Tag Archives: wonderwash

It’s 2:38 am, and I just finished hand-wringing our clothes to dry in the bathroom. As I type, I can feel the effects of the detergent starting to dry my hands, so I better type fast. Do they make a hand softener, like they do fabric softener? Oh, I think it’s called lotion.

As we all know, when one is hand-wringing clothes to dry in the bathroom within the 2:00am–4:00am window, one’s thoughts veer toward the existential. As I twisted the water out of a pair of Thomas the Tank Engine undies to the tune of the reverberating splat of laundry water on tub, I realized that I never pictured life looking like this.

I wondered about how we got here and what’s going to happen next. We don’t intend on WonderWashing forever. Of course, laundry is not the main point here, but it’s indicative of where we are in this arc of the story. And then I thought if I could sum up where we are now in one sentence. Here’s what I came up with:

We are parents who are in a transition as Cool Dad, unemployed, continues to build his career, and Cool Mum learns how best to raise their 3-year-old and 10-month-old sons in a small apartment in New York City, one of the most expensive, competitive, and creative cities in the country.

Of course, that leaves out a lot of important details, and I could probably come up with something better during a decent hour of the day, but I think it’s a concise way to express where we are in life right now. It’s a cool exercise, too, to step back and pick what the important arcs in your story really are.

Can you sum up where you are in life right now in one sentence?

WonderwashToday is the final day of our self-imposed 8-Week Wonderwash Challenge!

When the Wonderwash arrived, we decided to use it exclusively for 8 weeks so that it would pay for itself. Things were running quite smoothly after Week 3 when I last updated our readers.

Week 4 and Week 5 were pleasantly uneventful. I must admit though, we fell off the Wonderwash wagon big time during Week 6 and Week 7 (covering face in shame).

Week 6 was my birthday. And in my mind, I deserved a break from the Wonderwash. Instead of spending my few child-free seconds of the day cranking a handle and wringing out clothes, I decided to do something crazy. I washed my hair!

And then Cool Newbie got an upset stomach, which caused a pile of poopy PJs. And then one night, Cool Baby’s bladder let loose in his sleep. It got to the point where even if we did 5 Wonderwash loads, that pesky damp laundry would overtake every door and doorknob in the apartment.

Cool Dad did $18 worth of laundromat laundry as a birthday present to me during Week 6. Thanks, Cool Dad! And when the blowouts ended last week, I spent another $7 at the laundromat while trying to hide Cool Baby’s eyes from the violent Spanish soap operas people were watching. This week, Week 8, we were back on and hope to keep it up!

My final thoughts on the Wonderwash: It’s a water-conserving, time-saving alternative to the laundromat. I had no problems using the machine and will continue to use it.

My biggest problems came during the drying process:

1. If the bathroom window isn’t open while hang-drying, the clothes get a slight mildew smell. Yuck.
2. Sometimes the clothes feel stiff until we throw them up into the air to fluff them.
3. Even though the drying rack full of clothes can be moved out of the shower and back in again easily, it still kinda stinks to have that valuable tub/shower space taken up.
4. Big or thick items like sheets and comforters aren’t easy to dry (duh).

And the biggest problem of all….

5. I HATE WRINGING WATER OUT OF MY CLOTHES BY HAND!!!!

Whew, I feel better now.

Women Washing Clothes by a Stream by Daniel Ridgway Knight

Women Washing Clothes by a Stream by Daniel Ridgway Knight

This week, I’ve decided that laundry is a result of the Fall of Man. Remember the good old days before Eve took the fruit? No clothes meant NO LAUNDRY to be done! I’ve also started to identify just a little bit with the billions of women who got through life just fine before the invention of the washing machine.

Now it probably sounds like I’m about to give up on the Wonderwash. Quite the opposite! I’m getting my system down and am still keeping up with the laundry before it gets unmanageable.

Lessons this week:

1. Cranking laundry can be empowering! The rinse cycle has this irresistible swishing noise too. I guess the novelty hasn’t worn off yet…there was a time in my life when I thought mowing an acre of land for 3 hours on a non-riding lawn mower was also “empowering.”

2. Eco-friendly detergent is the way to go. When you have to handle your own laundry, you realize the harshness of regular detergent. I need such a teeny tiny amount, so the extra expense is truly negligible compared to my pre-Wonderwash days.

3. My kids don’t need as many clothes! They only wear a fraction of the clothes they own now, because we no longer have to stretch the wardrobe to make it to laundromat day. This means that when Cool Baby outgrows his 4T clothes, we won’t need to buy such a huge stash of 5T clothes. In addition, the Wonderwash and hang-drying seem much gentler on the fabrics so they’ll probably hold up better. More money-saving aspects of the Wonderwash!