Laundry in a Tiny House: Pros & Cons

One of the first questions people ask me AFTER “You really live in a tiny house?” is, “But how do you do your laundry in a tiny house?“

Well, there are actually a few options when it comes to laundry in a tiny house. Let’s check out the pro’s and con’s of each option:

Wash your clothes at a laundromat.

This actually isn’t a bad option, depending on where you’re parked. Many RV parks have laundry mats on site, so at least you don’t have to drive across town to do laundry. But, you do have to pay for every load to wash and dry, which can get pricey.

PRO: Save space inside your house.

CON: Have to pay for every load, and have to leave your house to wash laundry.

Install a combo washer/dryer inside your tiny house.

There are many tiny houser’s who choose this route. It can be convenient to throw one load into a machine, and when you take it out it’s clean and dry. Most try to find a smaller sized unit, such as the LG 24″ Washer/Dryer Combo 2.3 cu. ft. I will tell you, though, I have friends who have used a unit such as this one and they say it takes HOURS for their clothes to dry, and sometimes even then they still come out damp. Plus, it’s pricey.

PRO: Laundry can be done inside your house; No need to move laundry from a washer to a dryer.

CON: Laundry can take hours for one load; Laundry can come out damp; Initial cost for the unit can be pretty high (up around $1k for most units).

Use a manual washer for your clothes and line dry.

Drip hanger in tiny home
We dry our clothes on a drip hanger inside.

A manual washer is something that washes your clothes without the use of electricity. There are a few on the market, but the most prevalent is the Wonder Washer. This little machine allows you to add a small load of laundry, manually crank the handle to tumble and clean the clothes, and then drain the dirty water.

You can stop there and line dry, OR, you can utilize a few other products to make it a bit easier.

The next step is to move the clothes from the Wonder Wash to a Spin Dryer.  Think “salad spinner, but for clothes.”  The Spin Dryer does use electricity, but it’s a very small electric draw, and it doesn’t have to run for long.  It will remove all of the excess water from your clothes, so that when you hang dry them, they can take minutes instead of hours to dry.

The last step is to hang dry them.  I found this nifty drying rack with clips, the Whitmore Clip and Drip Hanger, and it works well for my small loads of laundry  We use this because we don’t have the ability for a large drying line outside, plus, I can hang it inside my house and keep the clothes out of the way, even if it’s raining outside.

PRO: Save money on electricity; Save money on the appliances; Can do laundry from home.

CON: Have to do small loads often; Can’t “set it and forget it”; If hanging clothes outside, have to be mindful of the weather.

We use the manual method for laundry in our tiny house. For things like blankets or comforters, I’ll take those to a laundromat because they are just a little too cumbersome to use in the Wonder Wash, but I’ll do sheets and towels at home. I try to do a load of laundry every 2-3 days, otherwise I run out of room on my drying rack!  

From start to finish, I’d say a load of laundry probably takes 20-30 minutes to do. It’s a pretty easy process, and I like that I’m saving money on electricity and I don’t have to leave the house!

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