Wednesday, February 13, 2008

On washing machine hacks

This is our washing rock: I have come to realize that, in my time living on my own, I only learned fairly perfunctory washing procedures. There is much more to it if you really care. And like practically all systems used by folks who have to accomplish a specific task with their system, hack emerge. A favorite of mine is the washing rock. I have seen similar items other places, and not always from people who actually talked to each other previously. This particular hack involves the spin cycle. For reasons that elude me, its nice to be able to soak and agitate clothes twice. But its either unimportant or actually bad (I don't know) to spin between the two soaking cycles. The machine doesn't mind soaking and agitating with the lid open, but the spin cycle is apparently dangerous, so it will not start -- and if running will immediately stop -- if the lid is opened. So, the rock goes into a hole where some lame dispenser goes, and it keeps the lid closed enough bugs don't fall in, but open enough it won't start the spin cycle. While "researching" for this post, I asked about a few other's habits, and found something else interesting. Which, again, the wife with her great washing knowledge, already knew. Washing machines by no means always have the same UI. This struck me as quite pointless; they all do almost the same thing (I guess some of the more electronic types have additional smarty-pants features) so why have they not settled into one closely-related set of behaviors and interfaces. Here's my favorite example of how divergent they can be. In the spin cycle mode, one machine locks the lid. Like a stove on the cleaning cycle, you cannot open the lid at all. There is in fact no way to cancel the spin cycle. On a power outage once, their clothes were stuck in the machine until the power came back on. How does this make sense, and why would you expect this behavior based on use of other washing machines?

2 comments:

poor_ophelia said...

Honey, that rock is for weighting delicates down in the sink to soak. Just an FYI, the washing machine rock is slightly smaller and is almost triangular.

A tip for front loading washers: add soap and any additives directly to the machine tub with the clothes before closing the door as dispensers are unreliable.

shoobe01 said...

Thanks for proving my point about not knowing how these systems work!

And, apparently, I have to post sometime about sink hacks.