7 Best Portable Washing Machines

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Looking for a portable washing machine for your small space? Check our our top picks for dorms, RVs, small apartments and more.

If you live in a small apartment or a house without a laundry room, the task of washing your clothes can become even more of a hassle. This is where a portable washing machine comes in.

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What are Portable Washers?

A portable washing machine is a compact and convenient appliance that can help you save time and money by doing laundry at home. It means no more expensive trips to the laundromat your apartment complex’s creepy basement laundry.

It also means no need for a large and expensive traditional washing machine. It can save you money and be more eco-friendly, especially for a small household.

How do Portable Washers Work?

Portable washing machines work similarly to regular washing machines but have some differences due to their size and portability.

Filling with water: First, you need to connect the provided inlet hose to a nearby faucet or tap. The hose will transfer the water from the tap into the washing machine’s drum. You can control the water level by selecting the appropriate setting on the machine.

Adding detergent: Next, add your laundry detergent to the designated compartment or directly into the drum if there is no specific compartment. 

Loading clothes: Load your clothes into the drum, making sure not to overfill it. 

Selecting a wash cycle: Choose your desired wash cycle based on factors such as fabric type, dirt level, and personal preferences about water temperature. Most portable washing machines offer multiple options including normal, delicate, heavy-duty, and quick cycles.

Washing process: Once you start the wash cycle, the machine will agitate the clothes in a mix of water and detergent using an impeller or pulsator system (instead of an agitator found in full-size washers). This action helps remove dirt, stains, and odors from your clothes.

Rinsing: After completing the wash cycle, rinse water is added to flush out any remaining detergent from your clothes. The impeller/pulsator system spins again during this phase to ensure thorough rinsing.

Draining: The washer drains all used water through an outlet hose, which you need to place near a sink or drain. The water is extracted by a pump or gravity depending on the model.

Spinning: In some portable washing machines, there’s a separate spin compartment that allows you to spin-dry your clothes partially. You’ll need to transfer your laundry from the wash drum to the spinning drum manually. The spinning action helps remove excess water from your clothes, reducing drying time.

Removing and drying clothes: Once the washing and spinning cycles are complete, you can remove your laundry from the machine and hang it up to air-dry or use a separate dryer if available.

To store or transport your portable washing machine, simply disconnect it from the faucet, drain any remaining water, and unplug it from the power source.

How to Choose the Best Portable Washing Machine

When looking for the best portable washing machine, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, consider the size of the machine and how much laundry it can handle. You’ll want to make sure it’s big enough to handle your average load of laundry, but not so big that it takes up too much space in your home.

Second, think about the features you need. Do you want a machine that can also spin dry your clothes, or one that has a built-in timer? Finally, consider the price and whether the machine fits within your budget.

With the right portable washing machine, you can say goodbye to the hassle of laundromats and enjoy the convenience of doing laundry at home.

Buying Guide

When choosing a portable washing machine, there are a few factors to consider to ensure you get the best product for your needs. Here are some things to keep in mind:


The capacity of a portable washing machine is an important factor to consider. You want to make sure it can handle the amount of laundry you typically need to wash. Look for a machine with a capacity of at least 6-8 pounds, which is enough for a few pairs of jeans or a set of sheets.

Size and Weight

One of the main benefits of a portable washing machine is its size and weight. Make sure the machine you choose is compact and lightweight enough to be easily transported and stored. Look for a machine that weighs less than 50 pounds and can be easily moved around.

Water Usage

Portable washing machines use less water than traditional machines, but it’s still important to consider how much water your machine will use. Look for a machine with a low water usage, which will save you money on your water bill and help conserve water.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is another important factor to consider when choosing a portable washing machine. Look for a machine with an Energy Star rating, which means it meets certain energy efficiency standards set by the government.

Noise Level

Portable washing machines can be noisy, so it’s important to consider the noise level when choosing a machine. Look for a machine with a low decibel rating, which will help keep the noise level down.


Portable washing machines can vary greatly in price, so it’s important to consider your budget when choosing a machine. Look for a machine that fits within your budget while still meeting your needs.

By considering these factors, you can choose a portable washing machine that fits your needs and budget.

Best Portable Washing Machines of 2023

If you're living in a small apartment or traveling frequently, a portable washing machine can be a lifesaver. These machines are compact, easy to use, and can save you a lot of time and money. 

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Last Updated:

April 19, 2024