Author Topic: Portable Washing Machines are thing!  (Read 3341 times)

Lis

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Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« on: June 06, 2017, 03:10:26 PM »
I'm going to share with you my all time, favorite home purchase, that on the surface might not seem mustachian, but I can't begin to tell you the amount of money, time, and headaches this thing has saved me.

The amazing, wonderful... portable washing machine!

Yep, a portable washing machine. Let me explain - I live in a cooperative building that has one laundry room with 5 washers and 6 driers... for roughly 80 apartments. Aside from almost always being busy (not to mention the room is locked from 10pm-7am), they're pretty scuzzy. And for the life of me, I cannot get the memory from college out of my head, when I woke up early one Saturday morning to do laundry, opened a washer, and was met by a damp pile of puke. I still hold my breath every time I open up a washer. Not to mention it's expensive! I think my building charges $2 or $2.50 per was and per dry, so you'd be paying $4-5 for a load of laundry. Nope.

When I first moved into my unit, about a year ago, I started bringing my laundry to my parents' place about 30 mins away. My parents didn't mind, it meant they definitely got to see me regularly, and I like visiting them, so it wasn't a huge deal. But still, nothing says "I'm a mature, adult homeowner" like doing laundry at your mom and dad's house regularly. On a whim one night, I started googling washing machines, trying to figure out if I could sneakily (without my board knowing) set up hook ups in one of my closets, when I found out portable washing machines are actually a thing.

Say whaaaaaat? (Is that a well known fact? I never heard of it.)

I bought this guy and never looked back. It was $106 when I got it in October, but it looks like there are plenty of different/good options. The washer has two baskets - one for washing, and one for spin drying. Now, some of you super duper safety people would absolutely freak at my set up (like my dad does), so I'll start by saying there are many safe set ups you could do. I'm super careful and think it's all fine for me. I stick the whole thing directly in the tub (once upon a time I made a post asking how I could lift it up, which I ultimately found unnecessary). I throw my dirty clothes in the washing bucket and put my removable shower head directly in (honestly, the inlet it comes with is useless, though other people have been pretty creative on how to fill it). Once it's full, I throw the soap in, let it run its cycle (9-15 mins), then drain. You do have to rinse the clothes since there's no rinse cycle, but I just either spray it down with the shower head or run it under the tub faucet. Then, it goes straight into the spin dryer for 2-4 minutes. The spin dryer is powerful enough that my clothes are usually dry by morning (I usually do my laundry at night). Seriously, this thing is a life saver.

If you live in an apartment, a tiny house, an RV... anywhere without a regular washer hook up, I highly recommend looking into a portable washer! Like I mentioned before, I never heard of this before, and everyone I mentioned it to has the same shocked reaction, so if there's one person on this forum who could benefit from hearing about it, well, I hope I helped!

Sydneystache

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2017, 05:49:04 AM »
I bought this one ages ago - hand crank, good for small items.

http://www.laundry-alternative.com/our-products/the-wonderwash/

RocketSurgeon

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2017, 06:40:59 AM »
Wish I had known about this before I spent a few hundred on a full size model!

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2017, 08:09:04 AM »
Yep! I blogged about mine here: https://brainquirkcash.com/2016/10/22/4-tweaks-to-make-a-cheap-apartment-work/

Mine was the biggest one, and was very "normal" (no steps different than a regular washer); the advantage was I could put it in my tiny home, with no washer hookups, and it spun stuff so well, hang drying was very efficient.

Apparently they've stopped manufacturing this exact model, but I highly recommend it or one just like it!
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robartsd

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2017, 08:48:26 AM »
The only possible safety complaint I can imagine is having an electrical appliance in the tub. I'm sure you're carefull to not have the tub be full of water and especially not to be in the tub with this thing plugged in. If you also have it connected to a GFI circuit I see no reason for concern.

Lis

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2017, 09:08:26 AM »
The only possible safety complaint I can imagine is having an electrical appliance in the tub. I'm sure you're carefull to not have the tub be full of water and especially not to be in the tub with this thing plugged in. If you also have it connected to a GFI circuit I see no reason for concern.

