Recently, the utterly craptacular, cheap, basic, old washing machine that came with my house finally gave up the ghost. Well, I have not been in a position to replace it just yet, and unfortunately the laundromat is quite far away. So if something absolutely positively had to be washed overnight, I was stuck with the sink or the tub. Time consuming, tedious, annoying.
I knew that the Lehman’s catalog had a lot of products that don’t use electricity so thought they would have some ideas.
Well, one of the products mentioned was the Wonderwash, a portable, hand cranked washing machine, that uses pressure to clean the clothes.
It works like this, it has a tank not too unlike a propane tank, size-wise, and you fill it up with hot water (6 liters at the most), detergent (a few tablespoons, tops) and put the top on, a top that has a gasket, and spin it for up to two minutes. The heat expands inside the thing, and forces the soap and water through the clothing very efficently.
So I ordered one.
This is my experience with it, using it my own unique way.
First I do the hot water detergent thing, as recommended. I spin for the two minutes (alternating directions and arms, so as not to get any freaky weird muscles), and drain it. Then I fill it with cooler water and a bit of vinegar, and spin again for at least the recommended 30 seconds for a rinse. I find that the water still comes out a bit grey, so I fill it for a third time, with hot water again, and a bit of fabric softener, do it the recommended 30 seconds or more, and the last rinse comes out fine. I hang and then put in the drier. (Which still works, but being an old and ineffecient craptacular electric drier, can take 2 hours or more to dry a load of laundry.)
Clothes are clean and they have a nice scent with the fabric softener, it really gets into the fibers this way, it seems. However, I do find that without the softener, it has no smell/smells of wet cloth. I don’t like that, I like scent.
It takes a while to do, because you have to fill and drain each time, it comes with a drain with a valve to make it easier, but it isn’t as quick as OMG TWO MINUTES. Still, I’d imagine it beats the time the washing machine takes. Some people also like to soak stuff overnight in it, I guess they soak, drain, and then wash like they would normally.
It’s small, don’t expect to do an actual load of laundry in it.
Still, it is ideal for just one or two people, people who don’t have machines, or if you have that one thing you NEED for tomorrow and feel an entire load of laundry is a waste of electricity. It’s good for inbetween going to a laundromat, too. It’s still big enough for a pair or two of jeans, or some towels, or a few tshirts. With shipping it’s about $50 and I am sure I will save on the electric in no time.
I also saw on that site, the first link, a spin dryer. It spins fast (a lot faster than a washing machine, I ran the numbers) and in 2-3 minutes, your clothes are almost completely dry. This would really cut down on my electric some more, at that point I could hang for a bit, or toss in the dryer for just a half hour tops…has to be better than what the dryer is now! That machine, though, is $120 and $20 shipping. But if there is space in the budget in the future, I just may get it if I can get more information on it. It may be a very good idea to save money and time. In fact, if anyone has experience with them (I’ve seen commercial ones), please drop me a comment, thanks.
And that is my review for the day/week/month/year, I always get a kick out of trying new things, and I especially like when they work, like this did.