Easy homemade washing machine water reuse system
I just rigged up a super-easy and cheap way to recapture my laundry water to keep my gardens alive until we get some rain. I got some spa hose from the hardware store - it is a stiff but slightly flexible hose - that was slightly larger inside than the exterior of my washing machine drain hose. I placed the spa hose near the pipe where my washer usually drains. I duct taped the spa hose to a sturdy looking copper pipe. Then I ran the spa hose over to the laundry tub. I put the stopper in the laundry tub and saved the water!
I did discover that our washer (which is very old) uses more water than the tub holds (good thing I was sitting there watching). I had bought a large garbage can to use instead of the laundry tub, but I decided I would rather use something lower, so that the spa hose runs straight downhill and water doesn't get stuck in the middle of the hose. I am planning to buy a metal stock tank from the farm supply store that holds about 60 gallons. That should definitely do it!
I am NOT a handyman at all, so if I can do this, you can too! Just a note about hygiene - do not use this water where it can splash on food crops (strawberries, lettuce, etc) since it may harbor some nasty bacteria (especially if you are washing underwear or diapers!)