Ways to Do Laundry in an Apartment Without Washer and Dryer Hookups

By: ROS Team June 22, 2021

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Have you just moved to a new apartment only to find out there isn’t a washer/dryer connection in your unit?  If you’ve rented an apartment without a washer and dryer hookup, you don’t need to worry—there are still effective solutions and options for hooking up a washer and dryer in your apartment.

Washer and Dryer Combo

A washer-dryer combo is a single appliance that washes and dries your laundry. Don’t get it confused with a traditional washer and dryer; washer-dryer combos do what classic washing machines do in that they clean your clothes. The difference is primarily in how the machines dry clothes. Unlike traditional dryers, washer-dryer combos use condensation drying, which means it spins the clothes to whisk the water away. By using the condensation process, you no longer need access to a dryer vent.

All you need to have in your apartment to install a washer-dryer combo is a connection to cold water and a 120-volt electrical outlet.  Washer and dryer combos are smaller than traditional washers and dryers, so you’ll have to manage your laundry loads accordingly.

With a washer-dryer combo, you no longer need to schedule visits to the laundromat on laundry day.  Washer-dryer combos are indeed all-in-one machines that do all the work.  All you need to do is put your clothes inside. Although washer-dryer combos are not as popular in the U.S., the increased number of efficient and compact apartments has sparked some popularity in this appliance.

How Does it Work?

A portable washer and dryer unit is another option for making an apartment without washer and dryer connections laundry-ready.  These units are adjustable and compact, making them ideal for small apartments.  All you need is access to a water connection and a way to drain the water out, and you’re good to go.

Once you put in clothes, you can sit back and let the machine do its work. Once it is done washing, it will go into a spin cycle to help dry the clothes.  The machine cannot completely dry your laundry, so you will find that your clothes are a little damp at the end of each wash cycle, which means you’ll need to find a way to ensure your clothes get completely dry. But at least the portable washer and dryer take some of the stress out of laundry day by allowing you to do other chores while it washes your clothes.

How Much Water Does it Need to Dry a Washer Dryer Combo?

The moisture level in your garments varies from model to model. However, our devices dry our 3.5 kg test load on average in 35 liters. In addition to washing water, this excludes one very hungry outlier, who uses a stormy 210 liters for a full load. But while the usage of drying water is not included in the star rating, it has to be included as a number on the sticker, thus, do not count the stars. Just carefully read the label. We are now beginning to see the advent of washing dryer combos using heat pump technology (like your air conditioner). They do not require water for the drying but are a further step in terms of complexity and prices compared to a water-cooled condenser that is very energy efficient.

What is the Capacity of a Washer Dryer Combo?

As an oddity, the washing and drying capacity of combos is varied. Why? The garments need space to circulate air to dry adequately, yet the items can be packed closely for washing. While the capacity of the washer/dryer combo will only be able to clean half of the clothes, the ability to dry the remaining clothes is only half the volume of the washing capacity.

If you fill your washing machine up to its total capacity, it would not matter, but you will need to dry clothes in two batches if you do full loads. We dislike the idea of waiting thus long for our clothes to dry, but you have to consider how long some of these machines take to dry — in this case, up to six and a half hours. The first half of your load will likely be completely dry, but this could happen again if you are forced to wait long into the night as you wait for your clothes to finish.

Cost Implications

A basic washer or dryer unit could cost you between $80 and $100.  If you want to buy a top-notch washer and dryer set, you can expect to spend around $800, depending on the features.

Having a washer and dryer in your apartment can impact your utility costs, particularly your water and electricity expenses.  However, most apartment washer and dryer combos are highly energy-efficient, which helps keep costs down. All of the machines require water, though, so be prepared to see an increase in your monthly water bill potentially.

Advantages of a Washer Dryer Combo

  • Ability to wash and dry in a single appliance.
  • These units don’t require a dryer vent since they use the condensation method to dry clothes.
  • You no longer need separate connections for hot and cold water.
  • You can place them anywhere in the apartment because they come with a Y-connector and faucet adapter.
  • Most are considered smart devices and, therefore, use less water.
  • Your clothes last longer since the condensation drying method is easier on fabrics.
  • They are portable, so you can disconnect, fold, and roll it back out of the way once done with laundry.

Disadvantages of a Washer Dryer Combo

  • You need access to cold water.
  • Since the dryer uses the condensation method to dry clothes, it may take longer to dry clothes if it’s cold in the apartment or during the winter months.
  • You will have to pay slightly higher utility bills once you buy a washer and dryer combo.
  • You have to sacrifice space in your apartment to accommodate the washer-dryer, which could be a concern if you live in a small apartment.
  • Given the compact nature of these units, you will have to wash smaller loads of clothes, which translates to spending more time on laundry.
  • The dry cycle is not designed to get clothes bone dry, so you will need to explore methods for getting your laundry completely dry.

To Buy or Not to Buy?

Since small apartments mean every square centimeter counts, having a washer-dryer combo is ideal for inner-city living. Where a long day at the office and having dirty laundry after returning home is a welcome relief. Single- or two-person households mean the capacity limit of the smaller (compared to a standalone appliance) dryers won’t be an issue.

They’re an excellent option if you dry your clothing line-dried but want the peace of mind of a dryer in case of emergency. We’ve included combos as an option if you have mobility limitations that would make doing so problematic (with the provision that you wash complete loads).

If you have a lot of laundries to dry, then you’ll want standalone appliances. These provide you superior drying performance, and one load can be drying while the next is doing the washing.

You should avoid these combos if you want to reduce your water usage or care about the environment.

As for budget-conscious consumers, opting for a cheaper vented dryer rather than a standalone washing machine will help you save a few dollars (or skipping the dryer altogether in favor of a clothes horse). Additionally, you’re increasing your risk because you just have to purchase one new appliance rather than two at once.

Final Thoughts:

Suppose you want to rent an apartment without washer-dryer connections. You should consider buying a washer-dryer combo since you can take it with you when you decide to move. They are smaller in size and easier to move.

You may also consider buying a washer-dryer combo unit if you live in a small apartment and don’t have space for a traditional washer and dryer set.

An in-unit washer-dryer combo allows you the ability to do laundry in the privacy of your apartment instead of having to go to a laundromat or the apartment’s onsite laundry facility.