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A portable washing machine is not relevant to most people’s interests. However, if you live in exceedingly tight spaces such as an RV, a semi, or even a studio apartment, it should be at the top of your shopping list in terms of appliances as it is a brilliant way to save space, water and electricity whilst still making sure your clothes and other fabrics are clean. The idea behind these machines is that you either plug them into the outlet or crank them by hand, thus conserving electricity but still enjoying a viable way to clean your clothes.

The price of portable washing machines can vary quite a bit, which allows you to purchase one if you can’t afford a full-sized one, or if space really is at a premium, pay more for a model that’s a bit closer to a more conventional unit. These appliances are ideal for camping trips and other such excursions, but equally function very well on a day to day basis and, due to the agitation provided by the mechanism, will stretch the fabrics and help combat stains the way a traditional washing machine does, allowing you a much better result than, for example, washing clothing in the sink.

Along with these units you can purchase portable dryers which allow you to make use of centrifugal force to all but dry your clothes, meaning they will dry much faster once hung on the line or the clotheshorse, but as they do tend to provide a spin cycle of sorts you often find you can easily just hang the clothing right out of the washing machine.

The variety in mechanical functioning is huge when it comes to these portable units, and you shouldn’t hesitate to purchase a hand-cranked one if you feel it will do the trick for you. As the cycles tend to be much shorter, this is not quite the nasty job it sounds to be, and you will of course save huge amounts of money in terms of your electricity bill. However, the electric models do have their advantages, including of course the fact that you can get on with something else while your laundry is done. Don’t be deceived, though; the cycle is still quite short as you will do relatively low amounts of washing at a time.

A portable washing machine is generally of top-loading design, and there is a simple reason for this; as front loaders require a hermetically sealing gasket to prevent water from gushing out onto the floor, it would complicate the design immensely to have a front loading mechanism. With a top loader, you simply throw what you want to wash into the top and close the lid, which needn’t seal on a waterproof basis as water is unlikely to come out. Your clothes are then suspended in the water and agitated in a manner reminiscent of traditional top-loading washing machines. This makes them easier to store as you don’t need a large amount of space to the front of the machine in which to load or unload the unit between washer loads.

Wonder Washer

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The Wonder Washer is another top-notch portable washing solution, and it is perhaps the one people most often think about when asked about a portable washing machine. While it is fully portable, it is also automatic and you can do small loads of washing in no time at all.

The idea is that you fill the unit with your laundry, add water and detergent, and set it off. Within fifteen minutes at the most, your laundry is done and you can pour out the water using the easy-pour spout in the lid before removing the clothes to air-dry.

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A bit unconventional in itself, the Wonder Washer is nevertheless the ideal solution for people with no conventional washing machine who wish to cut down on their trips to the Laundromat. While it is not suited to larger loads or even particularly sizeable items, underwear and even baby clothes are perfect for it. In fact, it is the ideal present for a family with no conventional washer which has just expanded with the addition of a baby; it will give them the ability to wash baby’s clothes without nipping out to the Laundromat, allowing them to save money and time. As babies often need a daily load doing due to diaper leakage, spit-up and other issues, it is unrealistic to expect a family to attend the Laundromat whenever required. But the Wonder Washer offers a glorious alternative.

While this unit is perfectly suited to outdoor life, it is also a brilliant solution for home lives without traditional washing machines and student accommodation. Why not buy it for your kids before they go off to college, so they will always have clean underwear? Alternatively, it makes for an excellent option for anyone currently dependent on public laundering facilities.

Panda Mini Washing Machine

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For a portable washing machine, the Panda Small Mini Portable Compact Washer is quite a simplistic model but does the job quite well. Again with an impeller and with a small drum, this unit will do a load of washing in a flash, and will do quite a reasonable job of getting it clean. For baby clothes, small tops, and underwear this is an excellent solution for any situation. While, again, you won’t be able to use it for larger or heavier items, its low weight of 13.2 lbs makes it a very realistic choice for any camping occasion as long as you’ll be able to use a power socket somewhere. It fits practically anywhere as it is very small indeed, and all you need to do to make use of this portable washer is fill it with water and set the timer to your desired time.

