Washing Machine Dilemma

21 Jul

We’re having a bit of a dilemma. Our washing machine has finally given up the ghost after repeated attempts to patch it up, and was taken away last week. So now we need to decide whether we’re going to buy a new one (our old one was given to us, and was about 6th hand, so it’s not really surprising that it broke!).

We’ve been managing okay using other people’s washing machines for the past month or so, which makes me wonder whether we shouldn’t just keep on sharing like this, which will save us money and mean that we’re not buying more ‘stuff’. On the other hand our washing basket is constantly overflowing, and I really miss the convenience of being able to stuff everything in the washing machine and have it clean that day, and not have sheets and towels hanging around for weeks!


Hmm…so today’s job is to research highly efficient washing machines. Anyone have any idea which is the most “ethical” washing machine out there? I fear they might be slightly out of our price range.


Unfortunately one of our friends must have put our clothes on a boil wash because all Josh’s jumpers came out tiny. Which was absolutely hilarious, until we realised that we now have to find the money to replace them!


Whatever happens we need to sort out kitchen which is currently in bits. The washing machine waste pipe goes straight into our sink’s U-bend, the cap for which has been conveniently lost (it was blocked with Polyfilla when we arrived). So at the moment the side of my kitchen cabinet is removed and sitting in my hall while the waste pipe is clipped up on the wall plugged with a cork, which is blocking the most unpleasant smell you can imagine! Lovely!


4 Responses to “Washing Machine Dilemma”

  1. Keith July 23, 2008 at 2:35 pm #

    I’m not sure whether using other people’s washing machines is any more ethical than having your own – it just means that someone else has the cost of running the thing on their electric and water bills.

    If sharing washing machines is the answer then I guess it would be off to the laundrette – bigger machines means more done in one go – which I assume means more efficient. But without knowing where the nearest laundrette is don’t know if that is a realistic solution or not.

    No idea on the most ethical washing machines – but I’d guess they’d be the most expensive ones! Back to the old argument as to whether ethical living is a middle class luxury to stop us feeling guilty about stuff.

  2. psa37 July 24, 2008 at 9:13 am #

    I wasn’t saying that using someone elses washing machine was more ethical than not having one – I was just meaning that if we don’t buy one we’re not creating more waste through production etc.

    You’re right – the more efficient washing machines are the most expensive. We decided not to get one because at the end of the day we are managing fine at the moment, and like you say we were using the whole ‘ethical washing machine’ thing as a get out clause for having something we don’t really need. However, I think if you’re doing ‘ethical living’ properly it’s not just a middle class luxury.

    We were chatting in staff meeting on Monday about living in community and sharing things like washing machines and lawn mowers and lots of things like that. It’s good in theory, but not so easy in practice when we all live our own separate lives. Perhaps we should have a laundry room at church where we can all put money towards the washers and create our own, free laundrette!

  3. Linda R July 24, 2008 at 10:41 am #

    My machine (bought because the cat damaged the old one by sleeping in it!!!! – he was a little overweight at the time, and I like to keep the door open – the manufacturers recommend it – so my fault probably) has a digital countdown feature. I didn’t buy it for this, but because the machine lets me select temp,wash and spin speed, so I can hang the washing out very wet on a nice day to save on spin power and therefore money. What the countdown does allow me to do, however, is to set the machine to come on during the night as this house is wired for economy tarriff or whatever it’s called – so my washing gets done in the middle of the night. Perhaps not such a good idea in a flat though because of the noise!

  4. Keith July 25, 2008 at 8:37 am #

    I like the idea of having a machine machine room at church. But about lawn mowers – surely the most ethical and environmentally friendly approach to cutting your lawn (if you have one) is not to!

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