While the world of washers may seem vast and confusing if you're not immersed in it, in reality a lot of your choices are made for you before you even start researching. Let's go over some of the pros and cons of portable washing machines to see if they're right for you. Chances are, it'll be a pretty clear choice.
The majority of portable washers a pretty similar. They're typically much smaller than full-size units and almost always have a top-load design. Portable washers typically have two hoses, one that clips onto your sink's faucet via an included adapter and one that sits in your sink to allow wastewater to drain out. That's it!
Wash cycles typically take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. A smaller capacity means more frequent wash cycles. With enough people, that sink will become a dedicated laundry facility, which is problematic as you likely don't have that many sinks in your apartment.
Even if you do have communal laundry, a portable washer can offer a much more personal and reliable option: You don't have to wait for the machines to be free, or acquire a giant bag of quarters, or worry about someone taking your wet laundry out and dropping it onto a dirty counter. They're also popular in the RV and boating communities, and can be a good option for tiny houses or apartments, and some dorm rooms.
After much research, I purchased the Magic Chef 0.9 cu ft Compact Washer, which has a footprint of about 21 square inches. It was among the most compact washing machines I saw on the market. In the seven or eight months I've been using it, this machine has always operated smoothly, is simple to set up each time, and leaves my clothes feeling and smelling fresh. It also hasn't run up my electricity bill at all.
Portable washers typically hold only a very small load of laundry. In a typical wash, I can fit probably three to four days' worth of clothes for one person. Between me and my fiancé, that usually works out to a load every other day or so to keep up with net-zero laundry.
To discourage laundry pile-ups, we downsized to a smaller laundry basket. We really like the Sterilite 1.5 Bushel Square Laundry Basket. It's lightweight and unobtrusive, and when it's full, I know it's time to run a load of laundry.
Every portable washer is a little different, but all operate on the same premise: an inlet hose that connects to your sink tap to fill the machine with water and an outflow hose to drain. When you set up your washing machine, you'll follow manufacturer instructions to connect the hoses to the body of your machine. You'll need a wrench to make sure the hoses are connected tightly to the unit.
If the nozzle included with your machine doesn't fit your sink tap, you can purchase a pack of adapters from Amazon and see what works. A good fit means minimal leaking from the area around the nozzle (minor leaks can be okay). Once the nozzle is installed, push the hose with the quick release onto the nozzle and turn the water on.
The first load of laundry I did with my portable washer, I sat next to the machine and turned the water tap on and off every time it switched from filling to agitating. This is not the right thing to do. Leave the tap running the entire cycle. Depending on what you're washing you can either set the tap to cold or hot water. I prefer cold water because it's easier and makes colors less likely to run, but you may wish to use hot water for undergarments, sheets, and towels.
You may need an extension cable to reach your nearest three-prong outlet. Plug your machine in and press the \"on\" button. Select your load size and laundry mode, then press start. The washer should immediately begin filling with water.
The spin cycle should have gotten a good chunk of the water out of your clothes, but they still need to be hung to dry. In the summer months, we hang laundry on a clothesline on our back porch. For small outdoor spaces, the Hawatour Elastic Travel Clothesline can stretch up to 10 feet, stays taught, and has built-in clothespins for easily attaching your laundry.
To minimize any excess spilling, I store the ends of the hoses inside my washer when not in use. Even though the portable washer has a small footprint, it is deceptively heavy. This appliance dolly by Spacecare makes moving your portable washer around much, much easier. Plus, it only adds a few inches to the machine's footprint, so you can still store the washer in a small closet or corner of a room.
Compact washers are usually less than 60cm wide and have around half the capacity of a full-sized washer. They're specifically designed for small spaces. Compact dryers are also available and are often ventless and are typically very easy to install.
The tub in these small washers is usually less than 2 cubic feet. Most models can fit somewhere between four and eight pounds of laundry per load. They can easily handle small loads of laundry, but they may not be large enough to wash comforters and other bulky items.
Our compact washers range from 1.1 to 2.2 cubic feet in size. Most of our small washers are around half the size of a full-size washer. Some models have flexible designs that make them easy to install.
Even if you don't have much room, you'll be able to find the right washer for your home at Coast Appliances. We offer compact washing machines from brands you can trust, including Bosch, LG, and Electrolux. We're always happy to answer your questions and help you find the perfect washing machine for your needs.
Before the pandemic hit, I never knew portable washers existed. Then my good friend caught COVID-19, and she suspects it was at a New York laundromat. When I panicked and researched alternatives to laundromats, I discovered the wide world of portable washing machines.
These compact machines weigh an average of under 20 pounds and use a sink hook-up or buckets of water to wash and rinse clothes. Portable washing machines are small enough to store in a closet or corner when not in use. They come in electric and manual models and can really save you money, space, water, and electricity in the long run.
According to sustainability and conservation expert Heather White, the things to look for when choosing the most sustainable portable washing machines are drain functionality and temperature control: \"Portable washers are good, sustainable options for smaller apartments and for individuals or couples who don't do that much laundry,\" she says. \"Seventy percent of electricity in normal washers comes from the water setting. A cold wash obviously uses less electricity than hot.\"
Make sure to also pay attention to the water hose, see if the nozzle will fit your sink, and check if the machine has noise control. I also recommend looking at the size of the washing drum and how many clothes it can hold. The larger the drum, the fewer washes you will need to do.
Industrialized machines drain a lot of water and energy, so if you only need to do a few washes a week for one or two people, a portable washer is often the greener (and more affordable) choice. Though these machines require a bit more effort on your end, they tend to work just as well.
Washer dryer combos are all in one machines that will wash and dry your laundry. That means no more having to transfer wet clothes from your washer to your dryer. And since these combo units are small and portable, you can use them without hookups.
Convenience is the biggest reason to consider washer dryer combos for apartments. Because these units can replace two separate machines, they're an ideal solution for even a small apartment. The combos are also incredibly convenient for second homes and boats.
The 1,400 rpm spin speed pre-dries your clothes so you can count on a fast air dry or quicker machine dry. Meanwhile, the Bosch vent-less condenser dryer piggybacks off the washer, so you only need one 220 voltage outlet for the pair.
The Bosch washer has a pretty strong vibration during the spin cycle (but is reported to be quieter than all other models). In the beginning, the vibration and noise made me really nervous and I would watch the machine like a hawk.
Below, I share more about good things to look for when selecting a small washer dryer for your apartment, the best brands that specialize in making compact washers and dryers and finally, aggregated reviews for each washer/dryer combo.
In addition to the smaller size, compact washers and dryers have a couple other functional differences so after weeks of research, we figured out that we needed to pay attention to the following specs:
I took a look again and was pleasantly surprised to see that GE and Samsung now make compact washers that can fit in an apartment kitchen or closet. These are cheaper than the European machines but slightly larger in terms of their dimensions.
The washing machines have a unique technology called automatic load recognition, where they adjust the amount of water and electricity used according to each individual load, so that your clothes are cleaned and rinsed efficiently.
On the dryer front, Miele is the first to offer heat-pump dryers, which set them above the competition. As a bonus, the machine uses a 110 volt so no need to wire a new electrical outlet!
Living in a New York City apartment means space is a premium! Over the years, we've learned to ruthlessly purge our closets, adapt the Konmari method and max out every inch of space. Despite the challenges, we love interior design, NYC real estate and wouldn't trade living here for anywhere else. Follow along on our small space living adventure! 781b155fdc