This plug-in dryer is like a salad spinner for my clothes

A white cylinder with black top and bottom.

When my Panda arrived, I went on a cleaning spree

A cylindrical device in a bathroom. Marisa
Carroll

I live in an apartment three blocks from the closest laundromat.
It’s not the in-unit
laundry
setup of my dreams, but it gets the job done: I drop
off, I pick up, I pay the kind clerk between $20 and $45, and I’m
on my way. In New York, laundromats are considered essential
businesses allowed to operate during the stay-at-home order. But
I’ve also noticed more and more voluntarily closing to protect
their employees from the virus. I’m comfortable washing
my clothes in the tub, but have neither the indoor laundry space
nor the Mamma Mia! line-drying setup to let my clothes dry for
hours on end. I needed a solution.

And my husband, apparently, needed an internet rabbit hole to
fall down. After a few hours reading online reviews and watching
YouTube videos for portable spin-dryers, he landed on the Panda.
The “ultrafast portable spin-dryer” is the size of a
garbage can
, comes in white or stainless steel, fits one load
of wet laundry, and plugs right into the wall. It’s essentially a
giant
salad spinner
: It whirls your clothes around for five minutes
and barfs the water out through a spigot. Ever dry your Speedo in
one of those small dryers at the gym? That’s a Panda. At $150, it
was expensive, but cheaper than a few months of wash-and-fold.

When my Panda arrived, I went on a cleaning spree.

A white cylinder with black top and bottom.

I filled my tub with water, a little bit of
OxiClean
, and an even littler bit of
detergent
, let my clothes soak and whoosh around for 20 minutes
(I used the end of a
Swiffer Sweeper
as my stirrer, like a witch at her cauldron),
then emptied the tub and refilled it with cold water to rinse off
remaining soapy residue. I drained the tub again, put the Panda
into the tub, plugged it in by the sink, filled it with clothes,
and turned it on. The appliance, whirling and spitting the
clothes’ excess water (if you don’t want to put this in the
shower, you can just put a bucket underneath the spigot), managed
to get thin items (T-shirts, shorts,
leggings
) very dry and thicker ones (towels,
denim, sweatshirts) pretty dry. And watching it work was like a
magic show … for extremely bored people … trapped in their
homes during a pandemic.

I was possessed. I took down the shower curtains and washed
those. I cleaned the duvet covers. I cleaned every pair of sweatpants
and leggings
I own, which I have been pairing with
button-down shirts
and earrings for Zoom meetings (in the
beginning, I wore pants with zippers — no more). Now, I can’t
wait for the workweek to end so I can spend whole days
stress-cleaning with my cute little dryer friend. My Panda. My
Wilson.

Other at-home laundry tools

A hand pours liquid from one bottle into aonther.

Patric Richardson, a.k.a. the Laundry Evangelist, who runs a
laundry camp and offers how-to videos on his site, says it’s
easier to wash your clothes in the kitchen sink, which is generally
much roomier than the bathroom. He also says the most
straightforward cleaning agent is one you probably already have on
hand: foaming hand
soap
. “Never
dish soap
,” he says, because it’s generally quite acidic,
which, while being effective for cutting through grease, could
damage fabric.

Plastic container with handle.

In terms of spot-treating stains, Richardson recommends “using
one part water mixed with one part white vinegar in a spray bottle to saturate and soak the
stain before washing.”

A folding rack.

If you do have room for a drying rack, Marilee Nelson, a
nontoxic consultant and co-founder of Branch Basics, recommends a drying
rack, like this one, which she suggests should be placed in a room
with an exhaust vent, “like the
bathroom
or laundry room, to speed up the drying
process.”

Source: FS – All – Architecture 10
This plug-in dryer is like a salad spinner for my clothes