your car, and more.

Simply drill some holes in the bottom of the drum for drainage and attach a spigot near the top.

Next, place the rain barrel to collect rainwater in a proper location, such as underneath the gutter. Furthermore, placing it near the downspout should do the trick for maximum efficiency.

Use it as a storage container

An old washer or dryer drum can be used to store almost anything that can fit inside.

It can be anything from gardening supplies to sports equipment or pool toys.

Make sure to clean it thoroughly and put a lid on it so that your items stay dry.

Additionally, an old washing machine or a dryer’s tub can be perfect for storing things like holiday decorations and seasonal clothing.

Create a makeshift garden bench

If you are recycling your washer and dryer together, simply place the two drums side by side and add a plank of wood across the top.

Just make sure they’re positioned evenly, and it’ll make a fantastic place to relax in your garden.

Also, adding vibrant colors to your antique sitting area will make it look more contemporary and inviting.

Coffee table or a makeshift table

You can use a single drum and place a round wooden plank for seating. Likewise, a glass plank can be placed over it to convert it into a coffee table.

Additionally, the space inside the drum can be used to keep your books, magazines, or other items.

You can even build a drawer-style door or simply draw an opening and keep it exposed.

For Pets

The drums can be utilized to comfort your pets in several ways that we will look at below.

1. Dog Bath

Give your pup a place to cool off on hot days by filling up your washing machine tub with water.

They’ll love splashing around in their little pool, and a few floating toys will keep them entertained all day long.

Always follow safety precautions and do not fill the tub above your dog’s comfort level.

Lastly, drain the used water after every use.

2. Dog bowl stand

Some people use old drums as dog bowl stands.

So, if you have a pet who is prone to knocking over his or her water bowl most of the time, An old washing machine drum may be helpful.

Simply use them to create a sturdy bowl stand. 

3. Turn the inner drum into a pet bed

Small dogs and cats will love snuggling up in the cozy confines of their very own bed made from an old washer or dryer drum.

You may need to make some modifications to comfort your pets and add a soft pillow or blanket.

Outdoor sink

An old washing machine tub might be used as an extra outdoor or makeshift sink if you do a lot of gardening or other outdoor activities.

Just add a water hose and you’re all set.

Moreover, this outdoor sink will prevent dirt from getting into your home.

Upcycle it into Art

The drum can be painted or decorated with mosaics, or even welded to create sculptures or other art pieces.

It can also be placed in your rooms as an antique and creative decoration. Likewise, you can hang them in a specific area.

Decorative Lamp

A hanging lamp made out of a dotted dryer makes amazing decor in any given space.

It can be a balcony, the central roof of your room, the entrance, the dining space, the garage, etc.

This can be done by simply fixing an aesthetic bulb inside the drum.

The splashing lights coming off the tiny holes in a dark room, along with soft music, is all you need on a weary evening.


Some people use them as a sandbox for their kids.

This approach is effective for use in the garden, play area, or around inflatable pools.

Next, you can fill the sand and add some beach toys. This will keep your kids entertained for hours.

What is the scrap value of a washing machine’s drum?

When it comes to washing machine drums, trust me, the scrap value is usually very low.

This is because most drums are made of stainless steel or plastic, which are not valuable metals when it comes to scrap.

There are a few factors to consider when determining how much your old washing machine drum is worth as scrap.


The scrap value will vary depending on the type of material the drum is made of.

For example, a washing machine drum made of copper will be worth more than one made of stainless steel or hard plastic.

Furthermore, the scrap value of a washer and dryer’s drum will also differ from place to place.

Size & Weight

The second factor is the size of the drum. The larger the drum, the more it will be worth.

When it comes to weight, most scrap dealers calculate the metal value as per their weight.

This means that the heavier your washing machine drum is, the more money you will get for it.


Some scrap collectors may consider the intensity of damage caused to the material, such as rusting and wear out.

With that said, if the old drum is in better condition, the scrap value will be on the higher side.

With all of these factors in mind, the scrap value of an old washer and dryer drum will typically be anywhere between $5 and $15. However, the scrap value may increase depending on the above-mentioned factors.

Final Thoughts

Before you scrap the old drum of your washer or dryer, there are a few things you can do with it with a little bit of creativity.

Apart from the above creative ideas, you can explore more ways to utilize them. For example, some people also use them as makeshift coolers for parties.

Selling the drums as scrap metal is probably the most straightforward option, and depending on the weight and quality of the metal, you could make a decent amount of money.

However, it’s worth being a little creative and seeing what other options are available to you, as there are many ways you can recycle or reuse an old washing machine drum.

Manish Singh is an expert in electrical engineering with a Diploma in the field. With over 12 years of experience, he specializes in repairing music systems, washing machines, dryers, and other laundry-related appliances. His in-depth knowledge in electrical repairs and decent knowledge about garment care makes him a trusted authority in the field of appliance repair and laundry related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance with your appliances, you can reach out to Manish through email: manish.singh (at) portablelaundry.com