After i lived in downtown Seattle my total condominium building shared a complete of two washers, 2 dryers, and zero elevators.
This, combined with living on the third flooring of a 100-12 months-outdated building with very high ceilings made laundry day a dreaded process. I set out to find a portable washing machine for doing laundry in my residence. When one of the building’s washers tore my favourite shirt to shreds, it was the final straw.
I purchased and returned 3 apartment sized portable washers before finding one that labored for me, in the years since, I’ve become a professional at serving to mates hook up and troubleshoot their very own portable washers. Here’s what I should share from my expertise:
– First, I explain how portable washing machines work:
– Then, I’ll show you 3 things to look for when purchasing a portable unit.
– You’ll study three Hacks for installing a portable washer (the simple method!)
– Plus some FAQ’s, tips on drying clothes in an apartment, and a professional hack for drying bathtub-washed clothes quick.
Read on to learn how to avoid the expensive mistakes I made purchasing for my first condo washing machine.
The next part could contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
With my unique washer buying motivated only by getting one at the bottom value, I ended up with an absolute rubbish can of a washer. After changing it with a Black and Decker model- with a bit larger price tag – I determined to write this text for different residence, tiny home, or RV tenants researching portable washers.
First, Understanding how portable washing machines work:
Full-size washers are related to existing plumbing and have a water inlet, where water enters, and a drain. These portable units have inlet valves with nozzles that fit onto a garden hose or shower head. Portable washing machines carry out the identical operate but with non permanent plumbing. They have a drain hose that can be placed into a sink, washtub, bathtub, or- if used outdoors- the bottom!
Issues to search for when purchasing a portable washing machine:
After trying a few portable washing machines in my third-ground stroll-up Seattle condominium, here’s my recommendation on what to search for in a mini clothes washer and why:
One drum or two?
Cheaper portable washing machines have side-by-aspect drums – one for washing and one for spinning the clothes dry. Higher-end portable washers- corresponding to Black & Decker’s Portable Washing Machine combine this function into one drum, mimicking a typical wash cycle of a full-sized unit. This is a very wet job in addition to an extra activity you’ll must attend to manually. The person should manually carry heavy, dripping, water-saturated clothes from the washing drum into the spin drum.
Before buying and making an attempt a two drum washer, I didn’t notice that two-drum washing machines do not clean clothes as properly as a result of clothing enters the “rinse cycle” whereas still totally saturated with dirty water. To get clothes actually clear, the consumer should transfer clothes to the spin drum, then back to the wash drum for a second wash. Utilizing a double-cycle like this to get my clothes clean shortly burned out the motor on the Pyle portable washer I first bought.
Inlet valve or manual fill?
Some portable washing machines require a manual filled for every wash or rinse part of a wash cycle. Good machines may have an inlet valve to which you’ll be able to screw on a hose so the machine will mechanically fill with the correct quantity of water at each phase of the cycle. These machines are solely slightly simpler than guide handwashing, as they require consideration throughout the cycle and, more than likely, a willingness to get a bit of wet.
Gravity drain or pump drain?
Having used a number of portable washing machines, an important feature to me is a pump drain. Gravity drains empty very slowly and only work when the hose may be placed on a downward incline. Pump drains work shortly to empty water from a hose at any angle, allowing a wash cycle to be completed sooner.
Hacks for installing a portable washer:
Comply with your manufacturer’s directions for set up as a primary information, however these two modifications may help enhance the function and ease-of-use for your machine:
1. Improve your shower to a handheld showerhead, then use the same hose for filling your washing machine.
Guys, this is a recreation-changer, an absolute important, and the primary modification I make to the shower in any condo I move into: Swapping from a wall mount shower head to a handheld is so low cost and actually just takes three minutes and no tools.
The #1 handheld shower head at Amazon (which is the one pictured in this publish) works nice. As soon as you’ve upgraded to a handheld showerhead, the included hose makes it simple to connect to your washing machine whenever you need to scrub a load of clothes.
