If you are striving to be an off grid tiny homesteader chances are you are not capturing enough solar energy to power a washer or dryer. Even those very high efficient two-in-one machines. Finding space in your home for a washing machine is also a tad tricky when you have about 150 square feet to work with!
When Jared and I first started planning out our home I was DEAD SET on having a small duel washer/dryer. I had never gone without either my entire life. Honestly I had never even used a clothes line to dry my clothes! We hadn’t decided on being totally off grid capable either, so I had not considering the energy costs of a machine. When we looked at the prices of the washers that would work for us and the layout of our house, it was clear we could not fit it in the house OR the budget.
Then we found this wonderful invention called the Wonder Wash! It’s small enough to fit under our kitchen sink, uses minimal amounts of water, and works great. To accompany our “washer” we also purchases an electric spin dryer. It’s like a salad spinner for your clothes!
You can find the washer here.
And the spin dryer here.
The Wonder Wash fits perfectly in our kitchen sink to fill it with water (I pushed for the farm sink and won… thankfully!). If you don’t have a sink big enough to fit the washer or a pull out nozzle you can always fill it up in your bathtub or outdoor hose.
You fill it about 1/3 of the way up, add detergent (we use Dr. Bronner’s), then add your clothes and spin away for about 2 minutes! Then repeat without soap as your rinse cycle.
After you’ve done your washing you can toss your clothes into the mini spin dryer and it will spin off all the excess water. Your clothes will feel slightly damp to the touch and should dry outside within an hour 🙂 If you’re low on power and can’t eat electricity up with the dryer you just do it the good ol’ fashioned way and wring everything out by hand and hang outside to dry.
Nothing like a cold beer and laundry on a Saturday afternoon 😉
Both of these items would be great for a camping trip, washing delicates, or cutting down on your energy and water usage! Or you could park your house by a creek and slap your clothes on wet rocks… that has been suggested to us on several occasions.
Things that do not wash well in the Wonder Wash:
Terry cloth towels. They are a pain to load into the spin dryer too… fortunately my sister got me hooked on Turkish Towels and they work fine in both appliances! They are much thinner than a normal towel and dry loads faster. They also are super cute and never get that gross “wet towel” smell. I highly suggest them even if you have a normal washer and dryer.
Jared’s work pants. Or any really thick work pants for that matter! They take up a lot of space and never seem to come out clean enough. Everything else we wash turns out fine, but work pants are just that… work. We have been using a friends washer to wash this type of item. Will probably go to laundry mat once a month in the future to get them nice and clean!
Dog beds… to an extent. Yes the washer gets them clean, but without a heat dryer all the hair doesn’t come off! We have a border collie and a pug mix, so lots of hair! To be straight with you I don’t really care. As soon as the dogs lay on it once it’s absolutely coated in fur. If you’re a little OCD about dog hair you’re going to be unhappy…
So that’s how we do laundry in the off grid tiny house! Hope this helps you future tiny house folks. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for us please send us an email or leave a comment!