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How does one do laundry in tiny house?

In my current design, I have planned for an electric combo washer/dryer unit -- that way I have the convenience of doing laundry at home (albeit small amounts at a time) instead of having to find a laundromat. There are many factors to this choice, and I now find myself thinking of simpler, more energy and water efficient options.

tiny house laundry

For more tiny house laundry options, visit Tiny (house) Appliances

Some things to consider about having and washer/dryer unit in a tiny house are:

  • Space - unless you use a tiny, portable unit that can be placed in the shower (see below), is it worth using precious floor space for an appliance to be used one a week or every few days at most?
  • Power usage - if you are fully solar powered, this is probably the #1 issue.
  • Water usage - though they are fairly efficient, a standard unit will still use a good bit of water, and result in more graywater exiting your house as well.
  • Additional plumbing required - In trying to keep a tiny house design more affordable and easier to construct, additional plumbing for a washer/dryer may not be worth it.

The question is: How important is it that you can do laundry at home?

So far my answer is: it's pretty important! The travel time and costs associated with a weekly laundromat visit (not to mention possible inconvenience depending on my final location), don't seem very attractive to me. I'd rather use that time for other things.

So I've been thinking about the following options -- from large (and expensive) to small (and cheap):

LG 2.3 Cu. Ft. Ventless Washer/DryerLG 2.3 Cu. Ft. Ventless Washer/Dryer

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This unit has best reviews out of all the combo washer/dryer options below, but you certainly do pay for the better brand and reliability. This also has the largest capacity of the bunch. Though almost twice the price of the similar Haier option, I am tempted to go all out and get the better brand with better reviews to avoid possible headaches later with a product that does not perform as well as expected. It seems like a lot to pay when there are many cheaper options, but I consider my time as very valuable, and when I think of spending hours in a laundromat or on the phone with customer service for a cheaper product that failed....well, it makes me think maybe $1,500 isn't so much after all.

This model (and the other combo units below) are amazing in the that they do it all with few pushes of a button. Granted, the dry cycles tend to be very long (a couple hours), and sometimes some extra shorter dry cycles are needed to get clothes completely dry, but that is an issue will all ventless dryers.

EdgeStar Ventless Washer/Dryer ComboEdgeStar 2.0 Cu. Ft. Ventless Washer Dryer Combo

(~$900 -

This unit has better reviews than the Haier option below, and is only small step up in price. It's not quite as large as the LG option, but it's large enough -- and it's far less expensive. This is a great middle-of-the-road option for a washer/dryer combo that you can set and forget. It's not quite as highly-rated as the LG, but it's substantially cheaper, so more likely to fit within budget -- possibly the best value for your dollar.

Author's Note: This is the model we ended up getting. It's not perfect, but on the whole we are very happy with it!

[button link="" color="orange"]Read our review of this model[/button]

Haier 1.8 Cu. Ft. Combo Washer/DryerHaier 1.8 Cu. Ft. Combo Washer/Dryer

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Though smaller than your average washing machine (1.8 cu. ft.), this unit seems like it will be quite sufficient for a single person or couple living in a tiny house. No product that relies on spinning alone will ever get clothes perfectly dry, but I'm quite sure this one will be better than the two products below. During warmer months, clothes can be dried on a line outside, so this is only really a factor in the winter or in rainy climates. Clearly more expensive than the others below, this option is great for those who are wanting the most convenience and automation at the lowest price for this product type.

Haier Compact Washer and Tumble Dryer SetHaier Compact Washer and Tumble Dryer Set

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This might be the perfect middle-ground between manual and automatic units. Fairly cheap price, convenient, but for one thing...separate tumber! This means you'd have to stack them or mount them separately, thus maybe not taking up more floor space, but probably more vertical space than a single combo unit. Seems like a pretty nice option however, at a decent size, but much cheaper than a typical home washing machine

Panda washing machinePanda

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This product is a step up into the electric realm. It's still quite small and light, so it can be more portable, possible even stored farther out of site when not in use. It has separate washer and dryer spinners, with the drying half only half the capacity of the wash. So you'd have to dry twice for every wash load. Wash loads them selves still need to be kept small, but a bit larger than the Wonderwash. This might be a good option if you want something a bit more automated but still cheaper and simpler than than a normal appliance.

