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Thursday, February 17, 2005  

Blow, Dryer

I hate our dryer.

I've disliked it for a while, but it wasn't until the baby arrived, with his three million items of laundry per week bearing their various crusty loads, that I begin to really despise it.

I can't even blame the previous owner, because the washer and dryer didn't come with the house. She took hers with her, so we had to buy new appliances when we moved in. It was either that or the laundromat, but to be honest, going back to an existence that includes rolls of quarters and huge canvas sacks doesn't seem to bad now.

The washer works fine, of course. The clothes come out pristine, with a minimum of color bleed and shrinkage. Then we pop them in the dryer. Which is great for towels and sheets, because you can just turn it to the "high" setting and let it run for three days. Sadly, the "high" setting would be inadvisable on baby clothes, because by after a couple of trips through the laundry he's outgrown them anyway. No need to accelerate that process.

There is one process I would like to accelerate, however. Can you guess what it might be? Right now, we pop the clean, damp clothes from the washer into the dryer and let it run on the "low" setting. For reasons whose logic utterly escapes me, you can't set the timer to run on the "low" setting for more than fifty minutes. How is that helpful? Your clothes are already going to be less dry just by virtue of the "low" setting. And now we can't even make up for it by letting it run longer.

So now, after putting our clean, damp clothes in the dryer, we turn it on and come back fifty minutes later to slightly less clean, slightly less damp clothes. It's like the washing machine in reverse, only slower.

"So why not run it twice?" you ask. Well, of course we run it twice. Ever since Trash got her new office job a few years ago that required an almost exclusively "tumble dry low" wardrobe, I've been getting used to the reality of going downstairs in the middle of loads to restart the washer. It didn't strike me as ridiculous as it does now. Because, honestly, if Trash and I still had time to run down and restart the washer in the middle of every load, it would be because we didn't have so many loads. And everything those additional loads entail. But we do.

The most frustrating loads are the ones that require three restarts. I could get better results with a clothesline. In Minnesota, in February.

And to add injury to insult, it's actually damaging our clothes now. Our light-colored garments have started to come out with these little brown scorch marks, like a mouse wiped his ass with them. A few of my collar points look like they've been dipped in coffee, and that shit doesn't come out. That's the entire reason I don't drink coffee, so my collar points don't get besmirched, and it's not doing me a damn bit of good any more.

So it occurs to Trash and me that, hey, we've had this dryer for going on twelve years; why not replace it? Eureka! Let's go spend some money!

Sadly, the big box superstore didn't want our money on Saturday. Why else would they have one guy in appliances with four couples stacked up waiting to talk to him? I guess they've gotten used to having the world corporate headquarters a few blocks away and have therefore decided to go back to sucking.

And then Sam's Club didn't have one we wanted. I'm probably going to be using this one for the next twelve years, and I don't want one where that will annoy me more than not being able to use it for the next twelve years. Specifically, I want one that has a "low" setting that will actually run long enough to dry clothes despite the lowness of the heat, but we couldn't find a gas dryer that fit the bill. I suppose we could have gotten the electric one that did, but there was some reason we didn't twelve years ago, although I can't remember what it is. Maybe it's because the gas line already runs downstairs, and if we switched to an electric dryer it would leave the line open to vent natural gas into our basement until the furnace kicked on and blew us into the Minneapols-St. Paul airport's northwest approach vector. That would be bad, I guess.

So then we got home empty-handed, and my dad reminded us about this thing we pay for through our gas company. It's basically a monthly warranty payment, and if we need to have them come out and fix something, it's free. We'd already gotten more our money's worth a few years ago while our furnace was dying, even though they'd raised the monthly payment since then (actually, I think we were the reason they raised the rate. Sorry, local gas customers).

Sure enough, a guy from the gas company came out on Monday and did enough work to make up for another year of the appliance protection plan. And now our dryer is as good as new again.


Today's best search phrase: "A poems that never exist." Feeling a little Zen today, are we, best search phrase?

posted by M. Giant 10:01 PM 7 comments


Getting the old dryer fixed just isn't as sexy as a shiny, new one, is it? I was all set to get new kitchen cabinets with our tax returns this year, and ended up settling for paying off our car.

I feel your pain.

- Patty

By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 18, 2005 at 7:05 AM  

I feel your pain too. included with my extravagant rent is the ability to use the coin-ops in my utility room. It is very weird to have coin-ops in your own house, let me tell you, although it is convenient. They finally fixed the heating thingy on my dryer this week, so that it actually dried instead of tumbling things for an eternity and letting me waste 5.00 in quarters because I thought that I had just forgotten to turn it on after inserting the money. Stupid dryers. I'll be happy when I can use the clothesline again.

By Blogger Yana/Jenn, at February 18, 2005 at 10:40 AM  

Weirdly enough, J-Walk Blog had a dryer-related post today from Snopes.com.

By Anonymous Jane, at February 18, 2005 at 6:21 PM  

You can also speed up the drying process by adding a dry towel to your regular load of wet things.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 18, 2005 at 9:00 PM  

We also have a dryer from hell. We have MANY restarts and ours also makes some sort of weird clanging noise. We don't know why, but we've been saying we'll fix it for a year.

By Blogger DeAnn, at February 18, 2005 at 11:18 PM  

My parents finally got around to replacing their washer/dryer combo after who knows how many years. They used to make this clanking sound that drove my dad crazy because we used to run loads during the middle of the night. They called a guy to come fix it, but when he was there it wouldn't make the noise. My parents thought they were going crazy hearing things, but the sound never went away. They went through about 5 repair guys. Finally they gave up and just bought a new washer and dryer. Now they complain about the buzzer on the dryer, but to be fair, it alerts the entire county when our laundry is dry.

By Blogger Rachel, at February 19, 2005 at 7:22 AM  

Possibly belated question, but have you cleaned or replaced the vent hose?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 4, 2005 at 4:56 PM  

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