Monday, December 03, 2007

I got it! Eureka!

It seemed odd to me that people around me seemed to be able to felt just fine with top loaders but I only with front loaders.

Talking to a lady at the library knitting club last Saturday I found out what the difference is. It appears that the standard American washers don't heat the water like their European counterpart, but use water preheated by a water heater. This explains many things, like why American washers are much faster than European and why they only have cold, warm and hot settings and not the actual temperature you are washing with.

So in Iceland I threw the objects in the washer and they came out all felted and nice. Here I throw things in the washer and they come out all limp and pathetic :(

But the 'felt-by-hand' method seems to work for me so I'm just gonna stick with that (and keep my eye out for a water heating washer).

p.s. does anyone know what are the temperatures behind the cold, warm and hot? Does it perhaps depend on the water heater in question. If you have a formula for it, all the better :)


Luni said...

Hi. I came over to thank you for the comment on my sweater, then saw this post and thought I'd ask about the 'top-loader' 'front-loader' distinction. I have a top loader, which is a normal agitation washer and felts beautifully. The new front loader washers are 'energy efficient', use little water and not much agitation. They don't felt well, I hear. Some people using front loaders add tennis balls to the wash to make the other things felt--the balls bounce around and provide the agitation needed. I'm thinking that maybe the very hot water you could get in a European washer compensated for less agitation?

jona said...

Hi Sonja,
Just a thank you for taking the trouble to communicate your wit and wisdom (?)/knowledge to us out here on the NET!
I came across you as I was googling for Álafoss Létt Lopi suppliers and the trail led to Garnaflækja and my pre Christmas "do I have enough lopi" panic subsided somewhat.
I owe you!
All the best,

gail said...

The temperature of water in American washing machines is determined by the temperature of the external water heater. (We are not as precise as Europeans, nor do we have as much common sense!) My machine (a front loader) simply runs the hot water tap for hot, runs both the hot water and the cold water taps for the warm, and just the cold water tap for the cold. Not very scientific!! When we lived in Spain, the wash cycle took FOREVER and I didn't notice that the clothing was any cleaner. I felt with my front loader, but add something like tennis balls (without the felt) to add agitation.