The Lavario Portable Off Grid Clothes Washer Video Review

When I was contacted by Lavario to review this product, I got nervous because Jaimie has a track record of slamming other off grid washers. But she looked over the Lavario website and was intrigued with a number of the features. In fact, the more she looked at it online, the more she wanted to try it. So I agreed to have the company send one over as long as they promised to send one to a contest winner over at our Patreon page.

The Lavario Portable Clothes Washer arrived and Jaimie was excited to get it out of the box and begin to look it over. We initially sat with the box and chalk talked the possibilities and what we hoped the washer would accomplish. Would it meet Jaimie’s expectations?

What Makes A Good Off Grid Washer?

  • It must be light in weight
  • It can’t make a mess with splashed water
  • The load size must be worth your time
  • Built with quality

lavario washerAfter getting the washer out of the box, we looked it over and put it together. Assembly was easy and the included color instruction manual was full of pictures.

Jaimie decided to run a test on a small load of laundry that included t-shirts, socks and a pair of shorts. She has since used it inside but this first test was out at the laundry building we have on the homestead. The whole load took just over 30 minutes total with us filming. You may notice that we probably could have used more water in the wash and rinse. It will easily hold 5 gallons.

She was really impressed with the washer and like I said above, has used it multiple times since we recorded the video.

Things We Would Improve

  • A couple of times when using the washer with hot water, the handle has detached. Perhaps the hot water softens the plastic and doesn’t allow it to hold as well when using cold water.
  • Also the lid to the wash basket doesn’t seem to be tight in hot water. It would be better if the heavy duty plastic used would stay hard and tight with the use of hot water.

off grid clothes washerThat said, this had been the best off grid portable washer Jaimie has ever used. the biggest downfall of the other washers on the market is the limited load size. This washer allows you to run a good size load in a short time making the effort worth it.

Reasons to use a Lavario Washer

We understand that most people don’t live off grid. But imagine a world that is suddenly unplugged. Staying clean and keeping clothes clean is a big step in staying healthy. The Lavario Portable Clothes Washer would be great for:

  • societal collapse
  • off grid living
  • extended primitive camping trips
  • mission trips
  • third world living
  • saving money at the laundromat
  • use in apartments and dorms
  • gently wash delicate fabrics
  • friendly for the environment

Coupon Code for $20.00 off your purchase

If you think you’d like to purchase the Lavario Portable Clothes Washer, please consider using our coupon code that will give you a full $20 off the purchase price at checkout. By using our coupon code, you will also be helping out the homestead. COUPON CODE: AAH20

If you have purchased and used the Lavario Washer, please leave a comment below and tell us and our audience what you think.

About Zachary Bauer

Zachary lives with his wife, two sons and his wife's parents on An American Homestead deep in the mountains of the American Ozarks. They all moved there together in July of 2013 where they began to build the homestead. They are off-grid with the exception of a phone line.

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  1. Best looking hand washer I’ve seen.
    You guys did a great job with the review video!

    • Don’t forget, from Lavario’s website re the lid when using hot water:
      “Lavario was designed to work well in both cold and hot water. • However, in some cases when water temperature is very hot and cycling up & down is very vigorous, the lid may slowly wiggle off. We have provided a retention pin (A) to prevent this. If you use the pin, be sure to align the hole on the lid (B) with the hole on the basket (C). After the lid is attached to the basket, simply insert the pin through both holes (B & C). You may store the pin in the hole on the lid handle (A).”

      See their website for the pictures related to the instructions. Hope that helps!

  2. Thanks Jamie!
    Turkey agrees with you regarding spinner, you can do a better job 😉 We are using hill-billy washer at the moment, bucket and plunger with holes in it. Nothing worse than a painful back, pray it improves quickly.
    You guys have given us so much inspiration the last 12 months. We found you on New2Torah, love watching both channels. We have sold up our home and started home schooling (after watching your videos about getting out of debt/public schools and everything just clicked) and we living in our caravan, touring New Zealand, with our 2 boys looking for a new home, which I’m hoping will be off grid, or prepped for off grid 🙂 Shalom

  3. I was watching this video and had a thought. Maybe a way to get more water out of the clothes. Would it be possible to make a hand cranked turn table, inside a drum or container that had a latchable door, that would sit at the same hight as the top of the tub portion of this washer, so she could just slide it inside and have the wash basket lock in so the holes aren’t covered. Then latch the door and have system so she could sit comfortablly and use her arms ( together or alternatly) to spin the turn table? Also have a spout attached to the outside of the drum so you could drain or possiblly reuse the grey water? Just a thought, and thanks for reading this. I’ve like your videos, they have been a great inspiration. Blessings to you all.

  4. Vivian Rivera Zayas

    What is the website to look into pricing? A simple online search didn’t take me to them.. Great video!!! Thank you…

  5. Two points:
    Brevity is the soul of wit.
    You wear a gun around the house?

  6. Regarding the plastic softening in hot water… in the instructions accompanying the Lavario washer I just purchased, it says to use lukewarm or cold water.

    I agree that trying to press the water out by dumping the wash into the bucket and pressing down on it with the “piston” bucket is a complete waste of time, and that hand wringing is no trouble.

    Sorry your back prevents using a mechanical wringer. That’s my next purchase.

