(left) painting Le Linge by Édouard Manet (center) hand laundry in bathroom basin (right) portable washer

images: (left) painting Le Linge by Édouard Manet (center) hand laundry in bathroom basin (right) Anne's new portable washer in front of her Chez Anne screen.

|| 5 May 2019

Laundry - Le Linge

Three weeks ago my faithful portable washer decided that 10 years of laundry here at Provence-sur-la-Prairie was enough. No more. While I shopped for a replacement and waited for the new washer to be delivered, I was not quite to the point of laundering in a backyard tub as the woman in the French modernist artist Édouard Manet’s charming 1875 painting Le Linge (Laundry). But I was washing out needed items in the bathroom basin. My laundry hamper was very full.

Now my new washer is in operation and has been busy catching up. Washes beautifully. Of course, once the new washer arrived, it began raining every day. And I have no dryer. Alas.

Those of you who were reading the Chic & Slim website 10 years ago know that I was delighted with my portable Avanti washer I bought then. My son arrived for a visit and did the set up: installing the noise plate on the bottom and attaching the hoses.

This replacement Avanti washer is just a little more than half the size of the previous one. Good that it is smaller because I would have been unable to lay a washer the size of my previous over on its side for the noise plate installation. (I would likely have dropped it on my foot in the effort.) Nor set the washer back upright.

This smaller washer is light enough that it is easy to lay on its size and to return upright. So I could do the setup myself. Also it has rollers for easily moving to the kitchen sink to attach to the faucet — and then, roll back to its corner where it sits behind my Chez Anne screen when not in use.

Avanti has made some design improvements over the decade between the two washers. The hoses were easy to install, and I have had no leakage around the connections.

I worried that all of my blankets and bedspreads would be too large for the 1 cubic foot washing tub capacity. Some will have to go to a laundromat, I am sure. But I did one test twin bed size microfiber blanket. The washer had no problem with that.

Washers are not what they used to be. Neither portables like mine nor conventional permanently installed ones.

My biggest disappointment in this new washer is the timing of the wash cycles (minutes the clothes are sloshing around in the soapy water).

On my old washer, the choices between times for the wash cycle were 6 minutes for lightly soiled clothes and 12 minutes for more heavily soiled. Just perfect.

Choices on the new washer are 3 minutes and 18 minutes. Really annoying. Three minutes is not long enough for regular laundry. And 18 minutes is a waste of electricity.

Fortunately, setting the child lock feature is optional. If I have started the washer and want to add an additional item, I can lift the lid to stop the washer then, push the start button to restart. (Merci to Susan in Hamilton who warned me to check about automatic child lock.)

Though, like my old washer, the new one has no agitator — I could not find any portable with an agitator — it does not tie clothes into knots as badly as my previous machine did. (I bought a lot of laundry bags designed for delicate and small items and had to use them on anything with sleeves to prevent them being mangled.)

So as charming as Manet rendered the French mother and daughter doing laundry amidst the garden greenery, I am very grateful that all I have to do is load my clothes and push a couple of buttons. Voilàl clean.

Also merci to our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat who sent the postcard featuring the Manet painting.

be chic, stay slim — Anne Barone