Portable Washer Dryers for Apartments Without Hookups : Know More!

Portable Washer Dryers for Apartments Without Hookups : Know More!

Living in an apartment without laundry hookups can make washing clothes a chore. Lugging baskets of dirty laundry to the laundromat is time-consuming, inconvenient, and costly over time. Investing in a portable washer and dryer for apartments without hookups is an excellent solution.

These compact combo units provide the functionality of both a washer and dryer in one machine. They can be easily moved from room to room and don’t require special plumbing or venting. The convenience makes them ideal for apartment living.

Overview of Portable Washers and Dryers

Portable washer dryer combos provide a similar functionality to full-sized or stackable washer and dryers but in a smaller, movable unit. They hook up to a basic sink faucet and drain in a shower, kitchen or bathroom. Some filter and recycle water while running to conserve resources.

The wash and dry cycles are complete in the same drum on combo units. They clean clothes using a rotating drum, detergent, and water then dry clothes by tumbling them with heated air. Most models have customizable settings with options for fabric type, load size and level of soil.

The Convenience for Apartment Living

The portable size and lack of hardwired hookup needs make these washers versatile for small homes. Since they hook up to a faucet, they can be stored in a closet or unused corner and moved next to a sink during laundry day. The ability to wash and dry a load completely in one unit is very convenient.

Types of Portable Washers and Dryers

There are a few design options that provide portable laundry functionality such as compact washers and ventless dryers. But combining both cycles in one unit offers maximum convenience.

Compact Washer and Dryer Combo Units

All-in-one washer dryer combo units allow you to wash and dry laundry in the same drum. They are powered by electricity but can either hook up to the sinks plumbing for water supply or some have integrated manual fill reservoirs.


  • All-in-one washing and drying
  • Stackable to maximize floorspace
  • Ventless drying releases steam but no ducting required


  • Small capacity loads compared to full size
  • Long dry times to avoid fire hazard with ventless heat
  • Condensation build up needs drain line for collection

Portable Washing Machines

These hook up to sink faucets just like combo units but they lack a drying functionality. They require clothes be hung up or taken to a separate dryer after washing.


  • Low cost purchase price
  • Compact size for storage
  • Simple gravity drain connection


  • Clothes require separate drying solution
  • Water supply hookups can leak if not fully tightened

Ventless Dryers

Ventless dryer units offer a heat drying solution but lack an integrated washing capacity. They require clothes be washed in advance either by hand or separate unit.


  • Compact and portable
  • Fast drying with heated cycle
  • No venting duct requirements


  • Manual washing labor
  • Moisture released into room instead of vented outdoors

Key Features to Consider

There are a few key specifications and settings to evaluate when selecting the best portable combo unit for apartments without laundry hookups.

Size and Capacity

The units are smaller than full size machines so the capacity is limited. Standard portable units handle between 10-25 pounds per cycle depending on efficiency and design. Make sure to compare drum size, dimensions, weight limits and technology when maximizing desired load allowance.

Water Source Requirements

Most portable combo units utilize a hook up to a sink, shower or bathtub faucet to supply water instead of hardwired plumbing connections. Some more advanced designs recirculate water internally using an integrated tank reservoir to conserve. The drain outlet attaches via hose to a pipe or flows into a sink or tub drain.

Power Source (Electric or Manual)

Standard portable designs run on a 120-volt electric outlet but more advanced eco units utilize manual power alternatives. An electric motor provides the highest washing and drying performance but isn’t always necessary.

Some people prefer non-electric, manual crank or pedal powered options for off-grid operation and independence from utilities.

Washing and Drying Cycles

Make sure the washer dryer combo includes cycles and settings suitable for your laundry demands. Most offer multiple wash cycles with varying combinations of time length, wash motion, rinse settings and spin speed.

Standard drying cycles utilize a heated tumble method with timed cycles of air temperature variations to dry items without overheating.

Energy Efficiency

Advanced portable washer dryers utilize technology improvements that enhance efficiency over more dated designs. Digital controls give more precision for optimizing water temperature, wash time and dryer heat based on the fabric load.

Specialized motors extract more water to reduce drying time. And recirculated, self-contained water tanks provide eco savings too.

Noise Level

Operation volume ranges widely depending on motor design and mounting setup. Vibration and humming is reduced on quality designs with features like sound covers, specialized mounting frames and isolated pump motors. Make sure to check decibel ratings and customer reviews regarding noise before purchase.

