It would actually be super convenient if that cabinet were a pantry, but in our weensy little bungalow, there's just not space for that. I actually love the convenience of having the laundry in the kitchen, and now that I've gotten used to it, I don't think I would like having the washer and dryer located far from the central area of the house (like in an unfinished basement--although I guess I'd get used to that, too). One thing about a house with few walls is that we can always hear the laundry buzz, and it's easy to get a load of laundry going before dinner or pause the TV to switch a load from the washer to the dryer. No excuses for it to build up and yet...
(It is, however, a recipe for disaster if I try to fold a load of clean clothes while David is making dinner, with both dogs underfoot--so there are definitely some downsides to having a washer and dryer in a wee kitchen.)
Anyway, the only problem is that recently I noticed a couple of David's dress shirts came out of the laundry with strange spots on them--spots that were not there BEFORE they were washed.
Needless to say, this did not make me very happy.
I couldn't figure out exactly what the spot was (it looked like brownish dirt but appeared to stain--because of course I dried the shirts before I noticed the spots) and it was usually located on the collar or cuffs--the structured parts of the shirt.
After a bit of investigating, I decided that the washing machine itself might be dirty and therefore making my clothes dirty instead of cleaning them. (Shocking!) Since David was not receptive to my initial insistence that we HAD to buy a new washing machine IMMEDIATELY before all of our clothes were RUINED, I decided that before I went appliance shopping, I'd see if there was some kind of cleaning kit I could use on the washing machine.
For periodic maintenance, I've occasionally run a load of vinegar and hot water through the washing machine if I feel like it has that wet/musty smell--I've also learned to avoid that smell by not closing the washing machine door all the way when it's sitting between washes. But this seemed to require MORE than my previous attempts.
So I ordered this little kit from Amazon for $8.99.
|available at Amazon|
(BTW I am not getting paid by Affresh OR Amazon, in case you thought either company was tracking down bereaved parents and asking them about cleaning their washing machines). So I put a tablet through the hot cycle and then wiped down the rubber ring around the door with one of the wipes included in the kit.
And then I used another wipe.
Dudes, that rubber ring was DISGUSTING.
It looked fine from the outside, but when I pulled on it so I could clean inside the folded part, I discovered that it was coated with brown gunk, sitting inside the folded rubber ring, just being gross. Eight years of laundry gunk, built up in there. It was nasty. I ended up using ALL the wipes from the kit (which came with three tabs and five wipes) and THEN an old wash cloth (wet it with hot water) to keep scrubbing. Then I ran another tab through the washing machine (no clothes, hot water cycle again).
Then, of course, I turned to Pinterest for more advice. So I ran a load of bleach water (which I HATE doing--we never use bleach because I loathe the smell and it's so environmentally unfriendly). Then I ran through another empty load with vinegar instead of detergent.
I haven't tested it on a load of clothes yet, but I'm really hoping that this results in a clean and sparkling washing machine, and nice clean clothes with no random and mysterious stains on them.
Aside from this recent little weird-stain problem, I've been really happy with these machines (which came with the house when we bought it). I'm hoping they will last at least as long as we plan to be in this house.
Anyone have any brilliant washing machine cleaning plans? Anyone else used one of these "Affresh" kits? Can you tell me it works wonders? Anyone else clean their washing machine with vinegar? Experience mysterious stains on clothing? Prefer doing laundry to cooking dinner? (I totally do).
Anyone else stunned by the mind-numbing banality of this post? Just keeping it real here, folks. Welcome to my thrilling life. What else did I do last night? Watched 30 Rock and read Mrs. Dalloway. Oh, and I tried to take a bath but the damn bathtub drain wouldn't stay plugged so it all drained away on me and I totally felt (and looked) like a beached whale, which was not exactly the peaceful unwinding experience that I'd been hoping for before bed. At least the lavender-scented bubbles still smelled nice.
Honestly, I think part of my obsession with cleaning the inside of appliances made for cleaning is that I'm redirecting my nesting instincts. In keeping with our New Plan of Not Planning (which is why we're not finding out the Deuce's gender), we are not going to be putting together a nursery before the baby comes home from the hospital. So instead of decorating a sweet baby room (the mere thought fills me with terror), I'm cleaning major appliances. And blogging about it. You're so welcome.