Thursday, February 2, 2012

Wishy Washy Memories

The washing machine died 3 weeks ago and I finally replaced it. I loaded it the minute it arrived home and the kids watched the whole process exclaiming and squealing in delight... Bunch-a dags! They won't be squealing when they have to do the washing themselves!

My first machine after leaving home was a twin tub (TT) in Japan (1993). I always hold the rinse water for the next wash and one very cold winter the cat, Arbuckle, jumped onto the machine thinking the lid was on and was shocked to find himself crashing though an icy crust. Do I need to describe his reaction?

The next washer was a late 70s TT from my grandma, followed by Sean's mum's TT Whirlpool - an early 70s (?) vintage - which washed so violently the clothes looked like they were trying to escape (socks were regularly thrown clear across the laundry). It was FANTASTIC! But soon I inherited Nana's top loading automatic and Sean kept repairing it until the only things which kept it running were washing line pegs and wire. When Nana had a stroke and she and Pa moved into nursing homes their newer machine came to live with us and I suppose we wore that one out too.

Around 2004 we moved to Gin Gin where the property owners had left behind their monstrous top loader which used 140 L with every wash. Now we were on tanks I choked at the water consumption. However my sister moved in and introduced us to front loaders. How curious! How DID the water stay in? Did it wash as well as a top loader? Was it as fast as a top loader? The damn thing used just 60L for the whole cycle so when Sean moved to Kingaroy I sent the white elephant with him and  *BOUGHT* a washing machine. OMG! *ME* SPEND MONEY?! And it wasn't a cheap one - it was an $800 whoopty-doo-scrub-yer-jeans-and-polish-yer-dog front loader.  Was I impressed? You bet! And I was sooo thankful for it because we then entered 5 years of severe drought and right at the end, when the rain failed completely, we were still able to wash nappies. MOST families ran out of water early that year and the kids were showering at school (or going to the public pool a lot more regularly! BLEAH!)

Anyway the Bosh has died (only 7 years old!)... and I replaced it with a twin tub.  NO, I am not nostalgic for manual washing but right now my wallet us firmly sewn shut. The TT cost 1/3 the price of a regular washer and can wash 3 loads in the time it takes a front loader to do one. It is simple enough for Sean to fix, uses the same volume of water as a front loader and if it is anything like its predecessors it will last 50% longer than an automated machine. And yes....EVEN A CHILD CAN USE IT.


  1. I can't believe they still make them - does it look like the old ones! I've used a couple over the years and recall them to be very efficient and water/energy saving...... i also recall the need to schedule in 'washing morning' to be a drag. Still a bit of repetitive mindless labour can be very a zen kind of way one mindfully participates in the act of making things clean again on behalf of others....a nice thought B

  2. Yup - looks just like the ones you could buy in the 80's - PERHAPS the styling is a little more rounded and plasticky. Meh, I work from home so I'm not losing any quality time, besides I FULLY intend to teach my children how to use it!

  3. A week and a half later...Pro: no backlog because I just keep chucking the clothes in the tub and hot wash when it's full.
    Con: Because the washing action is SERIOUS the old nappies are starting to dissolve and leaving lint on everything. Suppose I'd better pension those ones off.