Good humor makes all things possible.
-Charles Schultz-

With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.
-Shakespeare-The Merchant of Venice-

Saturday, May 11, 2013

This is the way we wash the clothes, wash the clothes, wash the clothes

Didn't do it.  He swears. 
Okay well he DID do THAT, but it was a science experiment to see how big a kitten the shelf could hold
an unfortunate accident.  He swears.  

For a long time my [rebuilt] washer has leaked a little out the bottom.  I haven't had any money to replace it, so as long as I built  a levee of old towels around the edge with each load, I got by.  But suddenly it got much worse.  The levee could only absorb so much, and greasy brown water would ooze out across the laundry room floor.  It clearly wasn't going to get better, no matter how hard I wished it would.  I turned it upside down and asked e-how for help.  E-how just laughed.

Like everybody, I have to do laundry.  I confess I really like to do laundry, which is fortunate because  I will have to do it for the rest of my life.  I seriously needed a new washing machine.  

Compared to her old washing machine, this looks pretty good.
I still didn't have any money in the literal sense, but I have good credit, so the nice gentlemen at Carmona's were happy to sell me one and even installed it the next day.  I gathered up a load of marginally dirty clothes and kitchen towels.  So far, so good.  

Although basic, compared to my old washer, it looks pretty swank.  And I fixed the shelf.

If course there was a hitch.  As the lady in the Surgomatic ad realized, we live in The Future!  Good for her, less so for you and me.  All the newest technology, hand in hand with the latest social conscience,  (hindered somewhat by the notion that we need to brush our teeth using the melted ice from our nightcap because of flagrant water waste by obstinate Republicans citizens) means that we are now expected to wash a load of clothes with just one or two quarts of water. 

 Hey, I reduce, re-use and recycle.  I use cloth grocery bags. I put tennis balls in the dryer instead of brainkiller  Bounce.  I'm a good sport who cares about the planet and all, so I'm on board. 

I just would be much happier if the laundry got clean, and not barely damp merely wet.  The internet offers plenty of irrelevant suggestions  (like, "use recommended detergent" and "pick a better major"), and varied product reviews, some glowing and some scathing.  Apparently many consumers confuse "wet" with "clean",  but they are satisfied with their futuristic washers.  

I wanted to believe.   I did. 

Believe it or not, I used to be pretty gullible.  I once bought "washer balls" and used them instead of detergent for at least a couple of years before I realized they were a slick gimmick and our laundry got clean from sloshing around in a washer full of water and not because of magic ceramic pellets hidden inside the washer balls.  

(Amazon doesn't sell the ones I had, but these are basically the same stupid thing.)

So I talked to my old pals at Carmona's, which is a locally owned appliance store that tells me the truth and beats the big box store prices with one hand tied behind its back.  They suggested using the "bulky load" setting which is code for "uses lots more water than the other settings" and now my laundry comes out clean and fresh.  The new washer generously spins out a little more water than the old one, so things dry a little faster.  I promise to use that extra two ounces of water to brush my teeth.

Here is proof that I am an urban farmer with a vegetable garden in my backyard.  I have lavender (it smells nice, which is balm for the soul), my venerable old thyme plant, basil from Trader Joe's, marigolds because why not, and one yellow cherry tomato plant (note the blossoms--this could be the year!)  I am not a terribly successful vegetable gardener; but every year I plant something, just in case Dad should look down from Heaven and take pity on me, buying my produce at the farmers' market.

Haha, that's rich! You can't burn anything in the fireplace anymore.  I just dumped it on top of your dirty laundry.


  1. Your lavender looks terrific. Here in Virginia, it doesn't like pots, but at least it does well in the ground. Every year, I plant more plants in as many varieties as I can find.

  2. Oddly enough, lavender grows great here, but evidently only in rows in the gardens of lavender farms. I bought one and it died in our frigid winter. Have to ask the pros what they do...

  3. My "fix" for our more efficient (less water) washer is to leave the 2nd rinse setting on all the time. I kept finding soap left on the clothes! Yuck.

    We can not grow lavender here, except as an annual.

    1. While I appreciate the idea of "high efficiency" appliances, I know we got sold a bill of goods this time. I use the extra rinse too, but how depressing a workaround that is. An extra minute or two in the shower undoes any water "savings" (AND our laundry wouldn't still have soap--and cooties--on it.)

  4. I have been reading that the use of cold water for washing is a problem, too. Energy efficient, but not saniary enough to get rid of mites, etc. So I have gone back to hot for sheets, towels and undies. I see you got top loading - I prefer that syle, too. Your laundry room looks great - I like your floor!

  5. Laundry update for lost readers: It seems that the "Super Wash" setting delivers slightly more water than the "Bulky Load" setting. (Because that makes perfect sense, right?) I'm still not happy with this one-trick pony of a washing machine, but I suppose it's better (not much) than beating my laundry on rocks by the creek. Got my eye out for a Surgomatic, though.