What Is a Portable Washing Machine and How Do They Work?

What Is a Portable Washing Machine and How Do They Work?
Image: The Spruce
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Washing machines are considered one of the best creations of the 21st century. It’s hard to remember a time we ever washed and dried clothes by hand (and we probably don’t want to). After hours of scrubbing you’re left with sore wrists and pruney fingers, only to find your clothes aren’t actually that clean. Not all of us can afford the luxury of a washing machine, which is why the invention of the portable washing machine has been a godsend for many.

This clever machine has all the benefits of a washer without permanent installation. If you live in an apartment and have limited space or spend a lot of time camping, it could be a great investment for you.

What is a portable washing machine?

Portable washing machines are typically smaller and less powerful than a regular washing machine. They don’t require a permanent water line to work, instead relying on a sink hookup or buckets of water to wash and rinse clothes. They can be stored away in a cupboard when not in use and can often save you money, space, water and electricity in the long run.

Using one requires a little more effort on your end (read: you can’t really go off and leave it to its own devices). It’s important you’re around to monitor things like water levels and flow so there’s no slippery accidents. In a lot of cases you’ll need to fill and drain the machine manually so you need to be close by.

It’s also worth noting that you probably won’t be able to fit the same amount of clothes in as you would with a regular machine as portable models are smaller in size. That being said, they still get the job done so it may just take a few more loads than usual to get all your laundry clean.

When it comes to price, machines can be anywhere from $50-400 depending on the model. Your usage purposes will probably determine how much you’re willing to spend on it.

What to look for in a machine

Before investing in a portable washing machine, you’ll want to research things like drain functionality and water levels. Having the ability to choose between different water levels allows you to adjust for different load sizes – this is handy if you’re looking to wash a few items rather than an entire basket. It’s also worth checking out how the drainage system works so you can decide whether it’s suitable for camping trips.

You’ll also want to make sure it’s either light enough to lift or is fitted with wheels to allow for easy manoeuvring. Portable washing machines are nowhere near as heavy as regular ones but they’re still around the 6-10kg mark.

Where to buy a portable washing machine

Top Load Portable Washer ($43.02) 

If you’re looking for something sturdy, this is the washer for you. The touch control panel on the front makes it incredibly easy to use and its waterproof fabric helps to prevent leakage.

Image: Amazon

Foldable Mini Washing Machine ($71.19) 

If you’re looking for an easy way to wash things like socks, underwear and towels – this is it. This mini washer can hold up to 1kg of water and is perfect for cleaning small items of clothing. Plus, it can be folded away and easily stored so it’ll barely take up space.

Laundreeze Travel-Sized Washer ($43.74) 

This is a great option for people who enjoy travelling and camping. This compact, nifty device allows you to wash your clothes on the go and can hold up to 6L of water. Impressive, right?

Image: Amazon

Mini foldable, portable washing machine ($198) 

This high-vibration frequency machine is also fitted with ultrasonic disinfectant functions which makes it ideal for cleaning items like baby clothes, underwear and towels.

Image: Kogan

Lightweight Portable Washing Machine ($212.30) 

This little machine couldn’t be easier to use. In fact, all you have to do is push one button and you’re off. It ticks all the right boxes – easy to use, easy to carry and space-efficient.

Image: Kogan

Turbo Table Top Washing Machine ($75.37) 

This little device is designed to sit on top of your table and can clean smaller items of clothing like underwear and baby clothes. The program is gentle and won’t harm delicate items so it’s great for things you aren’t comfortable putting in a regular washing machine.

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