You’ll most likely need to buy an adapter to join the showerhead hose and the washer inlet. To connect a normal handheld shower hose to the vast majority of portable washers (they are usually threaded for backyard hose connections), you’ll need a 3/4″ MGH x 1/2″ MPT Adaptor (“MGH” means “male backyard hose”, mpt = “male pipe thread”).
Purchase a brass one at amazon via this hyperlink, otherwise you might be capable of find a plastic version at your native hardware store. (Amazon doesn’t seem to inventory the plastic model, and large field home enchancment stores almost undoubtedly won’t carry this unusual pipe adaptor in any material).
2. Experiment with drain hose placement
Your mileage may differ relying on your washer model, however my Black & Decker washing machine features significantly better when the drain hose is placed up excessive.
Whereas gravity-draining fashions require the hose to be positioned lower than the unit for best outcomes, some pump-drain style washers must be positioned up excessive in order to forestall too much pressure on the valve.
If the hose is positioned low and the valve is weak, a high water stage throughout a wash cycle may cause leaks.
3. Invest in Water Alarms
Water + Houses = all the time tricky. Protect your investment or your rental deposit through the use of gadgets designed to alert you when water begins to pool where it shouldn’t (corresponding to a misdirect drain hose emptying water onto a flooring quite than a tub!).
Though there are wifi-primarily based leak sensors that can send an alert to your phone when sensors detect water, if you’ll solely have your washer connected if you end up at residence then a cheap water sensor that emits an alarm when wet should work.
For Drying Clothes:
TIP: Avoid buying a portable washing machine that claims to be a portable washer and dryer. Portable “washer/dryers” lack a tumble feature or a heating component, and the only “drying” mechanism is an prolonged spin cycle- which any good portable washer will provide. Consider me, I tested a number of and browse tons of of opinions. Although full-dimension, normal-installation washer/dryer mixture machines exist and work pretty nicely, machines advertised as “portable washer dryer combos” are usually very dangerous at each capabilities.
If I get a portable washer do I additionally want a portable dryer?
Definitely not! It’s uniquely North American to view a washer and dryer as an essential pairing. There are so many straightforward and power-efficient methods to dry clothes without using a dryer (even within the winter) and it’s SO much better on your clothes!
Listed here are the dryer strategies that I’ve used and liked. The proper one for you will depend on your residing state of affairs and what you could have access to:
A retractable clothesline is the simplest and likewise essentially the most aesthetically appealing choice for drying clothes and not using a washer. With a piece mounted on every aspect of a room, the retractable clothesline permits you to pull the necessary size out and attach it to its counterpart throughout the room, creating a clothesline while you want it and free area when you don’t. I love this one so much that I’ve uninstalled, moved with it, and reinstalled it 3 instances within the final 10 years! Retractable clotheslines work greatest to dry clothes when put in in a bathroom with an exhaust fan.
You guys have heard me talk about about Lewis N Clark products on my journey posts, but I really like their travel clothesline. This model was my go-to once i spent three months in South America last yr! Surprisingly sturdy suction cups keep this mounted on a wide range of surfaces. Simply tuck a tiny corner of the fabric into a hole and the tension will hold it safe. Tiny gaps in the stretchy braided cord permit it for use with out clothespins.
Pants hangers were highly regarded in decades past. I additionally like that they aren’t single-use. They’re technically designed for hanging skirts but I love them for organizing scarves and equipment! Actually all three of the pants hangers I own I bought from vintage shops (you can get vintage ones like mine through these listings on Etsy)! They are ideal for small locations and for maximizing drying space.
One other bonus of this model of drying rack is that the hanger is good for situations the place you may have to dry clothes in an open window. The clips keep garments secured even in a powerful breeze.
