Saturday, January 26, 2013

My Twin Tub Panda Washer Review

This post will be a review.  Let me tell you a little bit about how I got it first.

When looking for a washer, I was almost getting ready to buy a small 5lb capacity countertop and a spin dryer. It was then that I ran across twintubs. My husband said it only made sense to have both units in the same piece.

Twin tub washers are apparently very common in the UK, but mostly non existent here. After wondering in Amazon for a while unsuccessfully, I switched to Ebay and the Twin Tub Panda mini appeared. (Update: Amazon is selling it now, click here for the listing)

It was everything I needed. A nice tub, a spin drier and a drainer! not having to drain manually was a huge plus, and the price was right, it was cheaper to buy this beauty than to buy a spin dryer and any small washer. The catch? it was just released into the market and no reviews were made.

When buying online, you rely on what others' experiences are. If you lack that, it becomes a little dicey, but I went with my guts and after not being satisfied with anything else, I made the purchase.

Since there are still no to little reviews, here's mine.

If you want to see the machine and all its features (which I'm too lazy to write) watch the video by the manufacturer:


The machine works beautifully, it is quiet and highly efficient. I have washed bathrobes, blankets, even an army jacket, and it gets dirt out of those things amazingly well. I just wish it had a "light duty" selection in which it wasn't as strong. I've found my delicates and stretchy clothes to lose elasticity; so, when I'm washing those (which is why anybody without a washer would want one of these in the first place), I just use less water than the level, therefore the machine itself loses strength, and I only run the wash for a minute. I also wish the drainer had a timer, sometimes I forget to go back and turn it off, which is a waste of electricity trying to keep the pump running. The more water it has, the more swiftly it works.


This beauty costs what a spin dryer would cost by itself. No way you can beat it.


I've had this machine for over 3 months now. It works just like the very first day. The requirements that it has is cleaning the tub, which takes 5 seconds, specially if you have a towel hanging in front of your face, some cleaning of the lint trap (which is useless pretty much), and cleaning below the joints once in a while.

Go to My FAQ for washing diapers on a Panda!

Honestly, I don't know if I could do cloth diapers in a regular laundry setting. This machine won't drain unless you switch the rinse knob so I can forget that I left clothes on it and they won't get sour. I toss the hanging wet bag into the tub. It takes several filling and draining, but I only have to walk 10 steps in order to do so (did I mention I have it inside my bathroom?), and I can leave it filling, washing or draining (if I forget that it was filling, it won't flood the bathroom, the excess water will drain itself).

 The only problem is that it doesn't have the capacity to wash more than one day's amount of diapers (with 2 kids), but I don't have the budget to have more than a 2 day stash anyway. The spin drier leaves them to the point that the covers are usable within the hour, and the cotton stuff within a few hours, and that's considering that it's winter time in the East Coast.


I got this machine because I was drowning in dirty clothes. Not only has it washed all the clothes I would usually not send to the laundromat, it washes everything. If it had a timer in the drain, I could appreciate it, as well as a not so strong cycle. Otherwisye, it's decently sized and hard worker. I love this product!

 Before you buy

Be aware of certain things, I got this washer because it is EXACTLY what I needed, but it's not what other people may need.

  • It is heavy. Not as portable as the smaller ones, and it does not come with wheels. I can lift it and put it in the closet if the super comes (no, I don't think it would qualify for breech of lease contract, since I don't pump water in the drainage or have any plumbing directly installed into it, but still, I avoid the debate). But it's not as easy to bring, put water and then put away. Mine is always in the bathroom.
  • It's short. When it arrived, we didn't have space in the bathroom yet (first we switched the orientation of the door and now it opens to the outside) but in the meantime, I was washing in the hallway. Bending to pour water, bending to pick clothes, bending to put the drain hose in a bucket, it's a lot of bending, and it can turn into a pain in the back (literally!). We had a custom made bench, 15 inches high, to place it and that seemed to be the ideal height for me. Now I operate it as if it was a regular size machine. Plus, the drainer works better and the pump is faster, even when I forget the hose inside the tub and the water reaches the top level, it automatically drains into the bathtub without the need of the pump, thanks to that lifting.
  • It's not automatic. Washer and spin dryer come with a timer, so they turn off by themselves, that's it. For a regular load, you need to fill it up with water (it comes with hoses, but I use the shower hand held hose), set up the timer, then come back, drain, fill it again, set the timer again, drain again, transfer clothes to the spin dryer and set the timer again. I don't mind it since my bathroom is 10 steps from the living room and I just leave the shower head filling and do other things. I also start filling up a bucket while it drains and save time.
  • It can be noisy. Spin dryers are super powerful. If the load is unbalanced, the whole washer will start dancing all around (you can use it as a vibrator too)  Just wait until it catches full speed and if it makes horrible noises and moves like crazy,  open it and reaccommodate the last piece of clothing and the disk. Contrary to the washer, the more you fill it and stash it, the better it works and the less noise it will make. And remember always to put the disk with it, otherwise the noise will bother you and it won't work .
  • It creates lint. I admit I would be happier if I had a clothes dryer. The lint trap in this washer doesn't work very well (that's an understatement, it is a total joke), and sometimes I get lint lines in cotton clothes. I can remove them with a vacuum cleaner or a lint remover, but still. I usually put a trap in the drain to keep stuff from going in and throw it in the garbage instead. It still does marvels with my bathroom mat (just need to clean the bathtub afterwards). What has worked best is to separate clothes and wash cotton towels and mats apart from anything else, and use like colors in those.
  • It can get very moldy. That's been one of the biggest problems. It has a compartment in which you cannot reach to clean, and it can create a limitless supply of black and beige little friends, that will make your clothes stink more than they did before they got into the washer. In order to keep it low, I try leaving the tub dry and open overnight, and I run a wash with only hot water and bleach about once a month, plus my high pressure hose (aka shower at massage mode) can get a lot of it out by pointing the water at it directly. 


