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Best Portable Washers in 2023: Buying Guide

One regularly occurring chore shared by all is laundry. Unless you’re going to grab a wooden washboard to get the job done, you need access to a washing machine.

What if you live in a house or an apartment without a washer hookup, and it isn’t feasible to go to the laundromat? With a portable washer, you can clean your clothes when it suits your schedule without leaving your house.

Portable Washer
Portable Washer

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Portable Washer Quick Video Guide

Introduction to Portable Washers

If living space is at a premium, having a separate laundry room—complete with a full-sized washer and dryer—often isn’t an option. It may mean having to resort to time-consuming trips to the laundromat or hunching over your kitchen sink to get your clothes dirt-free and fresh. But don’t despair.

There’s no need to throw in the towel and concede defeat. You can get your laundry clean (while you stay serene) without wasting time, energy, or money. Buying a portable washing machine will take a load off your mind.

Portable Washing Machine
Portable Washing Machine

Portable washers are smaller-scale, cheaper-to-purchase (and run) versions of traditional, larger washing machines. Despite appearances, these washers work hard to get the job done. Many models are hooked up to a faucet and sink when in use, while others require manual filling to clean and rinse your dirty laundry. Compact and moveable, they can easily be stored away when not in use.

Portable washing machines are available in either electric or manual versions. Manually operated models don’t have to be hooked up to a power supply—perfect for camping trips, RVs, boating holidays, or if you’re trying to save money on energy bills.

Their average capacity is around 1.5 cubic feet, with ample room for around a 10 lbs load. That’s about three to four days’ worth of clothing for one person. Not bad for a small appliance! Whatever your laundry washing and drying needs, you’re sure to find a dazzling option that works for you.

How Do Portable Washers Differ From Full-Size Washers?

Several features set portable washing machines apart from their full-size counterparts. Portable washers are one-quarter to one-half the size of regular washers.

They are also lighter and easier to move. Plus, you don’t need a dedicated water line to use one of these extremely compact washing machines.

Related Article: What is a Portable Washing Machine? How To Guide

How Do I Use a Portable Washer?

A portable washer works in the same manner as its full-size counterpart. Electric portable washers must be plugged into a wall outlet.

While all washing machines need a water source, portable washers don’t need a dedicated line. Instead, you can connect it to a faucet on a kitchen or bathroom sink. Some also have a separate drain line.

Once you have plugged in the cord and hooked up the water lines, place the end of the drain line into a tub or sink.

Then, pour in some laundry detergent and set the washer to the cycle setting of your choice. Next, turn on the washer, add water to the fill line and let the washer complete the cycle.

Best Choice Products Portable Compact Lightweight Mini Twin Tub Laundry Washing Machine

Our Recommended Portable Washers in 2023

Having trouble choosing a portable washing machine? Check out these five washers. They offer the best blend of affordability and features.

#10 BLACK+DECKER BPWM16W Portable Washer

The BPWM16W by BLACK+DECKER is a portable washing machine that’s great for tiny apartments, RVs, and dorm rooms. It measures just 20.3 x 36.6 x 20.7 inches in dimensions, so it’ll fit in tight corners with ease. The BPWM16W ‘s tub supports up to 1.6 cubic feet of dirty clothes, which is about 7 pounds of laundry, making it great for small families or individual users.


Its highly intricate LED control panel offers 6 cleaning modes, but most users rely on the auto cycle and water level settings to do all the heavy-duty thinking for them. You’ll love the transparent lid that lets you peek inside the tub to see whether everything is working as it should.

BLACK+DECKER Small Portable Washer, Washing...
  • WASH UP TO 11 LBS.—Wash up to 11 lbs. of laundry at a time with this superior...
  • IMPRESSIVE FUNCTIONALITY—With your new washer machine (70.5 lbs.) you have 3 water level...


The BLACK & DECKER BPWM09W is one of the most compact portable washers available today. Its tub only accommodates up to 0.9 cubic feet, or roughly 6.6 pounds, of dirty clothes per cycle. Measuring just 17.7 x 18.1 x 31.5 inches, its safe to say that users won’t have difficulty finding a place in their apartments to place this portable washer.


Using any of the 5 washing modes, you can wash delicate fabrics to heavy-duty jeans, making it as versatile as it is compact. Plus, it has automatic unbalance detection, which corrects any balance issues to ensure the stainless-steel tub spins seamlessly throughout the entire washing cycle.

