Best Mini Washing Machine for Cloth Diapers in 2023

By April Duffy •  Updated: 10/13/23 •  13 min read

Having washed a lot of cloth diapers myself and coaching thousands of parents through the washing process, I know that keeping them clean can be especially challenging if you don’t have access to a reliable washing machine that you know isn’t full of detergent residue. This is where a mini or portable washing machine can be a lifesaver.

Unclean diapers can lead to unpleasant smells, rashes, and even infections, so choosing the right one is important, however, finding a good mini washer for cloth diapers can be tricky.

When looking for the best mini washing machine for cloth diapers, there are a few critical factors to consider, specifically:

After researching and testing several mini washing machines, I have identified the top options for parents looking to keep their cloth diapers clean and fresh. In this article, I’ll share the ones I’ve found and help you choose the best mini washing machine for your cloth diaper needs.

But first, let’s quickly address what you need to look for.

What Features Should I Look for In a Washing Machine for Cloth Diapers?

Here are some features that I suggest are incredibly important for a washing machine specifically for cloth diapers to have:

Adequate Agitation

One of the most important features to look for in a washing machine for cloth diapers is adequate agitation. The reason why none of those little foldable bucket washers have made this list is becasue they don’t offer adequate agitation.

Agitation is absolutely necessary to get the diapers clean and remove any stains or odors.

Capacity

Another important feature to consider is capacity. The washing machine should be large enough to fit several diapers to get that agitation. You don’t want to have to wash diapers every day, so having a machine that can handle a larger load is ideal.

In order to wash a larger load, the machine needs to also use adequate water.

Ease of Use

Lastly, committing to cloth diapers means committing to regular laundry. Therefore, ease of use is also an important factor. You want a machine that is easy to operate, with clear settings and instructions, so that you can quickly and efficiently get your laundry done.

Overall, when looking for a washing machine for cloth diapers, it’s important to prioritize adequate agitation, capacity, and ease of use. By keeping these features in mind, you’ll be able to find a machine that can handle the demands of regular cloth diaper laundry and keep your baby’s diapers clean and fresh.

Best Mini Washing Machines for Cloth Diapers

After researching and testing various options, I’ve put together a list of the best mini washing machines for cloth diapers that I have found. These machines offer gentle yet effective cleaning and are compact enough to fit in small spaces.

Here’s the list:

Best Mini Combo Washer and Dryer: INTERGREAT Portable Washing Machine

Best Mini Combo Washer & Dryer
INTERGREAT Portable Washer and Dryer
$129.98

This unit from Intergreat (Amazon only brand) is super compact but still gives you a nice-sized combo washer and "dryer" to wash your diapers in. It allows you to wash up to 8lbs of diapers and spin "dry" 7lbs. While the spinner won't get your diapers fully dry, it will cut down on hang-dry time significantly and since it's no-heat there's no risk of damaging your PUL.

Pros:
  • Nice and quiet compared to other electric mini washers
  • Big 8lb capacity washing tub for several diapers at a time
  • Adequate 280 W washing power and 160 spin power
  • Able to add your own water, making sure there's enough
  • Simple control dials, which are hidden away under the cover
Cons:
  • Drain hose is relatively short
  • The spin dryer doesn't get clothes completely dry, but does remove excess water
  • The protective cover piece for the spinner (recommended to use for diapers) is difficult to insert and remove
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02/21/2024 03:53 am GMT

If you’re looking for a mini washing machine for cloth diapers that can both wash and help with drying. I highly recommend the INTERGREAT Portable Washing Machine.

We found the INTERGREAT Portable Washing Machine very easy to use and effective at getting cloth diapers clean using the Measure Method of Diaper Laundry.

As mentioned earlier, the right amount of agitation is a pivotal factor. This compact washer/spin-dryer states it has 280 W of washing power, which we found really provided good agitation.

A significant plus is the 8lb capacity washing tub, accommodating several diapers at once. This means less frequent laundry days, a win for anyone with a tight schedule. The ability to add your own water ensures there’s ample water for every wash cycle, so it’s easier to rinse detergent clean away (a lot like olden day washers, which could handle bubbly soaps; though I still recommend using HE detergent). You ca add water manually, or if you prefer, you can connect the water inlet to a faucet using a connector tube provided.

Operating this washer is a breeze, thanks to the straightforward control dials. There’s a dial for wash time, one for selecting the agitation level (gentle or normal wash) and also for drain control, and a third for managing the drying spin cycle. These controls are neatly tucked away under a cover you can flip up and down. This not only keeps them clean but also out of reach from little curious explorers, a thoughtful feature for households with toddlers.

It’s important to note that the spin dryer may not get your diapers bone dry, but it does a decent job of removing excess water, cutting down on the hang-dry time notably. And since it operates without heat, there’s no risk posed to your PUL (Polyurethane Laminate), snaps or hook & loop. The spin and wash sides can operate at the same time, which is a time-saver.

