Apartment living definitely has its strong points but going to the laundry room isn't one of them. Communal laundry facilities in apartment buildings are inconvenient and often poorly maintained. Commercial neighborhood laundromats are increasingly hard to find and expensive to use. So it's natural to want to wash and dry your clothing in the convenience of your own home. Fortunately, there are some options that let you do just that.
A portable machine is smaller than a stationary machine, generally ranging from 1.6 to 2.6 cubic feet in capacity, though ultra-compact 1.0 cubic foot modelsand larger 3.0 cubic feet models can also be found. To understand the capacity, a 1.5cubic feet machinewill roughly hold two pajama tops, one pajama bottom, two sweatshirts, one pair of jeans, two shirts, and one dress.
All portables are top-load machines. Portable washers have rollers, casters, or other means of moving the unit around inside the apartment. Special connectors allow you to attach the washer's supply line directly to a sink faucet, much the way portable dishwashers work.
You must hook up the machine each time you want to use it. Many owners keep the quick connector attached to the faucet at all times. But during use, the washing machine hose does need to be attached to the connector, and the discharge hose needs to be expelling water into the bathtub or sink. This renders both the sink and tub unusable for that period.
If you're interested in true minimalism and efficiency, a combination washer and dryer might be right for your apartment. Efficiency is literally built into this machine: Clothes that have been washed remain in the machine and seamlessly pass to the drying cycle. These machines also do have wash-only and a dry-only option.
Saving space is the main benefit of combination washer/dryer machines since you have only one machine, not two. With many combo units, you'll still need the same hookups as with standard washers and dryers, though: power, hot and cold water, and a 4-inch drying vent. Some combo units have a no-vent dryer option. This allows the machine to be located anywhere, with no need to vent the dryer to the exterior.
Technically, it should be possible to install a stationary machine in an apartment that does not have hook-ups. Although stationary machines discharge water most efficiently when attached to a dedicated drainage waste line, there is always the option of discharging into a laundry sink or bathtub. The power source is the conventional120-volt three-pronged outlet found in most apartments, so you can plug them in anywhere.
Water supply is the main drawback of stationary washing machines. In the absence of dedicated hot and cold water hook-ups, the other option is to connect the water supply lines to the supply valves located under a kitchen or bathroom sink. Because washing machine hoses are threaded differently than sink supply lines, this is generally not a practical option.
Drying clothes is an easier task in an apartmentsince there are no plumbing hookups to worry about. There are two options: a compact electric dryer running on conventional 120-volt power or line-drying by hanging up the clothes.
Conventional stationary dryers are likely not an option. Standard electric models run on 240-volt power, while gas models require a natural gas hook-up. Neither are present in most apartments not meant for washer/dryer hookups.
Mini dryers in the range of 2.6 to 3.6 cubic feet are available, and they plug into conventional 120-volt outlets. Most dryers do need to vent the hot, moist air, however, so they must be located near a window. You should not vent the dryer directly into your apartment.
Some compact dryers have optional wall-mount brackets, allowing you to place the dryer above the washer and save valuable floor space. Dryers should always go over washers, as these appliances are lighter in weight than the washers.
On the downside, compact dryers draw less power than astationary dryer and therefore require more drying time. Venting through a window means keeping the window partially open, which can a problem during cold winter months.
Non-venting dryers recycle expelled hot air to use in the dryer again. Extracted, condensed water ends up in an internal tank or is drained externally. Non-venting dryers are slow and are more expensivethree or four times the cost of vented dryers.
Indoor line-drying is entirely feasible on a small scale and is made simpler when you begin with a portable drying rack. Because of drips, remember to place the rack on waterproof flooring (most bathroom floorsand some kitchen floors will be waterproof).
After your apartment application was approved, both you and the owner or the owner's agent signed an apartment lease agreement. Begin by carefully checking your written agreement, which may address the washing machine issue in one of three ways:
When the installation of a washer or combo is allowed in an apartment, it will be spelled out in exact terms, not implied. Rental agreements rarely include this as a standard language. Washing machine provisions will likely be found in the form of an addendum or clause that both the renter and the landlord/owner have agreed to.
