Yesterday afternoon our washer quit with a basket full of clothes and the water level very high.
My husband diagnosed the problem and we ordered the part which will be here Monday.
But I had to do something about those clothes sitting in the water. I pulled them out, wrung each piece out as much as I could, and put them in a basket.
This morning, I went to the nearby laundromat to wash them completely and get the water flung out of them via centrifugal force.
Oh. my. goodness.
I put the clothes in a 40lb washer and saw that the cost was $4.75! Ouch! But I needed to do it, so I went ahead. Then I couldn't figure out how to put the $5 bill in the machine.
Turns out, one has to purchase an access card. It costs $1 on your credit card, but the machine doesn't give receipts. So once capturing my credit card info, I would have nothing to prove that they didn't take $20 vs. $1.
That's when I said, "no thank you." I brought the clothes back home, and have draped them over the rails of our deck so at least the water can evaporate/run-off. They won't be clean, but they won't be a sodden mass. When my husband fixes the machine on Monday (we'll be gone this weekend), we can run them.
But I started thinking about the economics of this situation. I wanted to do only 1 load of wash. If one separates whites and darks, and is washing for an entire family, that would easily be two loads in the 40lb machine every week.
$4.75 x 2 = $9.50 x 50 weeks per year = $475 per year. That's enough to BUY a washer.
And that doesn't even take into account the cost of using the dryers. I think I'm being conservative with two loads as well, and of course, I didn't add the $1.00 for the access card!
Most of the people I saw in there were non-native speakers of English. The laundromat is in our most economically disadvantaged shopping center. Do you see the issue here?
I have been accused of being cheap on items like this, but not hesitating to indulge in the extravagance of my new bike. Yep, it's true, I am cheap as well as profligate. That's because I have some options due to our income and careful stewardship. How much wiggle room does a family in the subsidized housing have? Or someone making $9 per hour? My daughter thought that was a lot of money but that's because she wasn't paying for any expenses living at home. Wow...