Friday, 14 June 2013

Laundry, the American Way

It's been a while since I've posted.  My time here in the U.K is coming to end soon, so I am going to try and post a few times this week about some things that are different here in England.  Today's topic is LAUNDRY.  Doing laundry is a chore for anyone.  I never really used to mind it until I moved here. 

First of all, the washing machine is in the kitchen.  Some people might think that is convenient, but I think laundry needs it's own space.  

Our cozy kitchen.  The washing machine is in the left corner.

Secondly, most homes here do not have a tumble dryer.  They hang almost everything to dry.  Sometimes they hang it on racks in front of the fire or racks on the radiators.  When it is above 40 degrees and not raining, they hang it out on the line.  I am not kidding when I say that we see laundry on the line in very cold and windy weather.  We often see neighbors running out to grab it when it starts to rain.  Well, I might be the only one in our town who does not hang clothes on the line.  I use the dryer for almost everything.  We are fortunate to have a dryer, but here's the's in the garage.  No big deal, right?  Even though our garage is connected to the house, there is no door between them.  So I have to go out the front door, unlock the garage, roll the big door up (no garage opener here) and make my way to the dryer amongst bikes, balls and dirtbikes.

My laundry journey...out the front door and roll up the garage door to the dryer

The view from Dylan's window of neighbor's laundry

The view from Amelia's window of neighbor's laundry

Both the washer and dryer hold smaller loads than what I was used to in the U.S.  They also take SOOOO much longer for regular washing and drying cycles.  I think the main reason I dread laundry so much here is that it takes so long.  I start with sorting it upstairs, wash it in the kitchen and then transfer it to the garage.  When I can get back out there after around 90 minutes of drying, I then take it to my room to fold it.  It just seems like laundry here is never-ending!  We did purchase a washer/dryer all-in-one, but let me tell you that it takes at least 3 hours if not longer to wash and dry one load.  It dries using the steam from hot water, and I do not care for the way it makes our clothes smell.  I do hang some things to dry in our one closet upstairs.  It has the hot water heater in it, and I refer to it as the "hot closet".

Clothes drying in our "hot closet"  

The containers of detergent are smaller too.  No SAM's-sized Tide here.  I feel like I am constantly buying more detergent.  The dryers here do not take dryer sheets.  They do not even sell them here.  I tried some Snuggle sheets that we brought from the US, but it went straight to the lint collector.  We use liquid fabric softener in the wash.  It's not bad, but our towels and washcloths have become almost water resistent because of all the fabric softener.  I prefer soft towels though.   

 I look forward to doing laundry the American way when we return...a laundry room with a large washer and dryer side by side and an industrial sized detergent bottle where 3 loads can be washed, dried and folded in the same time I can complete one load here.  

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