My Washer Broke and I've Had to Outsource My Favorite Chore—Washing Clothes. I've Learned a Few Things

Illustration for article titled My Washer Broke and I've Had to Outsource My Favorite Chore—Washing Clothes. I've Learned a Few Things
Photo: Damian Lugowski (Shutterstock)

Washing clothes is my favorite chore. I don’t know exactly when this started, but since I was younger, I’ve always enjoyed the process of washing, drying and folding my clothes. I always felt like if I at least had clean clothes, I could go anywhere and do anything. It’s a feeling that’s stayed with me through today.

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So you can imagine how annoyed I am, and have been, for the past month and some change that my washing machine has been broken. For whatever reason, I cannot wash even medium sized loads without the drum overflowing with water and turning my wash room (which is really a closet in my kitchen) into a slip-and-slide. I have a Sears Home Warranty plan and buddy, that’s been a whole saga. For those unaware of how these add-on home warranties work: You pay a monthly fee—in my case $69.99, which covers most of my appliances—and as long as the appliance is covered, Sears will send a contractor out to fix the problem and in the case of an unfixable problem, replace the appliance altogether. You pay a deductible per claim ($100) and #WallahMagic. My dryer was actin’ a donkey earlier this year and that was taken care of pretty quickly. This washer saga, though, has been going on for over a month where every single company Sears lines me up with, for lack of a better term, sucks. No follow up calls, when somebody DID come for the initial call, I never heard from them again.

This wouldn’t even be an issue except I paid that $100 deductible and I’m going to be mad as hell if I go out and buy a new washer (which I probably need) and then they show up like “here’s your new washer!” And yes, I have called Sears and gotten nowhere, thank you very much. I’m so over this washer situation. Mostly because, well, busted washer or not, clothes have to get washed. I haven’t been to a laundromat in eons and frankly, all of the ones close to me are probably drug fronts. Luckily, this new gig-economy has created a service that does all of the heavy lifting for you: SudShare. SudShare—and no this is not an ad—is an app that lets you outsource your laundry. You put all your clothes in bags and then a person comes to pick the stuff up and then they wash, dry, fold and then return your clothes back to you by the 8 p.m. the next day at $1 a pound.

Now, I must admit, as much as I love washing clothes, I have many children and washing kids clothes is annoying. It always seems like there’s so many damn clothes and because kids just take things off and leave stuff inside out, it’s a whole ass thing to get done with the process. While I feel a way about some random stranger both washing my clothes and HAVING THEM for so long—real talk, they could just decide not to deliver my clothes to me, kind of like that time I watched my UberEats driver drive RIGHT past my house doing like 65 mph with my order of Popeyes only to never be seen on the app again—I welcomed the opportunity to not have to fold everything. Putting stuff away works just fine.

Listen, Linda, listen. My life is changed. For one, I never thought I’d love NOT doing my laundry as much as I’m enjoying it. Like, of course, I need a working washer (and dryer) but this pick-up-and-deliver life is alright with me. But it’s also opened my eyes and changed my perspective on some things. To know me and my clothes washing is to know that I am damn near military precision with my folding. People have asked me if I went to professional folding school before; I have refolded clothes in retail stores without the folding board better and more crisp than employees. I’m about this folded clothes life.

So imagine my surprise when I’m getting clothes back folded, impressively so and more efficient and neatly than I do. I wasn’t prepared. I tipped one SudShare person $20 JUST because I was impressed with her folding. The way she folded my shirts gave me a new way to fold to maximize more space in my drawers. I was sold. And then after that, I was looking forward to having my clothes delivered so I could see what new and innovative ways folks are folding their clothes. I really didn’t know I cared this much about folded clothes until I had no choice but to have others wash my clothes. I’ve got new techniques and all.

Now thats not to say that the entire experience has been sweet. For instance, I’ve learned that many, many of you have no business washing OR folding folks clothes. Laundry must be racist! You do not wash whites with darks and yet once I got some clothes back and examined, I could tell that my clothes were all tossed in together, all unified and Civil Rights-centric. Other folks clearly just have no idea how to wash dark clothes without fading them. I have been testing certain clothes out, on purpose so I can build up a roster of folks who I’m fine with doing the wash; in SudShare you can request folks who have washed your clothes before.

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For instance, I got one bag back of clothes and the socks weren’t even folded together. WHO DOES THAT? No (good) tip for you. Not to mention this same person didn’t even try to fold the shirts in a way that didn’t cause wrinkle-age. My whole collection of tees were all wrinkled. I refolded them to take care of that problem but, this SudSharer is basically the Alamo now—I’ll never forget.

But I will say that I have mostly learned new and innovative ways to fold my clothes, something that my super regimented self wouldn’t have even considered at this point in life. I’m out here learning and growing in my 40s and letting go and letting God (with my laundry). With that said, I definitely need to get my washer fixed (or replaced) because this life starts to add up and ultimately nobody will care about my clothes the way that I do. But there are a few SudSharers who I now trust. They got good tips. And now my folded laundry looks different which is basically like having new clothes so it’s all win over here.

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Thanks, Obama.

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.

DISCUSSION

thotlinebling
Thotline Bling: black girl supremacy

Ummm. You never heard of drop off service at the laundromat? Heck, the some of them will come pick your clothes up and drop them back off for the same $1/lb. (though i think some charge as much as $1.99) as the app. I think I’d trust them more than a random person? At least I can leave nasty Yelp, Google, etc. reviews if I am displeased and the owner refuses to address my concerns.

Meanwhile, when I recently searched a place to get my oversized comforters laundered, I found a black-owned laundromat that I want to continue to support. (The service was good, they used Tide—so my stuff smells ON POINT.) It’s just far from my house.