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Never used a portable washing machine? Come on in - Printable Version

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Never used a portable washing machine? Come on in - XERTYX - 04-06-2019

Ok so I like many have searched for methods to wash clothes in the field.

The methods I know of are
▪Using a rafting dry bag to carry and then wash laundry. Useful if backpacking as it's an odorless hamper as well as wash basin.

▪A 5 gallon bucket with either a plunger, cordless drill agitator, or the shake method. Gets the job done.

▪Laundromat or other shore powered washer. Requires a trip to town.

▪Showering in your clothes. I dont like clingy garments.

▪Portable washing machine/dryer

▪ Banging them on a rock by the creek bed.


That last one is right out.

Laundromats cost money and share a machine for washing your face towel that some random dude uses for his tighty whitey underoos. Not to mention a trip to town and social interaction. 

5 gallon buckets work well and you contain the waste water but you have to wring out them and my hands get sore. 

Using a dry bag is ingenious if backpacking. Good as a back up since they take up the space of a 2 liter bottle when empty. But like the bucket method need to be wrung out.

Last year I bought a portable washing machine with spin dryer off of amazon for about $100. I would share the link but this model is no longer available. These instructions would work for pretty much any machine. Mine has been marketed as a costway I believe in similar listings. 

I wont try and recall the electrical specifications but I believe it was a max of 130 watts AC. I run it on shore power and dont have a killawatt meter. But each cycle is only a few minutes and I dont foresee it being a problem even for a small bank if rationed accordingly.

First thing you need to know is that they drain out of the bottom. There is a hose connected and it needs to be higher than the outflow. Its gravity fed. So securely on a counter or in a shower stall drain is just fine.

I first add water to the basin about 2 gallons and then as I'm on septic I add a small amount of oxiclean type powder and turn on the wash cycle for about 3 minutes and let it spin and dissolve the powder. Then I add small amounts of liquid laundry detergent while still spinning until I get some suds. (Its hard to tell how much to use in a small basin like this) I then add one or two garments sometimes more but I find it does best with small loads. I let it keep swirling the clothes as I add more water. I want a nice blend of submerged yet still thrashing about to get lots of funk out of my clothes. Let it run its course for a few minutes and then let them soak. Later I come back and start a full cycle. If very soiled I let sit again and do another cycle. Drain fill and add fabric softener. Run one more cycle and let sit then drain and if you have excess water run one more with just water to rinse. Move garments to the dryer compartment and level them. It is much smaller than the wash basin and has to be loaded more than once from a load. I find 2 tshirts is fine or 1 pair of shorts or pants at a time. Now if you didnt run a rinse cycle pay close attention. There is a water inlet that allows you to rinse while spinning. For safety the dryer will not run with the lid up so you cant pour it in. I take my weed sprayer shower and put the tube in there for running water. Dont be shy. Much less water waste than a full cycle rinse. After rinsing turn the timer all the way back to maximum and let it do its thing. The plastic spacer that comes with your dryer is very important. It helps balance the dryer as it spins so it doesnt break. One dry cycle is enough for most everything. If it's not dry then its overloaded or not balanced. They will still be dampish and must be hung out to dry. A clothesline is ideal for this purpose but a plastic (not metal) coathanger will work in a bind but they might be stiff and wrinkly this way.

Anyway hope this helps. Have fun.


RE: Never used a portable washing machine? Come on in - lenny flank - 04-06-2019

I use the little hand-cranked thingies, like this one:

https://www.amazon.com/Laundry-Alternative-Wonderwash-Non-electric-Portable/dp/B002C8HR9A

Requires no electricity, takes up almost no space, takes only three minutes to use, and does the job.
Smile


RE: Never used a portable washing machine? Come on in - XERTYX - 04-06-2019

This is good. I have heard of these but they slipped my mind. But for me I'd still need to wring them out. I know there are hand cranked ones but these mini spin dryers remove like 90% of the moisture. They really work well. Much faster drying time than a bucket for me. I recently washed a thin hoodie all by its lonesome. Within 30 mins in partial sun it was dry but I let it go for longer.


RE: Never used a portable washing machine? Come on in - ped - 04-06-2019

I literally just did a load. Same machine (bunch of brands on amazon). I ran it off 400w inverter with 8" fan and tv going. It makes nearly nondent in batteries.

On top of that it does a hell of a job.

I built a little platform for it with a drain basin underneath. I store my soap and whatnot in the basin when not in use.


RE: Never used a portable washing machine? Come on in - highdesertranger - 04-06-2019

I use the 5 gallon bucket and plunge method. works well. actually if I am going to be driving I just put a sealed gamma lid on the bucket and drive. washboard roads work better than any washing machine, LOL.

if you are close to Fort Mohave, AZ the laundry mat on the 95 is excellent, clean, cheap, attendants on duty. thumbs up. it's one of the few laundry mats that I will use.

for wringing the water out I use an old fashion type roller wringer. again I works great.

for drying I use a clothes line. I prefer a clothes line over a dryer any day.

highdesertranger


RE: Never used a portable washing machine? Come on in - XERTYX - 04-06-2019

(04-06-2019, 03:25 PM)ped Wrote:  I literally just did a load. Same machine (bunch of brands on amazon). I ran it off 400w inverter with 8" fan and tv going. It makes nearly nondent in batteries.

On top of that it does a hell of a job.

I built a little platform for it with a drain basin underneath. I store my soap and whatnot in the basin when not in use.

That's basically the very same unit I have. Slightly different color and probably a different sticker but that's it. An amazon search for portable washer dryer will likely find dozens of the same model with different brands and paint jobs.


RE: Never used a portable washing machine? Come on in - Homeless in Canada - 04-06-2019

I have a compact size washing machine. If you want something simple get an apartment size top load washer. Then you can pour the water in with a pail.

Front load washer you can't do that water has to enter through the mixing valve and requires sufficient water pressure.

The newer high efficiency washers spray water during the final rinse. You want one with a deep rinse option. So the tub fills up with water instead. Then you're able to use it so long as you have water and power, but not necessarily water pressure.


RE: Never used a portable washing machine? Come on in - camping bum - 06-15-2019

boondock washing machine


RE: Never used a portable washing machine? Come on in - MrNoodly - 06-15-2019

(04-06-2019, 12:39 PM)XERTYX Wrote:  ...washing your face towel that some random dude uses for his tighty whitey underoos.

Because washing your face towel in something YOU just used to wash YOUR undies is a completely different thing, right?  Big Grin Tongue Big Grin


RE: Never used a portable washing machine? Come on in - Gypsy108 - 06-15-2019

What is the best way to wash clothes as a nomad ???