Author Topic: Get Me Into Portable/Countertop Washing Machines  (Read 7265 times)

Russ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2213
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Get Me Into Portable/Countertop Washing Machines
« on: September 23, 2013, 07:19:12 PM »
So I moved to a little apartment with no washer/dryer, the closest laundromat is a mile away, and that shit's expensive.

Talk to me about portable washing machines.

Anybody use one? Recommendations? Pitfalls? I've read about the bucket/plunger idea too. How clean would that get things? I basically roll around in industrial lubricants and solvents all day for my job so my clothes get pretty dirty...

I found this thread from a year ago, but I'm looking more for pros/cons of the idea and maybe some product recommendations rather than just the idea itself.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 07:27:25 PM by Russ »

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28431
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Get Me Into Portable/Countertop Washing Machines
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2013, 07:25:18 PM »
That thread - a year ago - made us get one.

It has been awesome.  Not having to leave to do laundry is great.

We just bought the cheapest one we could find on Craigslist, didn't care about brand.  Looking at Mint, we bought it on 8/16/12. and it ended up costing $200 for the set.  Working fine. 

Saves us having to scrounge up quarters as well, or going to buy quarters at the grocery store.

Assuming it doesn't break in the next few years, we'll probably sell it for around what we bought it for, making it a net savings machine.
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

Russ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2213
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Re: Get Me Into Portable/Countertop Washing Machines
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2013, 07:30:47 PM »
for the set

set... is there something else I should be looking at, or do you just mean the washer?

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28431
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Get Me Into Portable/Countertop Washing Machines
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2013, 07:52:24 PM »
for the set

set... is there something else I should be looking at, or do you just mean the washer?

Oh.  It came with a small dryer too.  We almost never use it (we hang dry over the bathtub), but it is good to have in a pinch, and will likely sell for higher when we get rid of it.  Many people were looking for $250ish for the washer alone, and though a few washers were listed for under $200, none of the people listing the ads ever responded, so when the set came up for $200, we went for it.

If we had the option to get just the washer for $50 less, we very likely would have done that.
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

Russ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2213
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Re: Get Me Into Portable/Countertop Washing Machines
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2013, 07:57:40 PM »
Aha gotcha. I'm seeing washers here for $100-125 so I'll probably jump on that, since I haven't heard any bad experiences in the two hours I've been reading about this. Gonna have to get a bike trailer, but if not for this something else would come up eventually. Thanks!

Zikoris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4071
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Vancouverstachian
Re: Get Me Into Portable/Countertop Washing Machines
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2013, 07:58:53 PM »
I used to have a Danby that I bought new for around $400 I think - it lasted a few years before it crapped out beyond repair. Maybe someone more technical than me could have fixed it, but the people at the appliance repair place said it wasn't worth fixing. Now I live in a building that only charges $1/load, and I hang everything to dry, so it's not worth it to replace. Between my boyfriend and I we do one load a week, so it would take a looong time for a machine to pay for itself.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28431
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Get Me Into Portable/Countertop Washing Machines
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2013, 08:05:54 PM »
Aha gotcha. I'm seeing washers here for $100-125 so I'll probably jump on that, since I haven't heard any bad experiences in the two hours I've been reading about this.

Nice! We couldn't find any that cheap that were the portable kind (hooking up to your sink).

No bad experiences if you do it right (see: flooded closet in previous thread, and once the wife forgot to stick the drain hose in the sink, but we were in the other room and heard it right away, rushed in and fixed it and just threw some towels down, no big deal.)

Between my boyfriend and I we do one load a week, so it would take a looong time for a machine to pay for itself.

Only if you assume the value at the end is $0.

For us the value isn't so much in the savings (though that is nice), but the utility of being able to do laundry in the house whenever we want.  Before we'd put off laundry for a month and then go do 4 loads and it was a pain in the rear.  Now we do about one load a week, and it's very nice.
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

Zikoris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4071
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Vancouverstachian
Re: Get Me Into Portable/Countertop Washing Machines
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2013, 09:50:40 PM »
Aha gotcha. I'm seeing washers here for $100-125 so I'll probably jump on that, since I haven't heard any bad experiences in the two hours I've been reading about this.

Nice! We couldn't find any that cheap that were the portable kind (hooking up to your sink).

No bad experiences if you do it right (see: flooded closet in previous thread, and once the wife forgot to stick the drain hose in the sink, but we were in the other room and heard it right away, rushed in and fixed it and just threw some towels down, no big deal.)

Between my boyfriend and I we do one load a week, so it would take a looong time for a machine to pay for itself.

Only if you assume the value at the end is $0.

