If you have a small space or don’t have access to conventional washing machine connections, then a portable 120-volt electric or manual washer might be for you. Many portable washers can be filled by hand or using a faucet adaptor. However, some models can connect to a standard hot/cold water valve and standpipe drain.
Urban apartments, tiny homes, and RVs are some of the everyday living situations that might require you to use unconventional methods for washing or drying your laundry. Large families looking for extra washing capacity can get a portable washer that needs minimal effort to use and doesn’t take up much space. If you’re looking for a dedicated washer to handle cloth diapers, then these can be a great addition to your laundry toolset.
Panda PAN56MGP3 Portable Compact Washing Machine
The Panda portable washing machine is an efficient and affordable option for washing clothes. You can connect this washing machine to a faucet using an adapter or a standard hot/cold water valve, and it automatically draws water into the machine during each phase of the wash cycle.
- Weighs 48.9 lbs
- 1.6 Cu. Ft. Capacity – 11 lbs of laundry
- 310 Watts
- 10 Wash Programs
- Dimensions: 20″ W x 19″ D x 34″ H
- Estimated Yearly Energy Cost: $14
- Estimated Yearly Energy Use: 103 kWh (based on 6 wash loads per week)
- Normal Wash takes about 40 minutes
- Drain pump (not a gravity drain)
Most faucets come with an aerator that you need to remove to connect the adapter to the faucet. There’s no heating provided by the washing machine itself, so you must choose the water temperature using the hot or cold valves on the faucet. You’ll also want to keep the faucet fully open during the entire cycle. This portable washing machine automatically fills the tub with water at the beginning of the cycle and during the rinse phase.
Manually adding water to this portable washing machine is not recommended by the manufacturer, but users have said they do this successfully. The trouble with this is that the rinse cycle releases water and fills the washer with new water to continue removing gray water from the tub. You would need to watch the cycle closely and make sure you add water when the water level gets low to continue rinsing.
If you do have regular washing machine water connections you can use those instead of a sink. You’ll need a “Y” mixer hose to merge the hot and cold connections into one to connect to the single inlet on the washer. The good news is you have freedom to adapt this portable washing machine to your needs, and it can be used in living spaces that don’t have typical connections.
Drain pumps are more convenient than gravity drains.
This Panda portable washing machine has a drain pump. Drain pumps are preferred over gravity drains as you need to have the drainage tube below the internal water level for it to drain successfully. For portable washing machines that have gravity drains, you would need to have the portable washing machine in a tub where it can drain freely, or elevate the washing machine and let the drain hose hang down so that water can drain.
But no need to worry about that with this Panda portable washing machine.
For the Panda, you’ll want to hang the drainage tube on the sink or the closest water drain you have access to depending on your situation. If you don’t have a convenient place to drain the washing machine, then you can use a bucket and empty it after each cycle.
One of the convenient features about this washing machine is you can manually increase the water level if you need to. Just push the “Water level” button to add water and hit start.
The first thing you do when starting the machine is set the water level. This is dependent on how much laundry you are trying to wash at once. Adding too much can result in a poor wash, especially if the load is super dirty. If you feel like the load needs more water even after selecting a water level, then it’s no problem to add more yourself.
How much laundry can this washing machine handle at once?
The Panda washing machine can handle about 11 lbs of laundry at once. Typical full-size, 100% cotton bath towels that we’ve used in our washer and dryer testing have been about 1.2 lbs each. You can expect to fit the equivalent of 8 or 9 bath towels in a single load.
Things that do NOT fit in this washer:
- Queen and larger comforters
- Large quilts
Queen or king-sized sheets are fine, but large fluffy comforters aren’t something this washing machine can handle.
Now, it’s essential to keep in mind the drying process as well. If you’re looking to buy the best portable washing machine you are probably also looking at portable dryers.
The best portable washing machines like the Panda have a spin cycle just like a full-size washing machine. This means the washing machine drum spins and forces water out of the laundry, but doesn’t completely dry it. You can either hang your laundry to dry or use a portable dryer.
