It All Comes Out in the Wash!

second floor laundry room

Until recently, doing my laundry was always something I could count on. I knew that there would always be clothes in the hamper, detergent in the cabinet, and I could put in a load and feel like I was accomplishing something while I watched my favorite TV show.  Then, my washer conked out, the price of detergent seemed to go through the roof, and I have other things to invest my time in other than TV. So, I began my hunt for a new washer for my second floor laundry room. I was so comfortable with my last washing machine (which I had a great relationship with for more than 18 years) that I felt as though I was cheating on it when I went shopping for the new one. I had been out of the appliance game so long that I wasn’t sure where to begin. I was struggling so I turned to the Internet. I simply typed in “washing machines” in the search bar and was overwhelmed with options. There were places which sold washing machines that I never dreamed carried them. One can find washing machines at department stores such as Sears or home improvement stores such as Lowe’s and Home Depot. Places also include Best Buy and Amazon.com and, of course, one cannot forget the locally owned appliance stores. I was pleasantly surprised to also note on some websites, such as Sears.com and Homedepot.com, that there are washing machine “learning centers.” These tabs help one to decide upon a machine after noting the consumer’s needs, which was very helpful for considering all the options available out there. I was surprised to see how much everything has changed since the last time I bought a washing machine. There are front load, top load, high efficiency, washer/dryer all-in-one, stackable, and even steamers!

Despite the fact that I am barely 5ft tall and almost fall into the washer to get the last sock out, I chose a traditional top load. Top load are typically cheaper to purchase than other washers, but they are also a little noisier than the front load washers. Since I have one of those homes with a second floor laundry room with doors I could close, I decided noise wasn’t a factor. Next, I had to decide on the size. When I do laundry I put as much in as I can, so I wanted a large tub. Why do several loads of whites if I can get them all in one load? It is now easier to compare the size of washing machines since the Department of Energy has issued basic uniform capacity measurements. I didn’t want to use the manufacturer’s description of tub size since their terms for tub size may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. One manufacturer’s “extra large” may be another’s standard size.

Next, I want to look for a machine with the Energy Star rating. Purchasing a washer with the Energy Star rating will save me money on my energy bill and will save enough water to fill 3 swimming pools over one year! I try to make my home one of those energy efficient homes that doesn’t waste too much. With the cost of detergent going up, who doesn’t want to save a little extra money? Next, I looked at the extra features that are available on some washers. Do I need an extra rinse cycle? Where do I want the fabric softener dispenser? What temperature options do I need? Do I want automatic temperature control? Do I want knobs or push button? Most washers have four basic cycles: permanent press, normal, delicate, and heavy duty. Some washers now offer more cycles such as express load for small quick washings, baby, hand-wash, and even bedding.  I decided I was good with just the basic four cycles. With today’s washers, one also has many options with water temperature, water level, and even the spin speed. I went with the basics on all of these. I am a basic kind of person with pretty basic laundry. Maybe if I spent a ton of money on my clothes, I would be more conscious of these last few options. Lastly, I had to choose the color. As I stated before, my washer was several years old and so was the color choice. My washer was almond in color and so, of course, was the dryer. To get a washer that may somewhat match the dryer I looked for “bisque”.  “Almond” has been discontinued and was replaced with “bisque” for most manufacturers.  However, I decided that choosing bisque was not a smart idea – many manufacturers have totally done away with the color in exchange for other options such as stainless steel.  When choosing your color be sure to look far enough in the future to not box yourself in and limit your options for future purchases.

My final decision was a white Amana Energy Star washing machine and I purchased it at a locally owned appliance store where they will also service it promptly, if needed. Although I am satisfied with my purchase, I do miss my almond Maytag. I still can’t get the adjustment right on the leveling legs to keep the machine from “walking” across the laundry room floor during the spin cycle.

I believe I have an appliance mutiny on my hands – my refrigerator is making a horrible noise and there is water on the floor!  I guess I will now have to start researching for a new refrigerator!

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