After being in temporary housing for three weeks, we finally bit the laundry bullet (or, rather, Stephen did. I could go another couple weeks because I packed an obscene amount of clothing in my three suitcases).
Let me pause here and say that when I first discovered most flats have a combo washer/dryer in-unit, I thought it was the greatest thing ever. No more losing quarters to the stupid communal machines. And the fact that one machine could wash AND dry blew my mind. Why are these not more popular in the US?! I wondered. Because, quite frankly, they suck — that’s what I discovered yesterday.
There are two washer/dryer combo units in the basement of our building, so we loaded up one with whites and the other with colors. The machine holds a ridiculously small amount of clothes. I don’t even know if a sheet would fit and a bath towel would probably take up a whole load. We chose the water temperature setting in Celsius, which was a bit odd. Then the “Time until done” clock displayed two hours and 30 minutes. A normal washing machine takes 35 minutes and a dryer takes an hour. Surely that meant this machine would automatically switch to drying, right?
We came back 2 1/2 hours later to wet clothes. What kind of washing machine takes over two hours?! We switched the machine to dryer mode and set the time to an hour. I went down after 45 minutes to check on the clothes and I could not open the machine door. I pried and pried. I tried turning the machine off and changing the setting. I eventually gave up and came back after 15 minutes. At this point it was after 1 a.m. We started the clothes around 9:30 p.m. not thinking the whole process would take almost four hours. I finally learned that the machine door remains locked for two minutes after it shuts down. (Are they afraid the hot clothes will burn you or something?) After an hour in the dryer the clothes were still damp, but I didn’t care anymore. I was not fighting with this machine any longer.
I really hope our flat’s combo unit is not as bad as this one. If it is, we may be air drying our clothes for the sake of time and the electric bill.