For portable 110-120V tumble dryers, you can check out our Portable 120V Tumble Dryers Buying Guide.
There are a few other options you can look at, but for most people, the portable tumble dryers are desirable. You can get ventless models that do not need to be connected to an outdoor dryer vent, and being 120V you can plug them up just about anywhere.
Your other options are heated drying racks, standalone drying racks, or wall-mounted drying racks. You can read more about all the dryer options in our dryer overview: Choosing the Best Portable and Compact Clothes Dryers.
More Options to Consider for Apartments
Now, we’re going to look at a few more options that you should consider. Price may be one of your top concerns, so you can compare the Giantex and Panda to see which one works for your budget. Just below this section on the Giantex washing machine, you’ll find a comparison table with a few more best portable washing machines to choose from.
Giantex 1.6 Cu. Ft. Capacity Portable Washer
This Giantex portable washer is a popular option and comes with all the features you saw on the Panda above. For connecting to standard washer connections, you’ll need a 3/4″ FIP to 3/4″ MGH adapter. For faucet connections, you may need a longer hose than the one provided.
- Dimensions: 19.8″ x 19.7″ x 33.6″
- Weighs 51 lbs
- Drain pump
- 10 lbs laundry capacity
- 10 Wash Programs / 8 Water Level Selections
- Delay timer up to 24 hours
- Fully Automatic, but you can manually add water
- Great for RVs, dorms, apartments, or an extra washer in your home
- Adjustable Feet
- Connects to standard hot/cold washer connections or sink faucet (adapter may be needed)
We recommend this style of portable washing machine for apartments that have limited space or typical connections required for standard washers and dryers. However, you could easily use this washing machine in an RV or dorm as long as you can connect the washer to your water faucet. Most water faucets have aerators that you will need to unscrew from the faucet to make the connection.
Perhaps you need extra washing capacity for your large family or want an extra portable washing machine to wash baby laundry. You can hook this machine up to standard washer connections in your home using the appropriate adapter. The water inlet on the washer is threaded to fit a 3/4″ Female Iron Pipe and will require an adapter to connect to a 3/4″ Garden Hose connection that is typical for washer valves in most homes. Additionally, you’ll want a “Y” mixer hose to join your hot and cold water lines to a single connection for the washer.
- Automatic Imbalance Adjustment
- Adjustable Feet
- Robust Time and Water Level Controls
- Powerful Spin Dry that reduces drying time if you need to hang laundry
- Drain Pump – not dependent on gravity
- You may need to purchase a longer hose or adapters separately
- There’s only one water line in, so you can only control water temperature by adjusting water valves or your sink temperature setting
None of the cons of this portable washing machine are exclusive to this particular model. This washer from Giantex has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from consumers. Giantex has responded well to customer support requests, which is perhaps one of the most important things to consider when purchasing just about any product. You may need to buy a longer hose to connect the portable washing machine inlet to your faucet if the included one isn’t long enough.
How to regulate water temperature?
Since this washing machine is designed for connecting to a water faucet, the Y connector required for using it with standard washer connections makes it difficult to adjust the water temperature easily. With a faucet, you have a better feel for how the faucet setting adjusts the water temperature. For standard washer connections, you will need to turn the washer on and test the water temperature as you adjust the hot and cold water valves until you reach the desired temperature.
Many people like to wash clothes with warm water, so to do that you would need to reduce the flow of the cold side while keeping the hot valve completely open.
More Washer Options – Comparison Table
|Model||Laundry Capacity||Drain Pump|
|Giantex||8 lbs||Check Current Price|
|ZenStyle||10 lbs||Check Current Price|
|Kuppet||11 lbs||Check Current Price|
|Giantex||11 lbs||Check Current Price|
|Kuppet||13 lbs||Check Current Price|
|Haier||14.4 lbs||Check Current Price|
Best High-Capacity Portable Washer
In this section, we’re looking at washer options that push the capacity a little higher than the base models. You’re not going to get a ton more washing capacity, but if you’re looking to get the most you can out of your portable washer then look no further.
