The convenience that comes with a portable washing machine is immeasurable. Prior to its invention, the traditional washing machine was the bomb. As a matter of fact, the traditional washing machine was among the most important technologies in the 20th century. All over the world, it gave women an unprecedented level of freedom. It enormously impacted the lives of the people that were fortunate enough to afford it. Owning one meant that you no longer needed to outsource laundry. It was able to carry out all washing operations without requiring any manual intervention.
Having a communal laundry room was however a nightmare. From broken dryers and washers, malfunctions of the coin changers, to machine hogging neighbors. These daily annoyances made shared facilities a headache. This is where a portable washing machine came in. It simply saves you the laundry room drama. The machine also spares you the nasty bacteria teeming in the common washers and the energy required to run up and down dragging laundry around, not to mention how difficult it is to wash clothes during boating trips and camping. It for these reasons that owning a portable washing machine became a blessing. Here is a summary of the basics that you need to know, especially if you are considering to purchase one.
Table of Contents
- What You Should Know About The Portable Washing Machine
- How do Portable Washing Machines Work?
- How To Pick the Best Portable Washing Machine
- Whether You Need A Top Load Or A Front Load Washing Machine
- The Intended Purpose Of The Machine
- Ways of Supplying Water
- Preferences in design
- How to Keep Your Portable Washing Machine Clean
- How you can use your Portable Washing Machine
- Set up
- Loading the laundry
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What You Should Know About The Portable Washing Machine
How do Portable Washing Machines Work?
Automatic models of portable washing machines run on electricity. Unlike the conventional washers, the machines are not hooked to the home’s plumbing system. Instead, a rubber inlet hose that fills the tub of the machine with water is attached to a utility faucet that resembles the one at the kitchen. The drain hose’s open-end then empties the washer’s water into the sink.
It is the size of these machines that make them portable. Most of them are come in such a way that they can fit in a standard size closet for storage. In fact, they are usually not more than 20 inches wide, 20 inches deep, and 3 feet tall. The machines also have handles for easy moving and lifting. It is, however, important to note that some are heavier than others. Those with small tubs can be as light as 43 pounds. On the other hand, those with large capacity washers can be as heavy as 90 pounds.
How To Pick the Best Portable Washing Machine
One of the things that you need to do before selecting a portable washing machine is to evaluate the number of things you will generally need to wash at a go. This will help to determine the tub capacity of the machine that is ideal for you. The tub capacities range from 1-2.6 cubic feet. A washer with 1.5 cubic foot, for example, can wash up to 15 large T-shirts in one load. A 2.6 cubic foot tub, on the other hand, can effectively wash a full-sized comforter. Once this is done, you will then need to assess how often you will need to use the machine and the number of people that will be cleaning their clothes with it. Other things that you will need to consider include:
Whether You Need A Top Load Or A Front Load Washing Machine
This will depend on where the washer will be used. A front-load machine, for example, needs less water. This is particularly because its drum is horizontally positioned. This way, when it spins, it pulls clothes out of the water and then back in. This type of washing machine does not also have a central agitator. This way, the owner can load more items. The speed of a front-load machine is also higher. This means that the clothes will be a bit dry when you get them out. This will help to save on energy, especially if you will be using a dryer afterward.
A top-load machine, on the other hand, is more traditional. It consumes more water and energy. It also has a central agitator that takes up some space that would otherwise have been used for clothing.
The Intended Purpose Of The Machine
It is always important to consider what and where you intend to use the portable washing machine. If for example, you travel a lot, especially to remote areas, there are various types of washers that do not need a source of electricity. Such are called human-powered or pedal-powered machines. With these, the clothes are spun as you use the pedal. If on the other you are purchasing one for home use or any other place where electricity sources are available, you may consider one that uses electricity and that which do not need your direct participation.
Ways of Supplying Water
There are two main options here. Some washers are connected to the sink, either in the kitchen or in the bathroom, using a faucet adapter. Others are loaded with water directly from the bucket or any other container that you have for carrying water. If you have a sink from where you can connect the washer with a faucet adapter, you can choose models that have the feature. These are mostly electric washers. If on the other hand you only have simple buckets, your best option is the mechanical washers.
It is important to consider the clothes that you will be washing at a time and the available space before purchasing a portable washing machine. Where you intend to store the washer will determine the ideal height. In case you have to cope with limited space, it is always advisable that you go for models that are no taller than 13 inches.
Preferences in design
Washers have different models, all of which come with different designs. Some are round, some are cubic, and others are egg-like. People’s tastes are also different. You should, therefore, take your time and select the one that you will like the most.
