You might be asking yourself what could I possibly need a portable washing machine for? Well, let’s get a little more in-depth information on portable washing machines and see if we can help you answer that question.
The first thing we need to determine is what the difference is between a standard washing machine and a portable one.
A portable washing machine tends to be smaller than a standard model and is not a machine that you install in one area with inline water hookups and an electrical outlet hence the “portable” in the name. A portable unit can even have a manual crank type of tub agitation and spin function, and you might fill it with a bucket or garden hose.
Now, this doesn’t mean all portable washing machines are hand crank types some do use electrical power for the wash and spin cycles, but they can be plugged in anywhere and may fill with a sink faucet adapter.
As you can see portable washers have options like the standard models and you will need to have an understanding of what you would use a portable washer for before you purchase one, so let’s look at some reasons you may consider adding a portable washing machine to your household.
Benefits of a Portable Washing Machine
1. Smaller and Require no Permanent Place to Install in Your Home
If you live in a small “tiny” home-like seems to be the new thing to do, or in an apartment or other small living space, then a portable washing machine may be just what you need. The ability to store the unit in a cabinet or closet and pull it out to do a load of wash and then put it away again can be incredibly convenient and important when space is extremely limited.
2. You Can Take a Portable Machine with You
If you travel, there may be the accessibility to costly laundry facilities but having your own personal portable washer that you could hook up in your hotel room would not only be convenient but cost effective as well.
If you travel in a camper or spend time in the wild living in a tent for your vacation, then a portable machine could help keep you smelling fresh instead of the alternative.
3. Cost Less Than Full-size Washers
Some full-size washing machines can have a full-sized price tag included with them, and a portable washing machine may fit your budget better.
4. Using It May Cost Less Than a Full-size Electric Model
The amount of money it costs to run a full-size washing machine can add up quickly especially if you are using hot water and extra rinse cycles. A portable machine may cost considerably less to run especially if you have chosen a hand rank type of portable washer. A portable machine will also have a smaller wash tub so you would use less water per load.
Now that we have gone over a few benefits of portable washing machines let’s take a look at what I feel are the top 10 Portable Washing Machines for 2020. I have included both electric and hand powered models to provide a more complete list of portable washing machines.
10 Best Portable Washing Machines in 2020
Portable Mini Twin Tub
8.8lbs, 10lbs, 17.6lbs
10lbs, 13.4lbs, 16.6lbs
- It has adjustable separate timers for each tub.
- It is a top load unit to make putting clothes in to the unit easy.
- It has a powerful 260w motor for the wash side and a 140w motor for the spin cycle.
- This unit is compact standing just 28.5 inches in height.
- Uses a standard 110v outlet for power.
- This unit can be filled manually or with the faucet attachment hose provided.
- This unit can handle up to 11lbs in weight in the was tub and that is larger than many others.
- Has a drain tube to make removal of dirty water easier.
This is an electric portable washer that loads from the top and allows you to wash a small load of laundry in 15 minutes or less. This model has a dual tub design that allows you to wash a load in one tub and spin dry a smaller load in the other side at the same time.
- Can be more cost effective than a standard size washer
- Uses less water and chemicals than a standard washer.
- Portable and easily hidden away.
- You don’t need a permanent hook-up and location.
- You must have the availability of a drain close to the washer.
- The amount of spin weight is about half the wash weight so spinning your clothes will require you to load and unload multiple times.
- Some assembly is required.
- Using this machine will take more of your time than a standard washer.
- Total weight of this unit is 24lbs, so it is easily taken with you anywhere.
- Stores easily and is only 26inches in height.
- Uses standard laundry soap products.
- The wash tub can hold 8lbs of dry laundry and this is larger than other portable machines.
- It has separate programable timers for each side.
- You can use the washer and spin sides at the same time.
- A powerful 1300rpm motor is strong enough to do a decent job and also quiet enough to use in close quarters.
This unit is fully electric and has a dual tub design one for washing and the other for spinning out the clothes to help reduce water in the clothing before they are dried.
You load the wash tub like you would a standard sized washer fill it with water and detergent and let do its thing.
- Can be hooked up and used anywhere.
- Easily stored and moved.
- Costs less then standard washers to purchase.
- Included faucet fill hose doesn’t fit faucets well.
- No auto shut-off on the water fill level.
- You can only spin half the weight you can wash.
- This unit will flood over if you are not paying attention to the water level.
- You don’t have to move clothing from one tub to another with this unit.
- The unit runs on standard 110v power outlet.
- This unit offers a stainless-steel tub.
- Total dry weight of the unit is only 40lbs, so it easily moved.
- This unit offers a fill stop and won’t overfill the washer.
- Uses an LED display system so you can monitor the progress of your load.