Panda 13-lbs Capacity Compact Portable Washing Machine
Our top pick for the high-capacity category is another Panda washer that can handle 2 lbs more laundry than the base model. You get similar wash programs and design. The hose connecting to the water inlet needs to be a 3/4″ FIP that you can then adapt to your water connection.
- Dimensions: 19.5″ x 20″ x 35″
- Weight: 57 lbs
- 8 Wash Programs / 8 Water Levels
- Drain Pump – not dependent on gravity
- Fully automatic, but you can manually add water
- Adjustable Feet
- Great for RVs, dorms, apartments, or an extra washer in your home
- Connects to standard hot/cold washer connections or sink faucet (adapter may be needed)
Even with a higher capacity model, you’re not going to be able to wash large comforters. Though you might fit them in the drum, the water and detergent simply can’t circulate enough nor can the washer agitate the fabric enough to do any meaningful cleaning.
As you can see, the wash options and features of the 13-lb capacity washer are nearly identical to the other models we’ve looked at, and the only difference is the larger drum.
As with the other portable washing machines we’ve discussed here, the drain pipe can be placed in a sink or standard washer standpipe drain. If you decide to use a sink to drain the water, be aware that the hose may contain residual water. If you need to move the drain hose from your sink, then consider hanging it on the washer itself or on some other hardware you have nearby. Laying the drain hose down on the floor will result in any remaining water flowing out onto your floor.
What about the water connection?
The Panda portable washing machine comes with a 39-inch inlet hose for connecting the washer to a faucet. Most faucets come with aerators that need to be unscrewed to make room for the hose connection. The washing machine itself has no way to heat the water used for washing, so you have to set the sink faucet to the desired temperature.
You do have the option of connecting this washing machine to a standard washer hot/cold valve, but you need a “Y” mixer hose to combine the hot and cold connections into the single inlet on the washer. Again, there’s no controlling the temperature on the washing machine, and the water entering the drum will be the remaining temperature after merging the hot and cold water connections. You can reduce either the hot or cold water flow using the corresponding valve to adjust the temperature. Turn on the washing machine and let water flow into it and adjust the hot or cold flow to your desired temperature.
More High-Capacity Portable Washers
The Haier and Curtis portable washing machines use a drain pump, while the Della uses a gravity drain. This means the Haier and Curtis models can be drained into a sink or standard washer drain, but the Della would need to be drained into a tub, shower, or bucket.
|Model||Laundry Capacity||Drain Pump|
|Haier||14.4 lbs||Price at Amazon|
|Curtis||14.4 lbs||Price at Amazon|
|DELLA||12.2 lbs||Price at Amazon|
Best Mini Portable Washers
These are some of the smallest electric washing machines you can buy and can easily be stored away when not in use in your RV, dorm, or apartment.
Giantex Portable 8-lbs Capacity Washer
You can go smaller than the 1.6-2.0+ cu. ft. capacity models that we’ve looked at above. This Giantex washing machine is a good starting point if you need an even more compact washer. There are much smaller models that we’ll be looking at below if you need something even more compact.
- Holds 8 lbs of laundry
- 5 wash programs / 3 water levels
- 16 liter, 23 liter, and 30 liter water settings
- Fully Automatic with drain pump
- Connects to water faucet or standard washer valves
- Dimensions: 16.9″ x 16.9″ x 29.5″
- Weighs 37.4 lbs
- Manually add water if you don’t have water connections
This washing machine from Giantex still has the same style as the larger models we looked at above but is a few more inches smaller in all dimensions.
How much laundry can it handle in a single load?
Two pairs of jeans and a few t-shirts, or about 3 or 4 full-size bath towels is what you can expect from this portable washing machine. Going by weight, you can fit 8 lbs of laundry of any type.
