Sunday, June 20, 2010
Laundry Fun and Wonder Washer Product Review
Somehow or another Wifey and I got to talking about laundry in the context of preparedness about a month ago. I vaguely recalled a guest post on laundry by our pal Sam in the trailer park which has successfully evaded a tornado so I searched till I found it. I got to fiddling around on the Emergency Essentials website and came across the Wonder Washer. Wifey did some research and this seemed like a quality product which fit our needs.
This brings us to a very valuable micro (or small or even big I guess) business lesson. If there is some sort of deal you would like to make always ask. I am not going to even guess what percentage of the time you will get an unexpected "yes" but I can say if you don't ask the "no" rate is 100 percent. Anyway I wrote the folks at Emergency Essentials and they have an ad on our site and I have a Wonder Washer. It came in the mail earlier this week and I just got to really fiddling with it today.
"Assembly" is quite simple. Take the handle and put it onto the square post that sticks out of the side. The directions are pretty simple and take up just part of a standard piece of paper. I decided to test it out by washing a few random pieces of clothing; a pair of shorts and two shirts to be exact. Onto the review.
1. It works
2. It is readily affordable
3. Quite easy to use. Just put the clothes, deturgent and water in, screw the lid on and then turn the handle which rotates the unit around in the frame washing your clothes.
4. Pretty compact, about the size of a normal BBQ propane tank
1. The lid seems sort of touchy. You have to get the grooves in the lid to match up with the grooves in the unit and then rotate it till the thing locks into place. Then you have to tighten the lid down with the hand screw on top.
2. If you do not get the lid all the way tight it will spill water while you "wash". Not a big deal, just screw it down until it pretty much won't screw on any more (no visible threads).
3. I followed the directions but the amount of detergent needed seemed a bit too high. I had to really rinse the clothes to get them non soapy. Not a big deal if you are rinsing with warm water in the sink but if water conservation was important it might be. Next time I will use more like 2/3rds of what is advised.
The part I found most disappointing was that the unit seemed to bounce around as you turn it. The frame is small and narrow while the washer thingie is relatively big and heavy. In order to wash I basically had it on the floor with one knee on the near side of the frame and my spare hand on the other side. If I were to be doing a lot of laundry with the Wonder Washer I would look to clamp it to a table or something so it would be a one handed operation.
All in all I found this unit to be simple, affordable and useful. Sure beats the heck out of dragging our laundry to the river to bang it on some rocks. If we planned to do laundry for a family of 6 on a normal basis then some sort of bigger and more complex washer would be worth procuring. However to just wash an outfit at a time or for emergency use this fits the bill perfectly. We could do some sort of home rigged thing but with the Wonder Washer at the very reasonable price of $49.99 I see no reason to bother. We do need to pick up a mop wringer to help with getting the water out of our clothes after washing but that is an easy fix.
Also included was an Emergency Essentials catalog. They have some really cool stuff so please go check it out.