So I live in an RV... Does that mean my life is a vacation and I don't do normal daily chores like laundry or dishes? Abso-freaking-lutely not! Of course, I still do the laundry. I actually feel like I do laundry more now since tiny living means tiny load sizes in my tiny washing machine.
For the most part, my laundry routine is as normal as it ever was, but there have been a few things I had to change when adjusting to RV life. I'm not going to lie, it took a while to get used to my tiny washer and I had to adjust some things in order to make the most out of it. But let's get real, adjusting your laundry routine is 100% better than having to go to a laundry mat every week.
What Had To Change
1. Load Size
Let's go ahead and talk about the elephant in the room...
Yes, the rumours are true. Tiny washer means tiny loads. I'm talking, 3 towels and it's full, tiny! But it's still better than taking your laundry elsewhere to get it done.
This is something that Grant still struggles with and honestly at first, I did too. I thought they were kidding and I could stuff that washer full and everything would magically be clean. Grant's philosophy is that if there's hot water and soap going in it, so that's good enough.
I know, I facepalmed too.
Sure you could do it Grant's way and just imagine your clothes are clean, but when you pull the clothes out and smell them, they're going to still be a tad bit musty. Sure, they'll smell better, but not clean.
My advice, keep it small and do loads more frequently.
2. Type of Detergent Used
This one took me about 6 months to figure out and I had to contact the manufacturer to find out what in the world was going on.
I have always been a liquid detergent kind of gal and I had rarely lived somewhere with front-loading washers. Maybe it's just me that didn't get the memo, but I had no idea that you're supposed to use powder detergent with all front-loading washing machines.
The liquid worked great for the first few months but then it started to smell less and less clean. This was both because of the detergent I was using and the fact that these tiny combo units do require cleaning from time to time.
I did, in fact, switch to powder the same time I started cleaning my washer regularly so, to be honest, I'm not sure if it was a combination of the two or one over the other. But the fact is, they both boost the freshness my clothes get when coming out of the dryer.
3. Batteling the Wrinkles
Yep. This is the most annoying thing about our combo washer/dryer. No matter when you pull the clothes out, they're going to be wrinkled to hell!
You could literally be standing there waiting for it to finish and they're still wrinkled. It's honestly a travesty.
How did I fix this? I broke down and bought a steamer...
Why? Because I tried the wool balls and other gadgets that are supposed to keep your clothes from wrinkling but in the end, nothing worked. Also, because irons are overrated and who in the RV world really has enough space to set out an ironing board and iron all their clothes?
4. Cleaning the Unit
If you were to ask me how often I clean my washer a couple of years ago, I would have looked at you like you were off of your rocker! Why would I have to clean the thing that is supposed to be doing the cleaning?
I hear you, this is nuts! However, with these tiny combo units, it is a necessary step if you want that fresh laundry smell in your clothes.
The biggest reason why is that like many combo units, you don't have a lint collector. The idea behind this scandal is that these units have a more gentle wash and dry than your traditional units and don't produce lint to be collected.
Well anyone who has ever 1.) owned a dog, or 2.) owned a fluffy sweater knows that no matter how gentle the wash cycle, you're still going to leave lint everywhere. That's where the cleaning comes in handy and you'll really notice a difference if you do this regularly. I try to do it every other month but you can do it more or less depending on how often you use the unit.
How Exactly To Clean Your Washer/Dryer
In a fit of frustrated rage after 6 months of owning my combo unit and the freshness increasingly disappearing from my "clean" clothes, I contacted the manufacturer directly to report my defective unit. That's when the very nice man at Splendide gave me step by step instruction on how exactly to clean my unit.
What will you need to clean your washer?
Affresh washing machine cleaner tablets
What unit do I have? The Splendide WD2100XC.
If you don't have the same unit or a Splendide at all, no worries! Just use a similar cycle.
Open the door and add one tablet into your empty washer (you'll use one tablet for the entire process). Close the door and set your washer to the (#11) Gentle Silk setting and turn the dryer time off. Start the cycle and wait for the water to stop running. The washer should be at least 1/3 full at this point. If it's not, reset the machine by holding the start button down and restart the same cycle.
When the washer is 1/3 full of water, reset the machine and switch the setting to (#12) Gentle Wool setting and hit start. Let this cycle run until it stops tumbling. Reset the machine by holding the start button again.
Switch the setting to the Drain cycle and hit start. Wait for all the water to drain. Once it's done, open the door, remove and set aside the tablet then take your paper towels and wipe away all remaining dirt and lint.
Repeat this process 2 more times.
RV life is the most rewarding life in my opinion. Even though it's not always glamorous and sometimes you have to clean your washing machine. But it's still the best lifestyle I could ever imagine.
I have truly grown to love my tiny combination washer/dryer and the convenience it has given me to live this free-spirited lifestyle without having to plan stops to do laundry. I hope that this blog and others have helped you live your best RV life.
What has been your RV laundry experience? Leave a comment below! We love hearing from you.