The bath towels we’ve used for our testing have been about 1.2 lbs each, which would mean you could fit 6.5 towels in this washing machine. We don’t think that’s possible with this machine. Going by weight can be somewhat misleading as the density of the fabric can make a big difference in the overall volume of the laundry load.
Put another way; you can expect to fit a full adult outfit and possibly a towel and washcloth.
What about manually adding water?
With this portable washing machine, you can manually add water to the tub before each step in the cycle that the machine would normally add water itself if you don’t have the water hookups available. For a full load, you can expect to need 4 gallons of water for the wash cycle and 4 gallons for the rinse cycle. Depending on how dirty the laundry initially was, you may need to do an extra rinse cycle before continuing on to the spin cycle. Keep in mind this is approximate and will depend on the size of the load, but this is a high-end estimate.
With this mini washer, you get fewer wash options than most of the other models we’ve looked at above, but it has all the necessities.
It’s essential to keep in mind that the agitating ability of portable washers isn’t the same as a full-size washing machine. Overloading these portable washing machines can result in poor cleaning, especially if the laundry is excessively dirty. If you’re washing your child’s clothes after a long day of playing outside with mud stains, then consider being very conservative and do more loads rather than try to fit everything into one.
Another use for smaller portable washing machines like this is as a backup for when you get behind or use it for cloth diapers. Some people would rather not wash their cloth diapers in their main washing machine. You could use one of these more affordable and compact models for that sole purpose.
Costway Portable Washing Machine
Now we’re getting to some of the most minimalistic electric washing machines you can buy. The Costway mini portable washing machine can be filled by connecting to a faucet or manually and uses a gravity drain. It even fits on your countertop.
- Wash Capacity: 5.5 lbs
- Spin Dry Capacity: 1.1 lbs
- Dimensions: 14″ x 14″ x 20″
- Weighs 11.5 lbs
- Simple single-cycle design
- Spin basket included
There are a lot of products similar to this Costway portable washing machine, but we think it’s important to make the distinction between this washing machine and a few other models that you might run into.
Notice this mini washer also comes with a spin basket. Now, the other portable washing machines that we’ve looked at above have had the spin feature included and there wasn’t an extra basket that you had to worry about. The spin feature on any washing machine is for extracting water from the laundry to get as much out before it’s hung up to dry or thrown into an electric dryer.
Some of these extremely compact models either don’t have a spin feature or you need to use a special basket for the spin cycle. This particular model from Costway has a spin basket included.
You can actually buy a spin dryer separately from the washing machine which is capable of reaching much higher RPMs and can hold more laundry given that’s its sole purpose. You can read more about these spin dryers in our buying guide.
You might find that the spin-dry capabilities of such a compact washer leave a lot to be desired. Many people choose to purchase a spin dryer separately to speed up drying times. Standalone spin dryers can reach much higher RPMs than some of these portable washers, which results in more water removed from the laundry.
Consider the Panda Portable Spin Dryer if you want a standalone model to pair with your compact washing machine.
How do the wash and spin cycles work?
With this Costway washing machine, you will need to control the water flow manually. There is no built-in sensor to detect when the water reaches a certain level, but there are “Min” and “Max” lines on the front of the tub for you to judge when to turn the water off. You can fill the tub by either using a bucket or connecting a faucet to the water inlet connection. Either way, you choose you will have to control the temperature of the water and the flow by the faucet itself as this portable washing machine has no way to change heat up the water or control the flow.
You can do as many wash or rinse cycles as you need, which is dependent on how dirty the laundry was in the first place. Do keep in mind the agitation with a compact washing machine like this isn’t as strong as you get from a full-size washing machine.
For example, grass or mud stains will require some scrubbing before you put the clothes in the washing machine. Also, you’ll want to knock off any dried-on dirt or mud so that the wash water doesn’t get too dirty, or you can run an extra wash cycle.