BLACK+DECKER Small Portable Washer, Washing...
  • 5 CYCLE SELECTION—Wash your laundry with this superior BLACK+DECKER best portable...
  • IMPRESSIVE FUNCTIONALITY—With your new washer machine (48.4 lbs.) you have 3 water level...

#8 Panda Portable Washing Machine PAN356HB

The Panda PAN356HB is a portable washing machine that comes with a 1.34-cubic-foot drum. There are ten different washing programs with five water levels. The entire washing machine sits atop two caster wheels to help owners move it from room to room with ease.

Panda Portable Washing Machine
Panda Portable Washing Machine

Users will enjoy the built-in water pump to remove water quickly from its drum. One cycle can hold up to ten pounds of clothes. This relatively quiet washing machine spin-dries a load to up to 80% dryness. Customers who have the PAN356HB enjoy it for compactness that makes it perfect for RVs and rented homes for guests.

#7 COMFEE’ Portable Washing Machine

The COMFEE is a 1.6-cubic-foot fully compact washing machine designed to wash an 11-pound load of laundry in every cycle. There are six basic washing modes plus an Extra Rinse button to add an additional rinse cycle to remove every last detergent bubble. Even though it doesn’t have lockable casters, the COMFEE weighs a mere 70 pounds, making it easy to move around.

COMFEE' Portable Washing Machine
COMFEE’ Portable Washing Machine

This portable washer comes with a drain pump, two inlet ports, and faucet adapters. The tub is made of stainless steel while the exterior is a durable plastic composite. It comes certified by the DOE, ensuring that it uses up to 84% less power than traditional compact washers.

COMFEE' Portable Washing Machine, 0.9 cu.ft...
  • The full-automatic washing machine equipped with Heavy, Soft, Normal, Rapid, and Soak 5...
  • This top load compact washing machine with only 18.1 inches in width, 17.7 inches...

#6 Garatic Portable Compact Mini Twin Tub

The Garatic is a twin-tub washing machine that can handle up to 13 pounds of clothes in both tubs at the same time. This is an excellent twin-tub option for apartments, RVs, and other small living spaces. Users can run both the washing and drying tubs simultaneously to finish laundry chores even quicker.

Garatic Mini Twin Tub
Garatic Mini Twin Tub

The drying tub spins at a rate of 1,300 RPM for up to five minutes. Pulsating water wave reduces twisting, ensuring that your clothes come out fully intact every time. The entire unit weighs a mere 25.3 pounds, so a single person shouldn’t find trouble carrying it up and down staircases.

#5 SUPER DEAL Portable Compact Mini Twin Tub Washing Machine

Customize your laundry experience with this Super Deal portable washer. It features 10 programs and water levels to choose from. You can also set the washing modes to standard, drain or soft. The side-by-side tubs wash up to 8 pounds of clothes.

SUPER DEAL Mini Twin Tub
SUPER DEAL Mini Twin Tub

A transparent door allows you to check on a load without opening the washing machine. Since Super Deal threw in a hose to connect to the inlet, you can automatically fill the washer.

SUPER DEAL Compact Mini Twin Tub Washing...
  • ★ Twin Tub Design - With the Twin Tub dual function design, this washing machine can...
  • ★ Powerful Performance - The portable washer machine features a 1300RPM powerful motor...

#4 Giantex Full-Automatic Washing Machine EP23113

Thanks to its slim profile, the Giantex Full-Automatic Washing Machine fits in the tightest of spaces. Its stainless-steel tub can hold up to 10 pounds of laundry per load.

Giantex EP23113

You get plenty of options in terms of settings. You can choose one of eight water levels and one of ten wash cycles, including a heavy and a quick wash. If you need to pause a load, you can do so from the electronic control panel.

Giantex Full-Automatic Washing Machine...
  • 〖Easy to Operate〗- On the control panel are there ten programs, 8 water level...
  • 〖Compact Design & Large Load Capacity〗- Giantex washing machine is compact and...

#3 KUPPET Compact Twin Tub

The KUPPET is a twin-tub, portable washer that can wash 18 pounds of clothing and spin-dry five pounds simultaneously. It features a built-in drain pump to remove water from the drums easily and thoroughly. Like any twin-tub washer, the KUPPET’s wash cycle lasts 15 minutes, and the dry cycle for only five minutes.

KUPPET Compact Twin Tub
KUPPET Compact Twin Tub

It comes with the standard dual-inlet setup, as well as faucet adapters with clamps. The clamps help prevent leaks while your faucet delivers water to the tubs, reducing waste over the long run. With the traditional 3-dial control panel (washer, dryer, and cycle modes), this portable washer couldn’t be easier to operate.

