Portable washing machines that will cut down your trips to the laundromat
A compact clothes washer is a convenient way to keep your hamper happy.
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We’ve all been there: the laundry’s piling up and threatening to bury the dog in an avalanche of dirty clothes, which means it’s time to do a wash. But what if you don’t have space for a standard washer-drier? Maybe you live in a small apartment or dorm, or you like to go RVing, or you enjoy sleeping on a boat. One option is to lug all your clothes to the laundromat—but that’s a time-consuming and expensive chore. Luckily, portable clothes washer and spinners can clean away your problem.
These compact units wash and spin-dry clothing without taking up all the space required by a pair of full-size units. Their small footprints and light weight makes them easy to store in a closet or even under a counter. They attach to a kitchen or bathroom faucet so you won’t have to call in a plumber to install special water lines. And while they can’t handle loads of their bigger siblings, they’ll wash a couple of days worth of clothes, or smaller items like hats or gloves, and towels. They cost less than full units, and consume less water and electricity. Some are even completely manual, so you can use them wherever you can find some clean water.
With these portable washers and spinners, laundry day doesn’t have to be filled with dread.
This compact, 37-pound washer/spinner scores points for maximum convenience in a small package. It can clean up to 18 pounds of laundry and spin-dry up to 8 pounds—and both stages can operate either separately or at the same time. Washing takes about 15 minutes, and spin-drying about 5, getting your clothes out of the hamper and back in your bureau or closet quickly. One of its most useful features is a built-in drain pump to remove dirty water, unlike systems that rely on gravity, doesn’t require the washer to be elevated off the ground. This makes it easy to use the unit in a variety of settings, from small apartments or dorm rooms to campers to boats.
Unlike many portable washing machines, the Giantex combines the washer and spinner into a single unit—there’s no need to transfer clothes from one compartment to the other. It can hold nearly 10 pounds of laundry, and a digital control panel allows you to set 10 programs and 8 water levels, as well as the wash time and start-delay. The machine includes automatic balance adjustment to cut down on vibrations from uneven loads, and the feet can be further extended to compensate for uneven flooring. At 51 pounds, this isn’t the lightest washer/spinner, but at less than 3 feet tall, it’s still compact enough to fit in small spaces.
Powered washer/spinners don’t get much smaller than this 23-inch unit, which is handy for wherever space is at an absolute premium. It only has a 5-pound wash and 4-pound spin capacity, but it can still handle baby clothes, hats and scarfs, delicates, or a few dirty towels. The twin-tub design has separate timer control settings for wash and spin operations, and you can run both sides of the machine at the same time.
Portable washer/spinners aren’t completely portable—you still need to plug them in. But Lavario’s unit is manually operated, meaning that as long as you’ve got water, you can wash your clothes. It uses about five gallons of water—five to wash, five to rinse—and is powered by old-fashioned muscle-strength. Clothes go into a basket which goes into a bucket, then you just grab the handle to churn the clothes up and down while water is driven through the fabric. The water drains into a sink or tub, and a standard garden hose can be attached to direct water away.