back to the washing board

it really felt like christmas when my host family dropped off an old soviet washing machine for me. one that would mean i’d never have to hand wash my clothes again AND i can spin them dry! beyond amazing. i sort of figured out how to use it by experimentation and i was so happy with the results. i literally proclaimed ‘this is FREAKING AWESOME!’ quite a few times, as if i had invented the machine myself.

it’s still not as effortless as american washing machines. i have to fill up the compartment by the pot-full with water from my sink. ukraine has made me very aware of just how much water we use. well, i think we’d all use less water if we saw how many buckets of water it takes to shower or wash our clothes. concerned about water conservation i did 2 loads with the same water. just as a younger sibling had to on family bath day. while this may sound kind of gross, the second load was just workout clothes and well, it doesn’t matter if they super smell nice.

even though there’s no ‘hand scrub your clothes’ part, it’s still quite a process  (not that i’m trying to complain).while the clothes are in the agitator i stand there and help move things along if they get stuck. next i dump them in my bathing/laundry bucket give them a little rinse and wait to put them in the spinner. the first time around i waited until all my clothes were put through the ‘wash’ phase before spinning them…since i still had yet to figure out how to drain the water. but i figured it out soon enough (on accident) when i put something in the spinner and all the dirty water came pouring out of the hose i hooked over the bathtub and into the bucket of clean clothes….yea. oops.

even though my (now) not so clean clothes had to get a few more rinses, i was still so excited to have this contraption. i can only fit a few clothing items at once into the spinner but after a few minutes they come out ALMOST DRY. i thought this nothing short of a miracle!! i’m often trying to find places to drape my wet clothes or extra room on the radiator because this time of year hanging them outside will take daaaays to dry. it took me a good part of the day to finish the whole process. which hand washing does too, but with this washer i FINALLY washed clothes i’ve been putting off (some since this summer…bad i know, but unless you wash your clothes by hand, you’re not allowed to judge me).

i decided to plow through everything that has needed a washing. in total i did 5 loads (only changing the water twice). it felt gooooooood to get it all done. i was excited at the prospect of not playing ‘laundry catch-up’ any longer. but the gods of ukraine saw me smiling and having way too much fun cleaning my clothes and said ‘UH UHHH I DON’T THINK SO’. i knew things were going too well to go without consequence. ukraine doesn’t like to let me win.

just as i was about to start drying the second round of laundry something went wrong. and to think it was all going so well!! i discovered, to my dismay that the spinner was full with bubbles. uh oh. i don’t know much…okay anything…about this machine but i knew that wasn’t good. i didn’t use that much detergent or water the last time, at least i thought i didn’t. once you turn on the spinner, the water in the machine is supposed to drain. but with the spinner now out of order i had no way to drain the water. i desperately scooped out bubbly water from the spinner and the agitator hoping it would help. but i got nothing.

i figured the next best thing was to take all 3 loads and  hang them outside. a dress i had hung up early in the morning was still sopping wet when i checked it a little bit ago. i knew this was not a good option at all. they take FOREVER to dry outside. and now the forecast is predicting rain for tomorrow. just awesome.

so here i am. on my way down down down from my machine mania. wondering if i should have just stuck to hand washing (the safer alternative to these confusing contraptions). wondering what i’ll do with all those bubbles. and wondering if i’ll grow a pair and admit that i need help from my host family (nahh, maybe not yet, who want’s to risk looking like an idiot).

okay, ukraine, you win this round.


also, before i even used the machine i made a short video. just to give you an idea of how excited i was. back when the machine and i were on good terms ; )

3 thoughts on “back to the washing board

  1. Very cool video : ) We have a lot of the same brands in common- dish soap, toilet paper, etc. I even have a teapot like yours but in red.
    Where in the world did you find Christmas lights that don’t flash maniacally?!! I’ve been looking for them everywhere, both this year and last, but have only seen the blinking kind.

    Good luck with the new (old) washing machine!

    • thanks! the ones i have DO flash maniacally. there are 13 settings on them but thankfully the last one is a non-seizure inducing one. i had to go into the city and find them at amstore (a big supermarket). hope you can find some!! : )

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