We’re going into week 3 of having no tumble dryer, so how’s it going…?


We’re a family of 5, 3 of us being under 7 and of the jumping in puddles, sliding tackle, enthusiastic boy variety meaning we need to do washing every day. Until 14 days ago I would put a few bits on our airier but mainly I used the tumble dryer. I admit it. I’m lazy. I confess my ‘over use of the tumble dryer’ sins.

So it was a bit of a shock the day it hummed, hummed a bit more but didn’t then start the tumbling sound it usually does. It was warm when I opened it but there was no way it was going to get the huge load of washing inside dry so I had to spread it about on the radiators making the house something akin to a Chinese laundry. I got the load dry but was still wondering what to do with the tumble dryer…

Hubbie phoned up a repair company who dutifully sucked his lip to his bottom teeth (a plumber in a previous life maybe?) and said that it could be as simple as the belt having snapped but if it was something different it would be expensive to repair as AEG’s apparently are. (We were never told this when we bought the machine you understand) We had 3 options. 1 – Take the top off ourselves and see if it’s the belt and replace it. 2 – Get a man out which would cost £120. 3 – Buy a new one. I’m dubious about taking it to pieces but hubbie’s keen. I’m happy to have the man look at it but only the once as any more than that would be half the cost of a new machine.

So we’ve decided on option 2 with also a decision to move it into the garage making it an ‘out of sight/out of mind’ type of gadget. I over use it so need to cut down. Electricity is expensive and also it’s better for the environment to use it less so that’s what I intend to do. So far this week I have managed to get all the washing dry either on the line outside, on the airier or radiator.

Doing this though I have noticed several things. The first is that I am getting very washing obsessed. I get up thinking about the washing just as I now go to bed thinking about the washing! I now have to look ahead to prepare for the clothes that we need at any given time as I can no longer bung a wash on then tumble dry it. Drying takes 24 hours not the 1hr I am used to. I have also noticed that we need more clothes. Having a tumble dryer and the quick drying times meant that clothes turnover from dirty back to draw was within a day, now it’s at least a night. (Summer’s not here yet) Also the ironing pile has got bigger as the tumble dryer used to give me not only dry clothes but virtually crease free ones too –how does using an iron fit in with saving electricity? I’m not sure…

The tumble dryer will be moved from the kitchen and give me a large gap in which to fill with shoes. I have 5 people’s shoes to find a home for so this new space will be gratefully received and used very quickly. Shelves will be put in there and soon memories of the tumble dryer ever being there will soon fade as the memories of the not replaced dishwasher did. It has made me think though, do we really need all the ‘must have’ gadgets that we are told every good home should have. We got rid of the microwave when it died 5 years ago, the dishwasher when it died 3 years ago and now the tumble dryer. We shall see how it goes, I may yet cave in but for now I am happy to have one less bulky machine in the house and actually look forward to having the sun on our clothes before they are put away.

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About littlewhitecottage

Emma is a qualified teacher with 14 years of teaching in many different settings. From teaching adults and children at a music school to choosing to work in a demanding primary school that was failing (which meant moving from an outstanding school – her colleagues were aghast!) to running her own sewing business for the last 5 ½ years teaching all ages how to sew: Emma loves to teach.
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6 Responses to We’re going into week 3 of having no tumble dryer, so how’s it going…?

  1. phrogmom says:

    i am very impressed! my washer was acting up this week and i almost had heart failure until it somehow got itself on the right path! good luck!

  2. hakea says:

    Two appliances I refuse to get – a dishwasher and a dryer. I call them the last vestiges of middle-classdom. I formed that opinion over 20 years, and now revisiting it there are probably a few others – Xbox, Nintendo, Wii. We don’t have those either.

  3. Emma Dotty Mays says:

    I lived without a tumble drier for years (no space / no need) then my sister in law gave us hers when she moved & bought new. When our son was a baby it was a godsend, but likewise our electric bill started to give me the heebyjeebies oh how will we cope? So I started using an airer again … and yes cos it’s always ‘there’ I too seem to think of laundry for every waking (and prob sleeping) hour!
    But at least (for now) we can feel virtuous that we are doing our little bit for the planet

    If it’s not repairable and you really can’t live without you may want to ask on your local Freecycle web group – I often see them offered and requested on ours 🙂
    It’s the next best thing as you are after all recycling someone else’s unwanted item!

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