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Posted by Adam Verwymeren | Nov 04, 2011

Countertop Washing Machines

Are these better than the laundromat? Is going back to the days of the hand wringer really the right direction for broke urban residents?

This is the Laundry Pod. We got the photo from their website. As you can see, it's like a salad spinner for your clothes.For apartment dwellers, the long hike to the laundromat with a heavy sack of dirty clothes or a cumbersome cart is one of the most dreaded parts of the week. While it would be great to add a washing machine and dryer, many urban inhabitants simply don't have the space or the money. However, several companies are marketing countertop laundry solutions that promise to free us from the clutches of quarter-consuming laundromats. So if you've ever thought of adding a washer and dryer to your apartment, check out some of these options.

The Laundry Pod

The Laundry Pod touts itself as a more convenient and environmentally-friendly way to do laundry. The device itself is pretty simple. Fill the Pod with a small load of laundry and let it soak for several minutes. Then, feed the Pod's hose into a nearby sink, spin the handle on top to wring your clothes of excess water, and finish drying on a clothes line.

While a nice alternative to the laundromat, the Laundry Pod's $100 price tag is pretty steep, considering this is basically just an oversized salad spinner. But if you'd like something basic to do the occasional load of lightly soiled clothes, the Laundry Pod is a good investment.

The Laundry Alternative

The Laundry Alternative has a tag-teaming duo that can wash and wring your clothes dry. The Wonder Wash ($43) is a hand-cranked washing machine that works much like the Laundry Pod. And the company's Spin Dryer ($145), is an electric alternative to the manual spin cycle found on the Laundry Pod.

While more convenient than a fully manual option, it's unfortunate that the company doesn't combine the two into a single tabletop unit. Transferring a load from the Wonder Washer to the Spin Dryer and then on to a clothes line seems like a lot of work to wash two or three pairs of jeans.

Panda Washer

The Panda Washer ($100) is another popular mini-laundry solution. While it doesn't offer a spin cycle, the Panda Washer does the work of swirling the water to give your clothes a deeper clean. Paired with The Laundry Alternative's Spin Dryer, this is your most hands-off way to do a load.

Haier Dryer

A counter top washer is great, but it's of little use if you don't have the space for a clothes line. Haier makes a dryer ($246) that is less than 3 cubic feet, small enough to fit in even the most cramped studio apartments. Not only does the Haier solve your space problems, but it also works with a regular 120-volt plug, so you avoid the cost of hiring an electrician to install the 240-volt hookup required by most larger dryers.

Adam Verwymeren is a Networx - http://www.networx.com - writer. Get home & garden ideas like this - http://www.networx.com/article/sort-of-decent-fake-washing-machines-for - on Networx.

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