Portable washing machines are a great appliance for several reasons. They are the perfect solution for anyone who doesn’t have enough space in their home for a full sized machine, plus they’re cheaper and you can pack it up and take it on holiday or in a caravan.
They aren’t just an alternative to full sized washing machines, though. If you have a baby, pet or simply a lot of delicates to wash, it is much easier and economical to do it in the portable machine than waste water and electricity using the bigger one. Plus, you’ll be able to do bits and pieces more often; if you often find yourself running out of socks near the end of the week, you can keep on top of it easier.
Why You Need A Portable Washing Machine
While we hail them as a lifesaver, they’re still generally very underappreciated. So here is what you need to know about portable washing machines, and why you should consider bringing one into your home.
They are small
As mentioned, they will hold less water and clothing than freestanding washing machines, but this is a good thing. It means you can wash clothes more frequently without having to wait for a full load, but also means the outer dimensions are smaller.
The majority of those available, and that we have featured, can simply hook up to your tap and either sit on the kitchen bench or just in front of the sink. No need for under counter space, or for a huge machine to be blocking your path to the dinner table.
When you’re done, you can simply pack it all away and store in the cupboard.
You can get a model which is right for you
If you have been doing some research, you will have seen some articles and pictures which show a machine sitting on somebody’s bench, and then some which are a bit smaller than freestanding washing machines but still sit on the floor like small tubs.
The truth is, they’re both portable – just in slightly different manners. There is such a wide selection of models available. Depending on the space you can spare, capacity you need and your price tag, the ideal one for you will be on our list.
If you’re using in your home, you may want a larger freestanding model (grabbing a dolly trolley could help if you want to move it out of the way in between uses). Travelling, or popping one in a halls of residence/lodgings may require a small bench-sized one though.
It gives pretty quick results
A normal washing machine can take just over an hour for a cycle. Choose a specialist setting, such as eco mode or wool, and you could be waiting for ~3 hours.
A portable washing machine can take just 15 minutes to get the job done. Okay, they have less to wash and a smaller capacity, but when your kids ask where their P.E. kit is at 9.59pm and you need to be in bed by 10.30pm, you don’t have time to waste.
Even quick washes on washing machines can still take close to an hour, and the results are often underwhelming.
Portable washing machines can be taken anywhere
A lot of people have portable washing machines in their caravans and motorhomes. If you like to go on staycations, they could save you having to take heaps of clothing or spend money on communal washing areas.
A smaller model may even be great if you stay in hotels, and you can even get models which don’t require electricity so you can take them camping or to more remote areas of the UK.
They don’t need plumbing in
With the portability comes the ease of connection. Unlike a washing machine which needs connecting to your mains water supply, you just use pipes to connect it to a tap. They just need a standard model and shape, and the open end pipe needs to be placed somewhere appropriate for the used water to drain away.
This doesn’t just make them a good idea for portability, but also maybe anyone in a flat, rental or student accommodation who doesn’t have a dedicated place for a washing machine or dishwasher to be hooked up.
Some portable washing machines dry, too
After a standard wash, the clothes will likely come out damp but not soaking wet. But some models will go a step further and dry them even more using a dedicated cycle. It will mean a quick spin to get rid of any excess water in the material.
They won’t come out tumble dryer-level dry, but it will vastly cut down the time it takes to air dry them. And maybe even your use of a tumble dryer, which will be better for your energy bills.
Have a look out for the different types on offer. Some will use the same chamber to dry as they did to wash, like a combo washer-dryer, and others will have two separate chambers. With the latter option, you may only be able to use one section at one time, or both at the same time. We did say there is a wide choice…
They are better for your energy bills
The short cycle. The smaller water capacity. You still get great results, but they will cost less to run. There’s no fancy cycles or technology. Sometimes, simple really is best, especially when it comes to saving money.
They’re better for delicate clothing
Lastly, you will know that washing machines can play havoc with smaller items or delicate clothing. Socks seem to disappear, getting stuck in filters and linings and pipes. Your tights get tangled around the bedsheets. That silk top should go in on a dedicated wash but as seeing it is the only silk piece of clothing you own, it will have to do with the jeans and jumpers and hope for the best. You know you should hand wash your bra, but who really has the patience?
It all gets thrown in together in the end. But what if there was a way to treat the delicates with care? Ensure they don’t get snagged or damaged? Maybe even get washed on their own without you having to pop the Marigolds on?
Portable washing machines are a lot more gentle and being able to wash less clothing will allow you to clump like-for-like clothes together more often. So if you want the baby-grows washing separately to everything else for hygiene reasons, it is no issue.