When washing machine installation is not allowed, again this restriction term will be clearly expressed and not implied in the contract's language. A similar example is a familiar clause written into contracts that forbid water beds in rental properties.
More common, though, is a lease agreement that has no literal mention of allowing or disallowing washers and dryers. The lease may, however, mention events that could be related to these appliances, such as restrictions against flooding,repairs, and alterations to the apartment.
Living in New York City, I never thought Id actually be able to have laundry in my apartment. Real estate is scarce and even 500 square feet can feel like a luxury here much less laundry in the apartment!
We ended up purchasing the Bosch compact washer and dryer since they seemed to be the most commonly purchased compact washer dryer combo in New York. Bosch alsohas service reps in the area in case of any issues.
I got a couple questions from people wanting to see some photos of the finished washer dryer installation. Unfortunately my kitchen is a narrow galley layout and its a little too tight to get proper photos.
Overall, the website was really easy to navigate, they offer a slight extra discount for purchasing through them and they price match. Everything was delivered well packaged and right to our door, plus we got free shipping.
For affordability and effectiveness, you cant beat the Bosch washer and dryer machines, as theyre solidly middle of the pack when it comes to price yet offer extremely fast spin cycles and the smallest washer dryer combo on the market.
The 1,400 rpm spin speed pre-dries your clothes so you can count on a fast air dry or quicker machine dry. Meanwhile, the Bosch vent-less condenser dryer piggybacks off the washer, so you only need one 220 voltage outlet for the pair.
It also means I have to throw my clothes around the doors in the middle instead of just easily tossing from washer to dryer. Not a big deal, but nice to see that Bosch continually improves their laundry appliance designs.
If you workout or sweat a lot, and have heavier thicker duty fabrics, you might prefer the 60 minute wash cycle which is more thorough. You can also use a stronger detergent, like Tide for extra cleaning power.
HE detergents are specially formulated as low sud solutions, so they prevent the bubble overload from happening. Theyre also designed to work better with cold water, and most compact washing machines will use cold water, as theyre designed to be as energy efficient as possible.
Some people complained about the fact that the appliances require a 220 voltage outlet, but I didnt see this as an issue. For one, Bosch is a European manufacturer so the voltage reflects its European production.
Secondly, most people installing a compact washer are likely doing it in an apartment where you need to hire a contractor for the installation anyway. Contractors can easily install the proper outlet for you.
If youre swapping out old laundry appliances and dont want to fuss with installing 220V, look at the Miele appliance options. Theyre a higher end brand that Bosch and their latest 2020 model is available in a 110 voltage option!
The Bosch washer has a pretty strong vibration during the spin cycle (but is reported to be quieter than all other models). In the beginning, the vibration and noise made me really nervous and I would watch the machine like a hawk.
Compact dryers use steam to dry so the clothes will still feel damp when you spot check.Just let them sit outside the machine for a couple of minutes and dry out and youll find the dryer does a pretty good job!
Its time-consuming and annoying to say the least! Because Bosch places the drain on the very bottom of the machine, at least some water will flood out during the manual draining process and likely damage your cabinets or floors.
If you have similar long hair or pets that shed, I definitely recommend cleaning all the hair off your clothes first (and double checking pockets) before trust me, you dont want to go through that manual drain process!
It could be just that I live in New York City.. but I think in general any type of handyman charge is expensive, as theyll charge a flat fee to come to your home plus an hourly rate, billed in 15 minute increments.
Below, I share more about good things to look for when selecting a small washer dryer for your apartment, the best brands that specialize in making compact washers and dryers and finally, aggregated reviews for each washer/dryer combo.
Because our washer / dryer had to go in our apartment kitchen and space was a premium, we could only use a 24 washer and a 24 dryer and focused our appliance search on these compact, European style machines.
In addition to the smaller size, compact washers and dryers have a couple other functional differences so after weeks of research, we figured out that we needed to pay attention to the following specs:
The available models have slightly different depth and height dimensions across brands and their electrical and water hookup requirements can differ so to save yourself the trouble, buy both from the same brand.
Compact dryers are typically vent-less (more on what that means in the next section) and notoriously known for slow dry speeds so if youre between two washer models, opt for the washer that has higher spin speed.
