Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Washing Machine

We are all pretty set in our ways when it comes to washing clothes. Some wash whites first, then darks. Some add bleach and softener at various times during a cycle. Yes, we all have our little quirks when it comes to laundry day.

You don’t? Well, I may have a little more OCD in me than most of you. I like to put the detergent and Oxi Clean in first, then the clothes, then as the machine is filling I feel the water to ensure the proper temperature and make sure there aren’t too many clothes in the machine for the amount of water. That way I can use my own judgment and make any changes before the machine does its miracle of washing my soiled duds.

We bought a new washing machine and dryer recently, and I thought we had made the biggest mistake of our lives. You know how it is when you bring something new home – excitement, anticipation, the new smell – I experienced all of the above, until I started the maiden wash.
First of all, husband and I admired the brand new cleaning machine after it was installed. So, we decided to initiate it with a load of whites – basically because we were all out of underwear. We poured in the detergent, loaded the clothes, and lowered the lid. We placed the dials in the correct mode – cool wash, large load, medium agitation – then we pushed the button and stared at this new marvel – and waited.

This new washing machine certainly had its own way of communicating. First it went through a series of clicking and humming sounds. Back and forth – click, click, humm, humm, click, click, click, hummm. What I was really anticipating was a water sound – as in filling up the tub with water. Nope. We stared at the thing for a good 4 – 5 minutes while it clicked and hummed. Then we heard it starting to fill. Thank God. I had phone in hand to have someone come and pick this washing disaster up.

I started to open the lid to check the water temperature and level, but I’ll be damned – the stupid lid was locked – hence the clicking sound. A locking lid – go figure. Probably because somewhere a toddler climbed up and drowned by opening the lid of an agitating washing machine (where’s the mother???) and a pro-bono lawyer won a million dollar settlement, took his $250,000, and so now every manufacturer has to build locking washing machines so they can charge more for the “new and improved” appliances. But I digress. Now I have no idea if there is enough water or if it is the right temperature.

Then we felt steam coming out of the seams of the lid – steam means hot water, and I selected “cool.” I turned the dial to hot, and the steam stopped. Hmmm, cold must mean hot and hot must mean cold. Another feature not mentioned in the instruction booklet.

After clicking and humming for 5 minutes, it started the wash cycle. The only way to describe this noise is to imagine a goose trying to give birth to several eggs at one time. This poor goose moaned and groaned for a good 30 minutes. I closed the door, I went into the kitchen, I went outside - I could still hear the goose struggling. I prayed the neighbors didn’t come over.

I went back to the store to complain and get a new washer, but after reading the mixed reviews online, all the new washing machines have these locking lids and adjusting tubs. I guess I’ll just have to live with the goose who is locked in jail. On the flip side, the spin cycle is the quietest I’ve ever not heard.

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