More Mini Portable Washers
|Model||Wash Capacity||Spin Dry|
|Costway||7 lbs||Check Price|
|Giantex||9 lbs||Check Price|
|Kuppet||8 lbs||Check Price|
|Kuppet||7.7 lbs||Check Price|
|Farberware||7 lbs||Check Price|
|Della||6.6 lbs||Check Price/a>|
Best Portable Washers for RVs
There isn’t really a “best” portable washing machine for RVs as the type and size of your RV can vary wildly. Also, you may have a pre-installed all-in-one washing machine and dryer that you’re looking to replace, or zero pre-installed features to accommodate a washer and dryer.
If you’re in a small fifth-wheel, pop-up, or travel trailer, then you should know there are options that don’t involve a permanent installation of a washer and dryer.
We’re going to go through some of the possible solutions based on a few common situations. Keep in mind most compact all-in-one washer/dryer combos are 24 inches wide. Make sure to assess the width and height available in your space before buying.
- Your RV has a designated area for a washing machine and dryer – you’re likely looking for an all-in-one solution that can be installed where your old unit was or you’re looking to add a washer/dryer combo to your RV. If you don’t already have piping for the washer drain and a vent for the dryer, then consider getting this done by a professional. Remember: Most people don’t want a “ventless” dryer in their RV. That’s why we chose the Splendide WD2100XC as it’s meant to be vented outdoors. Ventless dryers will create condensation and heat up the air in your RV. Unless you understand this and are looking for a ventless model, then make sure you buy a vented dryer.
Top Pick: Splendide WD2100XC Vented Combo Washer/Dryer
- You don’t have space for a compact front-loading washing machine and dryer – for this situation you might find some of the options in our mini portable washing machines section work for you. If you don’t have traditional water hookups then you can use a faucet adapter to fill the washer or a bucket. In this case, you would rely on the spin cycle of the washer to partially dry your laundry, but you would need to hang up the laundry to finish the drying process.
Top Pick: Giantex Portable Top-Load Washer – 8 lb capacity
- You want a manual washer that doesn’t rely on electricity – this type of washer handles small batches of laundry and only requires you to have access to water and some elbow grease.
Top Pick: Avalon Bay Ecowash Portable Hand-cranked Washing Machine
Installing a Combo Washer & Dryer in an RV
In the video below, you can see how Chuck at Get Gone With Us installed the Splendide model into their RV. They have water connections and a drain already installed at a designated area in their camper, so the installation involves cutting a hole for the vent.
If you’re not prepared to cut into the side of your RV, then consider getting this installation done by a professional. The Splendide 2100XC Washer/Dryer is a popular all-in-one vented model that has very positive reviews and good support from the manufacturer.
About the Splendide WD2100XC Combo Washer/Dryer
Popular with full-timers, the Splendide 2100XC combo washer/dryer is an excellent choice for RVs that have space and power source connections for a standard washer and dryer. You need a dryer vent and standard water/drain connections for this unit to work.
- 10 Wash Cycles / 3 Dry Cycles
- 7.5 to 16 gallons per load
- Weighs 148 lbs
- Dimensions: 23.5″ W x 22.6″ D x 33.2″ H
- 120V, 60 Hz, 11A
- Wash Capacity: 15 lbs / Dry Capacity: 11 lbs
- Max Power: 1300 Watts
- 3-prong plug with 6′ cord provided
- Door extends 15″ when fully open
As with any dryer vent, you may need to clear out lint from time to time to avoid clogging. When installing your dryer vent, it’s helpful to make sure the duct slopes downward and away from the dryer. This is best accomplished by using just enough ducting and not leaving excess that makes it possible for lint to accumulate easily. The vent connection on the dryer is near the top, so this is easy. The washer drain is at the bottom of the machine as it uses a drain pump.
What’s included with the Splendide 2100XC:
- 2 Water Inlet Hoses (8′ Length)
- 3-prong Electrical Cord (6′ Length)
- Flexible Drain Pipe (5′ Length)
What you will need to purchase separately:
Installing the Drain Hose and Preventing Backflow
RV’s with a pre-installed standpipe drain and water connections are nearly identical to what you find in a typical home. One of the essential functions of the standpipe drain is to allow water to drain quickly enough to prevent overflow, as well as keeping the drain pipe above the internal water level of the washing machine to prevent backflow.
