Thoughts and photos by Lois. It's supposed to be funny, or thought-provoking, or both.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Cleaning up our act

Thoughts on the keeping of house, formerly known as housekeeping:
Washing machines: the powers that be in consumer marketing are to be commended for an amazing feat: the positioning of much more expensive front-loading, high capacity washers as a critical new NEED rather than a regular old WANT. I think much of the populace has been convinced these are a necessity (kinda like A/C in your car). Some of these new washers cost about three times as much as the plain old top loading box that used to, well, simply clean our clothes and leave them sitting in sodden heaps around the agitator. Okay, I will recognize the incovenient truth that the new models may use just a third of the electricity and water, but some take much longer to finish a load of wash -- 75 minutes compared to 50 with the old kind. And we know someone who spent an extra $200 to buy a set in red. Did anybody ever have to pay extra for good old avocado or harvest gold in the seventies?

Here's a cool alternative: how about a single unit washer/dryer combo (front loading for coolness of course) that costs about 1300 bucks. Or, go for the full-on high capacity set. Don't forget you also have to buy new special "high capacity soap." They've really got us now! Okay, so say we buy these washers and dryers for about $1000 apiece, instead of $800 for the washer/dryer set. And we can do more laundry in one load (with our special new soap) . . . but are clothes cleaner? Do they last longer? Is life better? I hope so, on all three counts.

I also want to report a minor kitchen cleaning triumph -- the successful mopping of kitchen floor two weeks in a row (it becomes a grunge fest at best by the 5th day after any given cleaning) with the big industrial mop, which is actually quite efficient once I get past the hauling in from garage and filling of bucket drama. My sister Diane and I had this in-depth discussion of how there is no intuitive path for efficient cleaning of the kitchen floor for either of our houses, which she attributed to the presence of the island. Anyway, I may have conquered this challenge but it's too early to say. I will continue to work away at my goal of cleaning that floor once a week to stay ahead of the dusty fuzz colonies and kid detritus under the table. Albeit with the old-time floor cleaning technology, which may just help to realign the cleaning universe, which was imbalanced by the proliferation of all these new, high tech, high capacity, higher priced washer/dryer sets. So there.