10 Jan 2013

Washing Machine Woes (with a happy ending!)

Oh laundry, how I hate thee.  I seriously do.  I don't have dreams like many bloggers do of fancy laundry rooms where I can stay for hours and fold my t-shirts into perfect little squares.  Maybe one day I will get there, but right now I am not even close.  I wish I could just shove my laundry down a chute and it would land in the deep dark basement where little elves would do it.  Then when I wake up in the morning it would all be put away in the drawers all neat and tidy and even my underwear would be folded.  I would pay for that....seriously, especially if the elves were good at remembering what needed to be hung, what needed to be hand washed, etc, etc. 

I've shared with you before how I really dislike having our washer and dryer in our main floor half bath.  I also hated the front load washer.  I know this will be against what many of you love, but I absolutely hated it.  I didn't like bending down to get everything out (I am sure pedastils would have helped that).  I didn't like the wet seal that my arm had to touch every time I went to grab laundry.  I didn't like that water dripped all over the floor every time I opened the little door.  I'll stop there. 

Well, a few months ago it started to get even more on my nerves (I promise...my grumpiness is just about over).  Our washing machine started to take on a life of its own.  It would bounce across the floor and started getting so loud that it sounded like a 747 was taking off in our living room.  It was so bad that we had to stop putting the washer on when we went to bed because it kept us awake (and let's be honest....the only time I think to actually start the washer is when I am heading to bed....).  It also started staining our clothes.  Ugly black marks were making their way onto our sheets, and then a few weeks later they were on some of our other clothes.  It got bad enough that every load had at least one item of clothing that was covered in black marks.  We cleaned out the seal (blech, blech, blech....gross), we checked for loose bolts, but the marks still continued.

Still, I refused to break down and even think of buying a new washing machine.  We are thinking of moving some time this year, and I couldn't bear the thought of buying a fancy new washer and then leaving it behind.

And then it happened. 2 days before we left for Hawaii, while I was madly packing our bags, the washer died.  It totally stopped spinning.  So there we stood, staring at a washer full of clothes sitting in a pile of soapy water that wouldn't drain.  I seriously just about lost it on someone....but I didn't....I kept it together long enough to carry all of the clothes over to my Mom's house, wash them and then bring them all back to our house to dry.  Super good timing 2 days before vacation.

We came back from Hawaii with all clean clothes (first time in my life I think that has ever happened thanks to laundry in our vacation condo!), but I knew we couldn't last long without a washer (I live with a toddler, a dog and a man, 'nuf said).  We had to do something.

We thought about trying to fix it, but figured the parts would cost just as much as a new washer.  We looked at the classified on Kijiji, but there wasn't anything that would match with the dryer we already had.  So, the decision was finally made to bite the bullet and buy a new one.  

We don't normally buy the lowest end product on the market.  We research, we plan, we save and we buy what we want.  This, however, was not how this particular washing machine purchase went down.  Luckily we did have a good amount of money in our 'house' fund, so we could afford to buy a new washer that wasn't totally bottom of the barrel, but we also didn't want to spend more money than we had to for something that was likely going to stay in the house when we left.

Front loads and agitator-less top loads were out of the price range (not a bad thing because of my obvious aversion to front loads), so that left us with the old school agitator option.  We looked online and found out that The Home Depot (which is about half a block away from our house) was having the best Boxing Day sales on appliances.  So Mr. Swell moseyed on down with the full intention of buying a bare bones Maytag (that had exactly 2 dials...nothing fancy).  Well he managed to sweet talk the sales lady into giving us a higher end GE washer (that has dials AND buttons) for only $50 more than the Maytag.  Am I the last person on the planet that didn't know you could negotiate with Home Depot appliance people?  About an hour and $470 later, Mr. Swell pulled up with this beauty....

Do you like the pink comforter protecting it?  

And she was put into her new home, along side her new buddy the dryer.  The blue dials even sorta match!

