The 10 Best Portable Washers
We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. If your space is limited but you don't want the hassle of washing your clothes by hand or the cost of going to a laundromat, then one of these portable washing machines is just what you need. They offer varying capacities for cleaning small to medium-sized loads, and some are available with programmable temperatures and cleaning cycles, and a spin-drying function. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best portable washer on Amazon.
Who Will Benefit From a Portable Washer?
A growing child will likely encounter spills and accidents on a daily basis too.
A working professional who moves often may find a portable washer is a sound investment.
Given that portable washers are around half the size or smaller than their non-portable counterparts, they can benefit anyone who needs to save space in their home or who wants to save money on their utility bills.
Portable washers are great for college students looking for an alternative to the local laundromat. Their compact size will not detract from the small space a dormitory offers, and a portable washer can be tucked away when not in use, which is physically impossible with a standard machine.
For those living in an apartment with no washer/dryer hookups, a portable washer accommodates their lifestyle. Rather than being forced to haul loads of dirty laundry to the overpriced community laundromat, portable washer owners can wash clothes from the comfort of their own homes. The only work involved is filling the chamber with water and plugging the unit in to any grounded outlet. Portable washers also use much less water and electricity than their full-sized counterparts, and leave up to a third of the footprint, which is an important feature in a small home layout.
A working professional who moves often may find a portable washer is a sound investment. Rather than buying and selling a new washer for each home, they may choose to travel light with a portable option. Most models will fit in a standard size sedan, and are easy for one person to transport.
Families with small children may enjoy the versatility and ease of access which comes from using a portable washer in their home. As children grow, it is common for them to have a favorite outfit that they wear every day. A growing child will likely encounter spills and accidents on a daily basis too. The portable washer's smaller size and energy use can be especially beneficial in situations such as this. It uses less energy and water, which means less waste when washing micro loads like a favored pair of pajamas or a cozy sheet.
Important Functions in a Portable Washer
When searching for a portable washer, it is important to consider the features and benefits you wish to obtain from the unit.
One consideration is the amount of space the portable washer will take up in the house. If there is little more than a hall closet to store the unit, some of the larger portable washers will not be practical. Consider a very small unit for a space like this.
If space is less of an issue for you, a larger machine may be more valuable, as it can save you time. A portable washer with a larger capacity will require less frequent use than one with a smaller capacity.
Liquid detergents can be more conducive to the function of some washers, as they dissolve quickly.
The drying function of the unit is also an important thing to consider. When hand-washing clothes, the primary drying function is done through the use of a wringer. This removes most of the water from the cloth to make drying easier. Wet articles pressed through a wringer can take as little as one hour to line dry. In washing machines, this function is performed via the spin cycle. A spin cycle pushes water out of the clothes and into the drainage bin. Unless the consumer uses a wringer in the home, a spin cycle is an important function to have in a portable washer.
Detergent preference may not seem important, but in the case of portable washers, it makes a difference. Liquid detergents can be more conducive to the function of some washers, as they dissolve quickly. Some portable washers do not agitate the load well enough to effectively dissolve powdered laundry detergents.
Ease of use is one of the most important features for many consumers. Some portable washer models are as efficient as full sized models that wash, rinse, and spin clothes in one cycle. Others are more involved and require the user to move the load from the wash side to the spin side to complete the load.
The Birth Of The Washing Machine
Though some portable washers are more involved than others, none are more involved than the original washers.
The first washing machines were created in the middle of the eighteenth century. They were crude devices by today's standards, and amounted to little more than an enclosed, hand-powered drum that held water and helped to rotate the clothes.
The first innovation in the washing machine was the inclusion of grooves along the inside edge of the round water basin.
The first innovation in the washing machine was the inclusion of grooves along the inside edge of the round water basin. The operator would use a long paddle to press and rotate the clothes along these grooves, and the clothes would be cleaned by friction.
The rotating drum was brought about soon after. Though it was a simple hand crank that turned a rotating drum, it paved the way for automatic tumbling, heated washing, and the eventual use of steam power.
The electric washing machine would make waves in the beginning of the 1900's, selling many thousands of units each year until the 1930's, when washer design improved. The first automatic washing machine was introduced in 1937. Impressively enough, it functioned like modern front-loading washers. Though many modern adjustments have been made, the same basic technology and application of centrifugal force to wash and dry clothes is still in use to this day.
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