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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sometimes it just has to be American

I have lived in the UK for over 22 years now but in that time I have remained consistent in my longing for a top loading washing machine. The vast majority of UK washing machine are front loading. It makes sense as most are in the kitchen, under cabinets. But front loading means smaller. It also means leaks (I know I have been there -- one memorable occasion I managed to flood the utility room).  After the flooded utility room incident, I did buy a UK top loader...over the phone as the Internet was not that advanced. It duly arrived. A UK top loader is a slim line loader and the drum is turned on its side. It is not designed for heavy use. I wore out four drums before the warranty expired...So I went into my local John Lewis and had a long conversation with the staff where I learnt that all washing machines were not alike and that some are designed for light use. With three young children (at the time) and a husband who ran, I needed heavy duty. They did not stock an American top loader so I went with Miele. I had that Miele for 11 years, constantly on and running and never had to call out the washing repair man. This is opposed to becoming friends with the repair man over the other two washers... However over the last year, it was clear that my trusty machine was not working as well as it should. The time had come. My husband mentioned the top loader again as he always liked the washing machine at my mother's and the speed at which our laundry was done.
I was very pleased when I discovered John Lewis does sell American top loaders (the John Lewis Internet site is wonderful) and they sell Maytag. The Maytag advert about the lonely washing machine repair man has lived long in my memory. Maytag is a brand to trust.
Yesterday, it arrived. It is wonderful. It takes a much larger load than the old Miele. Laundry breeds in this house.
 The delivery man said that he hoped I knew how to use it as he didn't have a clue! Umm they are very simple to use.
My youngest took one look and proclaimed it American and large. It is ironic how pleased I am to FINALLY have the sort of washing machine I grew up with.
I hope it lasts and that the old advert was right...

10 comments:

Julie Cohen said...

I am very envious.

Michelle Styles said...

It was only when it arrived and was actually there that I realised how much it meant and for how long I put up with the situation. It seemed strange to say -- all I want for Christmas is an American top loader...

May you get your American top loader at some point Julie. There is just something aboutthe right washing machine...

Rula Sinara said...

So glad you got your top loader! People underestimate the impact of a good washing machine in our lives. I have 3 boys so I can imagine how tough your loads of laundry were. I have a super capacity Sears Kenmore right now. Love how much it holds, but LOL, it's so much that it's tough to keep up with folding :)!

Donna Alward said...

See, front loaders are all the rage here, but much bigger. I can fit 2 of my regular top loader loads in my front loader. It also uses less water (which is fab, before we were on a water meter and now we're on a well and have to watch our consumption) and less detergent. And it spins my clothes dryer for less drying time.

So I didn't quite understand your excitement over the top loader...Clearly things are very different in the UK! LOL

Either way I do know about laundry breeding so if you are happy so am I. :-)

Donna Alward said...

Spins my clothes DRIER. Clearly more coffee is needed.

Lindsey said...

Top loader, front loader, I don't really mind which but I do want a machine that returns a pair of socks rather than a single. (Where do all those single socks go?)

Caroline said...

Ohhh can I have washing machine envy? I've always longed for a US style top loader machine - but with only 2 of us - somehow I can't see the DH allowing it! LoL - Caroline x

Michelle Styles said...

Donna -- front loaders might be all the rage but the capacity was much smaller and they can have problems.
Let's just save that I am pleased my washer has been on a concrete floor for ages! Even with the Miele, when I had to clear the trap, the water went out all over the floor.

Lindsey -- yes I know about the sock monster. There are devices. Lakeland (even though it has been years, I always want to say Lakeland Plastics) has some if you live in the UK where you can put the socks together ... Trouble is that would mean finding the socks in the first place. I do have a collection of socks. Not helped by my daughter deciding that she doesn't have to wear both the same socks if she is in a hurry.

Donna Alward said...

LOL The only time we've had a problem was when SOMEONE left a lip gloss in their jeans (NOT ME) and it got through the trap and things started making a funny sound...

That was five years in (as in a few months ago), and I was so happy that my dh fixed it without so much as a trip to the hardware store.

You cannot underestimate the value of a good washer. Right now we are looking at replacing our refrigerator (which i've hated since we moved in).

Deb said...

I got married in 1989 and for a wedding present my in-laws gave us the money to purchase a washer and dryer. We went to Sears and got a matching Kenmore set. I still have that set--they've seen me through 22 years of marriage, three children, five changes of residence, and countless loads of wash (I do about 20 loads per week, including towels & sheets). Through the years, they've had some service and repairs (and there that memorable night when, at about 1:00 AM, the hose broke and flooded our kitchen), but, on the whole, they've been solid warhorses of appliances.