Portability and Storage

Standard portable washer dryers range from 100-200 pounds. Wheels or rollers make moving easier when empty. Make sure your space allows adequate flow around the unit to roll in and out of position over thresholds. Some stacking kits allow units to be secured vertically to maximize storage when not washing.

Installation and Setup

Properly setting up a portable washer dryer combo ensures safe, effective performance and longevity. Taking time to follow good practices avoids leaks, accidents or malfunctions.

Step-by-Step Installation Guide

1. Clear a space: Make sure the area has an outlet plus access to a sink/tub faucet. Allow 15-39″ clearance on all sides for venting moisture. The floor must be even and hold roughly 200 pounds stacked.

2. Position the unit: Place on a mat to catch drips. Level by twisting adjustable feet. The drain outlet should reach a standpipe. If stacking units, use a bracket kit.

3. Hook up hoses: Connect the hook up hose linking faucet to unit. Run drain hose to a pipe, drain or tub/sink. Secure fittings with clamps.

4. Plug into grounded outlet: Make sure hands are dry before connecting power cord to avoid a shock. Don’t use extension cords or overload circuits.

5. Run a test cycle: Use only water first. Check for leaks at all connections. The drain should expel water without overflowing sinks or tubs.

6. Run laundry: Add clothes evenly into drum avoiding overstuffing. Use HE efficient detergent per manual guidelines. Select wash/dry cycles suitable for fabrics. Maintain 18” min clearance while running.

7. Verify dryness: Don’t assume timer alone means contents are dry. Check items integrity before removing to avoid mildew risks. Run an extra dry cycle if needed.

Maintenance and Care

Routine upkeep sustains performance, prevents malfunctions and maximizes lifespan for portable washers and dryers. The main areas needing proactive attention include:

  • Cleaning the Machine
  • Use a soft cloth with mild soap and warm water monthly
  • Avoid abrasive cleansers or pads
  • Disinfect interior drum using bleach mixture to prevent mildew
  • Vacuum lint filter ducts preventing trapped buildup
  • Deodorize the tub using vinegar soak if mildew scent is present
  • Check and clear all drain outlet and hoses regularly

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Water pooling below unit? Check drain hose is clear of kinks plus secured tightly over a pipe or tub edge. Remove accumulating lint restricting outlet.

Won’t turn on? Check circuit breaker hasn’t tripped interrupting power supply. Plug unit into grounded 3 prong outlet not overloaded with competing devices.
Water leaks? Tighten connection points on hook up hose.

Make sure hot/cold supply lines include integrated vacuum breakers if linking to taps lacking backflow preventers. Consider adding leak pans underneath for overflow catching as backup.

Excess moisture or steam released? Avoid overloading drum capacity leading to wetness saturation post drying finale. Add spacers between cycles to provide better airflow.

Ensure room has adequate ventilation for moisture dissipation. Turn on exhaust fans, open windows and spread out fabrics promptly after drying.

Clothes smelling post wash? Must use specified high efficiency detergents to prevent residue sticking inside drum originating mildew funk. Run hot water rinse monthly leaving bleach mixture soak treating any build up.


Do Portable Washer Dryers Require Special Detergents?

High efficiency (HE) detergents should be used to prevent oversudsing and sensor issues. Standard soaps leave residue hampering performance.

Can Stackable Units Be Installed Side By Side?

Stackable washer dryer units utilize unique docking mechanisms only allowing them to be combined vertically utilizing mounting hardware. Side by side installation is not safely stable.

What Amperage Circuit Is Recommended?

These units pull high wattage when heat drying. Dedicated grounded 120V, 20 amp outlets work best avoiding overloading risks disrupting power supply causing malfunctions.

Are Portable Washers Bad For Clothes?

Not necessarily. The rotating drum and wash plate motion is similar to full size machines, just operating in smaller scale capacity batches. Following fabric care instructions and not overloading helps avoid problems.

Can Odor Build Up Happen Inside Even With Monthly Cleaning?

If mildew starts permeating clothes despite diligent cleaning try these steps: run tub scrubber cleaner pack treatment through full cycle, hand scrub door seal using toothbrush + bleach, or consider replacing door boot seal component hosting offending buildup.

Dealing with laundry sans permanent equipment gets challenging but portable washer and dryer for apartments without hookups present wonderful functionality making clothes cleaning much easier.

These compact combo units provide economical efficiency laundering small loads quickly right at home rather than lugging baskets to external mats endlessly.

Just be sure to evaluate key specifications closely related to capacity needs, feature requirements and operating conditions matching your lifestyle when selecting. Taking a small investment upfront saves hours upon hours over time. Here’s to keeping your wardrobe sparkling minus the chore hassles!

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