Portable Washing Machines
Portable washers typically hold only a very small load of laundry. In a typical wash, I can fit probably three to four days’ worth of clothes for one person. Between me and my fiancé, that usually works out to a load every other day or so to keep up with net-zero laundry.
Portable washers don’t have all the bells and whistles that a full-size unit has. If anything is stained or needs special treatment, do it first. You can presoak your clothes in a bucket, tub or sink, or even in the body of the washer itself. My washer has a soak mode, but you can also just fill up the washer and let it soak on its own.
Every portable washer is a little different, but all operate on the same premise: an inlet hose that connects to your sink tap to fill the machine with water and an outflow hose to drain. When you set up your washing machine, you’ll follow manufacturer instructions to connect the hoses to the body of your machine. You’ll need a wrench to make sure the hoses are connected tightly to the unit.
Connecting to the tap takes some trial and error at first. The tap connector has two parts: a quick release and a screw-on nozzle. Using your fingers, depress the quick-release valve and remove the screw-on nozzle. Lining the threads of the nozzle up with the threads on your sink tap, screw the nozzle onto your sink. You may need to remove the aerator from your sink tap, if it has one.
Most portable washers don’t have detergent dispensers, so you need to add the detergent right into the tumbler. It’s best to do this while the water is running to avoid the detergent clumping in one area.
Like any appliance, it’s important to periodically clean your washer. Once every six months or so, run the washer empty with some bleach or appliance cleaner. Our top pick is Lemi Shine Washing Machine Cleaner, which easily removes dirt, bacteria, and soap buildup.