Speaking of needing a deep breath….

Our washing machine just broke. It is not a huge surprise given our heavy use with all boys and cloth diapers and the strange noises and stopping in the middle of cycles it has been doing.

But I am ~40 weeks pregnant. If I am not in hard labor tonight, I will be at Sears. Or maybe I’ll just labor at Sears.

I’ve been trying to read through some thoughts online, between contractions, with respect to washers and cloth diapering. I really liked our top loading model that lets me easily adjust the water level, do multiple rinses and add things after I’ve already started the load.

There are a lot of negative reviews about high efficiency and front load washers and cloth diapers as well. Does anyone have any thoughts?

  • Katrina

    Just order whatever can arrive the fastest!

  • http://saathoffs.wordpress.com precisewoman

    Using my mother in law’s high-efficiency top loader doesn’t work very well for diapers. I always have to bleach them when we get home. It simply won’t use enough water and won’t use hot water long enough. Using cloth diapers certainly makes up for choosing an old fashioned washer, ecologically speaking :)

    • texasmommy

      Good point about being green!

  • Lara

    Praying for you for a great labor and delivery. Love my fl with it’s sanitizing cycle. I wash my car seat covers in this cycle as well any sick linens. There is never any left over odor and I can’t imagine that any bacteria is as well.

  • Kellie “Red”

    We bought a top loader and I’m very happy we didn’t go with a front loader…but I stopped cloth diapering, so I can’t speak specifically to that. Find something fast!!!!

  • Christina

    We have a Maytag top loader and it works well with our cloth diapers, plus the dependability for the brand is apparently good. My parents have the Kenmore Oasys (HE top loader) and we’ve used it a few times and without problems but she was still EBF at that point.

    Whatever you choose – good luck! We are excited to “meet” your little one!

  • Juris Mater

    Tex, this is so intense, you just lost your dearest “mother’s helper” on what is probably the eve of your fourth sons birth and you are attempting to think clearly enough to replace it in a hormone-blurred early labor? Lord have mercy. Hang in there, friend. This sounds like the stuff of mental breakdown. I say hire a laundry service for the next few weeks to keep you off your feet and avoid the washing machine decision.

    • texasmommy

      To add insult to injury, the 3 year old’s blankies were in the soapy water when it died, hubby thinks he may be coming down with the flu and (drumroll please, JM) one of the boys let a little field mouse into the house that we haven’t caught yet. That last one has had me thinking of you (alternatively wanting to laugh and cry) for the last 48 hours!!!!

      • Juris Mater

        Oh Tex, what a storm. Count on my constant prayers and offerings. Can you mentally pull back for good now (until after baby arrives) and have a glass or two of red wine? I don’t know how susceptible you are to postpartum anxiety or depression, but small upsetting circumstances combined with the hormones, exhaustion, and other changes can trigger issues, so do anything you can to take care of yourself starting right now. Your family needs you, sister. I guess sometimes it’s a twisted blessing when the intensity of your daily life makes labor and delivery feel like a vacation…

      • Juris Mater

        Oh yeah, and pray really hard that your field mouse wasn’t pregnant.

        • texasmommy

          Soooo not funny.

  • Mom of 4 Boys

    I enjoy reading your site. BTW I am not Catholic but am expecting my 4th in late summer & will have 4 boys 6 & under. Just curious if any of you have special need kids??

    • texasmommy

      Hi Mom of 4 Boys, I think that as moms of larger families, we all have at least one child who demands/needs more of our attention and has more needs (and keeps us up worrying at night). Red and I have both had children in special ed for different reasons at different times.

  • maryalice

    When our dryer broke I got really good advice from the salesman at Sears, I was pleasantly surprised. At the time, he explained that paying more for a good washer is usually money well spent, but the same is not true for a dryer, and that people over pay for dryers to get the fancy one that matches their washer, but really all dryers work about the same. He also told me that a whole bunch of brands are all the same under different names (Kenmore, Whirlpool and Maytag, I think), sort of how dodge and chevy minivans are the same, they charge more for maytags because the brand has such a good market, but they are made side by side with the kenmores now.

    I didn’t do cloth diapering with a front loader, but when I had one it never got dry inside, and we had a mold problem. Some people say it is fine if you just leave it open between cycles, but that seemed annoying to me as our laundry room is also our mudroom.

    Also, when our dryer was broken I did several loads of wash at my neighbors house. And once, in a rental vacation house, we asked a total stranger if we could use their oven because ours didn’t work and our cookie batter was already made. So, don’t feel bad about going knocking on doors if you need to!

    • texasmommy

      My plan is to send some laundry home with my mother in law and take anything I need immediately to my neighbor’s house. I am always afraid of burdening others, but I know that my MIL and neighbor will both be overjoyed to help.

      Thanks for the dryer thoughts. I am not going to deal with replacing that at the moment as it is fine. I don’t think it will bother me that they won’t match…if so I can deal with that in a few weeks.

  • Elena

    Praying for you and the baby — that the labor goes smoothly and all else falls into place soon. God bless you!

    • texasmommy

      Thanks, Elena!

  • Cecilia

    You can subscribe to Consumer Reports product reviews (all the stuff online) for a month for about $10 and I think it’s totally worth it when any appliance has to be replaced. But heads up that 5 yrs. is now considered a normal lifespan for a washer or dryer–I was horrified when I had to replace my 30 yr. old Kenmore W & D–but several repairmen and a sales clerk all told me the same thing about the 5 yr. lifespan. Oh, and be sure to check that installation is included with delivery–some of our stores will deliver the appliance but not connect it!

    • texasmommy

      Thanks for the thoughts, Cecilia. Ours is only 8 years old and has been repaired once, so I was upset, but, as my mom pointed out, we have easily put double the years of use on it with 5 sets of sheets to wash, cloth diapers and boys who think of mud as body paint!

  • JMB

    My 11 year old Kenmore top loader (agitator) machine broke last summer and I spent $300 replacing the carburetor (!) but I considered it money well spent because every single person that I know that has HE front loader hates them. Do you have a laundromat nearby that you can drop off the laundry?

  • KC

    I don’t cloth diaper, but at our last two homes (rentals), we’ve had front loaders and I can’t wait to get back to a top load. The inability to soak, inability to select load size, locking front door (so I have to pause, wait to unlock, throw in, and then relock to add something I forgot to a load I just started), and the mold problem MA alluded to have all greatly annoyed me.

  • Texas Mommy

    New top loading washing machine purchased!! Paid extra $10 for weekend delivery. If only I could do the same for our baby!

    • Bethany “B-mama”

      LOL Tex! Way to go on the speedy purchase!! Now, let’s get that baby going! I’m going to put a “special order” request on my prayers. Maybe some extra petitions to St. Gerard Majella?! God bless, friend. Thinking of you.

    • Juris Mater

      Congrats, Tex! Done!!

      OK, so red wine tonight to give him one last chance to cruise out peacefully, and then a castor oil cocktail tomorrow at 5pm? I know castor oil didn’t work last time, but if you’ve been prodroming for over a week on top of everything else, I think you’re ready to rock and roll.

  • Mary

    God bless you. Have a safe and happy and healthy delivery for you and your baby. I love my front loader. It washes fantastic…you never have problems with rotating thingy in the middle because it doesn’t have one. My boys are hard on clothes and with detergent and a 1/2 cup of white vinegar in the load they come out great! The best part…it can hold and clean SO MUCH MORE than a top loader.


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