Finding a New York City apartment with a washer and dryer in unit is damn near impossible. And if you do find one, it's probably way out of your price range or a long, inconvenient walk from the subway. Some people are willing to spend the money or take the longer commute for this amenity, but many people are not. So we take our laundry to laundromats or pay for wash-and-fold services because there's "no other option." But there is another option: a portable washing machine.
Personally, I had no idea portable washing machines even existed. I've lived in New York for about four years now, so I've gotten used to laundry being annoying and expensive, but in the back of my mind I always dreamed of being able to do laundry in my own apartment. And now, thanks to the Black + Decker portable washing machine, I can.
The machine is small enough to fit in my tiny bathroom and doesn't take up much space to store. It's also insanely easy to use. I was nervous to even open the box, because I kept thinking it was going to be too hard to figure out how to set up and use. Luckily, it was the complete opposite. It took me five minutes to plug the machine in, set up the faucet connection, and start cleaning my clothes.
Since I started using the Black + Decker washer, my life has improved immensely. For starters, I no longer have to hand-wash my delicate clothes in the sink. Now I can set the washer―which has eight different cycle settings—to "gentle" and clean everything at once. I'm also saving a ton of money. I take my laundry to the cleaners almost every other week because I run out of workout clothes and sports bras so quickly. Now I'm able to wash them in my apartment and cut down the number of times I take my laundry out to be cleaned. Because the wash-and-fold service I use runs me about $20 every load, the portable washing machine is going to pay for itself in just a few months.
By now you should be fantasizing about having a portable washing machine of your own. But before you hit purchase, here's everything you should know about this one...
What do I need to run it?
All you need to run this baby is a faucet and an electrical outlet. The machine plugs into the wall, and attaches to your faucet with a short hose. It's really that simple. There's just one catch: Chances are the faucet adapter that comes with it won't fit your sink. I watched a review on YouTube and the vlogger mentioned that she had a lot of trouble finding the right size adapter to attach the hose to her faucet. Ultimately, she purchased a set of adapters on Amazon that had one that finally fit. Sure enough, Amazon suggests the same set of adapters with the purchase of the Black + Decker portable washing machine. You should probably order them too.
Pro tip: Make sure your sink has a removable aerator—you'll need to take it off to attach the faucet adapter.
Does it leak?
Just a tiny bit. I was half expecting water to shoot everywhere when I turned the faucet on, thinking I probably attached the hose to the sink or the machine incorrectly, but it didn't. I didn't notice any leaking during the first load of laundry I washed, either. By the third load I did that day, there was a little bit of water leaking from the bottom of the machine where the drain hose was connected. However, I think this may have been my fault, because I was messing around with the settings and had turned the faucet off mid-wash. Do not do this.
If I have one complaint about this machine, it's that the manual never mentions when to turn the faucet on or off. From my experience, you should turn the faucet on after you've connected the hose to your sink and the machine, but before you choose your settings and press start. Do not shut the faucet off while the machine is on, even if the tub has filled and you think it doesn't need water anymore. It will need more water for the rinse cycle later, and if the water isn't on you might get an error message. So just leave the faucet on, okay?
How do you empty it?
There's a long hose at the bottom of the machine with a hooked end that you can prop on the edge of your sink. The water will drain through this hose into your sink. To be honest, I was pretty worried that my sink wasn't big enough for all the water, or that the machine would drain too fast and my sink would overflow. It didn't.
In fact, I wasn't in the bathroom the first time the machine drained into the sink. I was shocked when I came back to find that the load of laundry was finished, and there wasn't a drop of water in sight. It was such a pleasant surprise to learn I could leave this thing unattended and not come back to a disastrous mess.
Does it actually get clothes clean?
Yup! My clothes came out smelling like my favorite laundry detergent (unlike at the wash and fold, where I have zero control over what detergent is being used). Also, my roommate washed a pair of workout leggings and told me, "I don't know what that washing machine did, but these leggings have never felt so soft." So your clothes will be clean and soft.
How much can it hold?
The tub holds up to 6.6 pounds of laundry, so you can only wash a few items at a time. I was able to fit four pairs of jeans in one load, though, which sure as hell beats hand-washing them one at a time in the sink.
Don't I need a dryer?
Nope! Another reason this machine is so impressive is because the laundry comes out almost dry, thanks to a killer spin cycle. As it spins, your laundry gets sucked against the walls of the tub, pulling all of the water out of the clothing. When you take your laundry out, it will feel damp, but will not be dripping. All you really need is a drying rack to hang the items on for a few hours.
Is it heavy?
The washing machine weighs about 40 pounds, so it's on the lighter side. It does have two small wheels on the bottom of what side, so you can tilt it and wheel it that way. However, I suggest buying a dolly to place it on so it's even easier to move around.
If you're not fully convinced, go ahead and do some more research. I'll get you started; here are a few more portable washing machines to check out:
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