We Tested the $40 Portable Washer That Cleans UConn Coach Dan Hurley’s Lucky Undies

Photo: Andrea Barnes

Before the Hurleys’ older son gave his father the East Doll washer as a Christmas present in 2022, Andrea’s on-the-go laundry routine was a extra DIY affair.

“I really discovered a collapsible bucket on Amazon, and I might convey this bucket round with powdered Tide [her detergent of choice at home] in a bit Ziploc and simply do every thing by hand,” she defined. “It would take endlessly, and since [powdered detergent] is so exhausting to get out by hand, I’d must rinse every thing 1,000,000 and 10 occasions.”

The East Doll machine is solely a collapsible bucket with a motor and agitator constructed into its base. Clothes, water, and detergent go within the high—in that order, based on the instruction booklet, though Hurley will generally begin a cycle with simply water and Tide liquid laundry detergent to permit the detergent to disperse earlier than placing the garments in. (The directions don’t state how a lot detergent to make use of, so she now travels with single-use packets, which additionally avoids the in-luggage powder spills she sometimes skilled earlier than.)

In our testing, employees author Andrea Barnes discovered that, as with typical washers, the much less detergent you utilize, the higher. “A half-tablespoon is loads of cleaning soap for this factor,” she says. “You might most likely use even much less.” Photo: Andrea Barnes

To assist forestall splashing and overflow, the machine comes with a lid and is marked with a maximum-fill line. The entire factor operates by way of a easy, one-button interface: Press it, and the machine runs a 10-minute cycle. A drainage port on the backside of the bucket means that you can empty the water out when it’s performed. If you would like, you possibly can refill the bucket with contemporary water and run it with out detergent as a rinse cycle.

Hurley (who admits that she’s “a freak about washing garments”) runs a number of wash cycles earlier than draining and refilling the machine for a couple of rinse cycles. In between cycles, she provides a bit elbow grease.

“The machine does a very good job, however you need to put the work in to ensure,” she defined. “Sometimes I’ll perform a little old school rubbing the garments collectively to present it a head begin, after which it does its factor. Same with rinsing—after the wash, I’ll run stuff beneath the [faucet] after which put them again in and do the rinse cycles. It’s clearly extra work than a daily washer, however it has saved me a lot time and aggravation from my life.”

All of that will appear to be overkill—however like Hurley, we’ve discovered that this machine wants the assistance.

After buying two of our personal East Doll Portable Washing Machines and utilizing them to scrub a shirt, a light-weight pair of pants, a pair of boxer briefs, and three pairs of socks, right here’s our evaluation: If sometimes laundering a few frivolously used clothes is all you ask of the East Doll machine, it could possibly do the job.

“Underwear, even on a pungent particular person, just isn’t going to have a lot grime,” says employees author Andrea Barnes, who wrote our information to the most effective washers and dryers and has examined all manners of stains in washing home equipment. “If solely underwear and socks are being washed, I might say the machine is completely acceptable for conserving luck alive.”

However, after we ran a pretreated stain strip by way of the East Doll machine, the outcomes have been underwhelming. “One cycle barely lifted a factor. Two cycles didn’t do a lot. A 3rd cycle lifted a bit extra,” she says.

Because of this, we agree with the additional steps that Andrea Hurley informed us she takes to get her husband’s garments as clear as attainable.

“For underwear and socks, I might say [to run] two or three cycles after which rinse as wanted, both within the machine or within the sink,” Andrea Barnes says. “I might additionally guess that including detergent and water and working a cycle earlier than including something to the machine would distribute the detergent effectively and maybe make an even bigger distinction with grime and body-oil removing.”

Also, don’t overdo it on the detergent; including extra within the hopes that it would compensate for the machine’s less-than-ideal cleansing energy received’t assist and can simply depart you with extra product to rinse out. Our employees author’s recommendation: “A half-tablespoon is loads of cleaning soap for this factor. You might most likely use even much less.”



The East Doll machine can deal with solely tiny masses. In this one, we washed a stain strip, a silk pillowcase, two pairs of boxers, and a chunk of Poka-Dot take a look at cloth, a swatch lined with tiny, delicate raised dots that we use to check how a lot agitation a washer cycle makes use of. Photo: Andrea Barnes

According to its directions, the East Doll machine can accommodate a mere 500 grams of clothes and different washable gadgets per load. If one pair of boxer briefs plus one pair of socks equals one unit of laundry, which means you possibly can run solely about three or 4 models at a time (with a bit wiggle room relying on the dimensions and materials of every merchandise). Unless they’re particularly small and light-weight, a single pair of denims is prone to exceed that restrict. An whole outfit? Almost actually not.

We even have issues concerning the machine’s longevity. On Amazon, we counted at the least a half-dozen customer reviews courting again to 2022 by which consumers complained that it stopped working after a month or six months or a 12 months. A couple of extra commenters claimed that the machine did not work straight out of the field.

Hurley informed us that hers has began performing a contact finicky: “Not that way back, I pressed the button, and it wasn’t happening. I’m not going to lie; I practically had a coronary heart assault. I simply stored urgent that button so exhausting and banging the aspect of the factor, and it lastly turned on.”

According to its Amazon itemizing, the East Doll machine is “appropriate for house, tenting, RV, [and] journey.” However, contemplating how little laundry it could possibly deal with, what number of occasions it’s possible you’ll have to run it for an efficient clear, and the truth that it would go kaput on you, we’ve concluded that it might be higher to think about the East Doll machine as a viable choice solely whenever you’re in want of a short-term laundry repair.

One Wirecutter staffer, for instance, says {that a} pal as soon as bought the same bucket-style washer when she was residing in a walk-up house with basement laundry amenities whereas staying at house along with her toddler and pregnant along with her second little one. Because she couldn’t bodily deal with carrying her toddler and her laundry to the basement concurrently, and she or he additionally couldn’t depart her little one alone within the house, a transportable washer allowed her to get some laundry performed regularly.

If your house doesn’t have in-unit laundry, and also you’re in search of a extra long-term choice, although, you would possibly think about a compact washer on casters that may hook as much as a sink or tub faucet.

Hurley has likewise really useful the East Doll machine solely on uncommon event. “I do know someone whose washer broke, and the repairman wasn’t going to have the ability to get the half he wanted for a pair weeks,” she defined. In such a short lived circumstance, the washer “can do the small stuff it’s good to get performed” with out your bearing the expense of sending laundry out or the time dedication of visiting the laundromat.

If you’re not skeeved out by the considered utilizing a hotel-room sink whenever you’re touring, we imagine you’d be higher off packing our favourite hand-washing detergent, Soak, which delivers a delicate clear and doesn’t even require rinsing.

Of course, in a rare circumstance, when back-to-back championships and long-held superstitions are on the road—and the one different is donning day-old skivvies—we’re rooting for the East Doll machine to drag by way of for its one shining second.

This article was edited by Alexander Aciman and Catherine Kast.



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