There are a few best practices to make sure your washer drain works properly:
- Make sure the drainpipe isn’t pushed down too far into the standpipe as this can cause a few issues we’re about to discuss.
- Your drainage tube should rest at a height higher than the internal water level of the dryer. If you notice dirty water remaining in the washer, then that’s a sign of backflow.
- You generally shouldn’t use tape or a sealant on the drainage tube that prevents airflow. If for some reason this is a requirement for your setup, you will need an anti-syphon valve in place to avoid syphoning of water out of the washer during the rinse cycle.
- If your drainpipe is mounted too high, this will slow down the draining process of the washer. Generally, you want to avoid this, but in odd cases where you have an overflow, and a clog has been ruled out, then this is one potential solution.
- At a minimum, you should have a 1.5″ I.D. (inside diameter) standpipe for proper draining.
What if a Combo Washer and Dryer Do Not Fit in My RV?
You may not have space for permanent installation of a standpipe drain, water connections, and the washer/dryer unit. In that case, you will want to consider the solutions we outlined in the Apartments section as well as the Mini Portable Washing Machines that are even more compact.
The portable washing machines that we recommend for small urban apartments are a great option for an RV that’s also relatively small. You can hookup the water connection to a faucet and drain the washer into the sink. It’s a simple and non-invasive way to do laundry in your RV that doesn’t require a lot of space, and the washer can be stored away when not in use.
Many of the portable washing machines only weigh around 50 lbs or less, so stowing it away in storage or in a closet is not an issue.
What’s another alternative?
This next configuration we’re going to discuss involves zero water connections. Manual portable washing machines let you do the work of agitating, draining, and rinsing, while also being the most compact and portable washer you can buy. The problem you might be wondering about when it comes to manual portable washing machines is drying the laundry.
Click here to skip to the manual washing machine section below.
Well, as you might guess you can’t do a spin cycle to help wring out the laundry, so you have to do it by hand. There is another option, however, and that’s an electric spin dryer. Its sole purpose is to spin dry your laundry just like a typical washing machine’s spin cycle. They’re portable and only require a standard 120V connection, and a bucket or drain to catch the water. You could hook it up outside the RV and let the water drain on the ground, as it’s just the water leftover after rinsing your laundry of detergent.
We recommend the Panda Portable Spin Dryer. Going with a manual washer and dryer with electric spin doesn’t require messing with special adaptors and doesn’t take up much space.
You can read more about portable electric spin dryers in our article, The Best Compact Electric Spin Dryers.
More Portable Electric Top-Loading Washers
We’ve covered some of the most popular types of portable washers above, but there are many options out there in different shapes and sizes. We’re going to look at a few more options in the section, but first let’s go over some of the important features that make all the difference when deciding which model to buy.
- Water goes in; water goes out. Do you have a faucet that you can adapt the water inlet hose to for filling the tub, standard machine connections, or do you just have a bucket? For draining, is a gravity drain adequate or do you need a washer with a drain pump (most people prefer a drain pump)?
- How big can you go? Ideally, you have the largest washing machine your space can accommodate as wash capacity is going to be limited. If you’re looking to store the washer away when it’s not in use, you may want a compact washer on the smaller side, or go for a manual.
- Not all washing machines spin dry. Many compact washing machines do not include a spin basket or spin-drying function. Majority of the top-loading washing machines that we’ve shown here do have a spin cycle, but be very careful about this before purchasing. You typically see a lack of spin-drying capabilities in the budget, extra-small washing machines.
Assess what type of water and drain connections you have available to you and work around that.
Now, we’re going to look at a very popular budget top load washer that has a 11 lbs wash capacity and a separate spin drying tub that can dry 6.6 lbs of laundry.
