It's not a lot of laughs doing laundry, especially if you're a busy mom who is constantly struggling to keep up with the dirty clothing and linens that your family generates. Sheets and towels, jeans and pants, shirts and tops, work clothes, play clothes... It all adds up to a lot of loads and a considerable amount of time spent gathering, sorting, treating stains and folding, only to do it again and again!
A lot of moms expect their kids to pitch in on laundry days, and when children reach their teenage years they should be able to handle their own dirty laundry. New Mexico mom Allie thought that her 15-year-old son would be able to manage, but she got a big surprise passing the laundry room door and hearing the sound of a lot of running water. Her son had stuffed "practically everything he owns" into their front-loading washer and a waterfall was gushing out the door, snaking its way across the floor. So jammed it was unable to move into the spin cycle, the washer simply spewed out all of the water. It was a lesson learned for her son, who had to quickly help mop up the mess before starting over and laundering three new separate and soggy loads.
Single mom Barb had a similar situation when her teenage daughter added "extra" detergent to a load of especially dirty gym clothing. A triple soap portion had bubbles oozing out of the washer and frothing madly even during the rinse cycle. A longer second wash, sans soap, finally rinsed these garments clean. Undaunted by her mishap, Barb's daughter thought the rising foam was "awesome," and Barb got caught up in the laughter as well.
Just because your husband and kids have seen you do laundry hundreds of times, don't assume that they understand the process! Basic instructions on sorting, load sizes, water levels and amounts of soap will save some mishaps.
And as Montana mom of three Jamie Stevens notes, it doesn't hurt to mention items that are inappropriate for the washer. She learned this truth through experience, when her son — captain of the high school golf team — washed dozens of golf balls muddied from team practice at the driving range in her brand new machine. Alerted to a problem by very loud banging noises, she lifted the lid to discover his clever idea for cleaning sports equipment. Fortunately for everybody, the only lasting damage was a small dent in the washer door and a lot of teasing for the hapless teen.
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