Tiny Washing Machine Adventures

A few weeks ago I saw a reference to a tiny washing machine that didn’t need to be hooked in to a water line – I was intrigued.  Our current winter laundry system involves a weekly trek through the woods to use the washer in my parents’ basement, then hanging the wet clothes on the indoor lines above the heater. It’s always a bit of a challenge squeezing a full load on our limited lines, but we make do.  Due to the time commitment required for this laundry system, it often piles up a bit and which makes it even more challenging to get through.  We decided it might be useful to be able to do a portion of our laundry at home, in smaller batches.  We searched Amazon and read many reviews before settling on the Wonderwash.

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Ta da! Wonderwash

For just over forty dollars and about 10 minutes of assembly, we were ready to wash our laundry on the kitchen counter

Wonder Wash filled with assorted laundry

Wonder Wash filled with assorted laundry

Today marked the first official load.  The washer holds up to five pounds of clothes, and is supposed to take no more than five minutes.  I loaded the washer with 3 tee shirts, 2 child size pants, a few dish towels, and a wide selection of random socks and underwear.  I added a little less than the recommended amount of Seventh Generation detergent (since we dump the used water outside – see an earlier post about our grey water system HERE).  It took about 3 gallons of water (scientifically measured by filling our larger saucepan four times) to adequately fill the washer to a level where there was still soapy water to slosh in after the clothes had soaked in what they wanted.  I spun the washer with the hand crank for about three minutes, and viola, the clothes smelled clean!

Draining the water into the sink, which in turn drains into a 5 gallon bucket under the sink which we then dump in the woods.

Draining the water into the sink, which in turn drains into our 5 gallon grey water bucket

I drained the washer and added half again as much water for a rinse cycle, after which the clothes were soap free but still soaking wet.  The most time consuming part of the process was wringing each item out in the sink before hanging them on the line.  One load in our new Wonderwash fit perfectly on our clothes lines, though even after hand wringing they are at least twice as waterlogged as clothes from a regular washing machine.  We’ll see just how long they take to dry.

The other draw back of the Wonderwash is that it still uses close to five gallons of water per load, which is water I have to carry from my parents house to begin with.  While this tiny house addition is certainly not a replacement for a “real” washing machine, it’s been fun to play with.  Only time will tell if the wonder wash saves us time and streamlines our laundry system, or if it is more hassle than it’s worth.

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6 thoughts on “Tiny Washing Machine Adventures

  1. sounds perfect for clean undies and sox! which, imho, are the only two things that need washing after each wear. love keeping up with your Tiny House Adventures!! ❤

  2. When I did my student teaching in England 40
    years ago, I stayed with a family that did all of their washing by hand, but they had a separate, electrically powered ( or maybe not, come to think of it) small spinner, about the size of a tall kitchen wastebasket. Might be worth investigating. I sort of have a crush on your Wonderwash! Maybe in the warmer months you can use a rainbarrel to collect water so you don’t have to carry it.

  3. Pingback: Heaters, dishwashers, laundry, and refrigeration – oh, my! | Tiny Gilead

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