Home   |   The Boat   |   First Mate   |   Admiral   |   Guestbook 

  

Date: 14 February 2019. Best Choice Washer.

janice142

Alert: I ran on at the fingertips. You might wish to pour yourself a beverage. This is a long article.

Over the years I have changed the way I do laundry aboard Seaweed. About a year ago I decided to buy a portable electric washer. On Amazon I found one for just $55. My experience with said unit has been both frustrating and fabulous. Today I'll share my triumphs and the not-so-great details of Blue.
 

This is the washer/spinner I bought. It is the Best Choice Portable
Mini Washing Machine with Drainage Tube 6.6 lb capacity affiliate link


The reason I chose the Best Choice brand is because of price. Additionally, it has a small spinner basket. That feature would eliminate the need to wring out my clothes and bedding. Squeezing water out of sheets and blankets is not easy.

 

There was an issue right off the bat. The washer was taller and wider than the Amazon description indicated. Unfortunately the height was just the First Problem. The unit would not fit in the locker under my bunk.
 


affiliate link
Best Choice Portable Mini Washing Machine
with Drainage Tube 6.6 lb capacity


The washer/spinner by Best Choice is 21" tall.
It is 14.5" wide measuring handle to handle,
and 14.5" deep including the rear carrying handle.


Side Note: Due to the placement of the motor, it is not possible to safely lay this machine on its side. Storage must be vertical.


On any vessel it is critically important that our gear fit in its designated spot. Aboard Seaweed I really don't have a good place for the washer I bought. In the meantime I am looking for a piece of 3/8" thick starboard to build a shelf for the thing.



If possible, I'd like to store my washer/spinner just above this step.
 

Frankly I am intimidated by the whole construction process. Ideally this washer will wedge under the side deck. It will be secured to a shelf attached to the inner liner of my cabin. Just above the step into my forward cabin is the perfect spot.


Unfortunately, every angle in that location is wonky.


The washer has to be raised because otherwise the unit would take up too much of the step. Because the boat slants outbound for the hull lifting it 9" above the step would be ideal. Maybe!!! And that ladies and gents is the Second Problem.


Because the washer is taller than I anticipated,
it won't fit in a locker with 18" of head space.


Regardless of the grumbles, I still love the dang thing some of the time. Here's why:
 

I can wash a load and a half of clothes in just 9 to 12 gallons of water. That includes two rinse cycles.

 

 

 

To fill the washer is a chore. The spigot part won't attach to my galley sink.

 

FILL HOSE fits here.
CAP/PLUG keeps water from splashing.

This part is supposed to attach to my sink faucet.

My faucet is too large for the hose opening.

 


Even if the hose attached I would still have to turn it on to fill, then off when the water was at the proper level. All in all, even in the best of circumstances this is a manual machine. It requires a lot of physical work.
 

Hoisting the pails and bending over to fill the washer tub is not easy.

 


Instead of the hose I use a pair of buckets.
 

Years ago I bought three round storage pails from the Dollar Tree. I've used them as wash basins.
 

Now I use them to fill the washer. It's not the easiest chore.
The pails are sturdy. Two fill the washer to the three gallon level.

 

Water is always at a premium aboard a boat. In order to use the least amount of water possible I have a laundry system.
 

First I fill the Best Choice washer to the half way mark. Then I add just less than a tablespoon of Tide laundry detergent. In order to get the soap well mixed in, I stir the tub with my measuring spoon. This removes the detergent residue so I can put away a clean spoon.

Side Note: I like the smell of Tide. Because my loads are so small and the amount of Tide used is miniscule I don't feel too extravagant in buying the high-dollar name brand detergent.


Regardless of the hassle involved when using the Best Choice machine,
washing aboard the boat is far better than hauling everything to shore. Ugh!!!


Prior to washing I split my clothes into two piles. One contains the least dirty items. That would include my shower towel, a nightie or two, and shirts. Dirtier items such as those worn in bilges or while working on the boat would be separated into a second pile. Those clothes that are least dirty are washed first, thus the initial wash water can be utilized for both loads.
 

If I washed the grubby bilge clothes first the water would be too dirty for the second load. That would cost me 3 extra gallons of water.


I select the cleanest half of my laundry and add it to the washing machine.

The agitator is powerful.
 

It is at these times that I love the Best Choice washer. Even though I have been hand washing my clothing for years, there is a special feeling of contentment when I don't have to scrub shirts and sheets clean. Washing bedding by hand in the sink is a real pain in the transom. This washer does a great job of that chore.
 