  7. We just replaced our trouble-fraught old electric pump for a Simple Pump, and now have off-grid, manual water. With that, we needed to get rid of the “normal” washing machine–even though it was rated as “high efficiency,” it used 30 gallons of water per load…and when you’re pumping water by hand, there’s just no way to make that on-grid washer adapt.

    The Father provides in such funny ways–the perfect timing on this bit of information-sharing was such a blessing for us. we had been researching different off-grid laundry helpers, and as soon as we watched this video, we bought a Lavario (thanks so much for the discount!).

    Up until this point, I’d been using an antique washing plunger and 5 gallon bucket. The Lavario is a lot easier to manipulate, like Jamie said, and takes far less energy than the washing plunger. In my experience, however, it seems to take a bit more than 5 gallons per cycle–in order to facilitate easy up-and-down, I think I’m using around 7? I haven’t measured exactly, but I find it a lot easier to use when there’s a little more than just 5 gallons in there. No issue, just a few more minutes pumping water.

    I also make sure that I go through each piece of laundry after the washing “cycle” and do some hand scrubbing in the wash water, just in case anything is still in need of a little TLC. I find myself not believing that ten up-and-down motions is enough to get the clothes clean, but it may just be my mind still adjusting. The soaking times given in the instructions are CRITICAL, though. It’s amazing to see how much dirt comes out after soaking.

    I also use each water twice. If I were to wash two “loads” of laundry, I would wash the first, wring the water back into the lavario, wash the second load in the same, soapy water, then dump it and refill it with clean water to rinse both loads. I find that they get just as clean, but the water gets a little more use out of it.

    I now use the washing plunger and bucket just for washing cloth diapers. (I won’t miss these days! I think Jamie is probably the only person I’ve ever “met” online who might understand this.) I don’t want to put soiled diapers in my Lavario…can you blame me?

    Overall, I really like how sturdy the Lavario is, but also lightweight. It seems very thoughtfully designed, and it’s saved me a lot of energy on the homestead now that we’ve switched to totally manual water. I really appreciate you all sharing the information–we had done lots of research online for something like this, but all we could find were salad-spinner washers, and I really wasn’t impressed with how they looked.

  8. The timing on recommending this washer could not have been better for us. Having just gotten our manual well set up (Simple Pump!) we needed a system that worked with hand pumping water (our high-efficiency “normal” machine had used 30 gallons a load. AAH!) I was not impressed with the salad-spinner washers I saw online.

    The Father just provides, doesn’t he? As soon as we saw your review, we got a Lavario (thanks for the coupon!). And it has been great. I had been using a 5 gallon bucket and washing plunger, but the effort needed on the Lavario makes me feel like I can get a lot more laundry done with the energy I’ve got. (The washing plunger is now just for washing cloth diapers…something I won’t miss when they’re finally not needed, haha). I will say that I feel like it needs more than 5 gallons to really be filled– I think I’m putting around 6-7 gallons for every “cycle.”

    I also use the rinse water from the previous cycle as the wash water for the next cycle–it really seems to use the water well (when you’re pumping by hand, every drop counts!). I like how light and portable, yet durable it seems. Very thoughtfully designed.

    This has really been a help. Thanks for the recommendation!

  9. Can you recommend some type of wringer?

  10. I’m 69, hanging over the bath tub is a chore and a half.I think I’d like it!

  11. Thank you for the review, I ordered a Lavario after reading it. And thank you for the coupon code!

  12. Don’t forget, from Lavario’s website re the lid when using hot water:
    “Lavario was designed to work well in both cold and hot water. • However, in some cases when water temperature is very hot and cycling up & down is very vigorous, the lid may slowly wiggle off. We have provided a retention pin (A) to prevent this. If you use the pin, be sure to align the hole on the lid (B) with the hole on the basket (C). After the lid is attached to the basket, simply insert the pin through both holes (B & C). You may store the pin in the hole on the lid handle (A).”

    See their website for the pictures related to the instructions. Hope that helps!

  13. I bought one of these washers for emergency scenarios, but can anyone recommend what they use/store for detergent? TIA!

    • I use biological powder laundry detergent in warm 40 degree Celsius water now because enzymes in it get clothes clean at this temperature and saves me using a lot of fuel to heat water to hot. I used to heat water to 60 degree Celsius and use ordinary soapy-type laundry detergent. Both ways get clothes very clean but this new way using just warm water saves a lot of heating fuel nowadays. I always pre-soak clothes for 15 minutes in 40 degrees warm water in my Lavario first to loosen dirt before doing the up/down basket agitation. For baby diapers i still do old way with soapy detergent and hot water as it’s healthier for infant skin. Whether I am doing a hot soapy wash for baby diapers or a warm bio-powder wash for everything else, I always ensure to use just a little detergent (too much powder does not result in cleaner clothes- less is best) and rinse twice. Both these points are really important as these two common mistakes are what causes detergent residue which results in unfresh clothes which attract grubiness. For getting excess water out of clothes after washing i use a foot pedal mop spinning bucket which works well and is low energy but is for consuming as can only soon a few items at a time however it’s worth it overall because clothes dry much quicker on the line afterwards so won’t smell musty after long drying time on the line on humid cloudy days. Obviously i try choose sunny or windy days as laundry day. In winter i use a pulley ceiling dryer indoors near my wood stove. Hope my experience helps others. Thank you for your honest review of this product. God bless your family.

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