Author Topic: Washing machine vs Coin Op (Portable Washing Machine Owners please help!)  (Read 12938 times)

Melody

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About to move to a new apartment and devastated to find my washer (already the smallest front loader on the market) won't fit.
There is a coin op in the common laundry (and lines, I won't need a dryer) but it's $3 each time which isn't the end of the world but seems kind of expensive. (My whole power bill and water bill is about $40 a month so I don't think the washer is a significant culprit. I'd probally be looking at 2 loads a week or $6 a week which is high compared to the cost of power and water).

Has anyone had experience with very small (i.e. caravan and motorhome sized) washers like this one:
http://www.appliancesonline.com.au/22kg-top-load-lemair-washing-machine-xqb22/
Are they durable enough for daily use (because it's half the size of my current washer I'd be looking at 4 loads a week).
Do they do a good job cleaning your clothes?
Are they easy to plug into bathroom taps? Do you need a conversion kit? How do you drain it? (Into the shower?)

Should I suck it up and use the coin op at about $27 a month? I'm leaning towards that this machine would pay for itself in about 12 months assuming no residual value (realistically residual value might be 50% of new price). Assuming it's going to do what I need it to do of course.



Emg03063

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I can't answer your question, but if you really want to be badass, try this:  http://youtu.be/riqYz2WEfRQ

windypig

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I had a haier one that lasted about 12 months before needing maintenance.


electriceagle

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Back when I lived in an apartment, I had a Haier 1 cu ft washer. It hooked up to the sink and drained into the toilet.

The washer cost about $250 and easily paid for itself in coins+laundromat time. I sold it on to the next person who moved in as well.

Melody

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I had a haier one that lasted about 12 months before needing maintenance.

That's pretty bad. Might try and avoid this brand as I know it's a cheap brand and it sounds like the quality is questionable.

The only other possible solution I have thought of was buying a really cheap used washer off craigslist (not my nice small front loader which my parents are willing to store for me until I buy my own house) and putting it in the communal laundry while hoping for the best from my fellow renters (i.e. that they are at least careful with it if they use it). But I'm not sure if this would upset building management.

sheepstache

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Back when I lived in an apartment, I had a Haier 1 cu ft washer. It hooked up to the sink and drained into the toilet.

The washer cost about $250 and easily paid for itself in coins+laundromat time. I sold it on to the next person who moved in as well.

We currently use a Haier 1.5 cubic feet and it was definitely worth it in money and time.  It's awesome not having to leave the house to do laundry and also I don't have to worry about my clothes being stolen.

We drain it into the kitchen sink.  It attached easily to our standard faucet but we had to take the aerator off (minor issue, but the flow isn't as nice when you do that).  We had a really nice faucet we wanted to install.  Our sink actually has three holes so our solution was to install both faucets.  Now we leave the machine hooked up to the old one constantly and don't have to worry about not having access to water in the kitchen when it's running, though obviously you don't want any dishes in the sink then, but that can be a good reason not to let dishes pile up!

Two of our friends have the same model and one had trouble with it.  A hose at the bottom slipped loose and the tub drained onto her floor.  My spouse took a look at ours and reinforced it, no problems.  But we do have renter's liability insurance and we don't run the machine when we're not around.

Some of the considerations:  You'll probably have to do more loads than you're doing now because of the small capacity.  That adds a bit to the electricity bill but probably negligible.  Are you home often enough during appropriate hours (since you don't want to bother your neighbors by running it at night probably)?  Because so many loads are needed sometimes you can't get all your washing done in one day, it can feel like you have laundry hung up to dry all the time.  Needing to keep the sink clear and liability concerns, like I said.  There's some discussion on our co-op board sometimes about whether people are allowed to have washers and we just keep quiet.  We can't wash quilts or blankets in it but then those are probably best put in a drier afterwards so they don't mildew so we would take those to a laundromat anyway.

Overall I'm really happy we have it.  But I like your idea of the stealth free washer too.

windypig

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I had a haier one that lasted about 12 months before needing maintenance.

That's pretty bad. Might try and avoid this brand as I know it's a cheap brand and it sounds like the quality is questionable.

