It's been one year since we bought our washer and dryer, and they're still going strong. They paid for themselves in about 30 weeks ($6/trip to the laundromat * 30 = about $180 for the washer and dryer), so the past 23 weeks have been all savings.
I still feel like I'm figuring out the washer. I've found that spinning the clothes with soap and hot water for two minutes, followed by spinning the clothes in cold water for a minute or so, is pretty effective at cleaning the clothes and getting rid of most of the soap. I still have to rinse a little in the sink, though, which I might stop doing if I can get into the habit of doing laundry more regularly and doing an extra rinse cycle. The spin dryer is amazing- it gets the clothes almost completely dry in two minutes. So the whole process for one load takes about 15 minutes.
For those of you thinking of giving up the laundromat in favour of this kind of system, one thing that I'm realizing is that small, frequent loads are much less work than waiting a week then doing three loads all at once. To do these small, frequent loads, you need to have a place to hang small loads up easily (usually just for 12 hours or so), and to access the washer and dryer easily. That's the part I'm working on now, as our (bright pink) bathroom has...uh...size issues.
The laundry conundrum is one of the biggest things driving my thoughts on when to move out of our current place. We're going the cloth diaper route, and I'm not 100% sure that our Wonder Wash is going to get the diapers clean enough. We'll see. People(women) have been washing for much longer than washing machines or disposable diapers have been around...But as my AC roomate Lia pointed out after our high school washing machines imploded yet again "Washing machines meant that women could finally spend the day doing something other than washing and cooking!"
I, for one, am not going back! (said with ummphf) (uhhh... unless I absolutely have to for the sake of simplicity, financial freedom and the environment... then I will...)
I've never seen a machine so tiny! How wild!
I do a load of cloth diapers almost every day. The actual need is calculated at about once load every 1.5 days, but you get the idea. For me it's been a tremendous blessing not to have to run to the store in the middle of the night for more diapers, and our investment in the Bum Genius inventory has already paid for itself.
That said, there are plenty of things for homemaking women to do all day even with the convenience of a washer and dryer. For example folding all that laundry...
Leah! I couldn't agree more... there ARE plenty of things. I also like the idea of not having to run out and get diapers... maybe that makes up for some of the time??
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