In the Laundry Room

Image of the laundry room while Tilly looks with curiosity at the new washer.
Tilly looks with curiosity at the new washer.

Our bathroom fits a compact laundry unit and not much more. When it was time to replace it, size mattered. Dad lent us his Consumer Reports Buying Guide and we searched for stackable front-loaders. At a local shop, we found a set that matched our needs. I didn’t fuss over the display, other than to verify it had a dial I could mark around with bump dots.

Contractors delivered the new washer and dryer. Stockton carefully hooked up everything, With my magnifier, I read the manuals. Or, part of the manuals. Instruction books never seem to show a sense of humor or suspense. For my efforts, I learned the new front-loader washer was a smaller version of my parents’s model. Great, already familiar with that one’s operation.

Time to try the first load. Into the metal compartment went lots of sweaty bike clothes. I powered the washer and it made a pleasant little greeting chime. I turned the dial to Athletic Wear. I pressed the large Start button and another chime sounded. The door made a satisfying locking noise and water filled the silver chamber. Tilly trotted over and stared at the machine. As it rotated clothes around, she cocked her head. She approached it as if to look inside the round glass door, but the wash cycle changed and the noise startled her backward. I’m not the only one who needs to get used to the new appliances.

Thirty-seven minutes later, a “finished” chime sounded. I opened the washer door and pulled out nearly dry, clean jerseys and shorts. I loaded towels for the second run.

Measuring the laundry detergent isn’t easy; I decided to put the little plastic trough on the sink counter and fill from there. Clear liquid into a white container lacks contrast. My finger told me I put enough, but not too much. I loaded the trough into the dispenser drawer and pushed it closed. I selected the wash cycle, wishing it would say, “Delicates,” and “Colors,” as I switched the choices. The technology exists, manufactures don’t always implement it. In the manual, I discovered there’s a “My Cycle” setting I can program to save my preferred setting of water temp and spin speed. That would allow me to hit My Cycle then Start to do my most common loads. It’s something to consider.

I can reach the dryer settings without standing on my tippy toes. I used my phone to snap a photo of the panel so I didn’t feel additional strain looking up and into the light to read my choices. The dryer chimes at certain key moments, too. This gave me assurance. In forty minutes, the dryer signals it’s finished. I pulled out my fluffy, warm towels.

“Well, I know what you’re going to be up to all evening.” Stockton said with a smile. He rode more than a hundred miles on his bike the day before, and I was happy to be doing laundry while he rested after installing the appliances. I nodded and went upstairs to gather sheets for the next load.

The cheerful chimes will sound frequently this week as we eliminate our backlog. With every completed load, I’m getting more familiar with the washer and dryer. I may not work these appliances exactly like you would, but we both pull clean and dry clothing out of them.

What is your washer and dryer like? What features do you wish were universal? Have you ever called the Maytag repair man? Tell me about it.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    Sounds wonderful … my vwasher/dryer QA day I have a complicated relationship and I have come to terms with accepting what it churns out irrespective of how I have programmed it. Oh for some Am erican efficiency! Have fun with your new appliances.

  2. Casee says:

    I long for the old style washer and dryers with dials and buttons but they are getting so difficult to find in the United States these days. If you happen upon one it doesn’t seem to have all the features of a push button machine. I pretty much have the buttons memorized and most of the time see them just fine. We are going to a dialless appliance world, and I just have to accept that. As long as the clothes get clean and dried I’m good. I suppose I could take them to a fluff and fold place, but I’m sure that gets expensive after a while.

    1. Yes, dials and push-buttons are losing to screens. Not convinced it’s always for the best.

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