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Again, this is the perfect solution for a student off to college, and with its exceedingly small size it really is ideal for cramped living conditions. It will easily fit on the countertop of any kitchen. It has no spin cycle, however, so again a centrifugal spin dryer is important if you won’t have time to let the clothes drip dry before popping them into a tumble dryer or hanging them up. Failure to do this will add immense amounts of time to the process as the clothing will be dripping wet at the end of the cycle, which is a definite downside, but wringing them dry can help.

This unit comes with a standard six months’ warranty, giving you the added peace of mind of knowing it should work just fine, and is quite powerful in terms of removing stains and getting your clothing nice and clean.

Avanti Portable Washer

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As far as small washing machines go, the Avanti portable small washing machine is at the top of the range. With a remarkably high capacity of 2.3 cubic feet, it can wash up to 12 lbs of clothing at a time. This is in the range of a conventional washing machine, allowing you to do sizeable loads and thus saving you time and effort in the process.

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This is effectively a conventional washing machine in a much smaller package, with a size of only 22 x 21.2 x 37 inches. As such it is more than suited to living spaces where space is at a premium, and its top-loaded design allows you to fit it in wherever you please. It contains a softener dispenser, meaning you needn’t worry about adding everything at the same time. However, at over 80 lbs in weight, it can hardly be called a truly portable machine and belongs instead in the camp of small machines, where it truly is king. Compared to conventional washing machines, however, it has relatively few settings you can adjust and you have to resign yourself, to some degree, to running the same cycle over and over.

It does offer a degree of portability in that it is easy enough to connect and disconnect to and from the water supply and drainage solution you intend to use. It can then be walked into a cupboard to be put out of the way when not needed; if you only need to use it once a day or less, you can easily save more on living space by moving it out of the way if not in use and storing it in a less convenient space instead.

Koblenz LCK 50 Compact Washing Machine

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The Koblenz LCK 50 Compact is a lovely portable solution. This portable mini washing machine is small but powerful. Washing loads of up to 6.6 lbs, it weighs only 25.5 lbs itself which makes it extremely portable and lightweight. Additionally, the Koblenz LCK 50 Compact looks sleek and modern, and does not give your home a portable look or feel; it simply looks like a reasonably modern appliance with a plastic outer shell.

Its reversible action impeller allows it to hold more clothes than it would if it had a more conventional agitator, and the controls are very easy to use.

On a downside, this unit does not have a rinse or spin cycle. To rinse your laundry you have to drain the dirty water and add more, and if you wish to add softener at this stage you’ll have to repeat the steps again. As there is no spin cycle you will end up with quite a wet set of clothes and a spin dryer is a good idea in terms of shortening the drying process. However, you can expect your clothing to be quite clean indeed, and as the unit can be easily moved about it won’t take up too much of your living space as you can easily store it in a cupboard or in your garage.

For anyone needing a truly portable, light-weight solution, this is the perfect one. Just remember you’ll need a centrifuge or similar item to help you dry the laundry to some degree before placing it in a tumble dryer or even on the line. This may be a deal-breaker for some as it requires extra expense, but if you can afford it you may well find this is one of the most effective portable units available on today’s market.

Mini Countertop Spin Portable Dryer

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In an ideal world, of course, you have a portable washing machine and dryer instead of just the washing machine. This needn’t be a problem with the Mini Countertop Spin Portable Clothes Dryer. While this is not a heat-propelled dryer, it will remove more water from your clothing than a regular spin cycle on a conventional washing machine, which will allow your laundry to then dry much faster. In fact, if your portable washing unit has no spin cycle, this unit is practically invaluable. What’s more; unlike many portable dryer units, this one is electrically powered, requiring little input from you as it takes only a few minutes to spin your clothes at up to 1600 rpm.

As it is very small and, at 11 lbs, quite lightweight, this dryer is the ideal accompaniment to any portable appliance with no spin cycle as, again, it can be stored away quite easily fitting into a small cupboard with no fuss at all.

Furthermore, with no hooking up required, all you will need to do is plug it into an outlet and set it going; it will do the job quite quickly, quietly and neatly on a countertop or in an out of the way corner of your home.

Your clothing will not be dry when it comes out, but will be only slightly damp as the unit will spin it quite rapidly. At this stage it will become feasible for you to dry it at the Laundromat or hang it over a clotheshorse or a clothesline to dry.

Whether your living space is small or you need laundry solutions for your holiday, a portable washing machine may well be an unconventional but convenient solution for you. Consider it carefully and you will be able to find the right appliance for your situation in no time at all. Enjoy!