Monday, June 21, 2010

Our Dirty Laundry

This will be my first post trying out the Live Writer system…thanks to Rick once again for helping me get to this point.  What a hero!
Doing the laundry is something everyone has to do no matter where you live or what you live in.  Recently, Judy wrote about her frustrations in learning to operate her new Splendide washer/dryer combo.  In spite of her frustration, she managed to write her post using a great deal of humor. 
We have the same type of washer/dryer in our motorhome that Judy has.  I’ve read a few blogs or questions on the RV forums relating to the same frustrations Judy has experienced.  Some hate the little washer/dryers and some, like me, really love them.  I will say that they do take some getting used to and figuring out just how to make it work without the clothes ending up being so wrinkled you won’t wear them. 
Here’s what I have learned to make our unit work well and not leave me tearing my hair out. 
   DSCF5104                    DSCF5102
Our unit is vented to the outside, which I’ve learned can make a huge difference in efficient drying.  The drum is small but as an example of some loads, I can still wash:
6 T-shirts or polo shirts; 1 king sized sheet; 2 large bathtowels and 2 washcloths; several kitchen towels and washcloths; 1 pair of Bruce’s jeans with 2 T-shirts; 2 small throw rugs, and so on.
I use an HE detergent which is formulated for low-water, high efficiency units.  And I use a liquid fabric softener. 
             DSCF5111   DSCF5099
I do not have to use much of the liquid detergent since it is highly concentrated.  Just a little bit will do ya. 
Here are some tips I’ve learned that help me get good results:
* Never let the machine go to automatic dry.  No matter what I put in the wash cycle I let it stop before going to dry.  Then I open the machine and loosen the items, or if it is clothing, I take them out and shake and place them back in.
* Do not overload the machine.  I never dry more than 1 pair of jeans at a time (along with 1 or 2 shirts).  This works good because if I have washed my jeans with Bruce’s I only dry his.  I always have taken my jeans out and hung them to dry.
* I only wash and dry one bed sheet at a time.  I use a queen sized fitted sheet and a king sized top sheet.  Even the king sized sheet will wash and dry perfectly.  When setting the dry time for sheets, I put it on a 50 minute dry time.  When it stops, I open the machine remove the sheet and shake it out.  Then I replace it and set a second cycle for 30 minutes. 
*  When I dry clothing I always set a dry time for 100 minutes.  If I set it for less time it seems the clothes are always wrinkled.  If I go for 100….they come out great.  The dry cycle setting I use for clothing is always the one for “Delicates”.    The cycle I use for sheets and towels will be the “Cotton Heavy Duty” one.  
*  I do not use the “Low Spin” or “Easy Iron” settings.  I tried them and they didn’t seem to work as well as what I use now. 
I know these little machines take extra time since they have to do the wash and dry within the same machine.  However, if we are just hanging out around the RV I can get 3 loads of laundry done.  If we’ve been out for the day, I can still put a load in during the evening and have it finish before bedtime.  If it is a load of “undies” or towels that don’t need special attention, I sometimes go to bed when they get in the dry cycle.  They’ll just be waiting for me in the morning!
I hate to go to campground or public laundromats and will avoid them when possible.  So, this little machine is just what I’ve been looking for.  The only thing we have that we cannot wash are 2 large throw rugs.  When those need washing, I take them to the public laundromat. 
I do not miss the storage space that our washer/dryer takes up.  Our motorhome has 2 large wardrobe closets and that is enough space for all of our “stuff”.   I do still iron all of my jeans and pants since I do not like to dry them in any dryer.  I kept my large ironing board and have room in my closet to store it up against the wall.  I tried a little table top model and didn’t like that at all. 
I hope this information will be useful to other RVer’s who have had difficulty getting satisfactory results from the combo units.  I am not sorry that I have one in our motorhome!
Until next time… long for now!


Sam&Donna Weibel said...

We too read Judy's post and my first reaction was ,"if I have to wait 3-4 hours for clean clothes, I can go to the laundromat and be done in an hour, no patience here. Also I would have to get a bigger trailer as right now there is no place to put even a small washer. But who knows what life will bring. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Laurie and Odel said...

Margie, congratulations on moving to Windows Live Writer! I hope you will learn to love it as many of us do.

