How Long Do Portable Washers Take To Wash Clothes?

Portable washing machines are a convenient option for small spaces and are as efficient as any full-size washer but for small load sizes.

The wash cycle of most portable washers, on average, ranges from 15 minutes for a quick/rapid wash and up to 60 minutes for the longest cycle. They are 2 – 4 times faster than regular washing machines.

Once we’ve seen how long portable washers take to wash clothes, we’ll also look into some tips to reduce the washing time and review good portable washers.

Washing Times Of Portable Washers

The specific cycle length of a portable washer strongly depends on the model and the program. It can vary between 15 minutes and 1 hour and is usually much faster than a cycle in a regular washer.

To understand the approximate washing times of portable washing machines, here are the wash times of 3 different models.

Most portable washers do have 5 – 10 programs available that result in very different washing times.

While the normal settings result in a duration of approximately half an hour, the quick programs can be as fast as 15 minutes.

The cycle length depends on the model but has no direct correlation to the size of the washer. Each portable washer follows its own philosophy and can be faster or slower, no matter if it is especially small or large.

That’s why you should check the user manual of your desired model before buying. This will provide you with a clear picture of what to expect in the future application.

9 Tips On How To Reduce The Washing Time

Here are a few tips to reduce the washing time of your portable washer without compromising on its function and efficiency.

1. Do Full Loads

While a fully-loaded washing machine might take longer to wash than a half-empty one, it’s definitely advantageous to do one full load instead of two half loads.

Load the machine drum to three-fourth capacity with similar fabrics and run a normal cycle.

Remember, overloading and underloading your washing machine isn’t good practice.

2. Sort Your Laundry

It is recommended to sort your laundry into piles according to fabric type, soil level, and color. Sorting into smaller loads helps decrease the cycle time.

However, it isn’t recommended to wash a single piece of laundry either since it will absorb too much water and cause excessive movement. Add some smaller laundry items to balance the load.

3. Load Balance

Avoid mixing heavy clothing with a regular load, as it will result in an unbalanced load.

Also, distribute the laundry evenly in the washing drum and ensure the machine is properly leveled before starting the wash cycle. Else, the washer may perform an extra rinse cycle to re-balance the load.

4. Treat Stains Immediately

To avoid multiple washing and rewashing of clothes to rid of stains, use a pre-treater or laundry soaker for easier stain removal in a single wash cycle.

The earlier the stains are treated before they dry, the better the chances of stain removal.

5. Use the Fastest Cycle

Many portable washing machines have a quick wash setting for washing small loads faster.

The quick/rapid wash cycles usually take an average of 15 minutes and are ideal for small loads and lightly soiled clothes.

6. Avoid Some Wash Cycles For A Faster Wash

Selecting options like hot water wash, sanitize and heavy-duty cycles, high soil level, extra prewashes, rinses, and soak will drastically increase the wash time.

If you’re looking to reduce the wash cycle duration, these options are best avoided unless required.

7. Increase the Spin Speed

If your portable machine has the option to increase the drum’s spin cycle speed, it will help wring out more water from the laundry, and reduce the drying time, whether you use a portable dryer or air dry on a drying rack.

8. Detergent Use

Using too much detergent or not using high-efficiency (HE) detergent with a machine designed for it can extend cycle times.

Refer to the instruction manual to know the right amount of detergent (powder or liquid detergent) for the different loads.

9. Proper Installation and Regular Maintenance

Similar to a standard washing machine, even portable machines must be installed correctly for each use. Ensure the machine is leveled, with the water hose connected securely to a sink faucet and the drain hose placed above the drain point.

The pressure of the water supply must be as recommended; else, it could take longer to fill the tub with water, adding time to the wash cycle.

Clean the lint filter and drain hose regularly to keep your portable washing machine running efficiently. Also, run a wash cycle every month with some bleach and an empty tub for tub cleaning.

Portable Washers That Are Fast And Efficient

If you’re looking for a portable washer that is fast and efficient, here are the two best options.

Comfee’ Portable Washing Machine

This 1.6 cubic feet appliance is the best portable washing machine you can get for apartments, RVs, dorm rooms, and even camping. Its 6-cycle options include normal, heavy, delicate, quick, bulky, and spin-only, and it can hold up to 11 lbs of laundry.

The maximum spin speed is 840 rpm.

This portable washer takes about 44 minutes to wash a full large load and about 14 – 25 minutes for the quick smaller loads.

It also has 3 water temperature options, an ‘Extra rinse’ button, child lock, delay start, and reloading feature, and is extremely energy efficient (saves as much as 84% energy).

Black+Decker Portable Washing Machine

The sheer number of features makes this portable washing machine worth purchasing. This 0.9 cubic feet top-load model has a maximum spin speed of 983 rpm and a stainless steel tub that’s durable, corrosion, and rust-resistant.

Apart from its 5 cycle options (heavy, gentle, normal, rapid, and soak), it also has auto-unbalance detection, auto-shutoff, child lock, delay start, and 3 water level choices (for small, medium, and large loads).

This machine is for use with cold water only.

With two side handles, two rollers, and a front-adjustable leveling leg, it makes for easy mobility.

Wash cycles with this Black+Decker can be as short as 19 minutes or as long as 52 minutes, based on your selection.


Not requiring a dedicated laundry room, portable washing machines work anywhere with an electrical outlet, a water faucet, and a place to drain the dirty water.

The average cycle time of a portable washer varies from approximately 15 minutes for a quick wash to about an hour for the longest cycle. The normal loads take about 30 minutes.