What Are the Pros and Cons of Using a Mini Washing Machine?
Using a mini washing machine can be very beneficial for people who travel a lot, especially in a camper or motor home. On the other hand, a small unit such as this would not be as useful to people who stay in one place and live in a home that has washer and dryer hook-ups. Some smaller places do not have room for the economy varieties though, so in this case mini washers would work well, but otherwise, people who have access to larger versions would be better off to avoid these compact styles.
The benefits of having, and using, a mini washing machine begins with the convenience of it. These types of units are very portable, and they work off of most types of basic kitchen or bathroom sinks. In small buildings, such as apartments, or when traveling, room can be very restricted. Mini washers can be stored in closets or vehicles when not in use, and can be set up when needed. This makes it easy to do laundry when needed, but is not in the way during the times that it is not.
Other benefits that can be appreciated are the savings that can be had. Instead of packing all of the dirty laundry up and going down to the nearest laundry mat, a small load can be done when needed. These units also require far less water to work than most home and business models, and they wash a load in half the time. Since the amount of laundry that can be placed into them is smaller, less water is needed, and they are designed to work fast and effectively. A mini washing machine can not only save time, but if capacity is not an issue, they can save money in the long run as well.
One of the major downfalls of using a mini washing machine is that they are so small that not very much laundry can be done at one time. When people who wash and dry clothes on a daily basis are considered, such as families or labor workers, they would not benefit from using one of these units because of their reduced capacity. They can also become heavy and cumbersome when they need to be moved over and over, so in these cases a mini washing machine would not be feasible.
When using a mini washing machine, the positive and negative aspects of them need to be reviewed, as well as the specific applications that they are intended for. People who travel, or are not in need of large capacity washers, can greatly benefit from using these miniature versions, while families and people who are stable within their homes or businesses would not. The final factor that needs to be considered is the brand and style of mini washing machine, taking into account price and quality.
@AnswerMan: What you are talking about is called a twin tub washing machine. The advantage is the manufacturing cost is low, as is the product cost. However, they take up a lot of extra space compared to a washing machine with the same capacity.
Also, it's important to note that mini washing machines don't have a spin cycle, only portable washing machines costing $200+ do. Mini countertop spin dryers are available at The Laundry Alternative.
I wish more hotels would invest in something like a portable mini washing machine. There are times when I need to extend my stay and I run out of clean clothes to wear. Hotels often charge an exorbitant price for laundry services, and only a few will have public laundry facilities. I'd be happy with a small portable washer that would let me wash socks and underwear and hang them up to dry in the bathroom.
My dad brought home one of the first mini washers available in our area in the late 70s. One side was a small water tank with several agitators along the walls. He'd fill the tank up with water from the bathroom sink, then put in a small batch of dirty clothes and some detergent. The clothes swirled around the agitators for a while, then the cycle would end and a pump sent the waste water through a pipe and into the bathtub drain.
The other side of the portable washing machine was a spinning compartment. The wet clean clothes would spin out for several minutes, and then be taken to the regular clothes dryer. I wouldn't say it was an ideal invention for a family of four, but I think it was suitable for single people or young couples with no children.
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