 

The agitation is aggressive. Therefore I bought a laundry bag to protect my special items.

 

This blouse has beautiful beaded buttons.

 

I was afraid the buttons would be ripped off by the swish of this washing machine. Thus I went to Walmart and purchased the Evercare Delicate Garment Mesh Bag. ← affiliate link


 

I am impressed by the fabric in this item. The zipper is hidden and will not snag on other items in the washer. It is standing up well to use. This Evercare Mesh Bag is far superior to those I've seen at  discount stores. The holes are of a finer mesh. Though costly at $5, I believe this is an item that is worth retail pricing.
 

Mine was purchased at Walmart on the laundry aisle over by the housewares department. It is sold near the irons, clothespins and laundry hampers, not where the detergents and cleansers are shelved.

 


But I digress...
After washing the initial cleanest batch of clothing, I remove said items and place them in one of my Dollar Tree buckets. Then I place the final stack of clothes into the washer and run the cycle again. I reuse the initial wash-water.
 

IF my clothes were filthy or stinky I would start the second load with fresh water.
 


This washer uses three gallons per cycle. By using the same wash water I can do two small loads for a total of nine gallons of water. On occasion I will do the final rinse for each load individually. That increases my total water used to 12 gallons.
 

 

Gallons
per cycle

Process for washing two loads of laundry

Aggregate Total

 

 

 

3 gallons

Wash load one and (reusing water) wash load two

3 gallons

3 gallons Rinse load one and load two 6 gallons
3 gallons Second rinse for load one 9 gallons
3 gallons Final rinse for the second load of laundry 12 gallons
 
If the second rinse water for load one appears clear after agitation, I reuse
that water for the final rinse of load two. Thus I use just 9 gallons versus the 12.
 


There is a SMALL WHITE HOSE on the right side of the washer. Lower it and the water drains out of the tub:

The water empties via gravity. When I forget to put the hose in the upright
position after draining the tub I can flood my deck with the next bucket of water.
 

You would be impressed by how quickly I can
attach that hose in the proper raised position.

 

On the top are two dials. The one on the left sets the wash or spin cycle. On the right, that dial is a timer. This is a simple unit, with the motor beneath the tub.

It is electric, and uses 30 watts for two loads.

The Kill A Watt meter reads 0.03Kwh.
That equals 30 watts or 3Ah.


Though the instructions say one rinse, this is the color of the rinse water after the first rinse:

 

That water is icky, thus I do two rinses. I have experimented by pouring water into the tub as it is draining. I do not believe that works well. The second full rinse does the job. The water runs clear on rinse number two.


There is a small bucket that attaches inside the washer for spinning:

The lid must be on the spinner to keep the clothing inside.
 

 

The How-To in a few easy steps:

 
  1. Fill tub 1/2 full of water (hot or cold, at your discretion) then add 1 tablespoon of laundry detergent.

  2. Add clothing until the water level is approximately 2/3rds full.

  3. Set the dial on the left to Wash, and the timer on the right to six minutes.

  4. After the clothes have washed, drain the tub by lowering the white hose on the right side of the unit.

  5. Remove all contents from the machine. I put them into one of my plastic buckets.

  6. Place the spinner basket onto the base inside the machine. It snaps in easily.

  7. The next procedure is to place a small quantity of said clothing into the spin basket. Replace the lid. Not everything in the washer fits the basket, so having a spare pail for the spun clothes is helpful.

    I figure three to four spin cycles per load of wash. Because I do not like over-loading my unit I am cautious. Also, if I put in too much in the spinner, it will make a racket and the basket will detach from the base.
     

  8. Turn the dial on the left to Spin. Three minutes is sufficient to remove most of the water.
     

  9. *REPEAT, at least once. I like my rinse water to run clear. For me, that means two rinses though the manufacturer says one is sufficient.

*REPEAT: what that means is I start out again with #1 doing everything except adding soap. First I refill the machine to the half way point. Then I add the already washed clothes. I set the dial to Wash, and the timer to 3 minutes instead of the six I used for the initial wash cycle. Wash, Drain, Spin.
 

My goal is to rinse out any remaining soap residue. Sometimes one rinse is sufficient. Most of the time I double rinse. I am cautious because I don't want any soap sensitivities to develop.

 

 

Because that spinner container is so small, it takes much longer to spin a load than it does to wash one. Not many things fit into the bucket/basket. Though I selected this washer because of the basket spinner option, I am not impressed.


Skipper is ready to ride to the dinghy dock. Then I have to carefully secure the clean clothes in my dink Algae.

