Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Lean Green Washing Machine

This post is a bit different from usual, but I want to share the new system I've got for doing my laundry.

I like finding ways to be more off-grid and economical, and so far I've been very pleased with this change.

(This is the brand I happen to have: the 'Wonder Washer' and Dryer.)

I like this system because I:

- save tons of money. Seriously, the laudromats near me use like $15 per load to wash and dry. Now my only cost is detergent.
- save time. No schlepping or hauling my hamper around, and no waiting at the 'mat while my clothes tumble about.
- do laundry any time I want, wearing whatever the heck I want, and am free to do other tasks around the house at the same time.


- dirty stuff

- detergent

- running water

A full hamper has to be divided up into a few washes (unfortunately).

First: Assemble the washer. It's easy, just read the directions.


1. Pour the recommended amount of detergent into the empty washer (I've learned to sit the washer directly in my tub, for easy filling and emptying).

2. Fill the washer with water, temperature-depending on the load.

3. Secure the lid as tightly as possible - this is important. I use a washcloth to turn the knob as far as it goes. The washer works based on creating a vacuum inside, which uhh magically makes the soap push through the clothes ... OK, I'm foggy on the details.

4. Turn the crank for a few minutes (the directions tell you how long, I just crank until I get bored).

5. Drain the washer. Fill with water again for the rinse cycle, and repeat.


1. Position the dryer so that the spout is over the tub, if possible.

If not, put a large container under the spout - water will be rushing out.

(I didn't read the directions, and learned that the hard way ... see photo of angry Amanda yelling at peeing-on-the-floor dryer below)(He was obviously nervous.)
2. Fold the items into the dryer in a zig-zag motion so that they lay as flat and compact as possible. The dryer won't work if the load is out of balance.

3. Flip the handle to turn on the dryer. Watch all that water pour out.

4. When the water stops coming out, flip the handle back, remove clothes, and hang them to dry.

It might seem silly to 'dry' and then still have to hang things up, but it makes a major difference. If I hang things outside, it only takes about an hour for most things to be done. If I hang them inside, less than a day.

(Heavy-duty things like jeans and bedclothes do better with a real washer, but they can be pretreated for stains and then washed this way, as well.)


  1. I had that little wonder washer when I first moved out here but ended up selling it on eBay. It did not work for me as my husband was and still is, rebuilding our house, and built our barn and cleared our land. He got his clothes too dirty for that little washer. I have since replaced it with the Mobile Washer which I wrote a post about on both of my blogs.

  2. I high-tailed it over to check your system out - you're a tough lady! Thanks for your comment!