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How long can you do without a washing machine?

January 9, 2012

Something happened just before Christmas that made me realised how much I rely on having a washing machine. I put a load of clothes in the machine, switched it on, and tripped a fuse. After a few more attempts, the only conclusion we could come to was that something had gone wrong with the washing machine.

I started to feel slightly panicky. Would I have to spend the next two days stuck in the launderette in order to ensure we had enough clean clothes to see us through two visits to relatives? Or would I have to get the rubber gloves out and wash everything in the bath?

I breathed deeply to calm myself down. There were two options to consider:

  1. repair the washing machine
  2. buy a new washing machine

In the end, we went for option 1. We got the faulty heating element replaced. It was certainly a lot cheaper than buying a whole new washing machine. It was also quicker than buying a new one and having it delivered, especially just before Christmas.

Plus it seemed less wasteful than throwing our old machine away. I think people throw too many things away these days, without checking whether there is still productive life left in them.

Fortunately, I followed the advice my dad gave me years ago, to buy a good quality but straightforward washing machine without fancy electronics. That way, when a mechanical part goes wrong, it can be fixed or replaced relatively cheaply and easily.

This post originally contained a sponsored link, which has now been removed.
‘Washing Machine’ photo by That HP Chap

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Soph permalink
    January 9, 2012 3:50 pm

    We had a hotpoint fancy-shmancy machine last time and it was a nightmare, the ‘fins’ inside the drum that agitate the clothing were plastic, all snapped off and though I managed to replace them the new ones never fitted quite as well, plus the rinsing and spin cycles kept going wrong and I’d be left with powder residues and an off smell to the clothes. This time we got a Beko machine that was quite pricey in big electrical stores/supermarkets etc but we got it online and for half the price of other places. A major supermarket had it on their website at a supposed clearance price just a month or so ago, and it was still £200 more than we got it for. We have had it well over two years and despite very heavy use we have had no faults with it, it is an electronic machine but not one of those really hi-tech ones like the old one.

  2. January 9, 2012 4:39 pm

    I’ve had a Dyson washing machine for about the last 8 or 9 years and absolutely love it – but it does go wrong sometimes. Luckily Dyson offer a brilliant repair service – but I shall be lost when the machine is eventually beyond repair, as they don’t make them any more.

    • January 12, 2012 5:17 pm

      It’s a shame they don’t do those Dyson washing machines anymore. I couldn’t afford to get one when they originally came out. I hope you manage to keep yours going for a while yet!

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