Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Laundry Strategy

In my one-bedroom apartment, I do not have a washer and dryer. I do have hookups, but I don't have appliances, and now there's too much stuff in the closet with the hookups, and they wouldn't fit anyway. Going to laundromats is not fun, so over the years I have tried various tactics to reduce my out-of-home laundry time, without drastically increasing my in-home laundry time. I bought a manual counter-top washing thing that suction-cupped to my counter and looked like a plastic propane tank with a hatch and a handle to spin it around. It seemed to manage agitation pretty well; it also managed leaking on my counter pretty well, but when the time came that I wanted the water out, it wasn't so great. Sopping wet clothes are no fun, and I have limited flat or hanging space in my home for wet laundry repository. I tried the microwave, but this was a very high-maintenance deal, and certainly no miracle (by the way, singed areas frequently will come out with the next (machine) wash). I tried putting my clothes in a pillow case and swinging it around in the shower. I am not strong enough to do that effectively with anything more than a pair of socks.

This is a 5-gallon salad spinner. It will dry 6-8 heads of lettuce. It's going on E-bay for about $25 total. I first saw one of these at culinary school, and immediately thought "laundry!" but when I went looking for one to buy myself they were over $100, which is an expensive experiment. Note: you could get an electric one for $400. That's a lot of salad spinning, people.

So how much laundry do you think equates to 6 - 8 heads of lettuce? How about you spinners/dyers out there? How much wool do you think you could spin dry with one of these puppies? Why hasn't anyone tried it yet? I know people have used the little ones, but how about the big ones? What if you have a whole fleece to do? You're not going to do that in a little salad spinner, are you?


stacey said...

I wash my fleece in the sink in small batches then put it in the washer to spin out. I then lay it out flat on old window screens to dry. I guess you could do a whole fleece in four to six loads in that orange thing. But you would have to keep the loads small and empty the water out often. Wet wool is very heavy, might be too much for the handle to take.

I guess you could wash/spin out at least five to six pairs of socks in that thing. It looks like it would be useful.