Tuesday, March 17, 2009

People Love It When You Lose

I've been thinking about laundry a lot lately (I know, sexy) and I have some questions.

1. What kind of washer and dryer should we get in the new house? I covet the Duet, but have heard unfortunate things about front-loading washers and musty odors. A washer that makes my clothes and towels smell like damp basement would force me to walk around naked and never shower again, and trust me, nobody wants that. I think I want a large-capacity machine, for no particular reason other than bigger must be better, but I'm not committed to that. What do you have? Do you like it? Do I really need a king-size machine?

I also need to know your laundry habits.

2. Do you have an elaborate pre-sorting system, or do you just throw everything into one basket and require 25 square feet of floor space to sort your lights and darks when you decide it's time to wash the clothes?

3. What's your towel habit? Do you wash your towel after each use, or finally throw your bath towel in the laundry when your bathroom starts to smell like a bag of Fritos?

I have other questions, but that's all for now.


Fran said...

Okay...you have little people now. But little people grow up and become bigger people. Take it from the mother of 3 children that have grown into their twenties now and do their own laundry, get the large washer and dryer. You will thank me later.

I have a front loading Bosch washer and dryer. Yes, there is a musty oder that comes with the washer. But I leave my door cracked and have pretty much eliminated that odor. As far as liking the front loader over the top loader, I can say that it really does not make any difference to me. Our washer and dryer came with the house. I am not sure if I would want to spend the extra money on the front loaders when that time comes again.

My pre-sorting system requires the 25 square feet. Sorry...no help here.

I personally love a fresh clean towel but have been trying to use them for a week. When the kids were at home, it was hard to wait a week.


Michele said...

Front loaders use HALF the water of top loaders, and if they are energy star compliant they can use as little as 10% of the traditional top loader.
I must echo what Fran said. If you leave the door ajar your washer will not get a musty smell. Also helps to run a bleach load every week or other week. I am rather a bleach freak so that is not a problem for me. If you hate bleach on your clothes, then run a small load of something you dont wear (like a bathroom rug or kitchen towels, hell wash the cat) and add bleach.
I throw everything in one bin and then cherry pick from it based on what load I am doing. We pretty much do a load a day so I alternate from one day to the next darks/lights/whites. Special stuff like cashmere and silk go to the bottom of the bin, never to be heard from again.
I shower daily so I use a towel every 3 days. Same for Tom. Kids get bathed about 3x a week in winter, so they use a towel a week. And then the sheets all go in once a week. And the boys blankets, and animals and crap that get dragged all over the house/van/etc. also get a once a week wash.
So basically I am a laundress in my other life. There is no such thing as too big when it comes to washer size.

merseydotes said...

Please keep me posted on your answers. We need a new dryer and possibly a new washer, and I spent awhile on Consumer Reports online (worth the $5 monthly subscription), and my head nearly exploded. CR likes front loaders, but the reviews are full of pitiful remarks and vitriol. Every time I read about front washers, there is always someone who answers the "musty" concern by saying, "oh, just leave the door open, and run a vinegar wash once every week or so and makes sure you wipe out the big rubber gasket every now and then and the smell is NO PROBLEM." Call me crazy, but that sounds like a lot of work.

Basil and I have two hampers in our room - one for whites, ones for colors. Petunia has one hamper. In the laundry room, I have a tripart hamper, which I use to sort whites, colors and knits/delicates. I throw towels/bedding on the floor in one piles and underwear (I wash them separately in hot water after reading some report a year or so ago about residual fecal matter) in another. I usually do laundry all day on Saturday or Sunday, with the machines going constantly.

I wash towels and bedding about once a week - sometimes it stretches until they are stinky.

Beth Fish said...

I have a front loader and no problem with smelly laundry but it ain't all that either.

Get the biggest washer you can find. Sooner or later, someone is going to puke on your bed and then you will thank me.

Misfit Hausfrau said...

I have the Kenmore Elite front loading deals. One time I had a musty smell. I discovered 7 moldy socks stuck under the gasket. While I haven't had a problem since, I do throw a cup of vinegar in each load of laundry--no problem.

The only clothes I sort are the red ones. THe rest are fair game.

In terms of towels, I wash mine and my daughters' after the second or third useage. My husband feels that a towel should be used until it is stiff from funk. That takes approximately 2 1/2 weeks.

Melissa said...

I have no idea what you should buy. Bigger sounds better to me, though.

We have separate laundry baskets for towels & sheets/regular wash/delicate wash, plus a bin for cloth diapers. I don't worry about lights and darks beyond separating out all the (white) towels.

Washing towels... how often depends how much energy I have for laundry that week. I don't have a brilliant system there. My towel gets washed WAY more often than anybody else's, though-- no one else ever puts theirs in the wash basket. Ever. Seriously.

Teresita said...

After every use? Jeez - who has that kind of time?

Besides - I LOVE fritos

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

1. Kenmore front loaders. LOVE LOVE LOVE. My most favoritest possession (Gah. What does that say about me?) I leave the washing machine door open sometimes after I do a load (heh)so it doesn't smell musty. But I also heard there's something you can buy for the odor.

2. Each bedroom has a laundry basket. I sort in the hallway in front of the washer/dryer right before I do laundry: lights, darks, and towels

3. When it starts to stank.

nonlineargirl said...

I have a front loader and a very sensitive nose. (no really, maybe in compensation for my crappy eyesight, but I notice smells no one else seems to pick up on.)

I have not noticed a problem with musty odors as long as the washer door is not left closed between uses. This is a little bit annoying, as our washer/dryer are in an upstairs bathroom with doors in front of them to close them off from the bathroom when not in use. You can't close the doors unless the washer door is closed (hello - front loading). This will be a bigger issue when the kids start to use this bathroom more on their own.

My pre-sorting is: anything Ada has peed or pooped on gets washed by itself (or at least is not lumped with anything of mine - see previously referred to sensitive nose) and gets soap and "color safe bleach". Anything not peed on can be washed with my clothes/towels/etc and any of Chris' stuff I happen to grab to make a full load. (for the most part he does his own laundry)

Towels are used for maybe an average of 2 weeks or until I notice a smell. (Not MY towels, of course! but my husband's get stinky from being sort of balled up and when I smell this I dump them in the laundry.) Also, towels may go in early if I need to fill up the washer.

(ok, I'm ashamed of how much I enjoyed answering those questions.)

Tracey said...

Love my front load washer - leave the door open and every once in a while wipe out the gasket thingy, plus stuff gets caught in there so you need to check it anyway.

25 feet are needed for my sorting - even though I have three large bins next to the washer. We are supposed to sort out the basket in the bins when we carry laundry downstairs- yeah right.

I wash my towel when it smells. Really I'm clean when I'm drying off, so the only issue is the towel not drying well and getting musty.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

1. I got the big ones. They make me happy because when Ian pukes in my bed I can throw an entire king sized comforter in there.

2. The latter. No pre-sorting. Pre-sorting is for organized people with bathrooms or bedrooms large enough for multiple laundry baskets. My big bed takes up almost my entire bedroom. PLus, I don't care. If my dirty clothes make it into any hamper it is a miracle.

3. Wash as needed.

Kiyomi said...

because the kids tend to change theirs every time they bathe. They also use two each, one for body and one for hair (I have long-haired daughters) so we have to own a ridiculous number of towels. I am very relieved that the last one is about to leave for college!

I have a top-loading Maytag washer and matching dryer. I leave the washer's top open when it's not in use. It does get funky-smelling when I forget to put the wash in the dryer but is fine otherwise.

I think mine were in middle school when they figured out that they had to do their own laundry if they didn't want to wait for me to do it.