Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Laundry Day!

This might not be exciting, but we find it significant.  Don't expect a series of laundry-related posts-unless, of course, this post becomes a viral sensation leading to a book deal.

Laundry here was something we had to consider when looking for housing.  I don't love laundromats, not because of any prejudices of people who have to use them, and not because of their mostly undeserved reputation of being dark, dirty, and depressing.  I just don't love them because I don't want laundry day to become just that, a day.  We knew Dublin is a big city, and did not know if laundry facilities were common in apartments in our price range.  Lucky for us, they are.  We were very happy to see washing equipment in our kitchen at the showing, and considered it in the decision to live here.

The washing equipment was like nothing we had seen in Iowa.  Namely, it is a washer and dryer in once piece.

Dual purpose unit that functions as a washer and a dryer

That's it.  Gone for us are the days of a super-large capacity washer with a hot blasting air dryer next to it.  Here we have a high efficiency unit that will, if asked, wash a small load in a slow cycle and follow it with an immediate dry cycle.  Great, right?  Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Many appliances here are meant to run efficiently.  Saving resources is much more important to the common consumer here than we would have ever seen in Iowa, even among the suburban Iowa yuppies.  High efficiency (HE) comes with a cost that must be considered and adjusted to.  The HE washers are catching on in America, using less water and lower temperatures.  The tradeoff here is in time.  HE wash cycles are rather lengthy, ours is more than a full hour.  No problem so far.

Photo of the settings of the washer/dryer unit
Different wash and dry cycles.  Temperatures are given in degrees Celsius

Daz laundry soap in a red bottle
Our favorite (the cheapest) brand of laundry soap!

Starting the wash cycle
Setting a load, the time in the window is for the wash only.
Drying cycles can be adjusted to different temperatures and times just as the wash cycles, but they don't work quite like the good ole Whirpool back in Iowa.  The dry cycle does not work by blasting the clothes with hot air and pumping the air out the dryer vent.  The cycle here slowly and gently pulls moisture out to the clothes and into the air in the machine.  This means in real terms that clothes will not be dry after one dry cycle, multiple may be required to have clothes "drawer ready."  We did receive a hot tip about stopping the dryer before the cool down cycle to get some slightly warmer and dryer clothes but we haven't tried that yet.

In the meantime, we are back to the days of our first apartment where the dryer was expensive and didn't work well.  Then as now, we went classic:

Clothes hand on a collapsible wire drying rack
A drying rack.  Awesome!
Now that's high efficiency, suburban Iowa yuppies!

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