portable washing machine – Danby DWM17WDB, 2017

One of the best features of portable washing machines is their low energy consumption. The Danby DWM17WDB is the most energy-efficient portable washer on our lineup. It only uses up to 26 kilowatts per year, which costs around $15 annually.


This washing machine stands 33.9 inches tall, 21.4 inches wide and 21.6 inches deep. This is around the average size of mini washing machines. It also sits in the middle of the weight range for portable washing machines at 84.5 pounds. Though it’s about the same size as similar washing machines, it only holds about 1.7 cubic feet of fabric.

Its top cycle speed reaches 700 rpm, quite fast for such a low-energy washer. This small washing machine has eight wash cycles and reaches up to four water levels. Cycles include heavy, delicate, quick, spin and soak only.

Most compact washers use a pulsating method to shake soils off clothes. This model uses an agitator instead. Agitator washers have a spindle in the center of the washtub. The spindle often has fins or vanes that stir the water around them. While agitators work to remove stains from clothes, they lower washer capacity and can damage delicate clothes. This is certainly the case with this Danby model, which only holds up to 1.7 cubic feet, despite its similar size to larger-capacity models.

Setup for the Danby DWM17WDB is standard for a mini washing machine. This unit comes with two inlet hoses for cold and warm outlets. If you only have a sink as a water inlet, you can unscrew the faucet and attach one of the hoses. The drain hose hooks up to your sink to drain excess water. Wherever you place the washer, make sure it’s in a sturdy, level spot. The machine will wash your clothes evenly and won’t spill or unhook from its connectors. You’ll find a level knob to adjust the legs on the bottom of this unit.

For all its standard features, it is missing a few that distinguish it from the best portable washing machines. Among the missing key features is the time-remaining indicator, delay start and end-of-cycle signal. All of these features are normal in portable washing machines like this Danby model. The time indicator would shows how much time remains on the wash cycle, the delay start would allow you to load clothes and wash later, and without an end-of-cycle signal, you’ll have to keep a close eye on the washing machine. If you leave your wet clothes in the washtub, they can grow mildew and require you to wash the clothes again.

The Danby DWM17WDB is average in size and capacity, but it’s missing some features of the best portable washing machines. There is no delay start, end signal or indicator to show how long the cycle needs to run. In addition, the agitator lowers the washer’s capacity and increases the risk of damaged clothes. Thankfully, this washer has a gentle cycle, in case you’re worried about tangling or damaging delicate clothes. However, if conserving electricity is a priority for you, this energy-sipping model is a good candidate.