Can you make a fire pit out of a washing machine drum? Is it safe?

a group of friends sitting around a fire pit made out of a washing machine drum

Building a fire pit is an easy weekend project that can provide seasons of enjoyment at the cost of a few hours of your time. It’s an inexpensive and easy-to-build structure that can be used to sit around in a circle with family and friends while embracing the beauty of nature. The pit can be made from many materials, from stone to brick and metal.

The stainless steel drum from a washing machine makes for fantastic fire pit material. As one of the safest materials to use, it is encouraged to reuse and recycle the drum for this purpose. The drum can easily contain the fire, making it the ideal way to give your backyard some personality.

In the summertime, you cannot avoid having fire pits and bonfires. The most important thing for them is to be safe, and the best way to ensure this is to use the appropriate materials. In this article, you’ll learn that making a fire pit out of a washing machine drum is safe and one of the best, most effective methods.

Is it safe to make a fire pit out of a washing machine drum?

The traditional fire pits can take up a lot of room and are often not portable enough to take on camping trips. The solution? Use simple materials like an old washing machine drum to create your own portable fire pit for use in various settings. 

By using something that would otherwise be considered trash, you’re technically recycling and repurposing it into an object that would transform your outdoor experience. 

While most people seem to have a general idea about what is and isn’t safe to burn, I’m sure plenty of people might wonder about the safety of burning in a fire pit from a repurposed old washing machine drum. 

It’s a pleasure to inform you that this method of building a fire pit is arguably safer than any open fire pit.


I want you to watch the following news video of an accident that happened 5+ years ago. There was indeed a washing machine drum involved that was being used as a makeshift fire pit.

The main point here is to NEVER use an accelerant in your fire pit, or any fire! And always keep a safe distance and use common sense. Safety is always first no matter what DIY project you are working on.

Safety for you and your surrounding environment

The biggest concern with most people is that the fire pit will start an uncontrollable fire. The last thing you want is for someone else’s negligence to cause your yard and home to burn down! The good thing is that this is avoidable with a drum pit. 

A washing machine drum’s shape allows it to contain fire very well. This means that the drum provides safety for you and the environment that surrounds you too. 

Using a drum eliminates the danger of causing a bush fire, which is a risk with an open flame fire pit. Its shape keeps flying embers from getting out of control and escaping the designated fire area. 

Made from stainless steel

Stainless steel is one of the most popular materials used to make washing machines because it is strong, durable, affordable, and easy to clean. Known for holding heat well, stainless steel is commonly used for cooking pots and pans. 

Stainless steel melts at 1400 degrees Celsius (2552 degrees Fahrenheit), can hold intense heat, and contain fire excellently. Therefore the inner drum is safe to use as a fire pit for burning wood or coals without melting or disintegrating the metal.

That said, do not touch the drum when the fire inside it is lit. The steel will heat up quickly and can cause severe burns on the surface of your skin. 

The washing machine drum also doubles as a barbecue – you can light charcoal briquettes inside and cook food or roast marshmallows in the open space on top of it. Unlike most barbecues, this one can be used repeatedly without losing its integrity or needing to be cleaned!

Allows the fire to breathe

A fire needs to breathe oxygen to burn effectively. By placing fire in an airtight space, you are suffocating it, preventing it from breathing and thus choking off its ability to burn.

You want to keep your fire in a well-ventilated area, and a washing machine drum provides just that. Most drums have holes or slits along their sides which are effective in helping the fire to burn efficiently. 

It’s vital that your fire has constant access to fresh air and open spaces like these holes allow air to flow freely through them and into the fire. A washing machine drum enables the fire access to open air and a constant fuel supply to keep it burning strong. 

A washing machine drum firepit is an ambient feature for your backyard

Not only is a washing machine drum safe to use, but it also creates an ambient feature for any outdoor occasion. 

You can use the firepit daily and create a focal point for your outdoor space by placing it in the middle of the yard. You can also surround it with plants to help it blend into the scenery and make it feel like an extension of your garden or patio area. 

Fire pits are an ideal way to enjoy those cool evenings in the comfort of your own backyard. A fire pit made from a repurposed washing machine drum is no exception.

Its surprisingly aesthetic look sets the washing machine drum fire pit apart from pits with an open flame. The drum is attractive against the gloomy night sky because light from the fire glistens through the small holes on its sides.

After all, a fire pit isn’t just for roasting s’mores and telling ghost stories. It’s a lovely way to enhance the ambiance of your backyard by adding a striking focal point. Many backyards require extra flair, and this drum pit provides precisely that.


A washing machine drum is excellent for many purposes and can be used in several ways once it is no longer needed. Fire pits are one of them, and it’s certainly an option that may attract you if you’re looking to repurpose the drum and add some ambiance to your backyard.

This project provides plenty of inspiration for anyone looking for an alternative use for their old appliance rather than just sending it off to the junkyard. 

It’s also a safe, inexpensive option to create a gratifying outdoor space to spend time with friends and family.

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