KUPPET Compact Twin Tub Portable Mini Washing...
  • 🛒【Large Capacity】You can operate washer or spinner separately, and you can also run...
  • 🔄【Built-in Drain Pump】Built-in drain pump drains dirty water by more longer...

#2 Panda PAN6320W

The Panda PAN6320W is a 1.34-cubic-foot washing machine that can wash and rinse up to 10 pounds of clothes in every cycle. It uses electronic controls with an LED display for easy-to-read operations and sits atop two lockable casters for enhanced maneuverability. The dark-yellow transparent lid lets users see what’s going to and even stop washing cycles midway (not advisable when spin-drying).

Panda PAN6320W
Panda PAN6320W

The PAN6320W weighs the load and automatically selects one of five water levels, but users can manually choose the water level at any time. The drum is made entirely out of stainless steel, which is corrosion-proof, so you don’t need to worry about rust chips getting mixed in with your clothes.

Panda Portable Washing Machine, 1.34 Cu.ft,...
  • It is a space-saving design which makes your laundry easy and simple. It is perfect for...
  • Enhanced version, 2 built-in rollers/casters increase mobility for easy move around

#1 Giantex EP21684 Twin Tub

Save time with this dual-tub portable washer by Giantex. You can decide how long the appliances washes and spins thanks to separate timers for both. The top-loading compartments are spacious and agitator-free too, holding 11 pounds for washing and 6.6 for spinning.

Giantex EP21684
Giantex EP21684

The dial knob in between the timers offers a special setting for delicates, and you can use the inlet connection to add water without lugging a bucket. To keep the washing machine running smoothly, it comes with a drainage filter net.

Giantex Portable Mini Compact Twin Tub...
  • 【Easy to Operate】: This is our portable mini compact twin tub washing machine which is...
  • 【17.6LBS Large Capacity】: Washing tub: place clothing in the wash tub section, rated...

“Portable washers use very little water and electricity per cycle.”

Different Types of Portable Washing Machines

Don’t let the different varieties of portable washing machines get you in a spin. Here we’ll explain their differences and their pros and cons. Take our advice, and you won’t get left high and dry when choosing the best appliance for you.


These portable washing machines run on electricity and therefore need to be plugged into a power outlet. They tend to be more expensive (and larger) than manual versions, so they aren’t ideal for homes with very limited space or people on a tight budget.

However, they’re a fantastic alternative to full-sized washers, getting your clothes clean and pristine with minimal effort on your part.


These washers operate without the need for an electrical source, making them ideal for camping or traveling or if you’re trying to keep energy bills down.

Manual Washer
Manual Washer

Some models are operated by a pedal, while others work by manually turning their handle. As these appliances require you to be their energy source, you need to be prepared to put more effort and time into washing and rinsing your clothes. However, it does mean that you can get a workout while getting your laundry clean!


These portable washing machines use high-frequency pressure waves to ensure that your laundry load is left 99.9% dirt-free. They also need to be plugged into an electrical outlet.

Ultrasonic washers have an advantage over other types of washing machines, using 15 times less energy and 40 times less water. Another plus is that ultrasonic washing machines tend to be very quiet and are usually made of highly durable materials such as stainless steel.


A front-loading portable washer’s door is placed at the front of the machine. Its drum is positioned horizontally. It requires less water to get your clothes squeaky clean—saving you money in water bills.

Plus, it doesn’t use a central agitator, saving on space and allowing more clothes to be loaded at a time. The cons? There needs to be enough room for you to open the door, and they tend to be more expensive.

Top loading

As its name suggests, a top-loading portable washing machine’s door is located on the top of the appliance. You don’t have to worry about space for opening and closing the door or about bending down to load and unload your laundry.

Top Loading Portable Washer
Top Loading Portable Washer

Most modern top-loaders use pulsators (not the more bulky agitators) for cleaning, meaning that there’s more room inside the appliance for your laundry. Although these models are cheaper than front-loaders, they tend to cost more to run as they use more energy.

Portable Washer Buying Guide

Before purchasing a portable washing machine, take some time to think about your specific needs and requirements.

Ask yourself: What’s my budget? How often do I do laundry?

Do my clothes need special care and attention? How much space do I have? Do I want my appliance to have special features, such as temperature controls? Do I want to save energy? Do I want to use it while traveling? Will I always be able to hook it up to a power source?

