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Portable Washing Machines

Updated on September 19, 2014

Portable Washing Machine Examples

Big and bulky laundry stacks don't always fit a small household where a portable washing machine makes a lot more sense. Thanks to growing demand, you will find a number of mini washers on the market these days. There are essentially two types of portable washers.

One is extremely small with capacity of about 5 pounds and something you easily take with you on travel, in the RV, as a dorm small washing machines or a mini washer for the beach cabin.

The other type of portable washing machine resembles traditional laundry machines but is significantly smaller and often fitted with wheels.

This is a perfect alternative for your cabin or small home, and a lot easier to store out of the way between uses than a full size model which you often can't budge.

Panda XPB36 Mini washing machine with dryer

Obviously, a portable washer of this type won't do the same job as your everyday laundry stack but use it for what it was intended, such as socks, t-shirts and underwear and it will do the job just fine. What I really like about this machine is the simplicity of it. It is a top-loader and the washing bin sits on top of the engine which drives the actual washer blades. Few controls, no bells and whistles, and a price tag that makes it a perfect choice for the dorm, the RV or the cabin.. or as a emergency small washing machine when the big one breaks. Above all though, this mini washer is truly small, lightweight and very portable. No wonder it is a best seller.

Scrubba is a wash machine in a bag

Scrubba wash bag
Scrubba wash bag

Hand washing bag for backpacking and emergency

Cleaning your clothes when you are on the road is a real problem. "Scrubba" is a truly brilliant (and cheap) product that lets you wash your clothes manually without water spill and with a minimum amount of water.

Scrubba - the ultra portable washing solution for camping.

Designed primarily as a washing solution for backpackers and campers it is of course also a must-have item for RV and motorcycle tours, off-grid cabins, and long-stay overseas vacations.

The Laundry Alternative Wonderwash Non-electric Portable Compact Mini Washing Machine
The Laundry Alternative Wonderwash Non-electric Portable Compact Mini Washing Machine

Even though it is a small countertop model, it takes a 5 pound washing load and does the job in minutes. This is a hand-crank washing machine. Add clothes, water, detergent and work the crank for a few minutes. Ready!

Perfect mini washer for RV, camping and dorms.


Wonderwash Countertop Mini Washer

I rate this as the best portable washing machine because it really is portable and it is a fully manual washer that needs no electricity. Wonder-wash a mini washing machine that is designed for the traveler in mind.

This is a manual counter-top washing machine that washes clothes in minutes and uses very little water.

I really like the idea of this mini washing machine - a fully manual washing alternative without buckets or washing boards. Looks like an ideal washer for RV and cabins. If you are living off-grid and use cloth diapers - this is the machine to get.

Brilliant dorm solution for single wash items or when you simply must have that ideal party shirt that needs washing for tonight!

How to freshen your clothes in 2 minutes - The quick fix

Steamfast SF-435 Compact Fabric Steamer
Steamfast SF-435 Compact Fabric Steamer

A fabric steamer might not be as effective as a true washing machine but it is as portable as it gets, it does a great job against odors and it smooths out wrinkles in no time.

Steamfast is hugely popular with a mass of positive reviews to prove it does the job. This is a cost-effective laundry accessory with a fast warmup time of just 2 minutes.


Mini Portable Washing Clothes Dryer

Washing clothes is easy, drying them can be a lot harder. The problem is getting the water out of the washed clothes. The Laundry Alternative has a superb mini spin dryer to go with your portable washing machine. While it does not dry your clothes with heat, like a regular tubler, it does extract almost all water from the fabrics with centrifugal force.

A Portable Washing Machine for Home

The earlier examples were of portable washing machines made for the road, but many portable washers are made for home use. These types of mini washers are the obvious choice for people living in small flats or small homes where you need to be able to roll the washing machine out of the way after use - without breaking your back.

One of the most popular models is the Haier Pulsator Portable Washer which takes about a cubic foot, or 6 pounds of wash.

This washing mashine is pretty small at only 30 inches high and about 23 inches wide which makes it easy to stow away under a counter. Easy-roll wheels and a adjustable level leg.

Even though it isn't that big, it still has 3 wash cycles and 3 water level settings from a clear and simple control panel.

If you want a bestselling portable washer with hundreds of user ratings, this is the one.

Portable washing machines?

See results

Mini Washer or Not?

Ok, so a portable washing machine isn't something everyone might get but what do you think about the whole idea? Would you consider getting one, or maybe it is all you have?

What do you think about portable washing machines?

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    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 

      5 years ago from California

      I saw one of the Wonderwash models at the thrift store the other day but wasn't sure what it was. Wish I had seen this first because I would have bought that little portable washing machine :)

    • srsddn lm profile image

      srsddn lm 

      5 years ago

      Look like a great idea to have a portable washing machine

    • Jogalog profile image


      6 years ago

      Never heard of these before. I can see they could be useful.

    • Emma Vine profile image

      Emma Vine 

      6 years ago from Texas, USA

      Very cool!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I wish these items were sold in cape breton nova scotia they would sell so fast and what a great gift to the college kids

    • Einar A profile image

      Einar A 

      6 years ago

      I've used the "wonderwash" and thought it worked pretty well, and have also used a plunger in a 5 gallon bucket, which also works. Great article!

    • kindoak profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @April Wier: Thanks for the visit and the input on the spin dryer!

    • April Wier profile image

      April Wier 

      6 years ago

      I used to have the spin dryer by The Laundry Alternative. I had to give it up when I moved. I just loved this thing. For a while I used this paired with a bucket and plunger my husband had cut holes in. It got us through trips to the laundry mat. I highly recommend the spin dryer. Love your lens. Thanks for stopping by mine.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      These portable washers are really cool, I like the dome shaped one.

    • VisFeminea profile image


      6 years ago

      WoW I didn't know about them.

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 

      6 years ago from Missouri

      I haven't seen a washboard actually used to wash clothes in many years. Portable washing machines would be great for RVs and travel vans. Blessings!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hehe nice lens, we do have portable here :) you can see it almost everywhere :)

      Thank for sharing...:)

    • flycatcherrr profile image


      6 years ago

      There used to be a portable washer at my grandparents' cottage - I'd forgotten all about it until now!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      How interesting - never thought about portable washing machines before. Neat!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      We are looking into the idea of a portable clothing washer as our apartment does not come with one. Thanks for the information!

    • Camden1 profile image


      6 years ago

      I think a portable washing machine would be great for an RV or a boat.


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