My set up *looks* terrifying, and all things considering probably isn't the safest set up. I have a cord that reaches across the bathroom which is probably a hazard. But it's fine. My particular model has legs that raise it up a little over an inch, so when I drain the water from the wash it doesn't even touch the bottom of the machine. Not to mention the electric stuff is even a few inches higher. The only real concern (for me) was the one time I stupidly forgot to switch it so that the water came from the removable shower head and came out of the stationary one (two separate pieces). Luckily the water didn't get anywhere it should have, and it's definitely not a mistake I'll make twice.

clairerebecca

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2017, 07:39:36 AM »
My old apartment which had an in-unit washer and dryer used a portable washer - it was a bit of a pain because of how small the kitchen was, and I have no idea how energy/water efficient it was (I used to put dishes under the spout so when the soapy water drained it would at least rinse the dishes for me before I washed them), but it's definitely a decent option!

arebelspy

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2017, 09:16:07 AM »
We bought a "portable" washer/dryer for our condo based on a previous MMM thread.  They were actually huge, about 85% regular size, but they counted as portable, I guess, since they hooked up to the bathroom sink, rather than needing normal hookups.

Obviously got rid of it when we pared down to a backpack each a few years ago.

Now that we're in an RV, getting something like one of the linked items (like Sydneystache's linked one) could be useful.

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gravitysmiles

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2017, 11:23:52 AM »
Laundry at my apartment is very expensive also. Costs $5.25 total for each load. Completely ridiculous.

Nothing would make me happier than doing laundry inside my own apartment, but I don't think the manager would appreciate this at all. Thanks for posting! It's still fun to dream.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2017, 11:25:22 AM »
Why would your landlord not appreciate it?
Mine thought mine was excellent, and then bought it off me when I moved :)
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gravitysmiles

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2017, 11:32:21 AM »
A lot of apartments ban stuff like this saying it could lead to water damage and such. She's in my unit ALL the time, so I couldn't hide it.

My rent is SUPER cheap (especially for the area, but I think they will be raising the rent soon). Since it's so cheap, everything is broken constantly. Right now they are going to replace the tile that fell off of this sort of kitchen peninsula that separates my living room and very narrow kitchen. They are replacing the nice white tile that brightens up the room with a dark gray/greenish thing. I should've just fixed it myself and not said anything. It's going to look terrible.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2017, 11:44:09 AM »
Ah, darn!

I figure they're akin to having a sink or shower in a unit.
I only ran it while I was home, just in case anything ever happened (it didn't).
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robartsd

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2017, 12:07:25 PM »
Why would your landlord not appreciate it?
Mine thought mine was excellent, and then bought it off me when I moved :)
If relevent utilities are included in rent, it could lead to higher utility bills. I lived in an appartment with restriction on clothes washer that had hot water included in the landlord paid utilities (central boiler).

marielle

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2017, 12:13:03 PM »
My friend in Vancouver had something like this that rolled and attached to the sink faucet. I almost considered renting an apartment with no w/d hookups and getting something like this because the apartment was only $650 for a 2 bedroom. Nice area too. Though I'm not really sure what they're even called to begin searching for one.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2017, 12:17:34 PM »
I only used cold water in mine.

marielle, the link I provided in my first post here shows exactly that style :)
It's awesome.
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marielle

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2017, 12:20:24 PM »
I gotcha, I guess you buy an attachment that goes directly to your sink? I think the water filling was automatic too after you attached it to the sink. And it was bigger, could run a full load automatically. I figured these weren't popular enough to get one for a good price so it wasn't worth it, and I would have wanted close to a full size one I think...
Never expected Amazon to have it either!

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2017, 12:23:45 PM »
Mine came with the hoses that attach to the kitchen (or bathroom) sink.
You roll it over, connect the hose to a faucet, turn the water on, it fills itself, it stops filling when it's good to go, it starts itself.

It was exactly like having a normal one, except it could roll around the house and connect to any faucet.
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Lis

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2017, 11:28:49 AM »
Mine came with the hoses that attach to the kitchen (or bathroom) sink.
You roll it over, connect the hose to a faucet, turn the water on, it fills itself, it stops filling when it's good to go, it starts itself.