Adding to its appeal, this compact washer/dryer is easy to tuck away when not in use, a practical feature for those with limited space.

All in all this little washer/dryer works great though it’s not without its downsides. For example, the drain hose is on the shorter side, which may mean taking a trip to the hardware store for an extension. Also, the protective cove piece for the spinner, though I recommend using it to protect your diapers, can be a bit of a hassle to insert and remove.

This washer/spin-dryer combo strikes a good balance between capacity, agitation, and ease of use. Its simple yet effective controls paired with the sizable washing tub and quiet operation makes the laundry chore less daunting, especially for cloth-diapering parents.

The package includes one clothes washer, two water inlets, and instructions. Read our full review here.

Best Fully-Automatic Portable Washer: Panda Small Portable Washing Machine

Best Fully-Automatic Washing Machine
Panda Small Portable Washing Machine
$249.12
Pros:
  • Easy to connect to the faucet with provided adaptor
  • Fully automatic, turn it on and walk away
  • Relatively quiet
  • Ten different washing programs and five water level options, including soak, let's you build your wash routine like a normal washer
  • Good agitation
  • Large wash and spin capacity of 10 lbs
Cons:
  • Difficult to roll on the provided wheels if you're moving it regularly
  • Settings and Instructions can be difficult to understand at first
  • Low spin-dry speed (but does have "air-dry" setting to correct the issue)
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02/21/2024 02:37 am GMT

Panda’s PAN6320W portable washer basically just one step below having a real washing machine hooked up. It’s a sturdy stainless steel unit with a good wash capacity of 10lbs, fully automatic (once hooked up to your tap with the adaptor provided and the water turned on) and has great agitation. It’s everything you could ask for from a mini-washer.

The built-in rollers/casters also made it easy to move around my small apartment. I was able to fit a surprising amount of clothes in the machine’s large wash and spin capacity.

The control panel was easy to operate and offered 10 washing programs to meet all of my laundry needs. However, I did find the limited water level options to be a bit of a drawback. Additionally, some users have reported issues with the durability of the lid.

Overall, the Panda Small Portable Washing Machine is a great option for those looking for a compact and efficient washing machine for cloth diapers. It’s perfect for small spaces like apartments, condos, and trailers as well.

Best Non-Electric Washing Machine: WonderWash Portable Mini Washing Machine

Best Non-Electric Washing Machine
The Laundry Alternative's WonderWash
$69.99

If you're looking for a portable, non-electric mini washing machine, the WonderWash is my favorite option. It's perfect for small loads and the crank let's you agitate your wash without making your arms fall off from scrubbing.

Pros:
  • The Laundry Alternative is a longstanding company focused on portable washers
  • It's non-electric, so you can use it even in a power outage
  • The hand-crank makes it easy to get very good agitation without too much elbow grease
  • Small and easily portable so you can use it anywhere
Cons:
  • It only has a 5 pound capacity so you'll need to do multiple loads if you have a frequent wetter
  • There are no cycle options, so you'll need to monitor how long is needed and then time it yourself
  • Doesn't fold down nicely like some other options, so you'll need transportation space
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02/21/2024 01:17 am GMT

We’ve been testing the WonderWash Portable Mini Washing Machine for a few months as the exclusive washer for the diaper stash of a 12-month-old kiddo, and her mom is really happy with it so far. It’s easy to use and gets the diapers (and baby clothes, which now gets washed in it) clean. The hand crank makes it easy to get good agitation, and because it’s non-electric, it does not rack up any electric or gas bills.

Since it’s non-electric, that does mean it requires you to agitate the laundry to get it clean, but thanks to the crank design agitating the diaper load isn’t too taxing and can be done while watching t.v. or relaxing.

One larger drawback of the manual agitation is that it will take a few times to get a rythem down and know just how long to spin the diaper load for, but our volunteer tester said that she had it down after about three weeks and has found doing four or five short bursts of agitation during a 30 minute period is enough.

Once the diapers are washed you will need to rinse them out, either by rinising them in the tub or doing another few rounds in the WonderWash with fresh water. Once again, the perfect system for you will take some trial and error for this washer. Since the capacity is only five pounds, if your baby is young and going through a lot of diapers in a day, it may require multiple loads.

One last thing to keep in mind is that you’ll need to assemble the WonderWash Portable Mini Washing Machine before you can use it. It’s not difficult, but it is a chore to add to the list.

Despite the downsides over an electric washer, I would highly recommend the WonderWash Portable Mini Washing Machine if you’re looking for a portable and eco-friendly mini-washing machine that doesn’t require a ton of elbow grease like the other non-electric options (which I cover below).

