I was browsing through the pages of Amazon the other day, and I came across some countertop washing machines. I was intrigued to say the least, as I'm a single guy and I don't have a lot of clothes to wash at any given time. Maybe one of these little machines is just what I need?
From reading the product descriptions most of these washers can handle up to two pairs of jeans and a shirt or two, or half a dozen shirts. Seems big enough to me, especially since I never have many clothes to wash.
Why get one of these mini washing machines you may be asking? Well, to be honest have you seen the prices of a new washing machine these days. You can't buy a good set for less than a $1,200 now.
Here are some of the countertop washing machines available at Amazon.com.
Plus I find they don't wash as well as they did in the past. It might just be me, but I think the newer washers are getting too far into efficiency and less on what they're actually supposed to do, you know like wash clothes.
A big drawback I can see with most of these countertop washing machines is they rarely have a spin cycle. Which means you're going to have to wring them out by hand, let the clothes sit in the machine to drain, or buy a centrifugal wringer. I think I would go with a Centrifugal Clothes Portable Spin Dryer but this is also adding to the cost of the whole setup.
Another consideration is some apartments just don't have the hookups for washers and dryers. Others simply don't have the room to add hookups, or don't want to go through the expense and trouble of adding them. It sometimes is quite the hassle, and expense, to run electricity, water lines, dryer vents, and drain plumbing to a washer and dryer.
After reading through some of the reviews on these mini washing machines. It seems that most of the complaints are those who expect all of the bells and whistles of a full size washing machine in a little countertop model. It should be expected that these units will have almost no extras, and that there will be extra work needed to compensate for their small size and low price tag.
For example most of these units are gravity drain. Which means you have to physically lower the drain hose into whatever you're going to drain into, it's not automatic. There rarely is a spin cycle, which I addressed before, and you will also have to fill the washer with water by hand.
Filling the washer can be made easier by using a shower head adapter to give you a longer hose if you choose to wash in the tub, use a bucket, fill from the sprayer at the sink, or use an adapter to use on your faucet to go to a hose bib connection and use a garden hose to fill it. These are all options to consider.
I would just go with using the sprayer nozzle as these mini washing machines use a couple of gallons of water, at most.
Drying the clothes is another animal all together. I use a clothes line in the summer months anyway so that's not a problem. In the winter I use the wood stove to dry them by hanging them on a rack near the stove. This also adds a little humidity to the air to make it feel more comfortable.
Now you could also buy a 110 Volt Automatic Dryer, but this will also add to the cost of the setup. If you don't have the hookups, like I mentioned before, then this would also be an option to dry clothes on a small scale.
Overall I think these countertop washing machines are a great idea for apartment dwellers, those who don't have the hookups available, and those who don't want to spend a lot of money on new appliances. After all most new appliances these days only seem to last less than five years anyway, so why not at least entertain the idea right?