As with any household appliance, you’ll need to assess the pros and cons of the various models available to you. You’ll need to pick the portable washing machine that fits in with your budget and lifestyle. It needs to be a convenient, cost-effective addition to your household or travels. Otherwise, you may find that you’ve wasted your money, leaving you high and dry and regretting your purchase.

Shopping for a major appliance is hard in general. Choosing a portable washer is even harder, particularly if space is an issue. Here are the main factors to consider, so you can find a model that meets your needs.

COMFEE’ 1.6 Cu.ft Portable Washing Machine
COMFEE’ Portable Washing Machine

While all portable washing machines are much smaller than full-size ones, the dimensions are a critical factor for those who are short on space. Since manufacturers of portable washers cater to apartment dwellers, RVing enthusiasts, and frequent travelers, they clearly list the length, width and height of their products.

Best Portable Washers

Before you buy, make sure to measure the space where you plan to use your washer the most. Measure your closet too if you want to store the washing machine when not in use.


The capacity of the washer ranks right up there with its dimensions. If you are single, you can get away with a small-capacity portable washer. However, if you have roommates or a family, go for a washing machine with the largest capacity you can find. Otherwise, the time it takes to do laundry will be much longer.

Water Management

Not all portable washing machines are created equal. Some have water inlet and outlet valves that you hook up to your kitchen or bathroom faucets and sinks. In contrast, others need to be manually filled and emptied with each use or cycle. This means that you’ll need to pick your appliance carefully, depending on how hands-on you want to be with each wash.

To make sure you select the suitable washer for you, think about the amount of time and energy you’re willing to put into each laundry wash. Also, consider how accessible water sources will be to you in your home (or when traveling).

Models with inlet valves usually involve screwing on a hose so your machine will automatically fill with the appropriate amount of water for your chosen cycle phase. Manual fill versions mean you have to manually supply the right amount of water for each wash or rinse step. This means that this type of machine requires more attention and effort and involves a higher risk of water spillage.

Tub Configuration

Portable washers come in one-tub and two-tub versions. With a single-tub washing machine, you don’t have to move the clothes before you start a spin cycle. On the other hand, a dual-tube portable washer lets you get more laundry done in a shorter amount of time.

Portable Washing Machine
Portable Washing Machine
Agitator or Pulsator

Both an agitator and a pulsator accomplish the same goal – removing dirt and grime from garments. However, an agitator takes up more room in the drum, which equates to less space for clothes. While a pulsator frees up the room, it’s not as adept at cleaning heavily soiled clothes.

Fill and Drain

The options a portable washer has for filling and draining the washing machine dictate how much time and effort you’ll spend getting your clothes clean.

Not only do you need to consider how the water enters your washing machine, but you also need to think about how the dirty water will be drained out. Usually, portable washers come with a drainage outlet, making the removal of water hassle-free. There are typically two types of drainage systems with portable washing machines: gravity drain or pump drain.

Gravity drains empty very slowly. Plus, they only work when the outlet hose is on a downward incline from the washer unit. Pump drains tend to work more quickly and at any angle. For a more fuss-free wash, you may choose to opt for appliances with pump drains.

However, not all models are equipped with a self-filling inlet. For those, you’ll need to manually add water with a bucket.

Black-Decker Portable Washer
Black-Decker Portable Washer

The number and type of settings vary from one model to the next. Timers are the most common choices you’ll find. Some portable washers also offer two to five wash cycles. You can even find a portable washing machine with multiple water level options.

Power Source

As we’ve mentioned, a portable washer either operates on electricity or manually. Electric models work like full-sized washers; you plug them into an outlet or adapter and set the controls on the control panel. These washers typically require a 120-volt outlet, as opposed to a 240-volt one.

Non-electric washers mean that you’re the power source. You have to turn or pump a lever or a pedal to spin the clothes in the appliance. The extra effort that goes into this can be off-putting. Still, they’re convenient for camping, boating, or RV trips where a power supply isn’t guaranteed.

“If you don’t have the space or set up for a full-sized laundry set up, a portable washing machine can help you cut down on trips to the laundromat and time spent hand washing your clothes.”

One Drum or Two?

A portable washer comes with either one drum or two (the latter usually being the cheaper option). If it has one drum, it means that it uses this for both washing and spinning your laundry.

A two-drum version doesn’t clean your laundry load as effectively or conveniently. Once the washer has washed and rinsed your laundry, you’ll have to manually remove it and place it in the second drum to be spun. Not only is this a hassle, but your laundry won’t be cleaned as well as it would be with a single drum; it enters the “rinse cycle” with the existing dirty water.