Giantex Portable Twin-Tub Washing Machine
The Giantex portable washing machine uses a gravity drain, and you can optionally connect it to a faucet or standard water connection (with adaptors) for filling. Otherwise, you can simply use a bucket to fill for each cycle.
The drain hose is located at the bottom of the washer and must be kept below the water level to drain correctly. Setting the portable washing machine in a tub is a simple way to do this.
Alternatively, you can elevate the washer on a pedestal, preferably something very stable and solid, and allow the drain to go into a bucket. If your pedestal is tall enough, it could just go into a tub.
This is possibly the most straightforward way to use the Giantex portable washing machine and allow it to drain easily. Being about 25-inches long, the Giantex can fit in just about any tub, and likely can fit in your RVs shower if you needed.
Here are some of the key specifications.
- Dimensions: 24.8″ L x 15″ W x 28.5″ H
- Voltage: 120V/60Hz
- Weight: 29.3 lbs
- Wash Capacity: 11 lbs
- Spin Capacity: 6.6 lbs
- Washing Power: 260W
- Spin Power: 140W
Now, keep in mind this portable washing machine is quite a bit more manually operated than some of the models we looked at above. It doesn’t automatically stop filling with water, so you have to turn on/off your faucet or water connection to stop it once it’s adequately filled.
Example Operation of the Washer:
- Fill with water and detergent to start the wash cycle.
- Allow it to drain after completing the wash cycle.
- Fill it again to start the rinse cycle.
- Allow it to drain and decide if you need to do another rinse to get more detergent out of the laundry.
- Fill with water to do another rinse cycle if needed and add fabric softener.
- Move laundry to spin tub for partial drying.
The Giantex is great if you need a washer that requires you to manually fill it with water as you may not have access to common water connections. Its simplicity is also why it’s relatively more affordable than some of the more sophisticated portable washers we’ve looked at above.
About Washer and Spin Capacity
Typically, the spin capacity is lower than the wash capacity on these simpler and smaller portable washers. The twin tub design is more convenient than having to remove the dripping laundry and set the spin basket in place as you have to do with some of the super-small portable washers. Not only that, but you can’t put the entire laundry load back into the spin basket as it reduces the overall capacity. You’ll need a container to hold the soaking wet laundry while the spin cycle is going.
The Giantex is convenient in that it has the spin tub right next to the washer tub and you can just transfer some of the laundry over and avoid dripping water everywhere.
So if you’re looking for a compact, affordable, and manual washer that still retains some convenient features, then the Giantex is a great choice.
Kuppet Mini Portable Washing Machine
This portable washing machine is smaller than the Giantex model above, but has similar features and overall design. If you think the Giantex won’t fit into your tub or is too large for your space, then this might be just right.
- Clear tubs so you can see the condition of the water and laundry
- Manual water filling from a faucet, standard machine valve, or bucket
- Gravity drain
- Wash Capacity: 5.5 lbs
- Spin Capacity: 4.5 lbs
- Dimensions: 21.5″ L x 13.6″ W x 23.2″ H
- Wash Power: 240W
- Spin Power: 120W
- Weighs 22 lbs
The washer controls for the Kuppet portable washing machine are very similar to the larger Giantex model. The wash cycle is 15 minutes while the spin timer is 5 minutes.
The wash and spin procedure is just like the Giantex model as well. You have full control over adding water and how many rinse cycles you want to do depending on how soapy the water is when you drain it.
You can even do multiple wash cycles if you feel like the clothes haven’t gotten clean. Keep in mind these portable washers don’t have the same level of agitation as you get with a typical 240V, full-size washing machine. You may need to do some preparation on particularly dirty clothes and make sure any dirt that’s stuck on the clothes is removed beforehand. This will make the washing process much faster and easier.
Making sure the washer is on an even floor or platform is very important. You may want to hold onto the machine as the spin cycle begins to make sure it doesn’t shake around if you have trouble with your floor being uneven.