Best Portable Washer for Short Travel or Camping: Scrubba Portable Wash Bag

Best Portable Washer for Short Travel
Scrubba Portable Wash Bag
$55.00

If you're looking for a compact and ultra-portable washing machine for your cloth diapers while you're away on a short vacation or other trip where space is limited, the Scrubba Portable Wash Bag is a great option!

Pros:
  • Easy to get great agitation with the internal washboard design
  • Incredibly portable (can fit in your diaper bag or wet bag!)
Cons:
  • Can't wash very many diapers at a time due to size
  • Requires some elbow grease for agitation, rinsing, and wringing out clothes.
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02/21/2024 01:32 am GMT

If you’re looking for a compact and portable washing machine for cloth diapers, the Scrubba Portable Wash Bag is a great option to consider.

When my daughter was still overnight training, I tested out the Scrubba Portable Wash Bag for washing her overnight bedwetting pants while on a trip, and I was impressed with it overall. Probably the best thing about it is its size. It folds up and takes virtually no room in your suitcase, and of course, requires minimal detergent, so it and a travel pack of Tide (Amazon Link) keep me going the whole week for both the overnight trainers and a few items of clothes.

Even on the tough overnight pants, the patented washboard-in-a-bag design gave a machine-quality wash in just a few minutes, though it did require more elbow grease than I would have liked while on vacation.

One thing to keep in mind is that the Scrubba Portable Wash Bag is not suitable for large loads of laundry. It’s designed for small to medium loads, so you may need to do multiple washes if you have a lot of diapers to wash. In other words, if you’re cloth diapering a newborn who is soiling dozens of diapers a day, this is not the tool for you, but for a handful of diapers a day it works well.

Overall, I would highly recommend the Scrubba Portable Wash Bag for anyone looking for a compact and portable washing machine for cloth diapers. It’s fast, convenient, and versatile, making it a great investment for anyone who travels frequently or wants to reduce their environmental impact.

Alternative: Dezitrek All-in-One Hand Wash Bag and Plunger Set

Dezitrek All in One Hand Wash Bag and Plunger Set (Large)
$59.98

If you're looking for a foldable version of the DIY bucket and plunger washer the cloth diaper community has known about and loved for years this washer may be the solution for you.

Pros:
  • Plunger allows for good manual agitation
  • Does fold up small for travel (but not as small as other options)
Cons:
  • The telescopic handle can feel a bit flimsy
  • Small 4.5 lb capacity, even for the large size washer
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02/21/2024 02:32 am GMT

If you’re looking for an alternative to the Scrubba bag I mentioned above, you may want to consider the Dezitrek All-in-One Hand Wash Bag and Plunger Set is a great option.

This foldable version of the DIY bucket and plunger washer the cloth diaper community has known about for years is a compact and convenient solution for washing diapers on the go that’s perfect for camping, or traveling. The plunger agitates and plunge washes clothes effectively, making it a great alternative to hand washing.

The capacity of the Dezitrek Hand Wash Bag and Plunger Set is only 4.5 lbs of laundry (this is even the “large” version) however, a traditional DIY bucket and plunger and the Scrubba bag I recommend above can both handle 5 lbs of diapers or laundry. While this difference is slight, given that it’s more expensive and slightly less sturdy, it does fall short of being one of my top recommendations.

Overall, I would recommend the Dezitrek LARGE All-in-One Hand Wash Bag and Plunger Set to anyone in need of a portable and effective washing machine for cloth diapers who thinks the plunger would help them achieve a better clean, but who isn’t handy enough for a DIY bucket and plunger project. At the end of the day, it’s a good little portable washer that will get your cloth diapers clean if you give it enough elbow grease.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it necessary to have a separate washing machine for cloth diapers?

It is not necessary to have a separate washing machine for cloth diapers, but it is recommended. Using a separate washing machine for cloth diapers ensures that there is no cross-contamination with other clothes and that the diapers are thoroughly cleaned.

What is the best way to clean cloth diapers if I don’t have a washing machine?

If you don’t have a washing machine, the best way to clean cloth diapers is to hand wash them. Start by filling a sink or bathtub with warm water and adding a gentle detergent. Let the diapers soak for a few hours, then agitate them by hand to remove any dirt and stains. Rinse the diapers thoroughly and hang them to dry.

How do you wash cloth diapers in a portable washing machine?

To wash cloth diapers in a portable washing machine, start by filling the machine with warm water and adding a gentle detergent. Add the diapers and let them soak for a few hours, then run the machine through a wash cycle. Rinse the diapers thoroughly and hang them to dry. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific portable washing machine.

April Duffy

April is the founder of Cloth Diapers for Beginners and author of The Cloth Diaper Wash & Care Handbook. Since 2015, April has helped well over 75,000 parents and caregivers cloth diaper their children through this website, her book, her YouTube Channel, and the Cloth Diapers for Beginners Facebook Group.