Somewhat common and perhaps one thing you already own for drying sweaters, dryer racks take up numerous floorspace when in use but have solely a tiny footprint when folded up. They’re great for drying a complete load quickly. As a result of they’re portable, they can be utilized inside or exterior.
The right way to keep away from humidity when air drying clothes indoors.
The trick to drying clothes recent from your portable washing machine without making a swamp-like microclimate is ventilation. Consider how air is getting into and exiting the room the place you might be drying clothes.
Keep humidity down by 1. exchanging wet air for dry by utilizing a fan + open window or an exhaust fan, or 2. actively dehumidify the air through the use of a heater or a dehumidifier. Each strategies work well to keep your residing area comfortable whereas drying clothes indoors. Listed here are a number of suggestions:
1. Manually modify your wash cycle to force the machine to spin the load as long as the settings will enable. 2. If using in a bathroom, turn on the exhaust fan
3. If air outside is a tolerable temperature, open windows. 4. Set up a fan blowing on the wet clothes
5. Run a space heater in the area (heaters dehumidify air), a secure distance from flammable supplies.
In case you have a small bathroom, the mixture of an area heater and a robust fan can dry clothes in just a bit more time than a conventional clothes dryer takes.
Need a reminder for later in your venture? Pin the image below:
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Portable washing machines work just like normal clothes washers, with a number of small differences.
As a substitute of connecting to a devoted water inlet and drain, a portable washer fills through a short lived hookup to a faucet, showerhead, or hose. Although some low cost units require manual fill and drain, a quality condo washer runs a full cycle of soaking, agitating, and spinning dry a small load of clothes. Portable washing machines work well for a lot of apartments, RVs, and tiny homes. When the cycle is finished, the wash water drains right into a bathtub, basin, or floor drain.
How do I clear a portable washing machine?
Cleaning a portable washer shouldn’t be a lot completely different from cleaning a regular washing machine. Occasionally, it could also be useful to run a load with a cup of hydrogen peroxide added (warning- this will likely whiten clothes). The hydrogen peroxide gently cleanses the drum and hoses without being too harsh on delicate elements.
Cleaning a portable washing machine includes clearing all filters. Examine your owner’s handbook, since many portable items have two completely different filters that catch lint and debris!
Keep your prime loading portable washer working its finest by fully draining the unit before putting it again into storage.
How to fix a portable washing machine?
Low cost portable washing machines are notorious for failing and being not possible to restore- the first portable washer I bought died exactly 2 days past its 30-day warranty! Clear all filters (many portable washing machines have a filter situated on the inside and a filter situated on the exterior close to the drain hose) and verify the owner’s guide for troubleshooting recommendation. In case your mini clothes washer isn’t working correctly, empty it, unplug it, and examine for obstructions.
In case your portable washing machine still isn’t working, you don’t need to pay for an appliance repairman to make a house go to. You can just load it up and take it to an appliance repair store.
Do portable washing machines actually work?
Sure! I have a whole lot of expertise handwashing clothes throughout international travel and whereas cheap nameless-brand portable washers don’t do a lot better than handwashing, good high quality portable washing machines corresponding to Black & Deckers do clear clothing equivalently to a regular washing machine.
Do portable washing machines use numerous electricity or water?
Generally, portable washing machines use less water and electricity than typical washers. When you only want to clean a few garments, it’s rather more power-efficient to use a portable washing machine than to use a full cycle of a typical washing machine. Because a typical washer is constructed to clean 12 to 16 pounds of laundry and a mini clothes washing machine has a capacity of about 5 to 7 pounds of laundry, the machine doesn’t have to work as arduous or use as much water as a full-size washer.
Is a portable washing machine value it?
For me, a portable washing machine was the perfect investment I ever made in my residence living way of life. It takes slightly more work than a typical washing machine since you would possibly must hook it up every time you utilize it. In case your condo building’s laundry amenities are secure and handy or you don’t mind taking your clothes to a laundromat, a portable washer may not be worth it for you.