Washing clothes can be a tedious task for some. Apartment complexes have only one laundry room which is always busy. Living in a dorm has the same downfall unless you make trips back to your Mom and Dad’s house every week. And, if you travel often, the dry cleaning bill can can be frightening. Those are the exact problems Avalon Bay and The Laundry Alternative are hoping to solve with the greenest way to wash clothes, the eco-friendly portable washer. So, which of them is the best? Here, we bring you an extensive comparison between two of the most popular hand-powered washing machines in the market today – the EcoWash from Avalon Bay and the WonderWash from The Laundry Alternative.
Both the EcoWash and the WonderWash require a bit of assembly, when they arrive in the box. But, that’s no problem at all. They are quite simple to assemble. However, it needs to be mentioned that the instructions that came with the WonderWash were not as detailed as one would expect them to be. For a first time user, who has no experience with assembling anything, it can become quite confusing. That doesn’t mean that they can’t assemble the washing machine themselves. But, it is nice to have a detailed manual so that you don’t have to guess which parts go where. On the other hand, the instructions that come with the EcoWash makes it a breeze to set up the machine and start using it. Barring minor differences, assembling them is pretty similar.
When it comes to looks, there is not much of a difference between the WonderWash and the EcoWash. They both look simple and utilitarian in design. They feature a white exterior, which looks pristine clean. In both the cases, it is clear that they are designed to be more utilitarian than pleasing to the eyes. Yet, their simple and small design makes them look cute.
Materials and Design
Judging only by the looks, you would be hard-pressed to spot the differences between the WonderWash and the EcoWash. But, once you start using them, you will notice some differences in their quality.
The barrel, which holds the clothes, water, and detergent for washing is made of the same grade material in both the cases. However, the lid is what makes all the difference. To wash the clothes, you open the lid on the top, fill the barrel with water, detergent, and then clothes. You can then close the lid. WonderWash’s lid has been reported by reviews to have issues and not seal properly. In other words, it leaks water, which can soon turn out to be a huge mess while washing clothes. Not to mention the fact that the clothes inside will now have less water and detergent to clean the clothes with. When we tested the EcoWash lid, we put some water in the barrel and left it upside down overnight. The lid did not leak.
Both the WonderWash and the EcoWash gave surprising results with the clothes that we used. We tried everything from muddy clothes to smelly socks to greasy aprons. In all these cases, both the washers were able to do a good job with the clothes, no matter what the challenge.
You see, the way these two machines work is by making use of warm water. You add warm water into them along with detergent and clothes. Once the lid is shut airtight, the air heats up and tries to expand. Because there is no space to expand, the pressure inside the barrel increases. High pressure forces the water and detergent through the fabric of your clothes, cleaning them in the process.
This is where you could run into an issue with the WonderWash. The lid has to be ‘airtight’ for this to work. However, as we noted above, the WonderWash lid leaks and may not be so airtight.
Without a question, both the WonderWash and the EcoWash are laudable when it comes to convenience. They are easy to assemble, disassemble, and pack for travels. They are incredibly lightweight, about 6 pounds each. You can take them on long hikes; you can carry them to your summer cabin; you can use it in your dorms; you can even place them in your limited sized loft. They occupy very less space, and are super easy to use.
That being said, there is one inconvenience that the users have to bear. The portable washing machines being a cost-effective solution, do not offer the luxury of drying your clothes. So, you have to either invest in a dryer, or simply wring the clothes to get rid of water, if you want the clothes to dry faster on a clothes line. This is the only inconvenience worth mentioning in the case of these machines. However, considering that they cost only a fraction of the cost of their traditional electric counterparts, this problem is not a deal breaker.
As noted before, some parts of The Laundry Alternative WonderWash appear flimsy. If and when any of the parts give away, it can become a bit cumbersome. For one, if your appliance breaks down when it is covered by the warranty, the company will take care of the repair or replacement. However, if your warranty has expired, this is where you may run into replacement issues.
On the other hand, Avalon Bay offers phenomenal customer service support. If there is any type of concern with the EcoWash portable washer, customers can directly get in touch with the company’s customer support representatives. If they are unable to fix the issue over the phone or if a part is broken, they will help you with replacing the unit under warranty. There is no future risk to the customers of Avalon Bay EcoWash portable washing machine.
The hand-cranked washing machines are marketed as ecofriendly products that save electricity and water. Quite frankly, both the WonderWash and the EcoWash do a great job of making this planet greener, one laundry day at a time. They do not make use of electricity at all. This makes them the most power-saving washing machines out there in the market. However, even though they make use of no energy, electricity or otherwise, they do end up using some energy. To get the best results, you have to make use of warm water for washing clothes with them. For many households, this means using warmer water from an electric or gas heater. Perhaps, you may use water heated on the stove. Either way, you end up consuming some energy while washing your clothes. If you do not warm the water, then these machines are completely zero energy consuming washing appliances.
They offer another advantage in comparison to the electric washers. Everyone who is using them have to crank them with their hands. This gives them the exercise they need, while simultaneously getting their chores done. Because of our increasingly busy schedules, we tend to miss going to the gym, exercising, and taking care of our health. These machines give us the exercise we need, without requiring any extra time from us. Talk about multi-tasking.
Warranty and Service
The good thing about the WonderWash is that it comes with a 2-year warranty. This should have made it a good decision to buy it, as you wouldn’t have to worry about its durability during that period. However, customer reviews have described issues with the WonderWash such as frequent leaks, missing parts, dysfunctional suction cups, and so on.
On the contrary, the EcoWash comes with only 1-year warranty. This is half the warranty of WonderWash. To be fair, the EcoWash is a relatively new product in the market. Avalon Bay has tested the EcoWash and has been thorough during their testing phase to avoid any issues later. Even after leaving the entire loaded unit overnight, there were absolutely no leakages. The leak-proof lid is secure and will not create a mess like the WonerWash lid has according to many customer reviews. Another test done by Avalon Bay was assembling and disassembling the machine several times and washing multiple loads to test its durability and performance. The Avalon Bay EcoWash portable washing machine delivered every single time! Avalon Bay also takes its aftersales service immensely serious. They leverage their vast sales network to address their customers’ concerns promptly and quickly, to minimize their product’s downtime.