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why a portable washing machine is a lifesaver for apartment dwellers

This is the blog post I was hoping to find four years ago. This is the blog post where I share with you how to do your laundry in an apartment without hookups.

Once upon a time, we lived in an apartment without laundry hookups and were determined to use cloth diapers. Since we didn’t want to lug around a basket of stinky diapers around to the laundromat, or sit there with an infant for hours on end, we got creative.

Options For Laundry In An Apartment Without Hookups

There are actually a lot of options for doing laundry in an apartment if you aren’t opposed to doing a little bit of work. Here’s the quick version:

  1. Laundry POD
  2. Laundry Alternative Wonderwash
  3. Mini Portable Washing Machine
  4. Portable Washing Machine

First, we got a laundry pod. This thing looks like a giant salad spinner, fits about 3 diapers at a time, but it does work pretty well. Of course, this process takes pretty much all day if you have more than 3 things to wash. We hung them to dry on folding dryer racks. I had to do laundry every night, just to keep up with the cloth diaper demand. I did get a pretty good arm workout in, though.

After a few months of hand cranking my child’s cloth diapers, I decided we needed a different option. I did hours of research. Surely, someone had to have come up with a solution for an apartment washing machine, right?


I already listed several options of budget-friendly laundry options above, each with their own benefits, depending on the size of your space and what features you’re looking for, any of those will function well. For me, what was most important was a full-sized washing machine. I wanted a washing machine that was small enough for an apartment, had enough space for all our clothes, and was still portable. I literally searched “washer that doesn’t need hookups” and began the search that led me to my favorite machine ever, my amazing powerhouse of a portable washing machine.

Portable Washing Machine

This washing machine became my new favorite appliance. In complete honesty, it is the best portable washing machine available, especially for someone who is used to doing laundry in their own home. At 2.1 cubit feet of space, it was big enough to fit our queen comforter, but small enough that I was able to maneuver it around with ease. It also had standard hookup capability, so we were able to use the same machine when we moved to a place with actual washer hookups. We did diapers in what felt like a flash, and hung them to dry. We bought more dryer racks because we could now do all our own laundry in our home. It was so exciting!

Portable Dryer for 110/120V

Most dryers require a special plug to run, requiring specific wiring (aka, “dryer hookups”). When we arrived in Iowa, our house had washer hookups and a dryer hose vent, but only the standard 110/120V plugs. It was then I found this dryer that can plug in to any standard 3-prong outlet. We were able to donate the drying racks and do all our laundry on our own, in only a matter of hours! We had a vent hookup in the Iowa house, but if you don’t, you can purchase this nifty little lint trap and keep it vented inside.

The biggest difference with apartment-capable washers and dryers is obviously the capacity. The washer we had did not have an agitator in the center, which meant that we were able to fit more in. Everything we washed came out clean, so we didn’t even miss the agitator. The dryer took a little longer than your standard 220V dryer did to dry a load, but that was fine with us since we were finally able to do laundry on our own terms, and multiple loads in the same day.

When we moved into the RV, we sold our washer and dryer, since the RV came with a washer dryer combo unit. We now live in a townhouse with our own laundry room, and we purchased a standard washer and dryer set. Aside from the size difference in capacity, I haven’t really noticed any difference between clothes cleaned in our apartment washer vs. our new traditional one.

Get a set of wool dryer balls for just $3 for only $3 with promo code DRYERFIX2018 

As you might imagine, it is less expensive to purchase a portable washing machine and portable dryer than a standard set. The savings are especially high when you consider the time, effort, and money spent per load doing laundry at a laundromat. I love that our portable washing machine and dryer allowed us to do laundry and continue on with our lives, without the need to go back and forth to a laundromat/apartment laundry center or try to entertain little people for hours on end while doing laundry.

If money is tight, sign up for my email list and receive my list of 25 ways to save $1,000! This isn’t your standard “use coupons at the grocery store” list. These are tough love, actionable ways you can save big money this year. Implement an idea or two and put those savings towards your new system. It will pay for itself very quickly.

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No laundry hookups? No problem! Here's how to do laundry without hookups

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Thanks for sharing!

Thanks for sharing!