For us the value isn't so much in the savings (though that is nice), but the utility of being able to do laundry in the house whenever we want.  Before we'd put off laundry for a month and then go do 4 loads and it was a pain in the rear.  Now we do about one load a week, and it's very nice.

Math-wise, I was assuming a new machine would cost the same and last about the same time before it broke beyond repair, which would mean at $52/year for laundry(in our building, so not much hassle) it would take 8 years to break even - and the machine we had lasted way less than 8 years. If there was a model that was way cheaper - like half the price - and lasted at least long enough before crapping out totally to break even, we'd consider getting a new one.

mikefixac

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 313
  • Location: Brea
    • Uncommonly Brilliant
Re: Get Me Into Portable/Countertop Washing Machines
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2013, 10:07:59 PM »
I would buy a used Kenmore or Whirlpool washer and dryer. The top loader washer, not a front loader.

I work on them and mine will last 30-40 years. The front loaders are expensive to buy and expensive to repair. Most repairs on WP/Ken can be done yourself by watching Youtube videos.

Be selective, I'll bet you'll come across a hardly used one for little money. A friend was given an old Maytag and it's in great shape. I looked at it, it's over 30 years old and it looks almost new. By far the best machine ever made to wash clothes.

I can't understand how a machine can't be built for a $100. They all do 4 things, fill with water, agitate, drain and spin--that's it.

Russ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2213
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Re: Get Me Into Portable/Countertop Washing Machines
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2013, 10:15:51 PM »
Thanks for the suggestion. I'm not sure what kind of hookups I'd need for that, but I know whatever they are I don't have them. I also prefer to only own things I can move myself, which I could do but really wouldn't want to for the full-size washer/dryer.

FWIW the extra money goes into electronics that greatly improve efficiency. I do agree though that it would be nice to have something inexpensive, durable, and easy to service on the market.

Russ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2213
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Re: Get Me Into Portable/Countertop Washing Machines
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2013, 08:09:27 PM »
Just wanted to update and say that this thing is AWESOME. All the cheap ones were gone by the time I emailed the people, so I ended up with a newer 1 cubic foot Haier with receipt (hooray warranty claims) for $150.

Things I like about this washer:
  • it's very quiet. like couldn't hear it in the next room quiet, even on the spin cycle
  • it's small and lightweight. I can carry it by myself and it fit easily on my bike trailer for the ride home (25 miles, how's that for badass)
  • built more durably than the price and size would suggest. lots more metal and less plastic than I expected.
  • load size is perfect for the amount of space I have to air-dry

Things I would change:
  • spin cycle isn't super effective (still gets the job done mostly, but clothes are less dry than the laundromat washer gets them so it's a negative)
  • the "low" water level seems pretty useless, only filling about 3 inches up from the bottom of the tub

First laundry incident: I forgot to turn off the faucet before releasing the quick-connect hose, so I had a little water explosion when I went to put everything away. Learned that lesson + already taped the drain hose to the fill hose, so hopefully the water will only go where it's supposed to from now on!

davo

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 30
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Tallahassee, Fl
Re: Get Me Into Portable/Countertop Washing Machines
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2013, 02:09:26 PM »
I bought a used full size washer/dryer set when I moved into my place in July. The washer has had trouble all along, so the seller gave me my money back for the washer today, and is likely doing the same for the dryer on Monday.

This is perfect timing for me. I will likely order one on Amazon, or look on craigslist.

-David

Russ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2213
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Boulder, CO

davo

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 30
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Tallahassee, Fl

davo

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 30
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Tallahassee, Fl
Re: Get Me Into Portable/Countertop Washing Machines
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2013, 02:30:13 PM »
The used one was sold already. Then after talking with a used appliance shop about a larger used kenmore they wanted $200 for I went with this one from Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002UYSHMM/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


-David

davo

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 30
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Tallahassee, Fl
Re: Get Me Into Portable/Countertop Washing Machines
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2013, 07:38:54 PM »
So all in all, I paid $275 for the used pair of normal size W/D, of which I returned the washer and received $137.50 back since it did not work. Hopefully they will take back the dryer Monday and return another $137.50 to me. That would more than pay for the brand new smaller washer from Amazon which should last much longer and I will just hang dry my clothes, saving energy, money, and keeping the clothes lasting longer.

Thanks to Russ and this thread which gave me the idea for the smaller washer when my large used one didn't work.

-David

Russ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2213
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Re: Get Me Into Portable/Countertop Washing Machines
« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2013, 07:41:47 PM »
Protip: use a lot less soap than you think you need. My first few loads were all crusty from residue because i used too much (to the bottom line on the cap, which I didn't think was that much but apparently it was)