Loading and unloading Algae with the newly cleaned clothes can be a perilous too, especially if the wind is kicking.
 

Remembering how much work it is to drag everything to a coin-operated laundry causes me to suddenly I like the Best Choice washer better. Not best, just better. Though the process is physically arduous it is WAY easier than hauling everything to shore.
 

The spinner basket attaches to the agitator bits at the bottom of the washer tub:

Those bars at the bottom don't look like "enough" however they are Very Powerful.


Most important of all, everything comes out clean.


I used to hand wash almost exclusively. I still do wash my daily clothes each evening. It only takes me a few minutes to do so. Everything dries overnight. My attire is chosen by how fast it dries on a hanger, and if it wrinkles or not. I do have a system for hand washing that I'll post in a month or three.
 

Just know this: A washing machine is a wonderful addition to life afloat. It is not a necessity. It is a luxury. Mine because it requires so much manual attention is in a precarious spot. If someone would offer me $50 I'd sell it in a heartbeat, going back to washing everything by hand.


I washed two small loads of clothes in one hour and four minutes.


I am not thrilled, though I am happier than hauling everything ashore. This is better. My system is still being tweaked. Half the time I don't like the unit at all, and then when everything is clean and put away I again like it. If I had a bigger boat I would buy a real washer that is totally automatic like this one: Giantex Portable Compact Full-Automatic Laundry Machine
 

 

Memory Lane: I was born and raised aboard our 40'er. When I moved ashore my stateroom (aka cabin/bedroom) became the laundry. Daddy had plans for a tool room. In the meantime Mother ordered a washer and dryer. Both were delivered within two days of their arrival back in the states.

I suspect there was some advanced planning involved...


Frankly I would like the Best Choice washer better if it had fit where it was supposed to go. It won't though. Additionally, due to the motor being mounted beneath the tub I do not believe it would be safe to store the washer in any position other than upright.
 

Driers are speedy however with strategically placed LINES I prefer to hang my clothes inside.

 

I also picked up a Laundry Alternative spin drier (the smallest one sold) and it is WONDERFUL. I wish I'd bought the spinner and not the washer. It gets everything almost totally dry after being spun at 1750 rpm. If I had bought the spin drier first I would not have bought the washer.
 

Clothes come out nearly dry after being in the Laundry Alternative spin drier.


Now that I have $55 in the washer I'll get my money's worth out of it. But I'm not thrilled until it's time to wash the sheets, at which time I change my mind yet again.
 

Honestly, I've gone back and forth regarding the washer since the day it arrived. Were I smarter, I would have returned it immediately when I discovered the discrepancy between description and actual height. If I sound whiny about the washer, it is because I am ambivalent. I wish I had not spent so much $$ on the unit. It doesn't fit anyplace.
 


 

So that's my take on the whole Best Choice discount washer/spinner. I paid perfectly good money for this item. Actually the washer is worth the price paid. Given a vote, I would say buy one if you've got a place for it. It is a true blessing to not have to go ashore with dirty clothes.


This of course presumes you have the water and stamina to run such a unit. I am grateful to have it, some of the time!


Golly gee though, those spiffy combination units the bigger boats have sure are amazing. The Splendide vented models are particularly interesting for those with the funds, space, and power to utilize same.

Side Note on the Splendide units: The vented ones do dry quite well. The secret is you must remove about half of the load you washed before drying. Much like my little washer, the machines are designed to wash a larger load than they can dry at one time. Split up the load for drying and you should be fine.


Having a washing machine aboard a boat is fabulous in theory. Mine requires a lot of work to operate, though far less than hauling everything to shore. I am indeed fortunate.
 

Thank you for reading.


Do you hand wash, use a machine aboard or take everything to shore?
What is your process for laundry?

COMMENTS:
 

2019

Categories: Boat Talk, Comfort, Gear, Recommendations, Unmentionables,

Battery Cap Fiasco ~ Previous Post ...    ... Next Post ~ Dating for Boaters - Part 1

Archive

The Archive holds a running list with synopsis of published articles, and links to same.

A favorite aphorism:  Tide laundry detergent was invented so children could enjoy their lives and moms could rescue the clothes, post-playtime. Janice Marois.

Contributions to my Cruising Kitty
via
are always appreciated.

Every gift helps.

The Cruising Kitty is what boaters refer to as spending money. There's never enough aboard Seaweed!


I am also an Amazon Affiliate.

  

Copyright Janice Marois  |  Home  |  Archive  |  Topics  |  Boat List  |  Site Map  |  Email Me  |