SUPER DEAL Portable Twin Tub Washer
SUPER DEAL Portable Twin Tub Washer
Materials and Design

We all should be looking for quality and durability when buying appliances that we want to use regularly, and portable washing machines are no exception. Models vary in their construction and design, and it’s essential to do some research into what materials they’re made of.

The portable washer’s drum (what the clothes spin around in) can be constructed out of three possible materials: stainless steel, plastic, or porcelain-enamel. Stainless steel is the most durable, able to withstand very high spin speeds.

Plastic comes second in terms of durability, with porcelain enamel scoring the worst. You need to pick a well-constructed washer that won’t rust or chip easily, especially if you’re going to be using it a lot. Often, forking out a little bit of extra cash will save you money in the long run.


Portable washing machine models vary in terms of what they can do. These options range from the most basic functions to fancier versions offering multiple wash cycle options and temperature choices.

When looking to purchase a washer for home use, it usually makes more sense to opt for one that gives you more choice.

Some appliances will allow you to choose presoak, extra rinse, extra spin, speed wash, or delay wash functions. In the outdoors, however, it’s unlikely that you’ll require a washer that goes beyond simply giving your laundry an effective clean.

Again, it’s essential to think about what sort of laundry you’ll be using the washer for. Suppose you sometimes want to clean more delicate items.

In that case, you’ll need to opt for an appliance that can accommodate lower spin cycles (between 300 RPM to 500 RPM). If you have bulkier items, the spin cycle should be up to 1,000 RPM. Remember that portable washing machines tend to be unsuitable for very heavy clothing such as coats. These are best taken to a dry cleaner for professional cleaning.


Suppose you have a preference for the sort of detergent you wish to use. Do you prefer liquid soap, bar soap, pre-measured capsules, powders, sheets, tablets, or pod detergents?

In that case, you need to check that the portable washer can accommodate your preferences. Always check the manufacturer’s operating manual for details.

Some models have a built-in detergent dispenser (like full-scale washers). In contrast, others require you to place the correct amount directly into the drum. Not all portable washers have separate bleach and fabric softener dispensers, so you’ll need to check if this is a priority for you or not.

Portable Washer
Portable Washer
Controls and Functionality

Portable washing machines range from very basic, with manual controls that you have to turn, to high-end designs with digital buttons and LED control panels.

You may find that the latter is more aesthetically pleasing. Plus, these more upscale varieties usually have more functions for better ease of use and convenience.

Of course, all portable washers serve the purpose of washing and rinsing your laundry. They differ, however, in terms of their level of functionality. Take some time to determine what you want your washer to do.

Some models come with extras such as temperature controls, various spin cycles, end-of-cycle signals, automatic water control according to the size of the load, energy-saving modes, control panel locks, delayed start, and more. If you want your washer to go the extra mile, you’ll need to opt for one with these add-ons.

Spin Dry

If you’re looking to save money, you’ll usually find that the more affordable portable washers are the ones without a spin-dry option. This means that once your wash is done, you’ll need to take the soaking wet load out and hang-wring out the water before putting it up to dry. This can be time and energy-consuming. (But a great way to work on those arm muscles!)

If this sounds like too much of a hassle, opt for a washer with an extended spin cycle or an inbuilt dryer. Alternatively, if you have room and money, you could purchase a separate portable dryer that’ll completely dry your laundry. This would be especially ideal if you have very little space to hang up your laundry to dry.

Giantex Washing Machine
Giantex Washing Machine
Caster Wheels

Although portable washers are compact, they vary in weight. The fully automatic electric models tend to be deceptively heavy. You don’t want to break your back when taking it in and out of storage.

Purchasing an appliance with caster wheels will allow you to move it around more easily and is an excellent idea if you intend to use it in an RV. You can choose between models with two wheels in the front or back or ones with one in every corner.

However, manual portable washing machines tend to be much lighter, so it’s usually unnecessary to seek one out that comes with wheels.

Viewing Window

Sometimes it’s useful to have a viewing window incorporated into your washing appliance. Some portable washing machines come with a see-through glass lid (located on top-loading models). This allows you to keep an eye on your clothes and ensure that the water levels are adequate during a cycle.

However, being able to watch your laundry isn’t a necessity. With most appliances on the market today, you can load them up, switch them on, and rest assured that the job will get done without any necessary intervention from you. Often, consumers will opt for this option merely for design and aesthetic reasons.