And guess what? I LOVE it!  I still hate laundry, but this washing machine has made it at least tolerable.  First off, it has a massive tub, which means I can do twice as much laundry at a time (cheers from the crowd....), but the best part....it's so, so quiet.  Like so quiet that we can actually watch tv while it's running. Yippie.  And this is such a little thing, but I really like that as long as I keep the same settings, all I have to do is hit a button and it starts.  No spinning the dial around, often multiple times because I would space out in the middle of spinning and forget what I was doing.

*by the way, this post is in NO WAY sponsored by GE or The Home Depot, they have absolutely no idea that we exist and that we dropped almost $500 of our hard earned bones on a washing machine.  Just wanted to make sure that was cleared up....

The moral of the story??? I'm not sure there is one really, except to know when it's time to give up on something and get a new one, and that it's ok to not have the best of the best....sometimes the so-so will make you very, very happy!

By the way, we gave our dead washer away through Kijiji using this horrendous photo, so I guess another moral is that one man's junk really is another man's treasure.  Good riddance!

*don't get me wrong...I do still really want those elves in the basement.  


  1. Yikes! That happened to us too! We moved into our house in March of 2011 and talked the previous homeowners into leaving the washer and dryer for us because we had ZERO furniture and/or appliances. (Actually, we still dont - haha). Anyway, the washer stopped worked 8 months after we moved in. It was full of water and clothes and everything! I could hear the buzzing like it was trying to go and it just wouldnt work. So, Hubs managed to get all of the wet clothes (we had a top loader by the way, I dont like the front leading either) out of there and emptied as much water as we could. Our washer and dryer are on the second floor so imagine trying to bring a washer that doesnt exactly fit down the stairwell downstairs when it still has water in it and you know the tubes have water in there too!! It was crazy! The only good thing was that it was right around Thanksgiving and we got a good deal on a new washer and dryer for Black Friday. We paid less than $600 for both!!! We actually sold the washer on Craigslist for $40. Yes, somebody BOUGHT a broken washer from us. And then we tried to sell the still working dryer and nobody wanted to buy it! As soon as we posted it for free just to get if off of our hands we got a call and someone came to get it though.

    1. So you totally know how I felt then when it stopped working and I just stood there staring at it! My husband lugged it out of the house full of water, it dripping out of the hoses all the way out to the garage. The least it could have done was drain just a little for us!
      $600 is a crazy good deal - always nice to have stuff break down during sale time. We were lucky it was the week right after Christmas.
      And hurrah for Craigslist that helps us rid our houses of junk and save the land fills!

  2. "Dont get me wrong...I do still really want those elves in the basement."

    Oh you crack me up! I do too...and if you do ever find some, please let me know. I am with you on the laundry - not my fave thing to do.

    Although I did purchase something earlier this year that kinda makes the whole t-shirt thing not so bad. Its called the "Flip-fold". I bought it at The Container Store.

    It makes it so quick and easy, I would never a fold a t-shirt otherwise.

    1. Ok I just googled the flip fold. Seriously? The people on the website look WAY too happy to be folding t-shirts! :) Glad you like yours though. I actually roll most of my t-shirts so that I can fit them into the drawers (way too many shoved in one drawer)....

  3. If you ever find those elves, I want some too!

  4. Oh I hate hate laundry too! And really I have heard more complaints about the front loaders than any other washer, doesnt seem worth it.

  5. Elves in the basement: lets make that happen.

    We researched a lot when buying our current washer/dryer, and we found that total cost of ownership would be higher with the front-load, and that wed never make up the extra cost at purchase with the energy savings, so top-load it is. And Im perfectly happy with it.

    But yes, the elves.

  6. lol! My front loader has a slightly tilted drum so that no water leaks out the front - ever! I researched all the front load models before I bought and picked the best I could afford. I love it. Im glad you got something that suits you better, though. Laundry is tough enough without hating your washing machine!!!


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