Best Twin Tub Portable Washers in 2020

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You wouldn’t be the first person to wonder why one might consider buying a small portable washing and drying machine when we currently live in a world built on prioritizing automation and convenience. After all, what use could a person possibly have for a twin tub portable washers when their larger and more versatile relatives are already so readily available in most homes and apartment complexes?

Well, the reality is that twin tub portable washers can be the ideal appliance for when living or staying long-term somewhere with limited space; be it whether you live in a small dorm or an apartment with no in-unit washer, be it whether you are going on a RV trip with the family or if you plan on staying off-grid camping somewhere by yourself, or even if your regular washer broke and you need something keep your clothes smelling fresh and clean until you can get it fixed, these tiny portable machines are a great and convenient way to still get your laundry done even space, time, or accessibility are scarce.

But how do you find out what is the best twin tub portable washer for you? What features are some of the standard to these appliances and which ones are considered to be bonus accessory – useful, but not necessary? What should you expect within your budget? How can you differentiate between what appears to be two nearly identical models?

This guide strives to answer these questions and many others by providing you with useful information that will help you find the best twin tub portable washer for you and your needs.


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Buying Guide: What Factors Should You Consider?

The most important factor to consider when purchasing a twin tub portable washer is, unsurprisingly, its size and load capacity. After all, one of the biggest draws of this appliance is its ability to occupy minimal space while still providing some of the convenience that comes with having your own full-sized washing and drying units.

So what should you look for? Well, equipped with two tubs, twin tub portable washers tend to have an average load capacity of around 10lbs. Note, however, that this does not mean that you can wash 10lbs worth laundry and then dry that same amount. While the twin tubs work as separate units and can be used at the same time, when describing load capacity, most listings are referring to the combined quantity both tubs can handle simultaneously. This means that the washer’s maximum capacity might be 6lbs and the spin dryer’s capacity might be 4lbs, giving the unit a total capacity of 10lbs.

Some units might have a higher capacity – with some handling as much as 26lbs – while others will only manage to take care of 8lbs at the time, if not a little less.

Remember that a larger load capacity might come at the cost of portability; while larger units might be able to handle more clothes, the smaller ones are easier to transport, making them more suitable for dorms, RVs, or any situation that might require you to move the appliance often.

Like their full-sized relatives, twin tub portable washers will also vary in the settings available when it comes to their timers and their different wash modes. It is fairly standard for these units to come with three dials (a wash timer typically maxing at 15 minutes, a washing mode dial, and a dry spin timer typically maxing at 5 minutes). Make sure to pay attention to how many wash modes are available and how to best match them with the appropriate type of clothing.

Noise level is something else worth pondering on. Consider when you are planning on using this appliance and for what; if you are staying at a dorm and will only be able to do your laundry late at night, for example, noise levels will be a special concern to keep an eye on. The average twin tub portable washer has a 1300 RPM motor and has a maximum spin frequency of 60Hz, so if they are on leveled flooring and the clothes inside are evenly spread, then they tend to not make a lot of noise. Still, it is recommended to carefully check over reviews just to be safe.

Some portable washers require no electricity whatsoever, operating completely manually. These are ideal for camping and hiking trips, or any other occasion in which you might be temporarily without any sort of power. They operate by being cranked up by hand, and though they are a lot of work, they can also be a good investment should you ever find yourself off-grid.

Some extra special features to consider is whether or not the washer has a child lock and how user-friendly its interface is. Newer models will have advance sensor technology that makes the unit easily programmable and easier to operate.

Rollers to facilitate portability can also be incredibly useful, especially if you’re planning on taking this gadget with you on long trips or if you’re moving. Keep an eye on the length of the power cord, for shorter ones might limit where you can place this appliance.

Finally, aesthetic elements such as a transparent design might also be worth checking out, as there are many people who like the ability to see their clothes being washed.

Expert Tips: Questions to Answer Before Making Your Decision

One important factor to understand prior to making your purchase is in regards to water management. Unlike regular washing machines, twin tub portable washers require you to manually fill and drain the water used to wash your clothes.

Ask yourself: Where are you planning on keeping this appliance and how do you plan on draining its dirty water? Are you keeping it in the garage? Laundry room? Do you have easy access to a faucet or a removable shower head? Do you plan on simply tossing the water down the drain, or will you try to recycle it by throwing it in the garden to water your plants?

Consider these questions and make sure to read the product description carefully, as well as any other reviews or video tutorials that specify how easy or difficult it is to fill and empty the tubs.

Some twin tub portable washer models might be easily hooked up with a faucet with a small hose, making it easy to fill the washer with water. These, however, tend to be more luxurious and, therefore, a tad bit more expensive. Also consider that in order to use such feature, you must place the twin tub portable washer within close distance of a faucet, limiting the number of locations where you can use and operate the unit. The cheaper and cost-saving alternatives might require you to use a bucket, pot, or some other method to fill the washer with water. While time consuming, if you plan on keeping your portable washer close to a removable showerhead or somewhere with a hose, this might not be that much of an inconvenience.

