Posts Tagged ‘washer’

Punch is Punctual

April 14, 2010

Punch is on an organization kick, putting his finances and his life in order. He does his laundry like clockwork.

Punch won’t be the person who leaves his clothes in the dryer for thirty minutes after the cycle is complete. When Punch is in the laundry room with you, you’d best be punctual too.

Punctuality is an overlooked courtesy in a society in which “a flight is counted as on time if it operated less than fifteen minutes after the scheduled time” (says the U.S. Department of Transportation) and “a train is considered on time if it reaches its final destination within five minutes and fifty-nine seconds of its scheduled arrival time” (says the Long Island Rail Road). Boston’s MBTA sets its standard at four minutes and fifty-nine seconds, which only diminishes its on-time performance. Punch must find domestic travel an endless source of frustration.

I’d recommend Punch for U.S. Secretary of Transportation, or at least chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York. The trains would run on time and no one would put their feet on the seats. Punch wouldn’t permit it.

About ten minutes before my dryer cycle was going to finish, the phone rang. For a moment I considered letting the call go to voice mail. The dryers all were full and I knew Punch had his sheets in the washer. Instead, I answered the phone, talked for fifteen minutes, then hung up and bolted to the laundry room. By the time I got there, my laundry had been removed from the dryer and piled into one of the two laundry carts. Punch’s pink sheets were tumbling around in its place.

Punch sometimes has difficulty forgiving the failings of others. I hope he made an exception in my case.

Pandora Visits the Laundry Room

April 6, 2010

There was a minor kerfuffle involving suds in the laundry room the other day. Pandora was outraged.

Pandora is vigilant in her crusade against injustice, which takes many forms. You never know where it’s lurking; you must proceed with caution.

In this instance, injustice came in the form of soap suds spewing from the washers. Someone who’d used the washers before Pandora had overloaded them with detergent—too much for a single wash cycle to accommodate. There were traces of it in the soap dispenser when Pandora loaded her clothes into the washer. Nevertheless, she added more soap for her wash and the washing machine responded by producing more suds. Lots more suds.

Pandora had to wash her clothes a second time just to get rid of the suds. She said she ran them through three wash cycles and they still didn’t come out right. She blamed the machines. She blamed the company that maintains the machines. She blamed the manufacturers of the high-efficiency detergent that, she said, “everyone is using now” (everyone but Pandora). Someone had to be responsible for perpetrating this injustice.

I didn’t want to argue with Pandora so I nodded sympathetically and put my clothes into the washer for a cold delicate cycle. I wiped the soap residue from the dispenser before I started the washer. When the wash cycle was finished, there were no excess suds. I brought the clothes upstairs to hang dry. There might have been trouble lurking in the dryer. Why take the risk?

Pandora does not visit the laundry room often. When she does, it’s a memorable occasion.

Blue Monday

March 29, 2010

This is a Blue Monday. Things aren’t going my way—the way I’d like, the way I’d anticipated—and in this case it’s not really down to me; it’s due to circumstances beyond my control.

Believe it or not, the term Blue Monday has its roots in the laundry room. Women traditionally did the laundry on Monday: soaking garments, scrubbing them, rinsing them, wringing them out, and hanging them to dry. That was followed by ironing, which was started on Tuesday if you were lucky. The process took days to complete.

The “blue” part of Blue Monday referred to bluing, a laundry additive of iron powder mixed with water that was designed to whiten white fabrics. Maybe you remember the perplexing commercials for Lever Brothers’ Final Touch fabric softener “with bluing for extra whiteness.” Now you know what they were talking about. (Another laundry mystery solved.) You can still buy bluing to make your whites whiter, if you really want to wash old school. But we’re not fanatics here.

The term “Blue Monday” has been co-opted by public relations people to describe a particular day—the third Monday in January—on which the weather, debts left over from Christmas spending, and other factors combine to create a perfect storm of blah.

Fats Domino sang about how much he hated Blue Monday. New Order had their own take on the subject, which had nothing to do with laundry—or Monday for that matter—but was a downer nonetheless. (Immensely successful for the band, but still a downer.)

In his song, “Blue Monday” Fats says, “Monday is a mess,” and with regard to this particular Monday I’d have to agree.

I think it’s time to do a load of laundry. I’ll determine when, where, what, and how much laundry is done. No one needs to be consulted; no one needs to sign off. Some things are beyond my control, but laundry is not one of them.

We Meet Our Neighbors in the Laundry Room

March 11, 2010

Pixie brings disinfectant wipes with her to the laundry room. This always seems like a good idea to me, but somehow I never remember to do it. Also, when I go to the laundry room I’m juggling a laundry bag, a bottle of detergent and a bottle of fabric softener. I can’t carry the wipes as well. Pixie brings her laundry downstairs in a laundry basket so it’s easier for her.

She wipes out the washers with the disinfectant before she loads her clothes. She even wipes out the laundry basket after she empties it. Pixie is conscientious.

I often meet her in the laundry room on Saturday morning. She never hogs all the machines and she comes downstairs promptly to collect her laundry when the cycle is finished. Pixie is considerate.

Even when she had a cat (it died a few years ago) Pixie never left the washers full of cat hair. She always wiped them clean when she was finished. This is a rare and valuable trait in a neighbor with whom one shares a laundry room. If you have ever shared a laundry room with pet owners you know this. Pixie understands.

Other neighbors are not like Pixie.

Pixie’s friend Polo lives with a dog and three cats. You don’t ever want to follow Polo in the laundry room.

I wish Polo learned as much from Pixie as I have.

Laundry Day #2

February 23, 2010


Sheets: 2
Pillowcases: 2
Underwear: 11
Pants: 6
Shirts: 14
Socks: 47

Temperature: Warm/Hot

Cost: $6.25

What have we learned?

Laundry is a word problem.

The price of one wash in a normal washer is $1.75. The price of one wash in the triple-loader, which theoretically—but not actually—holds three times the amount of a single washer, is $3. The price of 30 minutes in the dryer is $1.50. If we washed and dried all of the items listed above, which combination of washers and dryers did we use?

Do the math.