Non-Electric Portable Washers
Most non-electric portable washers are small enough to fit on your counter and drain into your sink. They’re simple to operate and rely entirely on you to crank the washtub. These are also the most natural option for small RVs or even tent camping. They’re truly the most lightweight and best portable washing machines you can buy.
Here’s a comparison table of some of the most popular non-electric washers.
|Avalon Bay EcoWash||Avalon Bay EcoSpin||The Laundry POD||Lavario|
|Wash Capacity (estimated)||5 lbs||4.5 lbs||6.5 lbs||5 lbs|
|Dimensions||17.5"L x 16" W x 18" H||13.4" L x 13.4" W x 13.5" H||14.4" L x 14" W x 13.6" H||19" L x 19" W x 31" H|
|Weight||5.5 lbs||6.2 lbs||6.5 lbs||10 lbs|
|Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
The Avalon Bay EcoWash and Lavario portable washing machines are the two most highly-rated non-electric washers among the different models we considered. Though all of these are non electric washers that are operated by hand, they all function a little differently. The most common complaint with non-electric washers is the failure of the hand crank. We believe the Avalon Bay EcoWash and Lavario to be the most well-built and sturdiest models.
The Avalon Bay EcoWash has a drain on the bottom of the washtub that makes doing a wash and rinse cycle easy. You don’t need to pick the washer up to dump the water out, and you can quickly do rinse cycles to make sure all of the detergent is removed from your laundry.
One thing to keep in mind with the EcoWash is that it doesn’t have a way to spin dry the laundry. There are some types of manual washers, like the Avalon Bay EcoSpin in our table, that are capable of being used like a spin dryer. This does help remove water from the laundry, but it’s nothing like a true spin cycle.
Using a manual washer means the laundry comes out soaking wet, so you’ll have to squeeze it out by hand or use an electric spin dryer to get most of the water out before hanging it up to dry.
You might say the entire point of electric spin dryers is to be used after manually washing clothes whether it be with your bare hands or using one of these portable manual washers. The Panda Portable Spin Dryer is our recommended choice when it comes to lightweight, high-RPM spin dryers.
Best Practices with Manual Washers
- Allow extremely dirty laundry to soak for several hours before operating the washer. This gives the soap and water time to breakdown stains and dirt on the laundry and makes for easier and faster cleaning.
- Keep a spare bucket on hand for adding water for the rinse cycles. Or use a hose or handheld shower head to fill the washtub.
- Chlorine bleach is a dangerous chemical, and splashing can occur with some manual washers. You should wear eye protection and gloves if you want to use bleach in a manual washer. Be extremely cautious and dispose of the gray water properly.
- Don’t overfill the washer. Your laundry will come out cleaner if you don’t overload the tub.
- Use detergent sparingly. Using just enough detergent helps to reduce the number of rinse cycles, you need to extract all the leftover soap.
About the Lavario Portable Washer
The Lavario manual washer works differently than the Avalon Bay style of manual washers. There’s no spinning action, but instead you do an up an down motion to agitate the laundry.
The Lavario is larger than the Avalon Bay washers and holds up to 10 gallons of water. It’s also made from heavy-duty and durable plastic, and from customer reports, we believe it to be the sturdiest manual washer among the different models shown here.
You can expect the washing process for a single load to take about 20 minutes or less.
As with all manual washers, you’ll likely want to use hot water when washing and soaking your laundry. For the Lavario, the maximum water temperature is 100° F.
You don’t have to pick up the Lavario to dump the water in the bucket. You can use the drain on the lower side of the washer and let it drain into a sink, tub, or outdoors. You can even attach a garden hose to the drain to allow it to drain away from where you’re using the washer.
One downside to the Lavario is it’s a bit bulky. You can’t remove the handle to make it easier to store away, and the manufacturer specifically discourages this.
When it comes to deciding how much detergent to use, you’ll want to read the instructions on your detergent carefully as it’s dependent on the concentration of your detergent and not necessarily the washer itself. Keep in mind the amount of water you will be adding to the washer and adjust your detergent accordingly.