Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Washing Woes

What do nudists wear on casual Fridays?  ~A.J. Esther

We might know by the end of this week!

Washing machines are a wonderful thing aren't they.  When you can put the clothes in, walk away, carry out other pressing tasks and walk back to it to hang the washing to dry.  A great time saver! 

I have huge lamentations about mine at the moment.  It is certainly giving me grief.  Rather than freeing my time, it is taking it in its entirety.  (Sigh)  Each load requires checking once started to ensure the old Simpson is actually agitating.  When I return from my school walk to hang the clothes I am finding a load only half spun out, if that.  Yesterday it took until lunch time to actually spin my second load and by then so much drying time had simply evaporated.   Oh the woes of a house managing mother!

More time is consumed researching the apparent minefield of new washers, contemplating whether to give away top loaders and move to a front loader, deciding whether it is worth spending an extra grand on a good machine or sticking to about one grand for a middle of the range brand.  Choice reports are usually great for me and I buy what they recommend but currently there are so many conflicting reviews.  What Choice recommends others have found to be totally unreliable.  Finally, I decided on a Bosch (a highly reliable brand) only to read Choice's test scored it at only 59% for dirt removal.  Now excuse me, but isn't dirt removal exactly what I want my machine to do??  Oh yes, but I do want it to be gentle on my clothing, to be efficient in water and energy use, to rinse effectively, to not cost a fortune.  On and on it goes.

At this exasperated moment I feel my time and money might be better spent simply purchasing one of the above delightful vintage machines.  They sell at auction for about $50 it seems.  I do love living simply.  I love cooking everything we eat, I love drying my clothes in the sunshine, walking rather than driving, growing veges where I can, making toys and playthings for my daughters.  But could I really be happy day after day facing the prospect of washing my family's clothing in such a laborious and time consuming way?  I love the freedom a washing machine usually gives me, the ability to multitask, to have time and the ability to research on the internet and also blog to share.  I'd much rather be sitting here typing and reflecting than trying to wring my clothes piece by piece only to discover there was no remaining drying time as the cooler, shorter days contain less and less sunshine and less and less time to dry my clothes.   Yes a washing machine must be part of my modern simple life.

I am grateful for modern technology.  Lots of good has been brought to my household, lots of other still remains outside our doors.  I know that once I finally complete my research I will have a machine which frees my time and cleans my clothes satisfactorily.  We are spoilt for choice, aren't we, so much choice the freedom to choose becomes a chore.  I do love the research though.  I like to do it thoroughly. I won't risk grabbing a lemon quickly from the shelf.

Any comments welcome from those who are also in the washing machine market.  Please tell me you have just bought a machine which you absolutely love!  And of course - all the details.


Pip at Rest is not idleness said...

Yes, I would surely miss my washing machine if I didn't have it. I can't really give you any advice on machines, we've had ours for a while, it's a Westinghouse toploader (couldn't afford a front-loader) with an eco-rinse option. I do wash a lot less than I used to, that is we wear our clothes more before we wash them (not just wear it once and wash it) and one thing when they say a machine will wash a 6kg load (or whatever) they mean when it is really crammed in, which of course means it doesn't wash as well, so buy the biggest capacity machine you can afford. These shorter and cooler days are certainly making a difference to the drying times aren't they?
take care

Cee said...

Thanks for your thoughts Pip. We also wear more than once before washing - unless they are clothes next to the body or my husband's clothing! Yet I still seem to have at least a load a day with sheets and towels included in the mix for our little family. That is good advice to buy a high capacity machine. We've researched, now I think we need to take a look.

Cheers, Cee

Beth Brawley Taylor said...

Hello friend on the other side of the globe! I bought a new washer recently myself and I can feel your pain as you research and read and try to make a good decision. For what it is worth, I decided against the new front loaders because they require more expensive detergents and because a good middle of the road top loader was more in my price range. We bought a good Maytag and I love how it has performed so far. Don't know if you can get that brand where you are but i love mine. Happy washing!

Cee said...

Hello there Beth

Thanks for your comments. I think I have decided...I think. As I don't use detergent to wash but laundry balls (laundryball.com.au) and we are in drought here I'd like to make water efficiency a very high priority. So I am ringing around to get a good Bosch front loader for a medium range price.

Wish me luck. I have one store saying they can better any price I can get. So just have to find the best price first. With end of year sales around the corner I am hoping my old Simpson will last the distance to the best price. It certainly didn't like my three loads this morning!! Now, 3 hrs later, it is finishing the last load. :)

See you again

Homestay Mama said...

Good luck on the washing machine decision! I used to have a top loading Maytag and it worked very well. I loved it and my clothes always came out clean. But then I decided I wanted a front loader, and bought a Frigidaire. Very bad decision! I have hated it ever since! The only soap that I can use in it that will get my clothes clean is Tide HE (high efficiency)--which is expensive even at Costco! I would give anything to get my old Maytag back.

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