How to make a solar dehydrator

Storing fruits and vegetables longer or reducing their caloric density so that their transport, for example when camping, is much lighter are some of the benefits of dehydrating food. Another is that it can be as easy as making your own home system. Are you worried that the process will be sustainable? Then this idea is for you: made with reused materials, this dehydrator will have no impact on your carbon footprint using only solar energy.


  • A large plastic box (in this case we used one of the animal crackers from Costco).
  • Strip of wood approximately 0.76 meters.
  • Two pieces of screen like the one used in windows; one of 20cmX47cm and another of 10cm in diameter.
  • One meter wooden slats.
  • Glue and staples.
  • Nuts and bolts.

In addition, you will need scissors, a knife, a saw, a drill and a tape measure. When you have everything, you can start building your solar dehydrator.


Step 1: Remove the bottom of the plastic box.

Take the plastic box and cut its lower part (the one opposite the cover), as you can see in the picture.

Step 2: Prepare the wood to create a frame.

With the wood you had, cut it into four pieces to form a square according to the dimensions of the box. You can eliminate the corners so that it fits the container better.

Step 3: Assemble the frame.

When everything is set, glue the pieces of wood and you will have the structure.

Step 4: Assistance.

Secure the plastic container to the support, in this case the wooden strip. Make sure the bottom part (the one you cut) is elevated, as it is important that dry air can enter it freely.

Step 5: Repair the screen.

The screen you had will now need to be secured with staples to the wooden frame. The trellis should cover everything, because one of its functions is to cut insects.

Step 6: Fit the cover.

In order for the box cover to fulfill this purpose, you will need to drill several holes in it. When you have them, attach the round screen piece you reserved.

Step 7: Place the frame in the box.

Once you have followed all of the steps outlined, you will just need to place the frame inside the box, specifically at the bottom, that you had opened in the first step of this process.

Step 8: Start dehydrating your food.

As you can see from these images, the only thing that will be left hanging is to put the food on the screen that covers the frame and place your gear under the sun to do the rest. Thus, with this simple system, you will already have another alternative to preserve your fruits and vegetables longer and with all their properties, without causing environmental impact.

Original project in Instructables.