My washing machine has been spitting “dirt” on my clothes. That’s probably not the official diagnosis, but that’s what it looks like to me. It’s one of those intermittent problems. Holy Moly! Do I hate intermittent problems?! You know the feeling… when your car makes a chug-a-ta, chug-a-ta sound most of the time, only not when you want to demonstrate it for the mechanic. Anyway, every few weeks or so, when I open the washing machine lid, there are all these tiny gray/brown particles on my clothes, sort of like I washed them with an empty cereal box.
“Why is it doing that?” I ask MOH (my other half), pointing in frustration into the laundry room.
He shrugs. “I don’t know. Did you read the manual?”
I don’t have a manual. I bought the floor model – saving $100 – and it didn’t come with a manual. The store clerk said I could request one from the manufacturer. But really, there is no need to do that these days. All you have to do is Google the model number and the manual is available on line. How slick is that?!
His question hangs in the air.
And then the truth spills out. “I don’t want to read the manual. I just want it to stop.”
I have a laundry list of reasons why this should not be happening. The washing machine is only three years old. This has never happened to me with any previous washing machines. It’s a “Self-Cleaning” washing machine. I thought that would be a good thing. I didn’t realize it would be cleaning itself onto my clothes.
A cursory review of the self-cleaning instructions indicates that I should have been using the self-cleaning cycle every 3 – 4 months over the past three years. Hmmm. That’s unfortunate. The fact that I should have been taking action to clean this washing machine doesn’t really say ‘self-cleaning’ to me. What happened to the washing machines like we had when I was growing up? It did not proclaim itself ‘self-cleaning’, my mom didn’t clean it every 3 – 4 months, and as far as I know, it didn’t spit dirt on our clothes.
My online research also suggests that the latest and greatest in the washing machine world is washing machines with Wi-Fi. Really? Wi-Fi? Why does my washing machine need access to my Wi-Fi? A friend at work recently bought a new washing machine, so I asked her about it.
“Does your new washing machine have Wi-Fi?” Turns out it does, and she loves it. So I asked her to tell me about it.
She pulled out her phone to demonstrate. “Well, I have this app on my phone.” She showed me the ‘Installation Diagnostics’ screen which displays performance information on her water supply, drain cycle, and spin cycle. The screen also indicates that she should keep an eye out for additional reports that will be sent to her via email. I’m not sure I want my washing machine sending me emails.
What I can appreciate, is that it sends an alert to her Apple Watch when the load is finished washing. That’s useful if your washer isn’t on the same floor as your current activity. It also has a remote start so that she can initiate the wash cycle, using her watch, while she is away from home. Needless to say, that would require some pre-thought and I don’t know that I would have a need for that function myself. But one thing is clear, technology is pervasive.
So for now, despite the fact that I’m still a bit disgruntled about my washing machine’s antics, I am relieved I don’t need a new one. I’ve resigned myself to be better about participating and offering my assistance when it needs to ‘self-clean.’ So what if the rim digs into my side and my feet thrash wildly in the air while I try to scrape the crud off the floor of the drum. Too bad technology can’t play that role. But maybe someday. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.