When you make the transition to tiny living there are undoubtedly some sacrifices that need to be made. Giving up all of your modern conveniences does not have to be one of them. Many people think that they are going to have to sacrifice some of their major appliances, and normally the first one to go is the laundry machine. But with the options available on the market today, you don’t automatically have to forgo your washer and dryer. Here are your options when it comes to doing your tiny house laundry.
Outsourcing: Tiny House Laundry at the Laundromat
First, let’s not necessarily rule out going to the laundromat. Today’s laundromats are hipper than ever and some even have libraries, cafes and even bars in or attached to them. This great article from Bon Appetit shows bars that not only make your shirts clean, but serve up delicious drinks and food as well.
There are a few options when it comes to buying washers and/or dryers for a tiny home. Here are the details:
Manual Washing Machines
Manual washing machines are great for energy conservation. Well, let’s say they are great at house energy conservation, but not human energy conservation. Most of the units downplay in their advertising the time that it takes to actually wash the laundry by hand. You may not want to repeat a crank or foot pump for ten minutes and then have to do it six more times to get all of your laundry for the week done.
The Wonderwash, a five pound capacity, manual crank washing machine has been around a while and gets pretty good reviews. The price point is nice at only $45.00 but keep in mind that you will not have a dryer which means you will have to have room to dry your clothes somewhere.
New to market, check out the indiegogo campaign for Drumi. This system is a five pound capacity, manual foot pump washing machine. Its sleek look and small footprint make this a great option for tiny home living. You once again won’t have a drying availability and you will be spending $239.00, but think of how cool you will look! :-)
Combo units are really for the person that needs to have a washer and a dryer. They save space by doing both tasks in the same footprint and can have up to three times the capacity of the manual machines. Now keep in mind that you want to be careful choosing a machine here because you will have to choose between 110v and 220v and although the 110v will take a bit longer to dry your clothes, you don’t have to worry about trying to find special hookups/wiring that the 220v necessitates.
The Panda Small Compact Portable Washing Machine has a 7.9 pound capacity and checks in at only $149.00. This machine offers a full washer and “part-dryer” meaning that it dries clothing by spinning only with no heat. Which means you will still have to have the room to hang clothes to dry.
Now the Westland (Splendide) WD2100XC WhiteVented Combo Washer/Dryer really does do it all for you. This is the combo unit that we install in our houses. The 15 pound capacity and heated drying cycle makes for a much more space economical choice. You will pay for it, however. The price is $1,142.99 for this vented unit.
A quick word here about vented/ventless options on dryers. You can get the ventless units, but although they have a condenser to help cut down the amount of humid air that is going to be blown into your home, they do not stop all of the moisture from getting in. Also you have to dump out the condensation tray at least once a wash. We highly recommend that you go with a vented unit if you have a choice.
So how important is washing and drying clothes for your tiny house laundry plans? Do you use / would you ever think of using a manual washing machine? Let me know in the comments below.