I actually like doing laundry. I like taking a basket full of dirty laundry, sorting it, tossing it in the machine, hanging it up afterwards. I feel such a sense of accomplishment when I see empty laundry baskets, clean clothes on hangers and carousels.
Of course, all this is dependent on having a functioning washing machine.
In Antipolo, my mother has a top-loading washing machine. It’s at least ten years old, and it’s been through countless repairs. The nice thing about old washing machines like that is they’re not very complicated. Fill with water, toss in clothes and detergent, wash. The dryer just wrings out the excess water. I’ve washed bags and shoes, diapers and bras, towels and sheets.
In Paranaque, ever since we moved here in 2011, we’ve always had a front-loading washing machine. These things are more expensive, but they’re supposed to be more efficient when it comes to water use and energy consumption. I think our old washing machine was American Home, and it was pretty good–until it started malfunctioning.
The timer would get wonky, and you never knew exactly how long one load would take to wash. There was also a problem with the drainage. Because of age, and wonky drainage, the casing also started to rust and disintegrate. There was also the problem of Dad moving the washing machine around so much that it got rather beat up. After a few repairs, it eventually just died.
After that, Dad bought a Samsung washing machine. It was also front-loading, and it had one of those windows that you could open if you wanted to add something to the ongoing load. We thought that was such a ridiculous feature, until we realized how useful it was. “Oh, here’s one of Lucas’ towels, add it to the load na.” “This shirt is covered in chocolate. Better wash it.” We also thought it was funny that the washing machine played music when the cycle was done. When we realized the sound rang throughout the house, it dawned on us that it was a pretty helpful feature too! No need to keep going downstairs to check on the machine; just wait for the tinny music!
Unfortunately, like all appliances, it started to give way. Dad moved it here, there. He and Oneal put it on a pallet to keep it dry, then Dad removed it from the pallet. Dad adjusted the water intake and the drain. At some point the spin cycles were so loud that it sounded like an airplane taking off.
Dad tried to fix it, to no avail. We tried to call a local service center, but it was such a hassle to schedule home service with them. All this stress, on top of the disastrous start to our 2022. And of course, because we’re in isolation, we can’t have our laundry done by our usual laundry shop.
Finally, when the village maintenance guy, Mike, came over to check out our water problem, he brought a mechanic to look at the washing machine too. The neighbors lauded his washing machine repair skills, and we were desperate. We rejoiced when he reported that he found the parts to fix it! When Mike and the mechanics finished installing our water tank, they pulled out the washing machine for repair.
With bated breath, we await the return of our washing machine. We can only hope it has been restored to its former glory. In the meantime, we handwash. Sigh.