Experience with portable clothes washers?
November 30, 2005 10:14 AM   Subscribe

My wife is considering buying a portable clothes washing machine. Does anyone here have any experience with them?

There is a used one being sold in town, it's a Haier, not sure of the model. I only know that it was purchased new about 2 years ago for $300. We have 2 kids in an apt, currently doing 6-9 loads a week and paying about $70/mo for laundry (including cloth diapers). We pay elec but water is covered. Any experience with this brand or any others would be much appreciated!
posted by Buck Eschaton to Home & Garden (3 answers total)
Check out this link: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/laundry/ there are plenty of comments about Haier, Equator and similar units.
posted by dudeman at 10:34 AM on November 30, 2005

It might be one of the first three on this page. (The reviews there are mostly positive.) Mine is the smallest with 4.9 lb load. I ordered it from Walmart's website two years ago for over $200 with shipping.

Initially, the box didn't include the right type of hookup/screws for my kitchen faucet, so I had to contact Haier's Customer Service, who mailed me the correct thingies quickly. The instruction manual leaves much to be desired as well.

After that, the washing machine has been satisfactory. I learned to avoid using the highest water level setting by doing small loads only, otherwise sometimes it will leave sudsy water on the floor - the Haier repair person told me it wasn't an internal leak, and I guess I believe him, since with 'medium' it's ok.

The other thing is its screwy water-intake system. Supposedly you can leave the tap on all the time as it can shut the water off during washing automatically, but the water pressure eventually found a weak spot in the plumbing under my sink, and caused a small drip there. Right now I actually monitor the machine and turn the taps off once the water level has been reached, which is bit of a chore. You might be luckier because my friend who has the same model doesn't have this problem.

Said friend bought the machine mainly for diaper duty and that did serve the purpose.
posted by of strange foe at 11:23 AM on November 30, 2005

Ours (the 4.9 lb Haier) works great, but plan on doing the laundry quite frequently, as the capacity is about 1/4 of a "real" load. We've been to the laundromat only once in the past few months; it is possible to fit a set of queen-sized sheets into the unit.

As an added bonus, ours plays Jingle Bells when it's done with the load. It's surely a lot more fun than a buzzer.

Anyhow, I would highly recommend one with the following caveats:

1) Be very careful to use only a tiny amount of liquid detergent (that's how we avoided the sudsy-floor problem that of strange foe mentioned.)

2) Leave the hose attached to the unit and remove it from the sink only, as the connecter seems a bit weak. Make sure to turn off the faucet before disconnecting it. It's a mistake you'll only make once.

3) If you have hard water, you'll want to make sure to use liquid fabric softener. If you've always used a dryer in the past instead of hanging clothes, be prepared for stiffer clothing.
posted by JMOZ at 2:49 PM on November 30, 2005 [1 favorite]

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