On the other hand, compact dryers are ventless, meaning they dont vent to the outside. This makes sense, because usually its apartment or condo dwellers who buy a small dryer and with shared living you dont have the option to punch a hole to the exterior.
It pulls in air, heats it and tumble dries your clothes. Then, the condensation from your wet clothes is pushed to the air outside through the exhaust. Theyre cheaper to buy, can hold more clothes and dry faster than small ventless dryers.
You should expect double or triple the amount of time a normal vented dryer would take! Drying large items like thick towels and bed sheets takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, but they do get dry. The key is to take them out of the dryer and give the condensation a minute to evaporate.
Theyre very efficient and green, since they have almost no effect on climate control. Of course, with all the benefits comes a higher price tag. Heat pump ventless dryers are also pretty hard to find in the US look for a European manufacturer.
Its nice to have a matching set but we personally air dry our clothes on racks. Its much better for your clothes to air dry and ventless dryers take so long its not really worth using them on a weekly basis.
If you buy a dryer for your apartment, there are a couple of design considerations like the electrical voltage and appliance placement. I talk in-depth about that in this post where I cover our kitchen design and renovation.
I took a look again and was pleasantly surprised to see that GE and Samsung now make compact washers that can fit in an apartment kitchen or closet. These are cheaper than the European machines but slightly larger in terms of their dimensions.
Theyre well-regarded in Europe for their excellent build quality and make 98% of their product parts in their own factories. Miele has also built a reputation for long-lasting products that dont often require repair.
The washing machines have a unique technology called automatic load recognition, where they adjust the amount of water and electricity used according to each individual load, so that your clothes are cleaned and rinsed efficiently.
Living in a New York City apartment means space is a premium! Over the years, we've learned to ruthlessly purge our closets, adapt the Konmari method and max out every inch of space. Despite the challenges, we love interior design, NYC real estate and wouldn't trade living here for anywhere else. Follow along on our small space living adventure!
Hi, Im hoping that you can recommend a stackable Washer and Dryer to fit into a Parisian apartment. There is adequate space where they will eventually sit, but to get there, they must pass through two doorways with a maximum width of 22-3/4 inches if I take the doors off their hinges. Any suggestions would be most greatly appreciated. Thank you, J M Hine
Hi John, Ooh a Paris apartment sounds like a dream. Im sorry, I dont know any smaller washer dryers but if youre in Europe you probably have access to more European brands and small size appliances than we do in the US.
I am looking at the Samsung 24 inch washer/vented dryer. But I could modify my closet to fit a 27 inch LG washer/dryer. It would stick out a couple inches. I am worried about the reliability of the compact units since there are not as many of them sold. I used to have a 3.1 cu ft washer and it worked great. I think the 2.2 cu ft unit may be too small. Any thoughts?
I bought the Bosch Stackable Washer and dryer and it was the worst purchase of my life. The washer leaked water after less than twenty loads and caused water damage. Needless to say, the washer went to the landfill. The Bosch customer service is a waste of time.
Hi Margie Hm, who did you purchase it from and did they do the install? It sounds like the washer may have been set up incorrectly. I can see why youd be upset leaking water is my worst nightmare since I live in an apartment building. I dont know what Id do if there was water damage! I used Boschs repair service and found it OK, but appreciate the you sharing your experience.
Hi Julie due to the placement of the water line in the apartment, we had to install the washer on the right, and the dryer on the left. The sink is on the far right. i guess traditional American households have the washer on the left but if the door hinges were interchangeable, like I think the newer models are, then it would have been a little nicer!
Any insight regarding the difference? Not sure if they still make washing machines that I can simply hook up to the faucet when well wash or if the washers that are made today require hooking up under the sink only.
check with your landlord if its ok.. most leases in the city forbid them (nyc buildings have very old pipes that can burst or get clogged and oof that potential water damage would terrify me). but it doesnt hurt to ask!
We have constraints on the depth of our washer and dryer, but no restraints on the width. Did you happen across any washers or dryers that are 25 deep, but that still fit large loads? The one we need to replace is 35h x 25d x 27w