Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Adventures with laundry and bad euphemisms

After today's display of laundry weirdness, I'm pretty sure my roommates are glad to (soon) be rid of me. When I got home from work, there were two big packages waiting for me* - a Wonder Wash hand crank washer and spin dryer I'd ordered a couple weeks back.

Yes, I'm going to start hand-washing my clothes. I found these machines online around the time my Apocalypses class was studying the impending peak oil crisis and the Transition Movement, and soon after I signed the lease for an apartment with no on-site laundry facilities. It seemed like a good time to try out these neat environmentally-friendly gadgets (and less than a third of the cost of the cheapest standard washer and dryer sets I was looking at, even with shipping). Also, I suck at doing my laundry the normal way - I hate lugging hampers around so much that my dirty clothes form a massive pile against the wall over the course of 4-6 weeks. It gets as tall as me sometimes.* I'm hoping that having more involvement in the process (and a much shorter process - more on that in a bit) will get me to enjoy it.*

So far, it's been pretty successful. And by "pretty successful" I mean "way more exciting than laundry should ever be for anyone, even a caveman frozen in ice, thawed in the 21st century, and shown a washing machine for the first time." I am just stupid over these machines. As soon as I got the Wonder Wash out of the box, I was assembling it, giggling madly, and preparing to do a test load. Which led me to proclaim, "I'm gonna do it on the table" and Kiah to respond with "That's what she said!" and thus began the torrent of "That's what she said"s.

Because y'know what? Once you get started down that slippery slope, it's really hard* to talk about the process of hand-washing your clothes without every other sentence becoming a euphemism. Statements like "This is so easy! I could crank this thing for hours!" were nigh impossible to express without giggling.

Anyway, the washing went well. The Wonder Wash has a large capacity for a hand-crank washer, and I was able to fit a sizeable amount of clothes into it. It was really easy - fill with water, add a bit of detergent (way less than usual), close up the lid, and crank for 1 - 2 1/2 minutes. The machine has a pipe doodad on the bottom to drain the dirty water, and all it takes is clean water and 30 seconds more cranking to do a rinse cycle. It takes more effort than the usual laundry process, but the time I spent doing it about equalled the time I spend on an average laundry day, between hauling clothes, wrestling with the basement monsters we call appliances, and washing my hand-knits, minus the annoying wait.

My first load came out awesome.**
(That's the washer and dryer sitting in the middle of everything, waiting for me to move into a place where they'll have permanent stations.)

The first load was made up of:
  • One long-sleeved t-shirt
  • One button-up shirt
  • Four short-sleeved t-shirts
  • Four tank tops
  • One pair of boxers
  • Five socks (How did I manage to lose a sock in a spin dryer?)
  • A whole mess of underthings
It all fit with room to spare* and took very little detergent to get clean. I spent most of the cranking process - and the draining and rinsing, and the moving of clothes into the spin dryer, and really pretty much the entire time there was any sort of laundry machine in front of me - informing my roommates through squees, giggles, and flailing that I was washing my clothes. They informed me through eye-rolling that whoop-de-freaking-doo. Laundry fever, sadly, is not contagious.

I think my favorite part of the whole process is the spin dryer. It takes three minutes or less* to dry clothes to a not quite wearable but very nearly dry state, and in that time it goes like this: Hummmmm--wwwobblewobble--vvvvrrrrrrRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGROAAARRRRR. The "groar" is the last minute or so of the cycle, where the machine spins so fast it vibrates the Pergo. Kiah described it delightfully as "like a monster truck in the kitchen." I find these noises oddly endearing. (They're also fun to immitate!)

I can see this system working for me. The only complaint I have so far is with the packaging. These two eco-friendly machines made by a company whose mission is to help the environment came packed in so much styrofoam I could've built a second, completely ineffectual hand-crank washing machine out of it.

So, to sum up: Squeed about laundry machines, got styrofoam packing crumbs and laundry water all over the kitchen floor, interrupted Kiah's TV watching, produced copious "That's what she said!" jokes and horrendous monster truck noises, and squeed some more about laundry machines.

Yeah, the roommates are just counting down the days till I'm gone.

The pets, on the other hand, like me more now. I brought them their favorite thing: boxes.

That's a three foot deep box, by the way. He was in there for five hours before Abby finally took him out - and that was because she was going to bed, not because he actually wanted to leave the box.

* That's what she said.
**That's what he said. (I'm sorry! I can't stop!)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the play by play run through of how to work these thing-a-ma-jigs. My normal washing machine tried to set itself on fire today, and in my research for a replacement, I ran across these. I'm inspired, this may be our new washer and dryer set. The washer looks like it holds way more clothing than I thought it would. I wonder if my toddler could crank them?


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