We spent a week away in mid March at a home education camp, CampFest (new post over a Pint Sized Permies 🙂 ). Whilst there we stayed in a motel room at Hilltop Resort and one of the perks of the room was a washing machine in each room. Nice hey. 🙂 To my surprise the rooms each had a small 5kg twin tub machine.
I’m no stranger to a twin tub as my Nanna used one until she moved into the nursing home. I remember back around 1990 when her old one broke and she was devastated. She tried to get Gil, one of the handyman in their town to have a look at it but sadly it was rusted to pieces. Likely it would have been 20 years old I reckon, if not older. 🙂 It was time for a new one. I am sure her children tried to talk her into a less hands-on top loading all in one machine as she would have been late 60’s back then, but she would have nothing of it and bought another twin tub. When she moved into a retirement home complex she took her twin tub with her, scorning to use the top loaders provided. Stubborn much? 😉
Anyway, it felt like one of those moments when my Nanna was watching over me. 🙂 I got stuck into the camp washing, keeping up to date with clean clothes which meant that I didn’t have a huge pile to get done once home. I discovered something rather horrifying though. Clothes we’d worn once but were in need of a wash (a dribble of food down the front for example) yielded far dirtier water than I would have thought they would. Turns out that my front loader is wonderfully gentle on clothes and far too gentle on the dirt. 😦
Once we got home Martin and I had a long discussion about buying a twin tub. Not just to replace a machine working fine and for fad reasons but also because twin tubs are wonderfully economical on water. With a normal machine, top or front loader you have a cycle which you choose. It adds water, which you may have some control over, agitates the clothes, drains the water, rinses the clothes and agitates again, drains the water, spins the clothes and done. A twin tub you choose when to drain the water. 🙂 You also choose how much water to add and the water temperature you desire too, not just what the machine offers. 🙂 The water is then gravity drained, saving power on needing to pump it up a hose and out against gravity. What I liked about it was that I could add my water and soap, put on the first cycle (choosing between 1-15 minutes), drain the dirty water, add more water and agitate to rinse then transfer the wet washing straight into the spin tub. Yep, a separate tub to spin dry the washing (not a heated spin dry). Once spun the washing is ready for hanging. The rinse water is left in the machine, ready for some soap and the next load of dirty washing. 🙂 Very economical on the H2O
We talked then talked some more but I wasn’t willing to spend to buy a standard twin tub, new or used (few and far between) until I saw the price of the small 5kg units they had on camp. Again, much discussion and we decided to go ahead with it. Yes, we bought something not strictly necessary but we hope that having the ability to be very frugal with and reuse the water, to be able to send it to water our planned fruit trees easily and the considerably shorter wash cycle which means less power used, will all balance out and work in favour of the purchase.
The machine arrived Monday. 😀 The postie laughed at me jumping up and down, “squeeing” in delight. The kids also thought I was mad. I picked up the machine (it weighs far less than any of my kids 😉 ) and took it out to the back deck, hooked up the power, a short piece of hose to the tap and sorted the washing. 🙂 I finished about 10 loads in the time it took to send the cloth nappies through the front loader (not interested in water containing poo going through my gardens thanks 😉 ). Admittedly those loads are ½ the size the front loader takes but with a 15 minute maximum wash (unless you reset the timer) and a 1-5 minute spin to have it nicely dry it is a far shorter cycle than normal anyway. 🙂 I love my little pink washing machine. 😀
I had 3 kids clamouring to help with the laundry too! Even Orik was a star, pulling the spun socks and jocks out of the tub and into the basket ready for hanging. Allegra was a champion at loading the spin tub. Jas helped me load line wet (it’s actually raining here 😀 ) sheets in to the spin dryer, one at a time to spin out the excess rain water to dry them inside. He was quite able to manage the job alone too. So easy that a 5 year old can do the washing! Now that has to be good right? 😉