Other factors to consider when selecting a portable washing machine include the quality and durability of its materials, the length of its warranty, its electrical requirements, ease of assembling, water levels, wash cycles, and the price.
How to Keep Your Portable Washing Machine Clean
The chemicals from your detergent, the minerals, and the soap residues can get locked in your portable washing machine, creating a thin film that traps bacteria. The bacteria can then clog the inner mechanisms, making it hard for the water to be as hot and the detergent to be as strong. Washing machines also have humid and hot environments by design. They can therefore easily become a breeding ground for bacteria. Additionally, the detergent films can trap odor particles. As a result, the washer may begin to harbor stinky smells. In some worse scenarios, the smell may even start coming off on your clothes. To protect your family, clothing, and machine therefore, it is important to keep your washing machine clean and fresh.
As a general rule, you should clean both the inside and the outside of the washer at least once in a month. In case your washer is white in color, you will be able to easily see the buildup. In case you notice some dark streams along the rims of your washer, it is long overdue for a cleaning.
Most people use bleaches to clean their washing machines. These are however toxic and smelly. They can also clog the septic systems. It is important to ensure that you clean your washer in a way that is eco-friendly. It is therefore advised that you use natural agents.
The two main natural agents that you can use to clean your portable washing machine and that is both cost-effective and eco-friendly are white vinegar and baking soda. White vinegar sanitizes and disinfects the washer. Its acidity also helps to eat away the built-up residue. As the vinegar drains away, it also cleans the insides of the pipes. Additionally, the vinegar has deodorizing properties. It is, therefore, able to get rid of bad odors, both in the basin and in the septic system. Baking soda, on the other hand, exfoliates away the soap residues and neutralizes odors. It is white vinegar’s partner in crime.
To ensure that your portable washing machine stays clean, do not let your clothes sit long after washing. Letting clothes sit for long at the washer’s humid environment allows bacteria to breed on the clothes. Once you move the clothes to the dryer, you should also leave the lid or the door of the washer open. This will allow the basin to dry, thereby preventing mold, mildew, and bacteria from growing. You should not also overfill the machine with excessively large loads of laundry. Such loads of laundry causes the machine to overwork, thereby clogging the drains and pipes of your washer.
How you can use your Portable Washing Machine
Before wheeling the portable washing machine from its space of storage, scope out the area you intend to use. If your washer will require to be connected to a faucet, ensure you have a hose that is connected to one end of the washing machine. It is also important to ensure that the hose is long enough to reach the sink. Once you are sure that your space will fit your machine, you can then load your machine.
Loading the laundry
With a portable washing machine, you will have to do small loads. The machine’s manual should contain specific instructions on how much clothing it can hold. Ensure that you do not overstuff your machine. When loading, to avoid malfunction and spillage, ensure that you leave at least 2 inches of open space between the back and the sides of the washer.
Once you have loaded your laundry and you have positioned your washer where you want it to be, you can then hook the hose to the faucet. Ensure that you tighten your fastener before turning your water on. Also, ensure that the temperature of the water is best for your type of clothing. For the washers that have two different hoses, one is meant to load the water and the other one to drain it out after the wash. Refer to the instruction manual on which hose to connect to the sink.
Once the washer is hooked, ensure your plug is dry. You should then plug the washer into the wall. This is followed by setting the washer timer. Once the washing cycle ends, you should then drain the used water and fill the washer back again with cold water for rinsing. After the rinsing cycle, you should drain the water again and start the spin cycle. After the clothes are washed and spun, you can either move them to a portable dryer or air dry them on a drying rack.
A portable washing machine is one of the best appliances you can have in your house. Portable washers and dryers are less expensive than their larger cousins and you can still wash and dry a remarkable amount of laundry with them. Additionally, you put away it before and after use. This makes them the perfect choice, especially for those working with limited space.
Just like other machines, for effectiveness and increased durability, portable washing machines need to be kept clean. To reduce trapping, clogging, and bad odors, you are advised to use white vinegar and baking soda. The machine should also be cleaned at least once a month, both inside and outside. You should also regularly check for dark streams along the rims of the washer.
The portable washing machine also boasts of ease of use. All you need to do is to set it up in a place where it can be connected to the water and electricity source, load the laundry, connect the hoses, plug the washer, set the washer timer, drain the used water once the wash cycle ends, fill the washer with water again for rinsing, spun the laundry, and finally dry them. Easy, right? It is for these and many other reasons that a portable washing machine is a must-have in homes today.