In 2009, About Laundry reviewed a Laundry Alternative Spin Dryer. The company has issued a new model that is sturdier, has a slightly larger capacity and performs much more quietly.
Laundry Alternative Spin Dryer SD6.3
Model SD6.3 is a portable centrifuge spin dryer that operates on 110-volts. It is simply plugged in to an electrical outlet and needs no further installation.
The dryer stands twenty-four inches tall and is 14 inches in diameter. It features carrying handles, three heavy rubber feet and a two- yards-long three-prong cord. The outside is heavy white plastic with a pastoral decal on the front with deer. The lid is clear blue plastic and has operating instructions clearly outlined. The dryer weighs 22 pounds and has a 13.8 pound capacity for wet laundry.
The key to successful operation of the spin dryer is loading the wet laundry correctly. Each piece of laundry must be loaded individually into the spin drum. They must be distributed evenly within the drum and pressed down firmly to avoid empty spaces. Leaving gaps will cause excessive vibration. The spin dryer works best with a full or nearly full load. There is a tight-fitting rubber mat that is inserted between the clothes and the top of the machine. This mat prevents items from leaving the drum during the high-speed spin and damaging the machine.
A container is placed on the floor under a spout on the front of the machine to catch the water that is spun from the clothes. Be sure it is large enough to catch all of the water. I used a four-cup measuring cup and it was sufficient. The water will begin to flow steadily within a few seconds of turning on the machine.
It is recommended to allow clothes to spin for two to three minutes. When the water slows and begins to drip, unlock the top of the dryer to stop the spinning and then remove the laundry.
The Laundry Alternative Inc.
The Laundry Alternative Inc. was founded in 1999 as a source of environmentally-friendly products. They carry everything from laundry sorting systems to septic system protectors to portable countertop washing machines.
Based in Nashua, New Hampshire, the company offers a thirty-day money back guarantee on purchases. Their systems are recommended for small spaces like college dorms, campers and boats. Because of the small size of the washers and spin dryers, the equipment is most useful for single people or small households.
The Testing Process
When I tried the original Spin Dryer in 2009, I was not pleased with the operation of the machine. It was loud, lightweight and "walked" around my laundry room and took nearly sixteen minutes to spin out the water. I found it time-consuming to use because of the small capacity and, while it did remove excess water, not so convenient that I would use it after every load of laundry.
The new SD6.3 is a much better spin dryer. It worked quickly and quietly.
With three minutes of spinning, one-third cup of cloudy liquid (water and detergent) was removed from four pairs of white briefs and one pair of calf-high cotton socks. I had held back the same amount of laundry from the same load and decided to time the difference in the time it took to tumble dry the spin-dried clothes and the "un-spun" clothes. Using an electric dryer on high heat, both loads took 25 minutes to dry. I dried the spun clothes first and it took 25 minutes - checking every five minutes - for the clothes to be completely dry. I then waited for the dryer to cool completely and dried the un-spun clothes. They, too, took 25 minutes before they were completely dry.
For the next test, I added six pairs of cotton briefs and two pairs of socks to the spin dryer. These produced 1/2 cup of cloudy water.
I then hung the spun clothes on a dryer rack inside my home. On the other side of the rack, I hung an identical set of clothes from the same washer load that had not been spun. The rack was placed away from any windows or direct ventilation and allowed to air dry. The clothes that had been spun dried in half the time of the un-spun clothes.
About Laundry Recommendation
For someone who is washing small loads of clothes and needs them to air dry more quickly, the Spin Dryer could be quite handy. However, for families that wash large loads and rely on only an electric tumble dryer, I don't find it to be an efficient use of time. Nor, does it have any significant impact on reducing time in the tumble dryer.
For items that are hand-washed, I can see that it would remove significantly more water than hand-wringing. It would also be helpful for removing water from rain-soaked clothes. I would not, however, recommend it for delicate knitted items that can become misshapen during too much handling.
I would not recommend recycling the water removed from the clothing as it contains laundry detergent and, if you use it, fabric softener residue.
The Spin Dryer SD.6 performs well and removes additional water from laundered clothes. It does not completely dry clothing. Before purchasing, consider how often you will use the dryer and balance that with the price of purchase.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.