Wonderwash small manual washing machineWonderwash

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This little guy is the simplest of them all. Many people rate this product very highly. As long as you are OK with a completely manual solution that can only handle very small loads at a time, this might be your best bet. Can't beat the price!

Of course you'd have to line-dry all your clothes (even in winter) as there is no drying component.

What's your take on doing laundry in a tiny house? Does the convenience out way the added expense?

For more tiny house laundry options, visit Tiny (house) Appliances

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18 comments on “How does one do laundry in tiny house?”

  1. Wouldn't go with a combo machine - in my experience they never do either very well - and the load volume for each action is often different - ie 5kg washing but 2kg drying. You often end up having to do extra loads or end up with damp clothes. I'd go separate compact ones..

  2. I struggled with the same question, but since I don't have any indoor plumbing (aside from a very simply 12V pump to my sink from a jug on the floor), most combo options were not actually options. I have the benefit of living 400 feet from my parents who have a washer but no dryer. So I end up doing most of my laundry there and hanging clothes on lines in my tiny house. However I recently purchased the Wonder Wash for when I just want to do a small load and to do it at home. I love it, though I've only used it a handful of times. The only drawback is having to hand ring the clothes before hanging them - rough on the forearms! I don't think I'd want it to be my only option, though if I were living alone (I live with my partner), and I was willing and able to do sheets/big stuff somewhere else once a month, the Wonder Wash would get me through on day to day clothes no problem. I found a few spinner only options on Amazon, but haven't splurged on buying one yet! Just my experience.

    1. I applaud you on going without plumbing. Very cool! I don't think I'll want to do my laundry all by hand either. Will probably get some form of washer so I can get laundry done regardless of where I end up living. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  3. I had a Haier compact washer in my small mountain cabin and it was great. I dried my clothes outdoors, or indoors in colder weather and that was fine. I now live in a slightly bigger home, and we have a more expensive front loader washer, and it definitely does not clean clothes as well as that Haier I had. (and we still don't use a drier... waste of energy and space.) My wife & I actually considered a manual James Washer at first, but didn't feel we had the time to manually do our laundry. Maybe in the future...

    1. Thanks for the comment. I'm not sure where I will be living, so am trying to find at least some form of self-sufficiency with regards to laundry. I'll probably get a Haier or other washer so I can do slightly larger loads and not all by hand. My house will be tiny, but I'm not willing to give up all of the comforts just yet.

  4. My husband used an all-in-one unit when we rented an apartment while travelling and we found it very inefficient. Since you are living where you have to deal with wet and cold weather I think having a real dryer would be a plus. I think the travel time and costs associated with a weekly laundromat visit, plus the fact that they are not energy efficient, goes against the grain of the tiny house concept. And if you use your parents', or someone else's facilities, then you are no different than Waldon (whose Mommy brought him his meals and did his laundry for him). I would place my vote for the Haier set.

  5. I have to say I am one who had VERY bad luck with the Haier, having a very small percentage for error concerning being off-balance, and leveling. The company customer service actually doing anything was a year plus nightmare, with the WORST rating at BBB, until company finally left BBB site. This was a few years ago. What a nightmare each and every day! The dryer took forever and was more like a hair dryer trying to dry towels. I have dogs and wash a lot.
    Perhaps other people, having the needs of just one, would have a better experience. I know some people do. I have since purchased the LG and cannot say enough good about this wonderful compact set. Perfect! It has a condensing dryer, vented down my drain, was a little trouble figuring out how to connect, but if you can read, look at the pieces, watch the diagrams, it isn't bad. Like IKEA.

  6. I'm planning a stacking unit. Given that we plan to move off-grid after our build, I expect to need a generator to run the washer. We'll line dry most of the year, but need the dryer for winter. I have considered all of the options, but since I became disabled, just need it to be easy.

