If you thought you had heard the last of the washing machine struggles at Casa Rodriguez, guess again. Grab a seat and join me in a stiff drink. The Washing Machine Saga now has a part deux.
As you have all probrably surmised by now, Mirka is a key player in this house. Although her official title is home manager, she might as well assume the title Godfather. She is notorious for being the “capo di tutti capi”. Her alter ego is Tony Soprano meets Carlo Gambino. Nothing moves without her approval. Nothing gets fixed if she doesn’t say it’s broken. She says when, where, and how. This is her hood and she has the final word. The wrath of Mirka is mighty. You simply don’t want to be on her bad side. To disagree with her, will earn you cold coffee until she feels you have fully understood which side your bread is buttered. #ladyboss #oldschool #shakedown
Capo Mirka hates the new washing machine. Between you, me and the fly on the wall, I am not sure this is one she can easily move on from. Her spirit of assertion concerning the new washer is alive and kicking. Anyone within a two mile radius has heard her voice her animosity. Fair warning: all should fear for their well being and find safety. Hostility, indignation and irritability are percolating.
We purchased a fancy, high tech, all the bells and whistles, top of the line LG Turbo Smart Washing Machine. (For all those living in Dominican Republic who asked, we went to Plaza Lama. Service was on point and price was fair.) I, naively, believed Mirka would be as excited as I was to go from our 2003 stackable washer and dryer to this modern, digital, work of art, stainless steel, SMART machine.
Someone throw me a lifeline because I could’t have been more wrong. I mean REALLLLLLLLLY wrong. She abhors the new machine and has formally requested we return it for a white machine that has an agitator down the middle of a plastic tub, a turn dial, ample water levels, abundant sudsy water, a regular timer with a straight forward and loud buzz, an agitator that works like a weed whacker, and zero requirement for special detergent. With repugnance and unabated anger, Mirka annouced the new machine is “una desgracia” (a disgrace).
Fail #1: She hates that the new washing machine takes 1 hour and 24 minutes to do one load. With the old machine, she could do 2.5 loads in that time. Due to this extended time period, she can only get one load folded during her novela and has been late to bible study, TWICE. The antagonistic machine is coming between her and Jesus, and that makes the sinister machine the devil himself.
Fail #2: Mirka takes issue with the fact that she needs to input the amount of water, type of load, water temperature, the rinse, and the amount of power to agitate on the digital key pad. She feels she is doing all the work. I pointed out that the key pad also has a “smart wash” button that figures all that for you, but her arguement is that when the”smart” machine is left to think on its own, its “brilliant” solution is a 3 hour cycle and she ain’t got time for that. The old machine did not give her all these options and all these alternatives are just complicating affairs more. She just wants the delicates button with a 30 minute cycle. “Es mucho pedir?” (Is it too much to ask?)
Fail #3: The HE logo on the detergent bottles are just too small for her to see and therefore that is sufficient justification to return the malevolent, masochistic, inept, sedate machine. Moreover, what’s the point of having a washer that can only use special detergent? Wouldn’t a modern machine provide ample detergent selections? Why is it limiting and restricting her detergent options? And whyyyyyyyyyyy can’t the logo be LARGE? The anemic HE detergent does not make suds. How is it removing the dirt off our clothes if it has no suds?????? I promised her that all the detergents and other products in the laundry room are safe to use. I inspected every bottle myself when I purchased them. The Capo’s innate, mistrusting, sketchy self just doesn’t allow her to take my word as gospel truth. She needs to check the bottle for the HE logo every single time she grabs detergent.
Fail #4: The machine doesn’t agitate enough to her liking nor does it use enough water. I explained to her (atleast 5 times) it is because it is being more efficient and kinder to the fabrics and the environment. That didn’t fly. She isn’t buying it. Lady Boss says that’s a whole lot of bull. She also isn’t on board with the fact that the machine is an inverter and is using less electricity. Her argument? How can that even be remotely possible if it takes three times longer to wash? ( Tony Soprano has a point there.)
Final Fail: The machine’s timer mocks her with a peaceful, muffled, digital song praising the end of the cycle. She doesn’t want Mozart’s sonata to tell her to come back to the laundry room. She wants a clear and resounding BUZZ. The pressure of trying to make out the soft melody stresses her out and has her running in and out of the laundry room checking to see if the cycle is over. It goes without saying, it is not over. The cycle, as she so often reminds me, takes 90 minutes!
POST Final Fail: Now (as I write this post) the machine is self cleaning. She never asked it to do so. The timer reads 3 hours and 40 minutes. The manure has hit the fan. The Don is furious beyond belief. The door is locked and she can’t take the clothes out. She has given up. Cement shoes comes to mind.
I can’t return the machine. She hates the washer and me for buying it. Juan Carlos, the Consigliere, wants nothing to do with this beef. #hit the mattresses.
In the spirit of washing machines, let me share my favorite laundry tips.
- Dryer Balls are the best! Shortens drying time and leaves the fluffiest towels ever. I feel 6 dryer balls is the magic number. You can substitute dryer balls with tennis balls or make aluminium foil balls (instructions here).
- I am not a fan of fabric softener, although I know Mirka has a hidden stash of Suavitel and Downy and uses it every so often. Dryer sheets and dryer balls are much kinder on your fabrics. My favorite dryer sheets are Mrs. Meyers Geranium.
- I am a scent girl. Downy Unstopables are great. The smell is pure joy.
- Hot water for whites, cold water for colors. NEVER STRAY FROM THIS RULE.
- NEVER, NEVER, NEVER allow stained items in the dryer. It seals the stain. And for the love of God, do not iron over it!
- Print out a laundry decoder and a Stain Remover Cheat Sheet . Laminate and post in laundry room. By the way, Who came up with these stupid symbols? Egyptian hieroglypics in the laundry room?
- Always wash and dry jeans inside out to keep color from fading. (I this extend rule to all bright colored clothes). I use Woolite Darks detergent and it has yet to fail me.
- Linen napkins, placemats, and tablecloths should sit overnight in ice water. This prevents stains from settling in and makes it easier to clean the following day. I like to air dry these, it makes ironing easier.
- Always wash duvets and pillows with delicate detergent, like Woolite Gentle Cycle. Always dry with several dryer balls and on air fluff. You might have repeat the dryer cycle.
- I swear by my own stain remover: 1 part Dawn dishwashing soap to two parts hydrogen peroxide. It has NEVER failed me. Pour concoction onto stain, lightly rub with soft bristle laundry brush or dab with a white felt towel. Let sit for a few hours. Launder as usual. This is also a hit on yellowing whites and men’s shirt collars and french cuffs. Alternatively, I turn to Clorox Stain Fighter.
- For my regular loads, it’s Tide all the way. I changed for a few months to a cheaper detergent and found my clothes fading and the fabric fibers weakening.
- Marseille soap and Woolite are my go to for delicates. I wash all my swimsuits and spanx with baby shampoo in cold water. Lay flat to dry.
- Never wring dry your delicates. Lay out and roll up in a towel. (This method also works with your make up brushes and will dry in half the time.)
- Keep a few fabric sheets in your drawers, in between your folded clothes. Keeps them smelling fresh! (Add fabric sheets to your packed suitcase in between clothes. When you arrive, your clothes smells freshly laundered! Also, place dryer sheets inside sweaters and winter clothing when storing during the off seasons.)