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Making a Washing Machine Filter

Category Plumbing
Whenever you want to reduce the amount of lint that goes into a septic tank or sewer system, you need a strainer. This guide is about making a washing machine filter.


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By 2 found this helpful
November 24, 2013

We have a septic tank as well as a laundry tub pump tank and I want to keep as much lint as possible from going into the system.

I tried using a plastic onion mesh bag tied to the washing machine discharge pipe, but the mesh was too big to catch anything except big chunks from woolly sweaters. Once I used a knee-high, but I guess I


didn't cut it short enough because it stretched and plugged the tub hole completely.

When I changed the nylon screen on a couple of windows, I came up with the idea of using the old screen as filters. That was several years ago and now I don't use anything else. It costs next to nothing (even if you have to buy some screen material) and it's practical.

Start with a piece of screening 24 in x 16 in. Fold the material lengthwise and cut it in half. Then cut the 2 - 24 inch lengths into 8 inch pieces. You will have 6 pieces of screen 12 x 8, ready to stitch.

Fold each piece in half lengthwise and using a small zig-zag stitch, double stitch the side to close it. Turn the piece and do the same with the bottom edge. Trim the threads and you're done, a filter about 6 x 4 that does the job well and only costs about 10 minutes to make 6 filters. Depending on how much laundry is done, one filter can last well over a month before its full and needs replacing.

I found that the best way to tie the screen bag to the discharge hose is with a screw band hose clamp, the one that you use with a screwdriver. It stays tight without sagging.

As an aside, for the stitching I use up the oddball thread colors in my basket ... the pink, purple, lime green, etc. that I'll probably never use again.


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