The only other possible solution I have thought of was buying a really cheap used washer off craigslist (not my nice small front loader which my parents are willing to store for me until I buy my own house) and putting it in the communal laundry while hoping for the best from my fellow renters (i.e. that they are at least careful with it if they use it). But I'm not sure if this would upset building management.

Agreed but it was just a pump (cost of $30) and I replaced it myself. All in all it paid for itself and because I didnt have laundry at all in the building its a financial choice that I would make again, although may spend a little more on a better unit if I planned on depending on it for more than 12 months. I bought a house so ended up selling my unit. Making about 16 months of laundry cost a total of $100 + associated utilities.

dcheesi

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My gf bought a Panda portable washer/dryer unit a while back; I asked her and she said she's not using it much. The dryer (basically a "salad spinner" for clothes) is especially pointless, as it has a tiny capacity and tends to stretch or even "eat" clothes. The washer part works, but it's a bit more of a hassle than she feels like bothering with (FWIW, hers is not permanently attached to faucet or drain).

AndThen

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Last year I moved into a small apartment that didn't have a washer or dryer. I didn't feel like going to a laundry mat and dealing with all that so I bought the wonder wash and spin dryer combo for about 100 bucks total at the time. I would have spent about $5 a week for laundry in quarters otherwise. In 6 months they have already paid for themselves. I've been using them for about a year now for all of my clothing, sheets, etc with no issues. I can't tell the difference between washing with it vs a normal appliance as it cleans just as well. Plus it takes all of 5 minutes to wash my clothes and I can do it in my PJs. Highly recommended.

http://www.laundry-alternative.com/product/The-Wonderwash
http://www.laundry-alternative.com/product/Mini-Countertop-Spin-Dryer

catccc

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We used a Haier "portable" washer when we lived in a small apartment and used cloth diapers for our first kid.  It was around $200, purchased from now-defunct retailer Circuit City, and well worth it.  It even handled DH's messy farm clothes.  Limited capacity, so laundry was done quite often, and really big stuff (like comforters or other bed-things) still had to go to the laundromat.  But we don't wash that stuff often, anyway...  But really, a family of 3 including a baby using cloth diapers?  It was a little workhorse.

We used it solidly for over a year, and then moved to a place with a "real" washer.  On a couple of occasions, the large washer has been out of service, and the little guy has been brought back out to fill in.  Still works, last time we pulled it out.

OSUBearCub

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I had a haier one that lasted about 12 months before needing maintenance.

That's pretty bad. Might try and avoid this brand as I know it's a cheap brand and it sounds like the quality is questionable.

The only other possible solution I have thought of was buying a really cheap used washer off craigslist (not my nice small front loader which my parents are willing to store for me until I buy my own house) and putting it in the communal laundry while hoping for the best from my fellow renters (i.e. that they are at least careful with it if they use it). But I'm not sure if this would upset building management.

I've been using this same Haier 1 cubic foot washer for 7 months.  I purchased it used from an MMA fighter who did a daily load of gym clothes for a year. (Bleach was my friend - I wasn't grossed out ha ha.)  He bought the washer used from one of his friends.  Still works like a charm.

Over-all, the experience is great.  The one thing to keep in mind is that air drying/line drying your clothes leaves them a little stiff.  If you need "Snuggle Fresh" towels, you'll need to find a coin-op dryer.

Also, only having 1 cubic foot of washing capacity helps re-frame one's ideas about how often items can be aired and re-worn. :-)

Cassie

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When I lived in a condo I bought a small washer from Sears that hooked up & drained into the kitchen sink just like the old time dishwashers used to.  It worked great and got the clothes clean. However, it was much smaller then regular washers. Used it for 6 years with no problems & let it go with the condo when I sold it.

trephi

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I was looking for a small apartment sized washer and found one used http://www.amazon.com/Haier-HLP21N-6-6-Pound-Pulsator-Stainless/dp/B0002KXMT4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406033941&sr=8-1&keywords=haier+hlp21 on craigslist for about $80 if I remember correctly. I used it for about 6-8 months and hung all of my clothes up to dry which didn't bother me but my boyfriend hates crunchy towels for some reason so I caved in and bought a small dryer too http://www.amazon.com/Avanti-D110-1IS-110-Volt-Automatic-Dryer/dp/B005R597HA/ref=sr_1_1?s=appliances&ie=UTF8&qid=1406033827&sr=1-1&keywords=avanti+110+volt+automatic+dryer

