Can Portable Washing Machines Use Regular Hook-Ups?

Considering that a portable washing machine performs the same function as a full-sized washer but with temporary plumbing, it’s normal to wonder, if they can use regular hook-ups.

Portable washing machines require a power outlet, a water supply, and a drain hose provision much like a regular washing machine, and can usually be hooked up with standard connections. Additional adapters improve the ease and should be considered for installation.

Let’s look into how you can use a portable washer like a regular one.

Can All Portable Washers Use Regular Hook-Ups?

Most portable washers can use regular hook-ups for the water inlet. Since the routine use of a portable washing machine requires connecting its inlet hose to a sink faucet, you can keep it hooked up that way, just like a regular washer.

Adapters make it easier to connect your washer’s inlet hose for water supply. You can even use a combo washer-dryer the same way.

Often compatible with faucets that have removable aerators, you can use two types of adapters for this purpose:

  • Set-Up-Adapters
    Some adapters need to be set up for each use. The faucet’s aerator is removed, and the adapter and the inlet hose are connected to the faucet and then removed to replace the aerator after washing your laundry.
  • Permanent Adapters
    Some adapters can work as a permanent two-way solution. Such adapters remain fixed to the sink faucet and have one water inlet and two water outlets. You can use one of the outlets to hook up to a portable washer and the other for everyday chores.

You may also be interested in the best faucets for portable washers.

Hook-Up Methods For Portable Washing Machines

Depending on what you find convenient, there are different ways to hook up a portable washing machine.


You can hook your portable washing machine with regular, permanent connections like a traditional washer. 

This means connecting the water inlet hose of the washer to a sink faucet (for hot and cold water, if the washer has separate provisions) and setting up the drain hose permanently (probably to a floor drain) to drain the dirty water.

An additional requirement, in this case, is dedicated floor space to hook up your portable washing machine permanently.

The permanent installation of a portable washer sounds weird – but is possible in many cases. Our separate article helps you understand the difficulties.

Temporary (Single-Use)

Most portable washing machines are temporarily hooked up for each use and then stored away between uses.

A faucet adapter to connect to any faucet makes it easier to attach and detach for each use.

This involves removing the faucet’s aerator and connecting the faucet adapter with the inlet hose for each use or using a faucet diverter adapter. The drain hose must be set up in the sink, tub, or floor drain.

With Fill-In and Drain Hose

Many portable washing machines, like semi-automatic or more compact ones, can be filled with water manually.

This is the easier way to use a portable washer without connecting it to a water inlet with each use. However, you’ll need to fill the water during the wash cycle and also during the rinse cycle.

Such washers only require a power supply and drain hose to be set up appropriately for each use.

With Fill-In and Dirty Water Container

Often suitable for small laundry loads, portable machines require only a power supply (the manual ones don’t even need this) and no hookups.

You’ll have to fill water manually into these machines and empty the dirty water through a drain valve into a container.

Best Tools to Hook Up a Portable Washing Machine

Portable washers (except the manual ones) need a power outlet, water supply, and drain provisions. It’s easy to hook one up to a water supply with one of these tools.

Faucet Diverter Adapter

This solid brass faucet divider can connect to the sink faucet and is convenient to connect to a portable machine.

It’s suitable only for faucets with removable aerators and is easy and quick to install. A simple plug-and-play adapter provides a firm, leak-free connection, and the brass handle is used to run water out of the faucet or from the end where you attach the inlet hose of the portable washer.

Shower Head Diverter Valve

This three-way shower diverter valve is an excellent option to connect your portable washer’s inlet hose to a shower head attachment.

It attaches to the shower arm and converts water from the handheld shower or showerhead and the portable washer’s inlet hose. A solid metal brass body and rubber gaskets for a tight seal that prevents leaks make this a good option.

Shower Head Diverter with Handshower Mount

A slightly more convenient option, this showerhead diverter has a solid metal construction, one water inlet, and two water outlets, which fit well with a standard showerhead and water hose.

The convenience comes with the hand shower mount for a handheld showerhead, should you need one. However, there is no option to turn the water supply off with the valve; it can only switch the water between the two outlets or discharge simultaneously.

Kitchen Faucet Adapter

This brass polished chrome-plated faucet adapter is made for quick connection and is easy to snap on and off. It also has a removable built-in aerator for a smooth water flow and provides a firm, leak-free connection.

This is a good choice if you use your kitchen sink faucet to connect to your portable washer’s inlet hose. You need to remove the aerator of the adapter and connect the washer’s inlet hose if you’re going for a temporary hookup.


If you have no washer-dryer hookups or space for an actual laundry room and a standard washing machine in your apartment, it makes a portable washing machine worth the purchase.

The best part about these portable machines is that they can use regular hook-ups, in case you’d like to switch from using yours as a portable to a permanent setup. With a suitable adapter or a faucet diverter adapter, it’s easier to use a portable machine like a regular one.

NOTE: Most washer-dryer combos are an excellent option for those tight on space and to skip different washer and dryer hookups. Depending on the venting provisions available, you can choose a vented washer-dryer combo or a ventless washer-dryer combo. However, washer and dryer combos can only partially dry your wet clothes.