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2012 May

Archive for May, 2012

I’m kind of taking a mini vacation from blogging this week. I know you’re dying to know why…. Well, not only am I changing jobs, I’m preparing to go back to school next week (gulp). Reentering the wide world of college education is nothing new to me. I’ve done it a few times before but this time, I hope to make it all the way to the finish line. With the amount of credits currently showing on my transcript I should have already crossed it, but since I ran down the wrong lane a couple times around the track, I have had to get back into the starting block to regroup.

I do have a few stories to share with you from the past week or so. We almost adopted another dog, we lost a pet, and my son actually made it to the 8th grade dance (with just one hair emergency). But in the mean time, here is a repost from last fall. Today I decided to “wash” my washing machine so I felt it rather befitting for the occasion.

Sometimes We Stink

About a year ago, Ron and I were perusing a local building supply store when we happened to stroll past a stunning washer and dryer pair staring directly at us from the main aisle. They were a lovely couple, standing together all shiny and white, adorned with all sorts of buttons, knobs and settings that I had heard about in ads but had never actually seen face to panel.

“Oooh…” I said in awe, longingly opening the lid and doors to the units. I never wanted a high efficiency washer because I had heard that they were all front loaders. These machines frightened me because I envisioned myself hunched over day after day, loading millions of pounds of laundry into a front loader and developing into a poster child for osteoporosis. But the front loader thing was obviously lore because this exquisite unit was a high efficiency top loading washing machine.

I never had a new washer and dryer except ones my husband purchased after we bought our first house about 20 years ago… and those didn’t count. I had a sneaking suspicion that the only reason he bought those was because he saw them on clearance in the doll accessory aisle at Toys R Us. They were child-sized machines that labored to wash a small washcloth or single sock. They didn’t last long. And all of the other washers and dryers I had gotten over the years were repairables that my husband, a former appliance repairman, had rescued from the trash at customers’ houses or the unit that had been discarded next to the dumpster at an appliance store after falling victim to a lint fire.

“You really need a new washer and dryer,” my husband said. He was pretending to eye the units up but I’m pretty sure he was dreaming about finally having some clean clothes to wear. “These are really nice and I don’t think we’ll ever find anything cheaper.”

My eyes lit up. I was currently using the haunted washer and dryer that came with our house. They were small, scary, and loathsome. Sometimes when I’d load one pair of jeans too many into the washer, it’d rattle angrily out of the laundry room and into the hallway near our family room to hunt me down. They hated me as much as I hated them.

To my delight, we ended up purchasing the new appliances that very day and within a week, the delivery men had installed our snazzy new machines, wrestled the old ones into their truck, and drove away.

I knew the moment they disappeared from sight that all of my troubles were behind me.

I gleefully washed clothes for the next few days and my family was pumped that they finally had something to wear again. My whites were white, my colors were bright, and after lo, so many years, our hampers were finally empty. My life was finally perfect.

A couple months later my son said, “Mom, I stink. One of my friends said I stink, too.”

Stink? My child stinks? There was a boy in the neighborhood that the other kids had nicknamed “Poopsie” because he opted to play video games for most of the day rather than bathe but I certainly didn’t think I was capable of having “Poopsie II” living under my roof. After all, he showered and everything.

“Whatdya mean, you ‘stink’?” I panicked stepping closer and sniffing his clothes very much like our dog sniffs around the yard when she’s tracking something wild like a muskrat… or a skunk.

“I stink, Mom. Can’t you smell this?” he said lifting the shoulder of his shirt to my nose. “All of the clothes you washed yesterday smell disgusting.”

But I had just washed them. How could this be? But then I smelled my shirt and I stunk too!

After pacing the kitchen floor madly for at least 35 seconds, it struck me. I’d heard rumors about fancy shmancy high efficiency washers stinking after you used them for a while — they develop a foul,musty odor. But this was my washer and dryer we were talking about. After all I had been through over the years, they wouldn’t do this to me, would they? Besides, these were top loaders. They weren’t like all of those ordinary high efficiency washers.

I sprinted to the laundry room, opened the lid of my washer, and breathed deeply. “Curse you!” I cried slamming the lid shut. “How could you do this to me?” I wailed, falling in a heap on the floor in front of the machine sobbing.

I spent the rest of the evening mourning the loss of my less than perfect laundry world but the next day, I shook off my pain and began my quest to rehabilitate these two. After a bit of online research, I discovered that I could purchase something called “washing machine cleaner” and that was supposed to take care of my problem.

But wait a minute,.. I need to buy special soap to wash my washing machine? Isn’t the point of a washing machine to wash? So, why wasn’t my laundry soap washing my washing machine while it washed my clothes? This was making no sense to me but despite my skepticism, I purchased some Stench Be Gone, dropped it into the machine, and started it up. Lo and behold, after the cycle was complete, I shoved my head inside and the machine smelled Mountain Wildflower Springtime Fresh, just like the label promised.

Now, I try to wash my washer about once a month and if I forget, I always know it’s time when Poopsie II shows up again after laundry day.

Do you have a high efficiency washing machine? Do you have tips for preventing the stinky problem? Have any of you switched from high efficiency back to the “old style” washer because of the “smell-factor?” Please comment!
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