The Washing Experience

I did buy the machine. Here’s the story I wrote soon after my first laundry experience. Hope you get a good laugh reading it as I did when I wrote and experienced it.

Dominican Wash Machine!

Well, I did it! I bought a Dominican wash machine. I never used a semiautomatic before…wash machine that is. For those of you who don’t know what this Dominican wash machine looks like…it is plastic, lightweight, has a place to wash on one side and the other side is a spinner to extract the water out of the clothes. I never saw anything like it in USA!

My wash machine after I had it for a few years.

My wash machine after I had it for a few years.

Getting this thing delivered to my house was not as bad as I thought it would be. Using the machine was another story indeed, it was much worse than I ever could have imagined. Lucky for me the instructions were in English or I may still be trying to interpret them. I had so many dirty clothes I couldn’t wait to use my new machine.

I proceeded to unpack this fine, what I thought would be, a great and helpful purchase. Since my place was so small I figured I’d just slide it over to the sink to fill and drain it from there. I slid that baby right over to the sink. It was very light. I pulled out the hose, attached it to the back of the machine then went to hook it onto the spigot.

Dumb thing didn’t fit.

Now I had to think for a minute and come up with a new plan. Ah Ha! I attached the garden hose to the outside facet and drug it into the house, stuck it in the machine and commenced filling my fine plastic dream machine.

As I stood back, content, waiting for it to fill, the hose got a life of its own. It flipped right out of the tank. I was right on it! I got the floor a little wet. But hey! No Problem! The floor needed a washing anyhow. I put that wild, whipping hose right back in the tank. I wasn’t going to let it get the best of me.

With the tank filled and the soiled clothes agitating wildly in the tank, I was content. All seemed to be going well. The soap was bubbling nicely. The clothes were going to be happy clothes for being washed properly once again.

The first cycle complete I get the supplied drain hose ready so it can do its job. The hose is connected to the bottom of the machine without problems. Then I put that expandable hose in the sink.

This made me have to face the next problem. Water doesn’t flow up hill. Imagine that! I always thought I was pretty smart but at that moment I knew it was not so.


I set the hose down on the floor to think of what to do and to my surprise all the water started running out onto the floor. Now I was feeling really feeling stupid as the soapy water was flowing, quite rapidly I must say, out onto the floor! It took me a few seconds to think of what to do. Then it came to me, run outside and shut the water off, big dummy!

You could never imagine how much water can drain out of a hose in a few seconds! I had a small pool in my home by this time. I got my trusty bucket, that because of some strange enlightenment, I had the brains to buy. I put the hose inside. The bucket filled up faster than I had anticipated. I had to think fast, how to empty it, hold the hose up, and get it back into position without adding to the flooded floor. Well, let me say, I didn’t succeed in my attempt. The small pool was growing rapidly and becoming quite a large pool rapidly. As I lifted the bucket to the sink the water would spill out on the floor. I decided it was futile and just let the water flow onto the floor as it desired. Maybe this is why I see the Dominican women sweeping water out of their houses into the street all the time.

Now the water was emptied from the tank. I got out the directions and read again. They said to remove the clothes from the big tank and put them in the smaller tank. This is the water extractor or centrifugal (I think that is how to spell it). I turned it on and it was spinning fast. Then water started pouring out of the machine onto the floor again.

So that is what the spinny thing did. It removed the excess water. It did make the clothes quite dry. I was impressed. Much dryer than the hand wringing they were used to receiving.

I was really gaining some intelligence this day for sure.

The first load was done.

I made clothes clean and created a pond all at the same time. I was doing great! I swept some of the water out the door and I was ready to give it another try. Now that I was a seasoned pro and had the technique down I was ready. I had this thing all figured out, I thought.

I decided not to sweep out any more water just in case it happened again. I had to save my strength just in case there were any more mishaps.


I got the hose in the machine went out to turn on the water. The hose popped out again, but oh well, the floor was already a pond! The machine did its job again and as before it was my turn. The drain hose popped off again.

This time the neighbor was walking by my open door. She saw me on my knees in the flooded kitchen with water shooting out of the machine. I was laughing out loud to myself. She stopped and had a look of shock and amazement blended together on her face. I’m sure she was thinking what is that crazy Gringa doing.

She said something, I have no clue what it was because it was all Spanish to me. She started laughing also. Then, of course, she went and got two other people to come to see the Americana kneeling in a pool of bubbly water in the middle of her kitchen. They were laughing at me. I was laughing at myself. Everybody laughed!

Sniffy laying in front of the front door of the apartment

Sniffy laying in front of the front door of the apartment

What was Sniffy doing? She heard the laughter and she always loved a good laugh. Her tail would wag and she’d get in what we called her horseshoe position. Her back end curving around almost touching her face. She really had no clue what was going on but she wanted to be involved.


She came out of the back of the apartment, stopped at the edge of the pool looking very confused yet happy (she did smile). I don’t know how she knew it was the edge of the pond when she was blind. Many times she amazed me.

Sniffy decided to enter the water, slipped and fell right in. My poor blind wonder dog Sniffy.

Now there is a wet dog and a wet human. People laughing at us from outside the door, and water everywhere. What a sight it was.

I was feeling good. I had my first load of wash done. It was hanging on the line on the roof happily soaking up the sun and swaying in the gentle Caribbean breeze.

I had a good laugh. Entertained the neighbors.

Sniffy and I both had a swim in our own little pool.

Sniffy got a bath since she was wet already.

The water was swept out of the house, floor and patio clean.

I called the Colmado to bring me a few beers. I had to sit back and reflect on my new experience. I was proud and content. My first Dominican laundry experience and I survived. I just never realized how much water a little plastic wash machine held! I hope this doesn’t happen every time I wash or I’m going back to hand washing…it takes less time

Copyright © 2002

One thought on “The Washing Experience

  1. >wow this is very funny, my parents are both dominican.I went to visit when I was 11 years old and ended up staying for 1year and 6months ,I learned how to wash my own clothes luckily the housekeeper/nanny hooked up the machine and taught me. when I saw that washing machine I just laughed it was alot of work lol.

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