It was exactly like having a normal one, except it could roll around the house and connect to any faucet.

How does yours drain?

RE landlords not liking it - officially my building management team doesn't know I have it. I don't pay water directly (it's part of my maintenance fee), but I'm either using less/the same amount of water that I *would* be using if I used their machines. I pay electric, so that's not an issue for them (I don't think it's a huge energy hog either, so it's not an issue for me). But yeah, potential water damage (and possibly electric if you faint at the sight of wires in a bathtub) could be an issue.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2017, 11:43:16 AM »
Mine drained into the kitchen sink. It had a wider, u-shaped hose that hung over.
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WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2017, 09:28:47 PM »
The Wonder Wash is amazing. It's hand crank, so instead of paying for electricity to run it, you power it by burning fat off your body. Then, you can dry the clothes by sticking them on a drying rack or hanging them on hangers in a doorway. Use coldwater detergent with it and you will save a ton of money.

N

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2017, 11:51:19 PM »
This idea is so tempting.
The drawback is, I dont have a tub. We have a really small bathroom, with a corner shower stall with a swinging door.
Also, I dont know if we really can manage hang drying laundry for 4 people in our apartment. Hmmm. considering options.

arebelspy

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2017, 11:54:49 PM »
This idea is so tempting.
The drawback is, I dont have a tub. We have a really small bathroom, with a corner shower stall with a swinging door.
Also, I dont know if we really can manage hang drying laundry for 4 people in our apartment. Hmmm. considering options.

What do you need a tub for?  Also you can get a portable dryer if you can't hang everything.
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jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2017, 12:14:38 AM »
Mine didn't need a tub (I used kitchen sink for hookup and draining), was vertical yet large capacity so took up little space while doing a good amount, and spun so well that hang drying was very brief. I had planned to place its matching dryer above my fridge, but turned out not to need it.
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N

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2017, 12:31:34 AM »
Well, I thought they needed tubs to drain into.  but it looks like a kitchen sink can work. the Haier brand is on the expensive side...I looked on craigstlist just now and saw them for 150-300$. Right now it costs us about 30$ a month to do laundry at the laundromat. I dont know how long we will be in this apartment, or what our future needs will be.

Im considering getting the smaller ecowash handcrank washing machine and a spin dryer for a total of 175 ish.

Lis

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2017, 08:29:11 AM »
Tub is easiest for me (since I have one), but I think a deep kitchen sink would work just as fine. Honestly, a shower stall might work as well if there's a high enough ledge to keep the water in (and you're careful about it). You could flip it from drain to cycle pretty quickly, so you could even do it in batches if you can't drain all at once.

The spin dryer is excellent too - washed my gym clothes at 8pm last night and they were dry when I put them on at 6am this morning. Even thicker fabrics (denim, heavy cotton) will dry completely within 24 hours, probably less. It can also hold my queen size sheets (unfortunately, not the thicker blankets), which makes that super easy too.

N

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2017, 10:30:09 AM »
Ive been reading a lot of reviews, but I am having trouble finding if these machines can tolerate hot water.
Do any of you use hot or very hot water with yours??

THanks!

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #26 on: September 11, 2017, 10:34:57 AM »
The Haier can do hot. I just didn't hook up the hot hose.

FWIW, I did pay the big bucks for my Haier (worth it), and sold it for $120 a year later when we were forced to move a long distance. The buyer got a phenomenal win; it was even still under warranty so she couldn't lose.

So maybe you can get a used one -with the risks of any used vs new item- possibly still under warranty, it spin dries so well you don't need to pay for a spin dryer, and then you can sell it again later for the same price.
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arebelspy

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #27 on: September 11, 2017, 11:20:51 AM »
Well, I thought they needed tubs to drain into.  but it looks like a kitchen sink can work. the Haier brand is on the expensive side...I looked on craigstlist just now and saw them for 150-300$. Right now it costs us about 30$ a month to do laundry at the laundromat. I dont know how long we will be in this apartment, or what our future needs will be.