  1. Thank You for taking the time to put up this site.
    I was going to buy it, now I'm definitely will. I have major physical problems, so I'm going to make a wheeled stand, w/storage underneath while I save the money for the Panda. You save me a lot of pain (literally) for the tip on no wheels & make your own wheeled stand. I have plenty of wheels & materials to make one. If you can't make one maybe a microwave cart will do.
    Thank You again for the great info. I'll let you know how I make out when I get mine.
    I just have one question, Do you know where the cheapest place to buy one online except ebay.?

  2. Hi MaryAnn! Thanks for responding.
    The cheapest way to buy it is ebay. If you get it with blue controls it's even cheaper.I bought it with Bill me Later, so I'm actually finishing the payment this month, got it to pay interest free in 6 months. With all the money I have saved in the laundromat, it already paid for itself.
    Amazon has it as well, 10 dollars more, and it also has a credit program. If you decide to use Amazon, come back here and click from here to the link on the top right. It does not seem to be on sale anywhere else.
    A microwave cart may be too high, if you lift it more than 15 inches, it can get difficult, depending on your height (I'm 5'5").But in a pinch, you may use it just for transportation. Let me know how it goes.

  3. I will not deal with eBay, since almost every one uses papal. PayPal held up my c/c think I was someone else, and it cost me close to $300.
    I'm going to buy mine thru, $185.and no s/h charges.
    FYI ; the blue ones don't hold as much.
    I should be ordering mine very soon. I'll let you know how it works for me.

  4. Thank you for this review! It's very helpful. What kind of lint trap do you use?

    Any idea if there is something like this with the washer portion only? I plan on getting a separate spin dryer that can hold the entire load. Seems a waste to get the twin tub and not use both. But I will if not alternative exists.--M

    1. You only want a washer? Panda makes a washer a mini one. It's blue. You have to fill it manually. Amazon now also sells a larger one that features the water hookups for hot and cold. If you check on Amazon you will see it. It is called Sonya apartment sized washer.

  5. To clarify, I mean a single tub with a larger capacity than the small blue one.--M

  6. Hello. Thank you so much! I want to cloth diaper and want to invest in this!

  7. There are lint catchers that you can put into the washer part that will catch the lint. I took out the internal lint catcher because it would never stay attached during a load anyway.

    Another thing to keep on hand is water tape - the plastic piping is very cheap and I've already had two cracks form in the water line in less than 2 weeks of use. Wrapping water tape around it has solved the issue. Lots of complaints about the lines breaking on the internet...

    1. Hi, I'd appreciate a link for the lint catchers.
      I don't use the input pipes at all, in part because they looked pretty hopeless

  8. Hi! I just got this washer today and am so excited! It washed wonderfully and I put he clothes in the dryer- only half the clothes. I turned on the timer and the spin seemed to be making noise like something was off. I opened the lid readjusted the spin insert and tried to start the spin cycle again. It wont re start. I tried everything I could think of and followed the directions but it will not spin. The timer is running but no action. Thoughts?

    1. Hi!
      Have you tried emptying it completely?
      If so, do you hear any noise at all besides the timer?
      And third, have you checked if there's anything between the drum and the wall?
      Remember, it doesn't start if it is open, maybe the sensor got off.
      Anyways, it should be covered under warranty.
      I don't know if the quality has been consistent, my machine is almost 2 years old and still in pretty good shape.
      Good luck.