Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Things to Get Used to 2: Doing Laundry

Another thing I'm glad I knew better than to take for granted while living in Wisconsin was the ease and speed of doing a load of laundry. I don't know how the high-efficiency washers and dryers work in the States, but I had to listen, watch, and take notes while Martin did a few loads in order to get down the steps of doing laundry here.

Just to compare, I'll start with the 6-step and 4-step processes with my machines in Wisconsin, followed by the processes here.

Using the washer in Wisconsin:
 1. Open washer.
 2. Throw in clothes.
 3. Pour in soap.
 4. Close washer.
 5. Select "cold, warm, or hot".
 6. Push "on".

The usual load took about 45 minutes.

Using the dryer in Wisconsin:
 1. Transfer clothes from washer to dryer.
 2. Set dial to the mark between "drip dry" and "very dry".
 3. Clean out lint trap.
 4. Push "start".

The usual load took about 40 minutes.
Total steps: 10   Total time: 85 minutes

Using the washer in Germany:
 1. Turn on faucet.
 2. Open washer.
 3. Throw in clothes.
 4. Close washer.
 5. Open soap drawer.
 6. Pour in soap.
 7. Pour in fabric softener.
 8. Close soap drawer.
 9. Select desired temperature in degrees celcius (this turns machine on as well).
 10. Push "start".

A normal load takes 2 hours 45 minutes in the washer.

Using the dryer in Germany:
 1. Turn off faucet to washer.
 2. Transfer clothes from washer to dryer.
 3. Turn off washer.
 4. Turn on dryer.
 5. Select how dry you want the clothes - cupboard dry, ironing dry, damp dry, etc.
 6. Tell dryer how fast the washer spun the clothes (default "1000", change to "1400").
 7. Push "start".

The clothes are usually "cupboard dry" in 1 hour, 58 minutes.  THEN...
 8. Remove clothes.
 9. Empty water collection tank into sink.
 10. Clean out lint trap.
 11. Rinse additional filter and lay out to dry.
 12. Turn off dryer.

Total steps: 22  Total time: 283 minutes (or 4 hours, 43 minutes)

It's going to take HOW long to wash this load of darks??

Even though the washer takes much longer, less water is used. The water comes into the washer and the machine spins the clothes once or twice, and then the clothes sit for a bit. Then the drum spins again, and the clothes sit for a bit. Apparently it costs less than 20 cents to run a load, considering water and energy use.  But if I don't put the load in before dinner, I'm going to be staying up late!

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