Chandlery March 2007 Issue

Wonder Wash, Spin-drying Sidekick to the Rescue

Updated mini washer, new small dryer team up to save you from that dreaded bucket washing.

The value of space onboard a boat means that just about every piece of equipment has to have at least two uses. For the portable Wonder Wash, may we suggest colors and whites?

Mini Countertop Spin Dryer
The Mini Countertop Spin Dryer cuts laundry’s line-drying time in half. Two pounds of laundry take about 2 to 4 minutes to spin dry, but the clothes will still have a slightly damp feel to them.
Reviewed in
Practical Sailor in September 2002, the Wonder Wash has recently undergone two minor modifications. The manufacturers changed the machine’s lid screw and the drain spout.

Our last review found that the compact, plastic Wonder Wash does small loads well and quickly (one to two minutes per load). It requires no electricity and no maintenance, uses less water and less detergent than washing machines, is rust-proof, costs only $43, and sits a night watch...well, you can’t have it all.

The Laundry Alternative Inc., makers of the Wonder Wash, found that the knob that goes into the lid can strip the threads inside the lid if installed improperly, and they changed the lid screw so that it cannot be screwed in past the point where it can damage the threads. The drain spout was modified to make it easier to slide in and out of the fitting at the bottom of the tub.

Weighing 5.6 pounds and measuring 12 inches x 12 inches x 16 inches, the Wonder Wash is roughly the size of a milk crate. You’ll have to decide whether skipping those long mornings spent with a 5-gallon bucket are worth the space the Wonder Wash takes up.

Mini Countertop Spin Dryer

Mini Countertop Spin Dryer
Mini Countertop Spin Dryer
Wonder Wash’s newest partner in grime is the Mini Countertop Spin Dryer. The spin dryer cuts laundry’s line-drying time in half by extracting water from the clothes during a high-speed spin cycle. Two pounds of laundry (one towel and two shirts, or a pair of wet jeans) take 2-4 minutes to dry. Because it is not a tumble dryer and does not use heat, clothes come out slightly damp.

After washing several loads of laundry in the Wonder Wash, we loaded the spin dryer with 2 pounds of clothes and set the timer for 2 minutes. Cotton shorts, T-shirts, and underwear came out of the spin-dry cycle only slightly damp and required about an hour on a clothesline in full sun to dry.

For comparison, testers hung on the same clothesline an identical pair of shorts and underwear and an identical T-shirt that were not previously dried in the spin dryer. That set of clothing took more than two hours to dry.

Towels, jeans and socks were tougher customers. The spin dryer fits only one small- to medium-sized bath towel at a time, or else the spin cylinder gets thrown out of balance. Still, towels that went through the spin cycle took half the time to "clothesline dry" next to towels that were not put in the spin dryer. Jeans were difficult to dry because they have to be evenly distributed in the spin cylinder to keep the tub balanced. Spun-dry socks took up to two hours to line dry while socks that were just air-dried took three or more.

Wonder Wash
Wonder Wash
The laundry loads spin very quietly at 1600 rpms. The machine makes almost no noise, unless the cylinder is thrown off-balance by a heavy or uneven load. The tabletop dryer weighs 11 pounds and measures 13.5 inches x 13.5 inches x 15 inches. It runs on 110-volt, uses 82 watts and costs $70. The Laundry Alternative Inc. also makes a bigger, 12.2-pound capacity spin dryer for $130.



Comments (0)

Be the first to comment on this post using the section below.

New to Practical Sailor?
Register for Free!

Already Registered?
Log In