Delay Start Function

Many of the more high-end, expensive portable washing machines incorporate a delay start function into their design. This is a valuable feature if you’re watching your water or electricity usage or if you want your laundry to be done at a particular, pre-selected time while you’re not home. Electricity costs vary throughout the day, so by carefully choosing the hour to start your laundry wash, you can save money on energy bills.


We can’t stress the importance of checking the warranty of an appliance before you purchase it. You need to make sure that you’ll be covered in case of damage. Do some research online and read consumer reviews of different manufacturers to ensure that you’ll get the support you need, just in case.

Best Portable Washing Machines

Portable Washer FAQs

How is a portable washing machine different from a regular washing machine?

A portable washing machine will clean and rinse your laundry like a regular, full-sized machine. However, washing machines are permanently fixed in one place. These appliances tend to be smaller and are designed to be moved around as necessary. This means that they can be taken in and out of storage or taken away on camping or boating trips.

While regular washing machines are hooked up to your main water, electrical, and gas supply, portable washers are connected to a sink, bath, or shower faucet. Alternatively, they can be manually filled with water. This means that there are more options for where they can be used within your home or while traveling.

Fixed washing machines run on electricity, while portable versions can either be electric or manual. This gives you the option of saving on energy bills while still getting your laundry fresh and clean.

KUPPET Compact Twin Tub Portable Mini Washing Machine
KUPPET Compact Twin Tub Portable Mini Washing Machine

How do Portable Washing Machines Work?

Portable washing machines work on the same principle as permanent, full-sized ones. You place your laundry inside a drum. Water and detergent are added. As the drum turns, the laundry, water, and detergent are mixed together, removing dirt and stains from the laundry. The drum then spins to drain out the dirty water from the laundry.

One way that portable washing machines differ is that they can be attached and disconnected to a water supply as and when they’re needed. This entails a bit more time and effort than having a permanently installed washer, but they tend to take up very little space as they can be stored away when not in use.

You’ll have to hook up your appliance to a water source, such as a kitchen or bathroom sink faucet. Some machines need to be manually filled. You’ll also need to put it somewhere for the rinse water to drain into, such as next to a bucket, bath, or sink.

With some portable washers, you’ll have to manually set the faucet to the correct temperature for the wash cycle, regardless of the setting you select on the washer. You’ll then have to make sure that the cold water is turned on for the rinse cycle. More sophisticated models have temperature controls and end-of-cycle signals, just like fixed versions.

Portable washing machines require periodical cleaning and maintenance to ensure that any dirt, bacteria, or soap build-up is removed. This can be done every six months or so, using the appropriate bleach or appliance cleaner. They also usually contain lint filters that need to be cleaned by hand.

Perhaps you don’t have a lot of space to dry your clothes or want your laundry to dry quicker. In that case, choose a portable washer with faster spin speeds (800 to 850 rpm). Or you could pick one with a separate “spin only” cycle that’ll get as much water out of your laundry before you take it out of the machine.

Panda PAN6320W Portable Machine
Panda PAN6320W Portable Machine

In terms of detergent, most portable washers don’t have separate dispensers, so you’ll usually have to add this straight into the tumbler. Check with the manufacturer’s guide for the recommended type of detergent to use.

Usually, it’s best to use high-efficiency (HE) detergent. This is specifically formulated for washers using low volumes of water. They’re low-sudsing and quick dispersing and will “hold” any dirt or grime removed from your laundry in the water.

Are Portable Washers Good for Cleaning Winter Jackets and Blankets?

While portable washers don’t have the capacity that full-size ones do, you’d be surprised at how many articles of clothing you can fit in a single load.

You may be tempted to throw in your winter jacket that’s been packed away in your closet all year, but it may be too heavy for the machine to handle when wet.

Portable washers are perfect for washing baby blankets and crib comforters, which are small and lightweight. They also perform well when washing bed sheets. However, they are not robust enough to stand up under the weight of a big blanket or comfort even if it is a twin-size cover.

Can I Use an Extension Cord With My Portable Washer?

No. Even though an extension cord gives you more leeway in terms of placement, we strongly recommend that you plug in your portable washer straight to an electrical outlet. Many appliances are safe to use with an extension cord, but washing machines aren’t one of them due to the water involved.

On a similar note, you must be cautious when plugging and unplugging a portable washing machine. At some point, your hands will get wet. You risk getting shocked when you handle the power cord with wet hands, and it’s all too easy to forget to dry off your hands first.

Can I Use a Portable Washer to Handle My Laundry Overflow?

Portable washers are a great solution for laundry overflows. When you have a large family, you don’t have all day to spend washing clothes. With a portable washer as a supplement, your full-size one will last longer as it won’t experience as much wear and tear.