I justified the cost of the dryer since the washer was pretty cheap compared to prices I found on amazon, walmart, etc. I generally do a load a day/every other day since you have to do smaller loads. I can only wash 1 towel at a time with a load I've found otherwise two towels will throw the machine off balance. I haven't had any problems with the dryer. I initially purchased an indoor dryer vent kit http://www.amazon.com/Dundas-Jafine-TDIDVKZW-ProFlex-Indoor/dp/B000DZFTC6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406034075&sr=8-1&keywords=indoor+dryer+vent+kit however I recently moved to a different unit in the same house and it had an old dryer vent to the outside I was able to use.

I used to hate going to the laundromat so this is a huge convenience to me and I don't mind having to do laundry so often. The other reason I like these machines is if they continue to work so well in the future when bf + I purchase a house with "real" washer & dryer units I can continue to wash my scrubs (I'm a nurse) in the mini machine. I wish I could wash them separate now but I use hot water with my scrubs and don't wash them with other clothes.

Sorry for the tangent but my advice is to search on craigslist. I looked almost every day for a week or two before I saw one and I jumped on it immediately. It was about half the price of a new one and works great!

Cassie

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With my washer I could wash about half that I could in a regular washer. the same with the dryer.

Melody

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I have ended up persuing the "stealth" washer in the common laundry room. the coin op broke and I was chatting to the realestate agent and she mentioned that they don't actually get any money from the coin op, the coin op company gets it all. So I figured the land lord really wouldn't object to the stealth washer and got permission! This was Monday.  Yesterday I was walking to the bus stop and lo behold what was sitting on the front lawn of a house but a nice new looking washer. I asked if it worked and they said yes, so boyfriend and I carried it 2 blocks home :) he is hooking it up for me today. If this works I managed to spend no money and slve the problem :)

Melody

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Is carrying white goods on foot more bad ass than moving house with a bikes? :-P

stripey

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I actually have a bucket-and-plunger washing 'machine'  I made.  It's used for washing exceptionally dirty clothes that I wouldn't put in full load of washing

Bethersonton

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Seconding the mini spinner and wonder wash here! We used it for 8 months in an apartment and will go back to it in our tiny house. Bit of manual labor but if you have an extending sink or shower head to fill it (we had to keep lifting it in and out of the tub to fill it) it reduces the labor significantly.

stripey

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Is carrying white goods on foot more bad ass than moving house with a bikes? :-P

Maybe! Considering my last house move was to (literally) next door, I moved my entire household by foot (with a bag trolley). Didn't even bother packing up anything properly. Simplest move I ever made (most of my house moves have been between states).

Melody

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Nice!

BooksAreNerdy

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Bucket and plunger? Cheap, arm work out, and badass to boot! No electricity required. Costs maybe $10 to make.

:)

frugaliknowit

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Personally, due to spatial and time constraints, I will stick with the pay laundry in my building, but I only do FULL loads.

OSUBearCub

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Bucket and plunger? Cheap, arm work out, and badass to boot! No electricity required. Costs maybe $10 to make.

:)

I tried this once - some VERY eco-granola friends swore by the procedure.  I felt a little too much like an Amish butter maid.  I also broke a sweat and was out of breath by bucket number three.  However, if you're a tiny house convert, this might be the perfect size/lack of needed resources to meet your washing needs.  So, it wasn't for my lazy self but it's still a good option. :-)

arebelspy

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The wife and I use a washer/dryer we got off Craigslist for a few hundred bucks that hook up to the bathroom sink.  They're not quite full sized, nor are they the super small, I'd guess it's about 75% sized.  Works great.

Previous discussions on the topic:
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/get-me-into-portablecountertop-washing-machines/
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/say-goodbye-to-the-laundromat-and-save-$$$/
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