What do small apartment owners and renters have in common with outdoor campers, RV’ers, and those who spend their days living off the grid? If your answer was “reduced access to convenient laundry facilities,” – you’re absolutely right.
The feeling of smelling the fresh scent of laundry detergent on your clean clothes when it’s laundry day is a hard one to beat, even more so when you’re down to your last clean shirt for the week.
For city dwellers and outdoor warriors who don’t have space nor the facilities to own a full washer and dryer unit to do their laundry, a portable washing machine is a godsend.
It provides you with the convenience and in some cases – the luxury of having all of your clothes clean without having to wait for an empty washing machine for hours at a busy laundromat or calling a friend to ask for a favor and to use their washing machine and dryer for the afternoon.
Can you wash jeans in a portable washing machine?
Portable washing machines are nifty little gadgets, but what If you wear a lot of denim in your day-to-day life?
It’s a fact that denim weighs almost twice as heavy when it is soaked in water, and in a hand wash situation, it takes a lot of effort just to get through a load of 2 or 3 jeans.
Portable washing machines are small and portable, but they’re unfortunately not as robust as conventional washing machines, which can take heavy denim loads in the wash and spin cycle without sounding like a Mongolian war drum at the start of a battle.
All things considered, however, there is nothing to prove that you can’t wash your jeans in a portable washing machine.
Most modern portable washing machines are built with much more substantial materials than older models and can hold loads ranging from a minimalistic 4 pounds up to a whopping 12 pounds of laundry – enough for a small family.
And if you own a portable washing machine with a capacity somewhere in between, chances are you’ll be able to clean a load of denim with ease.
How do you wash your jeans in a portable washing machine?
On most automatic portable washing machines, you can choose different speeds, fabric types, and levels of cleaning – similar to the interface of a conventional heavy-duty washing machine. There should be an option to wash jeans or, in general, denim.
Otherwise, you can put the settings on your machine to the heaviest setting for optimal cleaning experience. Also, remember to use warm water (up to 110ºF) when cleaning your jeans as the detergent-water solution works best at that temperature to thoroughly clean heavy fabric like denim.
If you’re using a manual portable washing machine with a hand crank or foot-powered spin mechanism, then it’s best to clean your jeans one at a time – or at the very most, two at a time.
This is to prevent overloading your manual washing machine and the spin mechanism, ensuring that you don’t break anything as denim when soaked in water and detergent can get really heavy inside the washtub.
How many jeans can you wash in a portable washing machine?
Generally, a 7 pound or similar capacity portable washing machine can fit four denim jeans for effective cleaning and spin-drying without causing any issues.
If yours is a larger machine of 12 pounds capacity or more, then you’d probably be able to fit around 6 to 7 jeans realistically before cleaning quality starts to be reduced.
Larger machines can sometimes be pain a to store away. In a recent article I discuss places to hide a portable washing machine when not in use.
Alternatively, It largely depends on the rated capacity of your portable washing machine. Refer to your user manual to find out how many articles of clothing you can put in your portable washing machine.
Considerations when washing jeans in a portable washing machine
Washing your jeans in a portable washing machine is similar to washing other laundry – however, you should try and minimize mixing fabric types as much as possible.
This means that if you’ve scheduled laundry day for your denim, plan ahead for your other clothes like your socks and shirts, and take special care not to mix any delicates like bras, silk, or any other fabrics that might get damaged when washed together with jeans, which are heavy items that can damage other fabrics when placed in a high-speed wash or spin cycle.
Another thing you should consider is the risk of color run from your jeans when they’re placed in the wash – this is a common issue, no matter if you use a conventional washing machine or a portable one.
Avoid mixing your jeans or denim with any bright colors when washing them together, or you might end up with darkened colors on your bright clothing, or even worse – splotches of indigo from the denim transplanted onto your whites, although these aren’t too common.
Still, it’s prudent to mitigate any kind of risk whatsoever if you want to keep your clothes looking good for a long time.
Once you’ve washed your jeans, it’s always a good idea to put it through a spin-dry cycle if you have one available (most automatic portable washing machines should have this function included).
Denim is notoriously hard to dry when it is soaking wet, and if you live in a place without an abundance of sunshine when you hang your jeans outdoors, it can take days to have it fully dry.
Owning a portable washing machine is a great solution for those who live in small spaces or those who live on the road and don’t have access to proper laundry facilities.
And for those who wear their jeans on a daily basis, you can definitely use the power of your portable washing machine to its full potential.
With most modern portable washing machines on the market featuring dedicated settings to handle loads like bedding, towels, and of course – jeans, you have the convenience of a full-sized conventional washing machine that takes up less space and, more importantly, at a lower cost.