If Washing Machine Settings Reflected my Lifestyle

The three weeks we’ve lived in the Babushka House have felt a bit like camping. For most of that time, we’ve had no working living room, dining room or downstairs bathroom. One of the bedrooms is leaking, and the kitchen has zero counter space.

Worst of all, we have no dryer.

In fact, the Babushka House has NEVER had a dryer. Our plumber just ran a new gas line to the laundry area and drilled a hole in the side of our house for a vent. Good thing our house is constructed of cardboard and tar paper, or he might have had a harder time:


Yes, that is load-bearing tar paper.

We do have a 20-year-old washing machine in the basement, and Babushka kindly left the instruction manual and unsent product registration card:


“Being an early 1990s housewife is a breeze when I delegate chores to my identical septuplets”

I’m temped to send in the registration card, but not sure which activity best describes my lifestyle. Why must I choose between Moneymaking Opportunities, Listening to Records/Tapes/CDs, or Cruise Ship Vacations?

IMG_5412Technically, the washer still works. I’m not sure it actually cleans our clothes, but it definitely gets them wet. Which means they also have to get dry. Somehow.

IMG_5398Hopefully, this will be the first and last time I post pictures of my family’s underwear on the internet.  This laundry shot is a touch classier:

IMG_5400Doing laundry without a dryer (in the winter) has become such a pain that I’ve found it easier to wear the same clothes every day.* There’s nothing like letting your clothes dry to a crispy, paperlike texture in a dank, musty basement to make you appreciate the luxury of modern laundry appliances.

This weekend, I finally got online to research new machines. Never having bought a washer or dryer before, I wasn’t sure what to look for.  Something that wouldn’t cost too much money or set my house on fire?  What I found was a dizzying array of trademarked features dreamed up by a nitrous-huffing marketing department, including:

  • Supercharged Steam Cleaning
  • TurboWash™
  • FreshCare™
  • Advanced Moisture Sensing
  • The Refresh cycle with Steam
  • Detergent Assistant
  • Quiet Spin 360 technology
  • 6th Sense Live™ Technology
  • Smart Nudges
  • Precision Dispense
  • 14 Adaptive Wash Actions
  • 12-Hour FanFresh® Option With Dynamic Venting Technology®
  • Active Spray Technology
  • Power Foam Active Bloom™ Wash Action

A half hour into my search, my phone rang.  A friend was calling to ask if I had returned her lice shampoo that she loaned me last year (I had).  Panic! Our children are close friends and spend a great deal of time hugging, and presumably, rubbing their heads together.

I hung up the phone, pulled out the clippers and buzzed my youngest child (the least likely to sit still for lice treatments) nearly bald. This would also be a good time to wash and dry the kids’ sheets on a VERY hot setting.

If only I had a new washer and dryer! But how do I know if any of those Newfangled Gimmicky Settings™ would have killed lice and their eggs? Maybe I’ll send a polite letter to the Laundry Machine Designers with some ideas of my own:


– Extra Gentle on torn right pant cuffs
– Tough on Chain grease and Street sludge splatters

KOOTIE KILLER©, for lovers of not-so-new clothes:
– Level 1: Hand-Me-Downs
Level 2: Yard Sale Finds
Level 3: Thrift Store Treasures
Level 4: Scavenger Level for Alley and Dumpster Fashions

– Cloth Diaper Poo-Eraser®, with separate settings for Newborn Poo, Toddler Poo, and Diapers That Have Been Sitting in a Wet Pile for So Long They’ve Turned to Ammonia.
– BabyVomitSensor™ adjusts cleaning power for either milk-based or solid-food-based throw-up, so you never have to guess.

PRESCHOOL PURIFIER for parents of small children:
With TWO mucus settings!
– Snot Scrubber© and Dried-On Booger Chiseling Technology
– Peanut Butter Banisher
– Glue-B-Gone Arts & Craft StainSensor™

– PocketScanner® checks for candy wrappers, chip bags, pencils, earbuds and wads of gum (sends an alert to parent if condoms, cigarettes, love notes or rated R movie ticket stubs are detected).
– High-Power Hoodie Purifier with extra long dry time
– Tough on Towels™ that have been sitting in a wet ball on the floor for a week. Again.

– Sensors automatically adjust for Old Incontinent Cat Pee and Angry Territorial Cat Pee
– Sorry, I don’t know anything about dogs, but I hear they’re pretty stinky.

Now with three separate settings:
1) Head lice
2) Pinworms
3) Bed bugs (includes can of gasoline and matches)


* Whom am I fooling? I do that anyway. PRO-TIP! Wool socks never get smelly.


6 thoughts on “If Washing Machine Settings Reflected my Lifestyle

  1. You have Made My Day. I was reading this on my laptop, sitting up in bed with my morning coffee, and now my stomach hurts from too much laughing, there are tears rolling down my cheeks, and periodically I repeat phrases like “Dried On Booger Chiselling”. And my coffee is cold, but I don’t care… I’d actually like a machine that didn’t do complicated origami/knot tying with the clothes, that would remove truck grease and diesel from the Husband’s work clothes, and has a tomato sauce stain exterminator. But I fear they haven’t invented it yet. Buying a washing machine, I look first for low price (it’s going to break anyway), second for a quick wash (life is too short for laundry) and thirdly an efficient lint catcher (the pocket change is MINE!).


  2. I bought a new washer a month ago. It’s a maytag bravo, and I might actual love it more than my husband and cats combined. Our dryer, which was only three years old, broke last weekend. We tried to fix it, but it just wasn’t to be. It’s going to be another week or so before the new dryer gets here, and in the meantime I have wet clothes hanging from every flat surface and door frame in the house. I though air dried stuff was supposed be soft, instead i just have crunchy pants.


  3. Sears has a scratch and dent outlet in Franklin Park or somewheres out there (West on Grand over the DesPlaines River). We’ve bought our washer and dryer there years apart. The cool thing is the one you see is the one you buy. They still deliver and warranty everything like a new machine, but there are $aving$. When we got our washing machine there were two nearly identical machines- one was “Energy star” rated. SO I bought it. Turns out the only difference is on the cool, warm and hot settings it mixes in a little cold water. great.


  4. Pingback: Welcome to the Bed Bug Club! | projectophile

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