Im considering getting the smaller ecowash handcrank washing machine and a spin dryer for a total of 175 ish.
We just bought used and resold for what we bought it for, basically renting it free for the effort of Craigslisting it.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
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Lis

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #28 on: September 11, 2017, 12:00:42 PM »
Ive been reading a lot of reviews, but I am having trouble finding if these machines can tolerate hot water.
Do any of you use hot or very hot water with yours??

THanks!

Mine handles the building's hot water, which is hot enough that I can't stick my hand in it. Haven't had any issues with the machine itself.

GrumpyPenguin

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2017, 09:06:54 AM »
This... this is very interesting... I'm really liking the idea of getting a portable washing machine.  Since I started running a lot and I'm a sweaty guy, I've had to pay for a ton of laundry (no W/D in unit). Posting to follow.

Lis

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #30 on: September 12, 2017, 11:32:18 AM »
Looks like the one I have is back on the market for $107 and free shipping. I honestly can't recommend this thing enough.

arebelspy

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #31 on: September 12, 2017, 12:19:16 PM »
Looks like the one I have is back on the market for $107 and free shipping. I honestly can't recommend this thing enough.

Wow, that's tiny! Ours was much bigger. Tempting to get that for our RV.

Looks like best to wait though, based on price history: https://www.joinhoney.com/shop/amazon/p/B01ALBMIEI/Giantex-Portable-Mini-Compact-Twin-Tub-1?latest_price=106.99

Probably best to put a price alert for below $95. Or just buy now, and pay the extra $10.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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N

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #32 on: September 13, 2017, 10:09:53 PM »
I ended up buying the small non electric hand crank washer and the nina spin dryer.
The washer arrived today and I plan to try it out in the next couple days. The dryer arrives tomorrow.
Im excited, primarily because this may allow me to do more tie dyeing! but also help with regular laundry as well.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #33 on: September 13, 2017, 10:41:46 PM »
Cool, N :)
Have lots of fun.
A washer at home is so groovy. Such a relatively simple thing, yet eases our lives so much.
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N

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #34 on: September 14, 2017, 11:02:30 PM »
I used the dryer today, and it was pretty neat. Looking forward to testing the washer!

lexde

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #35 on: September 20, 2017, 08:01:57 AM »
I saw someone who lived in their van basically made a portable washing machine out of a 5 gallon bucket with lid. They drilled a hole in the lid and sanded it smooth, and used a bathroom plunger (obviously new!!) to agitate their clothes. He filled the bucket about halfway up with clothes, then covered with water, put in a bit of laundry soap, and "plunged" the bucket for 5-10 minutes. Dumped the water, rinsed, and hung he clothes out to dry.

Total maybe $10? Everything seemed to come out fairly clean too. I wash socks and small items in my bathroom sink and agitate them with my hands, so this seems to be a nice in between.


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stashgrower

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #36 on: September 23, 2017, 10:06:16 PM »
How did I not know about this before? I have portable washing machine lust :D

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #37 on: November 27, 2017, 05:27:15 PM »
Portable washing machines are so much of a thing in Manhattan that local appliance companies routinely make clandestine deliveries, with machines repacked into unlabeled boxes.

It's turned into one of the funniest and weird situations here ever:  coop boards and supers all live in this magical dream world where washing machines are evil, pipe-busting things while dishwashers, toilets, and showers are all perfectly fine, AND they think that just telling tenants who have paid over a million $$ for their lovely apartments that they can't have laundry, means that said tenants will say "Oh of course!  I completely understand!  No problem lugging my laundry down to the shared, filthy, poorly maintained, pricey machines in the basement!"

I use the laundry alternative automatic washer and highly recommend it.   I drain it into the bathtub and hang dry the clothes on a rack.  It repaid my investment in less than a year, not to mention greatly increasing my quality of life.  I used to own one of those twin tub machines, but having to intervene in the washing process 3 times per load got really old, really fast.



N

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Re: Portable Washing Machines are thing!
« Reply #38 on: December 04, 2017, 12:01:23 AM »
I found out about things called Laundry Wands! Essentially, you use it to agitate the laundry in the bucket.
I got a great one, and that plus a 5 gallon bucket, is how Im doing all my tie dye washing now, and then spinning dry in the Nina Spin dryer. Its been great!