You can get your weekly laundry done faster with two machines running simultaneously while saving the space that a second full-size washing machine requires.

Portable Washing Machine

Parents who use cloth diapers can dedicate the portable washer for diaper laundering. New businesses like hair salons that have towels to wash but a low startup budget can save money with a portable unit.

What Benefits Do Portable Washers Offer That Full-Size Ones Don’t?

The obvious advantages that portable washers have over full-size ones are that they are easier to move and take up less space. Specifically, with pedal-powered portable washers, you don’t need a source of electricity.

Setting up a portable washer requires much less effort, and they cost savings are dramatic in comparison to the retail price of full-size washing machines.

You also save money throughout the life of a portable washer since they don’t need as much water, and you aren’t tossing $2 or more per load toward the laundromat.

Do Portable Washers Have a Rinse Cycle?

Many portable washers have a rinse cycle. Those that do offer more convenience than those that don’t. A machine that does have a rinse cycle will not rinse a load automatically. To rinse your clothes after the spin cycle is done, you’ll have to refill the washer and then set the machine to the rinse cycle.

How Do I Clean My Portable Washer?

Although a washer is constantly subjected to detergent, it still needs to be cleaned from time to time. Detergent leaves behind a residue, and the moisture in the tub may cause mold growth, leaving you with discoloration and an unpleasant odor.

We recommend cleaning it every other month. All you need is white vinegar and baking soda. Run an empty cycle with hot water and white vinegar.

Then, do another cycle with just water and baking soda. You can use bleach and water in lieu of white vinegar and baking soda, but don’t mix the bleach with another substance.

Is a Drain Pump Better Than a Gravity Drain?

The draining mechanism on a portable washing machine will either be a drain pump or a gravity drain. There are pros and cons to each mechanism.

Best Portable Washing Machine

Portable washers with a pump are much easier to drain than those with a gravity drain because you aren’t restricted as to how you can position the drain line.

Portable washers that use gravity to drain the water are more cumbersome. The drain line must be placed below the water level inside the washer in order to empty the tub. However, with a gravity-drain portable washer, you don’t have to worry about a pump breaking down.

What Are Pedal-Powered Portable Washers?

Not all portable washers run on electricity. Some are purely mechanical and rely on kinetic energy to operate. Called either human-powered or pedal-powered, these portable washers are ideal for those who love to take extended camping trips or want a way to clean their clothes during an emergency blackout.

Human-powered portable washers don’t have a fill hose, but they do have a drain line. You simply add water to the washer’s tub and turn the agitator with a pedal, which may be on top of or on the side of the unit. When you’re done cleaning your clothes, you can drain the water through the hose.

What Styles of Portable Washing Machines Are Available?

Portable washers are classified by their water supply and their door. In the scope of water supply, there are portable washers that you must manually fill. Other portable washing machines come with an adapter. This adapter attaches to a faucet, so the washer can self-fill.

The washing machines also vary as to where their door is placed. Some portable washing machines have a door on the top of the drum housing.

Top-loading portable washers either have an agitator or a pulsator to scrub your clothes clean. In general, pulsator-equipped washing machines offer more cubic footage.

Other portable washers have a door on the front of the drum housing. Front-loading washing machines don’t have an agitator. Often, the drum spins faster than one in a top-loading washer, which reduces drying time.

Top 15 Best Portable Washing Machines

Will a Portable Washer Raise My Water Bill?

Showers, toilets, and swimming pools are all major water-users, and washing machines are included in that list. However, a portable washer uses much less water than a full-size washer due to having fewer cubic feet of space. A full-size washer can increase your water bill at least twice as much as a portable washer.

Best Portable Washers

How Easy Is It to Move a Portable Washing Machine?

Some portable washers weigh fewer than 25 pounds, making them easy to move. Even better, many models are equipped with a set of casters that reduce the amount of force needed to push them. This means you can use a portable washer almost anywhere in your house with a level floor – a hard floor is the best surface.

Of course, you’ll need to position the washing machine close to the sink or drain that will collect the water.

It helps if you put the washer near a faucet, so you won’t have to carry a bucket of water across the house to fill the washer.

What Size Portable Washer Should I Buy?

Portable washers are definitely not space-hogs. On average, they are 2.5 to 3-feet tall, and they measure about 2 feet in length and 1.5 to 2 feet in width.

As far as weight goes, they are featherlight in comparison to stationary washing machines. Many portable washers weigh 30 to 50 pounds.

