Posts Tagged ‘Clothes dryer’

When living in a Swedish apartment, laundry day is an interesting activity. Not exactly time-consuming as you only have a 3-hour window in which to get it all done, but that in itself seems to add unexpected pressure. I actually do like the idea because at home in my own house, it could take several days to finish laundry simply because I would start, then go out or get lost in time doing other things.

The laundry schedule board

The Plinko-style laundry schedule board

That said, doing laundry now requires a certain amount of planning. First, you have to preselect a day and 3-hour time block in which you plan to wash. At home, I just did it on the fly when the laundry basket piled too high. Miss your window and good luck finding an empty block to reschedule. There definitely won’t be one the same day (unless you want to go at midnight), and most likely you’re looking at another two weeks out.

This being my first laundry day, we chose a reasonable time on Sunday morning (10:00 – 13:00). Can you find my lock on today’s date? Anyway, once inside, you have two, which I discovered was actually three, washing machines and one dryer. What?? I know right, only ONE dryer for three loads of wet clothes? Ah, but the Swedish apartment building has a secret inside… We’ll get to that in a moment. So, on first intro to the laundry room, E tells me there are two washers and two dryers. Ok, sounds like enough since we have the room to ourselves for three hours.

He attempts to help me understand the Swedish diagrams and text to select water temperature and wash programs. He puts the soap powder in one of the top slots; neither one of us really sure if it’s the correct slot or not. Mind you, he’s just moved to this building as well and as such, is also unfamiliar with these particular machines. That’s the only slack I’m going to allow him because I figure he should still be ahead of me on figuring this stuff out. The poster on the wall only explains how to use the dryer. So, he’s off to run an errand, leaving me to face these formidable front-loading foes alone.

Not to be deterred, I stand there watching the machines spin, wondering when the heck the windows will get soapy and certain he put the powder in the wrong slot. Our clothes will go through the final rinse cycle with soap, I fear. After standing there for five or so minutes, I decide it’s safe to leave. When I return some 40 minutes later to move the clothes to the dryer, I discover that “dryer 2” is actually “washer 3.” I was watching the water flow into the side trough as the washers finished their spin cycles and realized there were three sets of pipes, not 2, coming from the wall. BING, light bulb moment: this is a washer too! I hope the guy from the time block before me didn’t notice me taking the clothes from a finished washer and putting them into the “dryer” as he came to retrieve his final batch of drying clothes. I had also used the wait time to look up the operating instructions online. Fortunately, the maker of the machines is in the UK and the instructions were in English. We did use (sort of) the correct soap dispenser in two of the three machines.

OK, so washer/dryer sorted out. Now, how the heck do I dry all of these clothes in one little dryer? Enter The Drying Room! I have no idea what it’s actually called, but that name seems to make the most sense to me. When the previous time block guy came in, he opened this door, from which I’d been hearing a loud blowing noise. Now, I discovered, this is where you hang your clothes and set the timer on the wall for 1-4 hours. It’s basically a dry sauna for your clothes..or a wet one for you if you stay in there long enough. There are two of these rooms, and unlike everything else where you have a personal key; on these you take the key with you while you’re using it, then leave it in the door when you’re done. Fascinating concept indeed. Almost made doing laundry fun. It certainly made it interesting. But, our three hours up, we had to leave with a few damp items.

Lessons Learned

  1. Schedule laundry day no more than two weeks apart so as not to have so much to do at once.
  2. Separate differently. This is not just about colors and whites anymore, will have to also pre-plan what items go in the dryer and what items hang in the room. I’m thinking heavier items like denim, towels, sheets go to the dryer.
  3. Don’t miss your day!