May I make two suggestions (kinda' related)? When you add a hyperlink to your text, where readers will be taken to another web site, mark the box (as Rick would say, "tick" the box) that will cause the link to open in a new window. That way, I can click on the link without leaving your blog. I can either read/scan the other site, close the new window and return to your blog, or minimize the new window, finish your blog, and get back to the other window later. I don't know about ALL readers, but I definitely prefer a new window for a link...

...which leads to the second suggestion: do the same for photos. If I am using a slow internet connection, but want to see a larger, more detailed, version of a photo, I prefer it to open in a new window. I can start the photo display, then switch back to reading your blog while the photo loads.

The prior owners of our motorhome were a fulltiming family, with four small kids. The had an apartment sized washer and separate dryer installed. When we bought the MH, we just shrugged our shoulders, thinking we didn't care about having on-board laundry facilities. WOW, did we change that opinion in a hurry! When the washer needed a repair a couple years later and we had to use laundromats for a month... CRISIS! :)

Safe travels,

Phyllis said...

We had thought about getting a combo as our fiver is prepped for it. Two reasons we decided no:

We really do need the storage for clothes. The one thing I dislike about this rig is the size of the clothes closet. Although it is about 3/4 of the bedroom wall long, it is quite narrow and has no shelving. So we store clothes on the shelving of the washer/dryer wardrobe.

Also, we have to consider weight issues. I know for sure a washer/dryer will put us well over our limit.

Probably if I had the washer/dryer I, too, would not want to be without it.

Gail Durham said...

We have a washer/dryer and I just love mine. I also take some of the clothes out and let them air dry.

Ruth said...

I have the same washer/dryer combo as you, vented to the outside. I guess we both have learned through trial and error because I do EXACTLY what you do and I have no problems with my laundry. I love mine cause I do hate sitting in laundromats waiting for my duds. It just takes a little experimenting to figure out what works.

Cindy said...

I have the stackable kind. I actually gave the dryer a test drive this weekend. It is vented outside. I threw in 2 of Walker's jeans..set it for 60 minutes. and played in the trailer. It worked.It needed about 10 more minutes of drying..but I know I could of put in a few t-shirts also. I like these!!Something good in the

Jerry and Suzy said...

We've all said it at one time or another --- Different Strokes for Different Folks!"

We much prefer to use a public or campground laundromat, as we can do all of our laundry at one time. And (especially here in Benson) the machines are bigger, better, faster than most other places, and the place is cleaner than we ever kept our own laundry area when we had a sticks and bricks!.

We agree, of course, that some public or campground laundries suck, so we choose them with care.

Ironing board? What's that?

Judy and Emma said...

Thanks Margie! I will keep your hints in mind when I try my next load. People seem to have a love/hate relationship with this little machine. :)

I used to iron all my stuff, but I'm not sure the iron made it out of the old rig into the new one. Did I maybe stick it under my bed? I'll have to check. :(

Carol K said...

That's good information, Margie. Thanks for posting it. I really like my Splendide and do not regret getting it. I use it every day.

I'm still working on getting rid of the wrinkles. White clothes come out great even when I let them automatically dry. I'm still having trouble with dark clothes. Some turn out fine and some get wrinkled. I think it depends on the fabric. As you suggested, I have learned to wash less clothes at one time and not to let the dark clothes dry automatically.

Rick and Paulette said...

Good information Margie - I'll just pass all that on to Paulette(ha, ha)! If we ever were to go fulltime, I know a washer and dryer would be something Paulette would definitely want to have. But, then we'd have to get a bigger rig too! Neither is likely to happen in the near future, so we'll just keep using the CG laundromats for now I guess. Thanks for the kind words too!

Happytrails said...

Thanks Margie...great post! I have been using the "express" and "low spin" cycles so I will try your settings and see if I get better results. I really haven't had any super bad problems. I do most everything you suggested. Iguess I'm on the right track. :)

We love Live Writer too. We are still in the learning mode so I appreciate Laurie's suggestions. We'll try that too. Thanks Laurie!

Take care!
Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

Great post!



Karen and Steve
(Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

Levonne said...

Great practical post Margie. I think I could get use to one of those w/d units. Maybe some day. But then I would have to stop going to the Laundromat! The Camp Host Housewife

Levonne said...

I must try out Live Writer!