  7. I bought the LG front loader for my small condo, placed it against a wall I share with a
    neighbor and so far it's a disaster.
    Only now are people telling me, "Oh yes, front loaders tend to shake in the spin cycle." This one is a shake, rattle & roll nightmare, suitable for an I Love Lucy episode. Very discouraging, especially considering the cost. I don't care about drying, but I've had to stop the machine and hand wring clothes due to the shaking.
    We are still experimenting with leveling, non-skid pads, maybe a service call, but I'm not hopeful. Anyone have *good* experiences with a front load washer? Thanks!

    1. Did you ever happen to find a solution? We are same issue with a front loader and it feels like the house is going to tip over during the spin cycle!

  8. I wanted to leave a comment even though this is an old thread. I bought a Panda 2 tub washing machine and I LOVE it. I am renting while I live in a different area and going to the laundromat does not fit into my schedule. It cleans and wrings my clothes very well and I hang them on a hanger and then outside. When the weather is bad I hang them inside. They only take a few hours max when hung outside and typically dry overnight inside. Once dry, I put them in the closet and laundry is done.

    1. Thanks, Rene! That's really good feedback. I haven't heard of anyone who has that model. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  9. Pandas are good units, but I have a Hot Point dryer now that I use a lot (115 volts). It dries just as fast as a large 220v dryer, but with only 1/2 as many clothes in it. Venting was super-easy as I was able to utilize downspout parts from an old rain gutter, and route it out a window where I mount an A/C unit. One simple hole cut into a plywood board I use as filler beside the A/C unit and I was done, except for adding a self-closing vent cover screwed into the board, of course. As for washing machines, all the brands I have messed with are great, and with a portable unit you can just run the discharge hose into your bath tub or kitchen sink, and wheel it out of the way when not in use.

    For a washer, check-out the Daewoo Wall Mount "Mini" Front Loading Washing Machine. Currently these are marketed as 220v machines by importers, though the company is preparing a US (115v) version soon.

  10. I currently live right next to a laundromat but since I am a fibre artist specializing in wool I have a lot of experience handwashing. One item that really should be on here is the spin dryer from laundry solutions. It is incredible. Throw your wet clothes in without wrigning and within a few minutes its nearly dry without any heat. Throw it on a line and it will be dry in no time at all.

  11. I saw a tiny washer with a sink on top for the bathroom. It was on pintrest. I can't find where to look. If it helps they also had toilets with the sink on top. It uses the gray water to flush the toilet. Please help me.

  12. I want a washer/dryer, probably stackable in my tiny house. but I understand moisture is an issue, and I know the ventless combo machines produce a lot of moisture (based on lots of reading I did when I considered one for my apartment) so I will avoid those at all costs. (not to mention shaking, not drying the clothes, leaks, etc)

  13. Old thread, but still commenting.

    I have a more recent Australian model of the LG washer/dryer and I absolutely love it. I bought it preowned for $700 in excellent condition and it's one of the best things I've bought.

    One of the biggest downsides is the long drying times, but that doesn't bother me terribly. I'm physically disabled and unable to hang clothes on a line manually or even transfer a wet load from one machine to another, so to be able to wash and dry sheets and blankets and jeans is an absolute wonder to me and so empowering that at last I can be entirely self-sufficient in this regard.

    Another big downside is the weight. Hoo boy does that thing weigh a ton. It easily weighs three times as much as a regular washing machine. On one hand, it means it doesn't bounce everywhere and act like it's about to take off into orbit whenever it's got a load in it (which is something that terrifies me, so I'm glad this one doesn't), but I wonder how much it would affect the mobility of a portable home (I'm in a small but permanent home).

    I also like that it beeps out a cheery little song when it finishes, because I never hear just one or two beeps, but a happy little tune that lasts 20sec I actually pick up on. It also automatically does a wrinkle-free 'cooldown' mode after drying (unless cancelled) which means I don't have to own or use an iron or ironing board and still have a wardrobe of unwrinkled clothing.

  14. I have a zokop I got from eBay for $99. It is a washer and spin dryer twin tub. You can run both sides simultaneously. I cannot do as much at once, however, it is remarkably fast. I get a load done and hung to dry in half the time the laundry facility in my mobile home park takes. I set the unit on my bathroom counter and it gravity drains into the sink. The spin dryer gets the close about 90% dry, and I hang them. They dry very quickly. It is empowering to not spend money on the Park's machines. Plus, my clothing is cleaner.