How easy it is to drain dirty water is another important consideration. Most units come with a drain hose that you hook up to the bottom of the appliance and, with the help of gravity, empty the tubs that way. Others might come with built-in pump to facilitate the process; in these scenarios, one would typically hook up the drain hose to the unit while putting the washer into drain mode to get rid of all the water faster.

Did You Know? Twin Tub Portable Washers are Extremely Energy Efficient

Newer twin tub portable washer models are extremely energy efficient. Due to their smaller capacity drum and the high spin frequency available in some models, tons and tons of energy can saved due to a decrease in the amount of time required to properly wash smaller loads. Because you control the amount of water used and can, therefore, adapt it to suit the load and the type of clothing you are washing, twin tub portable washers also use far less water than regular washers. These features results in an impressive average of four stars in the energy star ratings system.

Caution: Make Sure to Clean Your Twin Tub Portable Washer Properly

As an appliance that you must fill and drain yourself, it might not surprise you that you also must clean twin tub portable washers yourself in order to prevent mold or other problems.

Remember to always make sure you properly drained both tubs before wiping the machine with a damp cloth outside and inside. Then, use a soft towel to clean the inside, paying close attention to edges.

Don’t forget to clean the lint filter if there is one, and make sure to keep the lids open for at least a few hours after usage to ensure it properly dries off.

For Your Safety: Turn Off the Twin Tub Portable Washer When Cleaning

When cleaning your twin tub portable washer make sure to not only turn off the machine, but remove the plug from the outlet for your own safety. Keep the power cord up and somewhere safe in case the washer’s surroundings are still wet with the water you just drained.

Quotes: How Much Does a Twin Tub Portable Washers Cost?

Now it is finally time to talk about a big factor when it comes to making any decision: money.

As it is to be expected, twin tub portable washers are far cheaper than their larger counterparts, with the spectrum going from as little as $90 all the way up to $170. So what can you expect to find within your budget?

At the lower end of the spectrum you’ll find twin tub portable washers with a lower load capacity averaging out at around 8 to 10 lbs., with the difference between each tub being quite minimal. Its motor is not hindered by its size, making it a great money-saving option if you live alone or are only planning on using the unit for smaller loads every now and again.

By contrast, a twin tub portable washer on the other end of the price spectrum can have a capacity of over 25lbs. As per standard, the washer is larger than the dryer, and in these units the difference between the two tends to be far greater, with the washer sometimes capable of handling twice as much clothes as the dryer. This means that you might need to dry you’re your clothes in multiple loads. The motor is powerful, and the unit tends to come with a built-in pump. This is a great option for families, be it if you’re keeping it at home or if you plan on taking a long summer RV trip.

Also remember to keep in mind that price does not equal silence; both cheaper and more expensive portable washers can be noisy or relatively silent depending on multiple circumstances. If this is something that is crucial to you, make sure to read the reviews carefully so that you don’t end up accidentally purchasing something beyond your budget simply because you believed it would be quieter.

Though not normally a twin tub, another option is the non-electric portable washers mentioned previously, which average at a much lower $60 per unit. As mentioned before in this guide, these tend to be ideal for long camping trips, though they require a lot more work.

Tips: Be Aware of Lint A twin tub portable washer is a great option for limited spaces or in case of emergencies, but, as it has been pointed out a few times so far, it can require a bit of extra work, adding steps to a process many of us are now used to being streamlined. As such, you’d be forgiven for forgetting that, during washing and drying, it would be fairly natural for your clothes to let out small amounts of lint that would be deposited in the water. Naturally, once you drain your twin tub portable washer, the lint would accompany the dirty water on their way down.

And here is where there can be a bit of a problem; it is not uncommon for people who own these appliances to place them in their bathtubs, as that is one of the places in your home best equipped to get rid of dirty water. But your bathtub or shower might not be as used to handling lint, and after a few months or so, clogging might occur.

To avoid something like this from happening, simply place one of those drain catchers on your tub or use a floating lint catcher during your wash cycles. Little tricks like these will help catch all sorts of lint and prevent clogging.

Conclusion

A twin tub portable washer can be an incredibly useful when you need to clean your clothes but do not have the space for or easy access to a full-sized washer and dryer. However, due to a wide price range and a variety of features, finding the best washer for you can be difficult.

Remember to look at capacity and if it corresponds with the amount of laundry you might be expecting to do on a regular basis. Extra features such a child lock and rollers are also worth considering.

The most important thing to think about prior to purchasing one of these washers is how you plan to manage the water; since you must fill it and empty it manually, knowing where you will be getting the water from and how you will be draining the appliance are crucial factors to know in order to figure out which model is right for you.

Very environmentally friendly and suited for any budget, it is important to also remember to properly dry and care for your portable washer in order to prevent mold built-up. To prevent lint from clogging your drains, simple tricks such as a drain catcher or floating lint catchers can be incredibly useful.

Be it whether you live by yourself or with your family, if you are in an RV road trip or if you simply need a washer for your dorm room, we hope this guide is able to help you find the best twin tub portable washer for you.


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