- This unit has a 2year warranty.
- Offers preset wash cycles.
This is a single tub design portable washer that acts as a full-sized machine would. You load up to 8lbs of dirty clothes select a cycle from the eight preset wash cycles, and it will wash rinse and spin all on its own in the same tub.
- This unit will run a load of wash and spin out the clothes without you having to change clothes to a different basket.
- Easily put away out of sight.
- Portable and easy to take with you if needed.
- This unit is on the more expensive side.
- A gravity drain system requires you have access to a drain when using the unit.
- This unit is a top loading portable washer for convenience.
- You can use both the wash tub and spin tub at the same time.
- Uses a standard 110v outlet for power.
- Total height is just 23.2 inches.
- Made from materials that won’t corrode.
- The wash cycle has two rinse cycles to make certain your clothes are free from detergent.
- Powerful 240w wash motor and !20w spin motor can produce up to 1300 rpm to get clothes clean.
- You can fill this unit from a faucet with the hose attachment.
- A gravity drain system with discharge hose.
This dual tub portable washing machine is small enough to fit in just about any small cabinet but still offer the user a decent size wash load.
A full electric portable washer that uses separate tubs for washing and spinning out your load of laundry.
- Has a wash and spin weight that are almost the same so transfer to the spin will not require you to guess about the weight of the wet clothes as much as you would with some other units.
- Can easily be moved from one home to another.
- Light weight and easy for a person to use.
- Small capacity for the wash tub compared to other models.
- Plastic components may not corrode but may not last as long either.
- You must reduce the load size for the spin tub.
- It’s on the smaller side for a portable washer.
- Offers dual timers that are customizable for the wash tub and the spin tub.
- Has a classic design and mimics many standard sized washers in looks.
- Washer tub is rated for up to 8 lbs. of clothing per load.
- Both the wash and spin tubs can be used at the same time.
- This unit is only 27.2 inches tall and weighs just 29lbs when empty.
- This unit runs on a standard 110v outlet.
- Has a gravity drain system and hose.
- The washer tub can be filled with a bucket or a hose.
This is an electric portable washing machine that you load from the top add water and detergent and let it get your clothes clean without you scrubbing a thing.
Clean clothes in 15 minutes or less with no trip to the laundromat.
- Has a slightly large washer weight capacity over similar units.
- Runs a complete wash cycle in 15 minutes.
- Portable and can be stored out of sight in just about any cabinet space.
- No auto shut off on the water fill level.
- Small spin capacity.
- Gravity drain hose is about 3ft long and requires unit be elevated above the drain for best results.
- Clear see-through body allows you to easily monitor your wash.
- Portable as it weighs just 23.2lbs dry.
- The washer tub is rated for up to 5lbs of clothing at a time.
- The spin side can handle almost the same weight as the wash side and this my make spinning your clothes out quicker.
- Unit uses a standard 110v power outlet.
- The unit offers a powerful 240w wash motor.
- The spin motor is capable of 1300rpm to help get excess water out of your clothing.
This is an electric portable washer that uses the dual tub design that requires you to move your wash from the wash tub to the spin tub for spinning excess water from clothing before you dry them. You can load the wash tub from the top and fill with water and detergent and have clean clothes in 15 minutes or less
- Comparable tub sizes mean less guess work to use the spin tub.
- You can see through the outer body and watch your wash cycles.
- Small in size but powerful motor and high spin speed.
- Small spin weight.
- Gravity drain system so you need access to a drain.
- Machine can overflow if left hooked to water supply and left unattended.
- It is a single tub design that may save additional space in close quarters.
- It is rated for up to 7lbs of clothing in one load.
- It offers a purple see-through design for looks and function.
- This unit does offer a 240w wash motor and a 120w spin motor.
- You plug this unit in to a standard wall outlet.
- Offers a gravity drain system to make discharging dirty water easier.
This is a single tub model that uses the wash and spin in a single tub. The lightweight design and compact height of just 21.5 inches make this unit perfect for a small space.
This unit is a top load portable washing machine that you ill with water and detergent and let it do the work for you.
- Small design allows for easy storage.
- Light weight enough to take with you anywhere you may travel.
- Would work well for use in an RV.
- Decent sized wash tub for a small portable machine.
- Single tub design requires you to remove washed clothes and separate to spin smaller loads in the same tub area using a basket.
- Only can spin half the weight you can wash at a time.
- Has water inlet but no fill hose provided.
- It requires no power to use this portable washing machine.
- The manufacturer has updated and up graded the crank handle.
- It weighs just 5.5lbs empty so it is easily transported.
- You can use standard washing soap products in this unit.
- The unit’s total height is just 12in, so it’s easily concealed in a cabinet.
