My washer and dryer failing me is a nightmare I don’t want to visit. You see, my current set came with the house 17 years ago, and were already 5 years old. The one set of appliances I’ve never bought is a washer and dryer–I’ve always purchased houses where they’d been left behind by the former owner, leaving me with comfortable but forgettable machines.
For the first time in my life, I’ve lived in a house for more than three years. Until now, I skedaddled before my washer/dryer had a chance to wear out. Now? I’ve been in this house for 17 years. Seventeen. Talk about things I never thought could happen! And since the “average life expectancy” of such appliances is about 15 years, I was alarmed when my dryer buzzer refused to stop buzzing–was it going to cost me money, and would it cost enough that replacement made more sense?! Fortunately, I was able to enact a minor repair and avoid a crisis.
But it made me think, for the first time, about the end of the useful life of those two appliances. For most people, that’s an unfortunate expense–maybe even a time to be excited about getting something new for the household. But not for me.
Because I am a fabric dyer. And fabric dying means handling a lot of dye in my laundry room area. Dye is messy. Dye looks like a wee drop of something, but when you swipe a damp rag over it becomes a swath of intense color that requires multiple rinsings to expunge. Dye means that even after you’ve done what you think is a commendable job of cleaning up the mess, you are likely to come across surprise disaster bombs of color–one teeny speck of concentrated dye on the back of a glove translates into large smears of mess.
I am blessed with a big, double laundry room sink, but I have no real work table in the laundry room. So the top of my old, white enamel washer and dryer end up serving as a work surface. This works well. They are relatively easy to clean, durable under the force of water, and large enough to hold a multitude of process containers.
It also means they are regularly a mess of dye. When a process is finished, they get a washing down. But there are streaks down their sides that refuse to come off, things I missed despite a careful inspection. And I shrug that off as okay, since they are my old and battered appliances.
The new ones are SO SHINY!!!! Stainless steel lunar launch vehicles that stand on their own podiums. Sometimes the podiums are, themselves, separate washing machines. Or spaces to store away unsightly cleaning supplies. Or maybe tanning booths and spas–it’s hard to tell these days. How could I possibly splatter such temples with dye and soda ash and Synthrapol? It borders on a mortal sin.
Oh yes, I do know that I could buy some baseline white enamel machines. But it’s like car shopping–the stainless steel model that looks less like a washer and more like a jet engine is SO TEMPTING!!! Buying the white enamel ones that would make more sense–flat tops to serve as good work areas like my current ones–seems like buying a Studebaker when for just a few dollars more I could get a Tesla. I’m not sure I’m up to resisting the temptation.
And so, for the moment, I will be relieved that my appliances still function. And hold onto them as long as I can.