16 March 2007

Does Size Matter?

Sometimes it really does...

My washer in the United States was a large capacity washer. You wouldn't believe how much I could put into a single load.

My washer here in Switzerland would look like a child's toy next to that washer. No, it is not unusually small. At least, not by European standards. It is a typical size for here.

Today I did a bit of research and went to the manufacturer's website for each. Just wanted to see exactly what the size difference is.

Let's do a comparison:

Swiss Washer
Height: 85 cm / 33.4 in
Width: 60 cm / 23.6 in
Depth: 59.5 cm / 23.4 in

US Washer
Height: 106.6 cm / 42 in
Width: 68.58 cm / 27 in
Depth: 64.7 cm / 25.5 in

But size isn't the only thing that matters. In the United States, a wash cycle was 40 minutes and the dryer took about 45-60 minutes. Here in Switzerland, the wash takes 1 hr 20 minutes and the dry could take as much as 2 hours.

So I am now able to do half of the laundry in twice as much time.

No wonder it takes me forever to do laundry. And there are only two of us. I cannot imagine how people with children manage it!

When I first came here, I tried to do laundry one day per week, just like in the US. At the end of the day, I still wasn't done.

Then I tried to do laundry two days per week. I still didn't feel caught up AND I lost two days to laundry instead of just one.

What I finally did was to purchase several small, plastic baskets that are intended for carrying groceries home. But I discovered that the capacity of the shopping baskets was pretty much equal to the capacity of the washer. The baskets are lined up in a corner of the room we call the "Closet Room." Dirty clothes are sorted immediately into one of the baskets. When the basket is full, I put that load in the washer.

I usually do a load or two every day. This way I never feel overwhelmed by mounds of laundry.

But I still miss my large capacity washer and the feeling of satisfaction I had when all of the laundry was clean, folded and put away.

Marian Librarian, please give my old washer & dryer a nice pat. You have no idea what a deal you got when you bought them from us!


Anonymous said...

Wait a minute...You got GLH (NHRN) to sort his own laundry? Guess the honeymoon's not over yet.

Anonymous said...

And I still leave the seat down too!

Expat Traveler said...

LOL - yes I managed to do laundry for 5 while I was there. I guess I just started early in the mornings and then had to remind myself or time it when the laundry stopped.

I usually never had trouble making it in 1 day.

I guess we don't use that many clothes...

Un-Swiss Miss said...

That makes me feel better. I do 4 loads a week! On the plus side, it means I can actually sort my clothes properly. In the States sometimes I'd get lazy and mix colors with whites. Usually no problem, but on occasion I'd end up with grey or pink underwear... Of course my boyfriend wears pretty much all black, so he never cared.

Anonymous said...

There's a seat???

The Big Finn said...

Were you able to find any energy consumption info on the website? I've tried to find this info in order to see if the Swiss machines are really that much more energy/water efficient than the U.S. machines (I don't believe that they are.). Of course, the info is not in the instruction manuals, so I guess the mystery will remain unsolved.
You should check to see if your washing machine has a setting to reduce the cycle time. Ours does. If the clothes are not really dirty, I can hit a button that reduces the washing cycle from 90 minutes to 37 minutes; it makes a HUGE with me adding gym towels and gym clothes to the laundry load three times per week.

The Big Finn said...

Sorry...I meant HUGE "difference"...

Global Librarian said...

Was not able to find energy consumption information on the websites. And I specifically looked. I have a hard time believing that heating up the water in the washer (instead of using hot water from start) and then taking so long consumes less energy. Although I've been told this several times now.

I've tried the shorter program and was unsatisfied with the cleanliness, even on clothes that are lightly soiled. I actually asked at an appliance store. The man explained that all short programs are intended for half-loads and use half the water. If you put too many clothes in, they do not get clean and the detergent doesn't rinse completely out.

And I will also admit that my desire for cleanliness is also a bit of the issue. In my world, clean sheet day happens once per week. And requires two loads of laundry by themselves. (One load for queen-sized duvet cover. One load for fitted sheets and pillowcases.)

And two loads per week are for towels.

The clothing is actually only three loads per week...

swissmiss said...

I use the shorter cycle too, but I put in less soap - so yeah, the clothes have to be very lightly soiled indeed. Basically my husband's suit shirts.

When we lived in the country we had a clothes line. I miss my clothes line!

Sara said...

the washer itself is smaller but i think you can stuff in more clothes than the relative size would say in the front loading european version. at least we fill it till the clothes are pretty packed in there and they seem to always come out clean, as opposed to the top loading kind where you have to leave room for the agitator thing to spin around.
as for the time, yeah it takes forever!

Anonymous said...

Global, The washer and dryer say they miss you, but like living at my house. They don't work as hard. :)