- You can wash up to 5lbs of clothing in one load.
- You have full control of the wash cycle and time with this unit.
- This unit does offer a drain tube in the bottom to help drain the dirty water.
This is a nonelectric powered hand crank portable washing machine. If you spend time camping or boating, this is an easy to use wash machine that can help keep your clothes clean and fresh with no electricity needed.
- Totally environmentally friendly and requires no power.
- Can easily work in environments other electric machines can’t and save you from hand washing.
- Light weigh enough to take camping.
- No spin cycle you have to wring clothes out by hand.
- It can be a chore to crank this unit by hand.
- Rinsing clothes requires you to drain unit and refill by hand.
- Can take time to get clothes clean.
- Labor intensive to use this type of machine.
- Requires no electrical power to wash using this unit.
- No drum design has a tub and plunger type set-up
- A large easy to grip handle on the plunger basket.
- No cranking on a handle like other units.
- You can watch the clothes in the tub as they wash.
- You have complete control of the length of wash and rinse cycle.
- A gravity drain in the bottom helps to change the water from wash to rinse.
This is a distinctive design on a nonelectric portable washing machine and uses a large handle for a manual up and down motion that the manufacturer states is user-friendly due to gravity assistance. You place your clothes in the tub on the handle and submerge them in the soapy water in the base tub.
- No hand crank to use.
- Easy to fill the basket with clothes.
- Can handle heavy clothes like jeans and sweatshirts.
- Light enough to take with you if you go camping or spend time in an RV or camper.
- This unit has a gravity drain in the bottom but will not spin clothes out.
- The plunger method will require a bit of hard work to get clothes washed and rinsed.
- You will need to wring clothes out by hand.
- The wash tub and wash basket are a bit bulky to take on a camping trip.
- This unit offers a foot pedal that works the wash agitator to clean your clothes.
- May be more user friendly for some because of the foot pedal design.
- You can use all standard washing detergents with this unit.
- Requires in power other than people power.
- Is easy to store as it breaks down in to two separate pieces.
- You have control of the wash time and rinse time.
- Could be used when tent camping other outdoor places with no power supply.
This unit is perfect for washing a small load both economically and quickly. This unit is foot pedal powered, and you simply add water, detergent, and step on the pedal until the clothes are clean.
- Uses no electrical power.
- Light weight and easily stored away.
- The two-piece design helps reduce the bulk.
- No plunger or crank handle to fuss with.
- This unit has no drain and requires you to dump the bucket to change the water from wash to rinse.
- You have to wring out your wet clothes by hand.
- This unit could prove more challenging to use without the gravity drain.
- Not sure how large of a load you could do at one time in the bucket.
- The foot pedal may not work as well as one might expect.
How Do These Portable Washers Work?
Well as you can see from the descriptions above these washers can work in a variety of ways. Either with electrical assistance or completely man powered.
Some offer a dual tub design so you can spin clothes while continuing to wash loads, and some require you to wring out your clean clothes manually.
With some of these portable washers, they look to be a smaller more compact version of a larger washer while others want to offer you a completely separate way of washing your clothes.
Most of these units can handle any type of detergent or washing additives, but you may want to use caution when draining the dirty water and consider the environment if you are using these units out of doors.
When Do You Need a Portable Washing Machine?
Well if you spend a great deal of time in the great outdoors or in an RV any of these units would seem to be a huge convenience item. Still others like those in an apartment or dorm might find having this type of option a life-saver. Maybe you just want to leave less of an impact on the environment and want to go a little greener in doing your laundry.
Whatever you’re reasoning you are sure to be able to find a perfect fit in a portable washing machine from the ones reviewed above.
Things to Consider Before Buying
- What size are you looking for in the capacity of the tub?
- How much money do you want to spend on the unit?
- How much storage space do you have?
- Do you want an electric or a manually powered machine?
- Are you looking to use the unit in more than one location?
- Is it important for the unit to have a spin ability?
Tips for Using a Portable Washing Machine
- No matter the unit you purchase read the instructions for the unit.
- Use the proper amount of detergent, so you don’t get a sudsy mess.
- Don’t overload the machine with heavy clothes.
- Follow the weight restrictions on the spin units as not to damage clothes or the washing machine itself.
- Most of these units have no restrictions on detergents but always follow the manufacturer suggestions.
If you are looking to purchase a portable washing machine you have taken an important first step in researching the different types of products available.
Although many products are available on the market today the above information on these units should prove relevant to your search. The units above cover the single tub, dual tub, and electric and manual versions and a variety of price ranges as well.
All of these units will have strengths and weaknesses just like full-sized washing machines do so you will need to decide what you need your portable washer to be able to do and select the best unit for your specific needs and wants.