Best Portable Washers

Due to their compact dimensions, portable washing machines don’t hold nearly the amount of clothes that stationary washers can. Manufacturers calculate a washing machine’s capacity by cubic feet. Typically, the cubic feet inside of a washer range from 1 to 2.5 cubic feet.

For portable washing machines, manufacturers may also measure the capacity in pounds, which is separated into two categories – pounds for washing and pounds for spinning.

You can expect the average portable washer to accommodate 7 to 15 pounds of clothes during the wash cycle and about half the numbers in that range during the spin cycle.

How much laundry you can put in a portable washer very much depends on the capacity of your particular appliance. This will be indicated in the manufacturer’s user instructions. Generally, an average-sized portable washer will hold about three to four days’ worth of clothes for one person (that’s about 10 lbs). However, models do vary, so please make sure not to overload your machine.

Who Would Get the Most Use Out of a Portable Washer?

People who live in an apartment without a washer hookup will love the convenience of a portable washing machine. Although these types of apartment complexes often offer an on-site laundry room, leaving your apartment to wash clothes is a real pain.

Those who are tired of going to the laundromat can benefit from owning a portable washer. Laundromat trips not only require leaving the house but also cost a lot of money in the long-run. You have to scrape up quarters and spend time and gas just to get there.

Anyone who doesn’t have a lot of space or does a lot of RV traveling should get one of these washers too. Since portable washers are small, many of them fit inside a standard closet, saving valuable square footage. For people who live the RVing lifestyle, having a portable washer means not plotting laundromats on your travel route.

Are Washer-Dryer Portable Machines Worth It?

Undoubtedly, having an appliance that both washes and dries your clothes is a convenient way to complete your laundry chores. Rather than having to air dry your laundry or transfer it to a separate dryer, you can get the job done in one go. You’ll save on time, money, and space.

But be careful! Many models that profess to have a “drying” function simply use an extended spin cycle to wring out excess moisture from your laundry. You need to make sure that the portable washer you purchase has a specific drying function.

The drying function works by heating up the air inside the drum (where the wet clothes are). As the drum spins, the hot air absorbs the moisture from the wet laundry. This steam then condenses in a chamber and then leaves the appliance by the water drainage tube. The result? Your laundry can lose up to 90% of its moisture—a neat time and effort saver.

How Can I Ensure That I’m Using My Machine Efficiently?

Always make sure that when using the portable washing machine that you put in a full load. This means that you’ll be operating it at maximum capacity, so you won’t be wasting power, water, or time. You’ll be saving money on your energy and water bills (while doing your bit for the environment, too).

For extra efficiency, use cooler temperatures whenever you can. Hot and warm temperatures consume more power, so only use these with loads that require intense cleaning. When searching for more energy-efficient machines, keep an eye on ones that allow for various wash cycle options to help you minimize energy consumption.

Are Portable Washing Machines Noisy?

As with most household appliances, your portable washing machine will make some noise while doing its job. The amount of noise it will make will depend on its manufacture and design. It’s probably a good idea to research the quietest models available, especially if you live close to your neighbors and don’t want to disturb them.

Most portable washers will only make strange noises when they’re overloaded or loaded incorrectly. To avoid this, always make sure that you follow the user instructions correctly.

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In this article, we’ve given you a run-down of the different features and functions of various types of portable washing machines. These household appliances are undoubtedly convenient alternatives to full-scale washers where space is limited. They’re also handy additions to camping or boating trips or for use in RVs.

You don’t have to be filthy rich to buy one; there’s a wide variety of models to choose from to suit any budget. By carefully picking a suitable washer for you, you’ll be sure to lighten the load when it comes to doing your household chores.

Best Portable Washing Machine

When shopping for a portable washer, pay attention to its dimensions if you need to fit it in a cramped space. If you plan to use it just for your clothes, the capacity isn’t as important. However, if you need to clean multiple people’s laundry, the bigger the capacity, the better – a pulsator generally offers more room.

The size, weight and cost savings of a portable washer are part of its appeal. These appliances are ideal for use in apartments and dorms without a washer connection. They are also great to have in a vacation home, and there are even human-powered models that you can take on camping and RV trips.

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Last Update: 2023-02-02 | Affiliate links/Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About the author

Hi I’m Alex, founder of HouseholdMe.com and I’d like to say thank you for dropping by. Like most of you, the first thing I look at before buying something online is reviews or buying guides. By reading what other people say will help me gauge whether or not a product is good or not.  I am trying to help people find answers, solve problems, and get inspired.

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