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Zoe Mulford: Postcards (Blog)

The Washing Machine (Click Header for Full Entry)

Posted on March 10, 2010 with 0 comments

Our flat is outfitted with a single front-loading machine which washes, spins, and dries. Sadly, it does not do any of these things very well. The drier cycle is built to save energy, so it takes several hours and leaves the laundry damp. I’ve opted to save energy by turning it off and hanging the laundry on a rack instead.

It’s a Euro-machine, so all the controls are in pictures. Even with the manual, I’m not sure what some of them mean.

A healthy spin cycle shakes the floor and knocks over small lamps. If the machine is overloaded or the load gets off-balance, the machine commences what B calls “the march of death”, sitting there humming with the cycle control clicking impotently from one setting to the next. It will do this for hours if you don’t stop it.

You fix this by turning it off and waiting for the door to unseal. You can then open it up (the water level is usually low enough that it doesn’t pour out on the floor...usually...almost always) and redistribute the load by hand, wringing out any towels, which are usually the cause of the trouble.

Whatever the shortcomings of this little machine, at least it is in the flat. Many of our previous arrangements have involved lugging laundry off-site, saving up quarters, and occasionally coming home with strangers’ socks and brassieres.