How to survive two weeks without a washing machine

old washing machineSo on New Year’s Eve my washing machine packed up.

I’d set it going as usual, and came back to it a couple of hours later to find it stopped and flashing lights at me. Lights it wouldn’t usually flash. It had stopped somewhere mid-cycle. Thinking maybe a small child had come along and pressed some buttons on it, I switched it off and on again to reset it, and tried again. This time when I returned it was flashing its lights at me again, and this time for good measure it was still half full with water and nothing I could do would persuade it to undo the door lock and let me get my clothes out…

So what with it being New Years Eve and all I did the only thing I could – I powered the machine off at the mains and set off with the family to stay with friends for the night. We saw the New Year in, had a great time, and I forgot all about my washing for about 24 hours.

On our return home thankfully I got the machine’s door open and retrieved my damp washing. I managed to locate the manual for the machine and called the service centre, who proceeded to try to sell me what was effectively a one year warranty which would cover any repair required for just short of £200. That seemed a lot of money to me, and to my mind it seemed like a better investment to spend slightly more than that on a new machine which would come with a longer warranty.

Yes, I’m aware that there would be local tradesmen who would probably be able to repair the machine, but I have not yet mastered the art of finding a reputable local tradesman, and I was kind of keen on the idea of a new machine anyway.

A trip to the local electrical store to see what our choices were, an afternoon of Internet research to find the best price, and the replacement machine was chosen and ordered. One downside though – it wouldn’t be delivered for two weeks. Bit of a problem when I only have 5 school shirts for the geekdaughter. So just in case you should find yourself in a similar predicament here are my recommended tactics for surviving a fortnight without a washing machine:

  • If your husband should be going to a friends house for the evening, ask politely if he’ll take a bag of washing with him and borrow their washing machine whilst he’s there.
  • Take the oppportunity to invite your mother-in-law out for lunch at her local pub. Ask politely if you can run a load of washing through her machine whilst you’re out.
  • If your mother offers to cook Sunday lunch for the family, take her up on the offer and take a load of washing with you.
  • Bite your sister-in-law’s hand off if she offers to do a couple of loads for you.

new washing machineThankfully the delivery van got through the recent snowfall, and my shiny new machine arrived on Saturday. So far I have done at least 6 loads of washing in it, and the excitement hasn’t worn off yet!

It’s definitely been a case of out with the old and in with the new this year for the geek family! Thank you so much to the family and friends who kept us in clean clothes over the last two weeks – it was all very much appreciated :)

There follows the enhanced audio version of this blog post. You can find further audio versions of this blog on my audioboo page.


    • says

      I’m mostly happy so far – the only problem I’ve had is that very little socks get jammed in the door so I’ve had to start using a laundry net. But apart from that it’s lovely/

      And yes, the 5 year warranty was one of the points in its favour :)

  1. says


    1. – they are a client but I’ve used their site now to find a plumber, a plasterer and a decorator and they were all brilliant. Nice to find tradespeople you know are checked and all that sort of thing.

    2. Open local yellow pages. Look up ‘laundry services’. Phone laundry service, they collect the washing, bring it back clean and ironed. I confess, I did discover this service when I lived in Brighton just after Flea was born, and I was still using them once a week when we left Brighton – 18 months later. Best £15 a week I spent, honestly.
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    • says

      Ironically after we’d ordered the new washer my sister-in-law piped up and told me about a brilliant washing machine repair man she knows. Timing eh?

      It’s nice to get new stuff though, isn’t it? :)

  2. says

    Oh Ruth! I’ve had washing machine drama this week too!

    The washer repair man found the culprit in my machine- a pair of my knickers that had found its way out of the drum and wrapped itself around the pump! I nearly died! It was soooo embarassing!

  3. Kelly says

    I went the 4 months of summer holiday (only one summer)when I was in university with no washer or dryer, actually no kitchen either. The trick I found was to use a large trash bag set in the bath tub to wash & rinse the clothes, then wring them out as best you can & hang on a clothes horse.

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