Saturday, January 10, 2009

My Washer Rant

I'm sorry y'all, but I've taken issue with these:High efficiency, front-end loading washing machines. If you've just spent two hours convincing your husband to drop an extra $200 (or more) on one, then you may want to stop reading. If you haven't fallen in to the craze yet, then I ask you to reason with me. What in the world about this machine will make your life happier?! Will your children spend several minutes watching it cycle for the first 5 loads of laundry...yes. After that, I think the benefits are highly debatable.

What about front-end loading is good? You go from letting gravity help you drop in the arm- load of clothes and tiny loose-cannon baby socks, to crouching down on the floor while you shovel your load in--against gravity--and drop all those little socks. Then, you (and your children) watch with amazement as water comes into the machine. But there's a problem with the design, and I bet if you have one you've called the maintenance man at least once to come service it. The problem is that small items, water, and soap (that are lightweight and therefore hurled most dramatically outward by the great centrifugal force) get caught in the little window apparatus. This can lead (nominally) to dragging clean clothes back through soap on the way to the dryer or (much worse) to stinky mildew in the window. "Oh but Abby," you say. "I am using less water and saving the environment and my wallet." And I am sure that you are, but why not just turn that little tub on its side and let it use gravity, along with its centrifugal force. You may have to use a little more water, but I bet you could use less force (thereby using less energy).

And do you really want to wash your clothes by the same method that our grandparents used to wash the dishes--making the bath of soapy water, throwing in all the dirty dishes, then pulling them out and calling them clean after we rinse them with a little water. Does it LOOK like that food infested, soapy water should be qualified to clean your dishes? That is precisely what that little bit 'o water is doing to your clothes.

I know that there are hundreds of engineers a lot smarter than me that designed these washers. I feel sure that I am wrong, and with a television from 1984, a microwave that used to adorn someone's dorm-room (and I AM still listing MICROWAVES as gadgets), and a brain that has only recently discovered that it IS indeed possible to control the volume on an i-Pod, I am not the one to talk to about all the latest gadgets. But if you ask me, these washers are a waste of money. We can use less detergent in our normal, top-loading washers, without having to crouch on the floor to do laundry. Did your old washer take 45 minutes to run??? Does that SOUND like you're saving electricity? They say you can do larger loads, but that is a pile of CRAP. Maybe my washer is some kind of super-sized dinosaur, but I can sure fit a heck of a lot more in my washer than those new things.

So, if you've already got one, then at least you're looking fancy and all your neighbors are jealous and you can pat yourself on the back because there have been "studies" done that say you're saving the planet with those little amounts of water you're using. If they go out of production in a year or so (as I am predicting they will), then hold onto it because they are sure to bring you a bunch of vintage value money on eBay in about 30 years. Happy Washing :)!

(Because I am betting a lot of you have one, and I don't want you to be too unhappy with money you've already spent, go here and be reminded why it is you fell in love in the first place.)

8 comments:

Gail said...

You are right on. My daughter, too, THOUGHT she wanted one. Well, her smart hubby did the research and he found...Everything you said....was true! Happy washing!!!!Good advise you are giving. Thanks...once again!! You are a WISE YOUNG BIRD!!! LOL...

becky said...

i agree! i was just thinking this morning i needed to put up a pic of my dryer. i am certain it is out of the 80s (mainly b/c of color. it's not green or gold...but rather, the lovely almond!!) but it's still gettin the job done. all i need is warm air.

melissa richie said...

Fascinating post, Abby! I don't think I know anyone else with such strong opinions about washing machines :)

I have to disagree with you, though. When Thomas and I bought our house we quickly realized that we didn't have any room for a top-loading washing machine. We could have made it work, but we would have only had room for a few shelves in our pantry (gotta love these storage-less houses!) As much as we didn't want to spend the money on one, we bit the bullet and bought mid-range front loaders.

I have never had to call the maintenance people, my washer has never had a bad smell to it, and Vale's clothes get considerably cleaner without the use of spot treatments (compared to my mom's and Thomas's parents top loaders). They do take a bit longer, but the drying is so much faster (25 minutes for ours) because the washer spins so well. I also love that I can stack clothes on the top of the washer without having to move them every time I reload. I can wash two garments without feeling like I am wasting a ton of water...I use about 1/8 cup of detergent...far less than my old machine...I could go on and on!

All that to say, I know that you didn't ask for a rebuttal, but since my front loader is actually my favorite appliance in my home, I felt that I must defend her honor!

melissa richie said...

sorry...i meant to say it takes 35 minutes to dry! i don't want to exaggerate her ability :)

Kendall Boggs said...

Have to post on this one! Well, I had to have the red LGs. I just HAD to have them. So, forked out the 2,800.00 for the pair. Yep! duh...1st of all...if you get a colored washer/dryer beware. If you put anything at all on the top such as a plastic laundry basket, and then drag it off, you are left with the nastiest looking scratches. That will not come out. This happened 1 week after I bought my coveted pair. Since then (last April) I have had LG out 3 times for repairs. Mainly because I can't get it through my head that you HAVE to use less detergent. It is true. You must use the correct detergent with those things and the right amount or they will bounce all over your laundry room! I do have to admit that I still love them. They wash the clothes really well and I like the fact that I can fold on top of the washer and not have to move the clothes to add a load (the best advantage!) :)))) Great blog! loves, k

Louisa said...

Aaaaack! I have the Whirlpool Duet washer/dryer and I love it so far... It's been great - but there are only two of us in my house (no baby clothes). But I do know what you mean about the little puddle of water that sits on the rubber ring on the door.

I've heard many of the same complaints you mentioned from my sister-in-law so now I am worried that our w/d are going to break... At least we got the extended warranty!

Dona said...

I have two- one we bought and one set we got used from my parents- I do not like them AT ALL!!!! Does anybody want to buy them? With all the laundry I have to do a top loader would be great!!My old one help more clothes, took much less time and made much less noise! Love the post- you are right on!

andi said...

Well said. I hadn't read your post that was taken off. I have done that too. :) You are very much the opposite of fake Abs! I appreciate to very opposite in you, which is indeed HONESTY. Don't know what someone said, words can be so hurtful.
I love the marshmallows you all made and hope to do them for V-day.
I am in TOTAL agreement with you on front enders.
I have a great one, it WRINKLES my clothes...ALL OF THEM. Thank you for your stance...I agree. :)
Would love to see you all soon.