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Stupid Washing Machine

Stupid Washing Machine

by Gina Valley

So, we got a new washing machine, and I lost my mind.

Same day.  One price.  I think it was some kind of a sale.  Two inconveniences for the price of one.

First off, because I’m just the teeny, tiniest bit OCD (read “totally OCD”) I had to read the User Guide, the Technical Information Booklet, and the User Manual (which is different than the User Guide.  I guess you aren’t allowed to be guided by any of the information in the User Manual) thoroughly before we could consummate our laundry cleaning relationship.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Stupid Washing Machine Liquid Powder Detergent Cycle Choices

I think the User Manual was written by Homer after he finished writing the Odyssey, and wanted to try his hand at something really long.  In 4 different languages.  I’m willing to bet that the club of “we who have read that sucker cover-to-cover” is very exclusive.

There is all sorts of interesting information in these fine laundry appliance publications.  The Technical Information booklet (apparently the appliance company thinks 176 pages is too short to call it a “book”) included several interesting (maybe just to me) wiring and mechanical diagrams.  Those will probably come in handy when we’re bored on Friday nights and decide to build our own washing machine from scratch.

It also had a section detailing the different cycles and options available.  Gone are the days of high, medium, and low water levels.  Forget about light, normal, and disgusting soil amounts.  Hot, warm, and cold water?  Puhleeze.

This is a modern washer.  This piece of contemporary laundry art has 5 different water temperatures, 5 different spin speeds, and 5 different soil levels.  Plus, each temperature, spin speed, and soil level is customizable.  And, it’s got 4 cup holders, surround sound, and Blu-ray.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Stupid Washing Machine Liquid Powder Detergent Cycle ChoicesAll totaled (don’t tell me that applied math degree is going to waste) there are 1050 different cycles possible.  There are 8 additional options possible after one has “designed” one’s cleaning cycle, for a grand total of 8400 different ways to clean clothes with this machine.

Now, I didn’t pick out this machine, so perhaps I’m judging it too harshly.  I will admit it is nice that it matches our dryer, and it does play pretty songs when it finishes a load.

But, honestly, I only need 3 options in my laundry cleaning mechanical helpers:  So-Disgusting-It-Probably-Should-Have-Been-Thrown-Out, Can’t-Tell-What-Color-It-Is-But-At-Least-It’s-Not-Running, and Perfectly-Clean-And-Folded-Stuff-Someone-Threw-In-The-Hamper-Because-He/She-Was-Too-Lazy-To-Pull-Out-A-Drawer.   Anything else is just overkill.

Well, except maybe the cup-holders.  You can never have too many cup-holders.

I also noticed, on page 26 of the User Manual (why does User Manual sound dirty to me?) that we have been using the wrong kind of detergent in our old machine.  We had it nearly 10 years.  Seems like we should have figured that out.  Ooops.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Stupid Washing Machine Liquid Powder Detergent Cycle Choices

So, now we’ll be getting the HE (which I’m pretty sure means highly expensive) detergent that we should have been using for the last decade.  Immediately, I wondered if we should get liquid or powdered detergent.

On the one hand, I must consider the most important aspect of laundry soap – what happens when it spills.  Powder – sweep it up and dump it back in. Liquid – all is lost and it’ll probably take out anything near it, including walls.  Point for powder.

Liquids are easier to measure accurately.  Accurately appeals to my OCD.  Point to liquid.

Unsure what the performance advantages were between powder and liquid, I, foolishly, consulted the Internet. If it’s on the Internet it has to be true, you know.

In my attempt to get an objective opinion, I had to look long and hard (we’re talking “2nd and 3rd page of Google” hard) to find a site that wasn’t clearly one of the detergent brands’ stooges.  I did finally find one.

It noted that powders are especially good at removing ground in dirt and clay. We have dirt and clay. Point for powder.   It also noted that liquids are especially good at removing food and grease. We have food and grease. Point to liquid.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Stupid Washing Machine Liquid Powder Detergent Cycle Choices

So basically more information, predictably, made the choice less clear. Is there anyone who spills food on their shirt but doesn’t also get dirt on it?

Having weighed all the options I have narrowed it down to the 2 that make the most sense.

Either, make a paste with the liquid and powder detergents, so we can continue to eat and get dirty.

Or, burn all our clothes and move to a nudist colony.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Have the appliances taken over at your house yet?  Is SkyNet closer than we want to admit?  Powder or liquid?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it!

10 Responses
  • Victoria Adams
    April 22, 2013

    still laughing over the cup holders and blu-ray. I have the advantage of not being OCD but having a hubby who he – he reads the manuals – I do the laundry, And your laundry categorizes are perfect! Best post I’ve read in a long time.

  • D.C.
    April 22, 2013

    My dad likes to do his research before he makes any decision. He is the first to admit, however, that the more research he does, the more confused he gets. On the plus side, this saves him a lot of money because he suffers from information overload to the point that he is paralyzed during the decision making process, and ends up just not buying anything.

  • Crystal Collier
    April 22, 2013

    LOL. I’ll take the cup holders. Yes. =)

    I just got a new set too–with the cute little cycle song to tell me it’s starting/done. But of course, I’m doing laundry for 5, and the variation of dirty or type of clothing I’m washing is HUGE. (Which is why I appreciate all those crazy cycles–especially the “fly to the moon” button.) I’m so grateful for modern day conveniences.

  • steve shapiro
    April 23, 2013

    Once again you have evoked a response from me. I too finally own a fine washing machine. I too have been faced with the option for liquid versus powder. I have some red clothes and lots and lots of pink ones. Detriment to my affiliation with Stanford University.

    My compliments for your research Yet another avenue for Gina Valley to earn , for doing research, testing for us all with her complex washing machine. Hurrah for the housewife, and kudos for those of you who take on that role as working scientists.

    This should probably be on my web site http://www.steve-shapiro.net as a newsletter; but it’s not politics.

    Bless you Ms Valley for your dissertation on the modern washing machine. Fortunately I have my ear piece attached to a music application and listen to my playlist of Blues Rock so I don’t need the washing machine to play music; but your adventure into the worl of clean clothes for your children and the professor — such a selfless person you are — brings Andy Warhol’s quote to mine: Clean is beautiful.

    As a Big Sur flower child, we advocate: Go, be, do; be beautiful.

  • Crazed in the Kitchen
    April 23, 2013

    I am SO jealous of your new washing machine. 20-year-old me would hate how much I covet new appliances. But I do, especially now that I have kids.

  • Susan Cooper
    April 27, 2013

    So funny. Isn’t it crazy how sophisticated these machines have come? You need a PHD just to start a washer now a days. 🙂

    • gina valley
      April 29, 2013

      Yes, it’s amazing. Nonetheless, despite all of that technology, they have yet to come up with something that will convince my kids to haul their grubby clothes to the laundry room! 😉