Getting a washer and dryer

One of our biggest concerns with the initial move to Germany was the headache of buying and installing major appliances that wouldn’t be taken care of by our landlord (i.e. a washer and dryer system). Well, since Craig recently got the keys to our apartment and laundry service at his hotel is so incredibly expensive, Craig didn’t hesitate to tackle this headache. He started pricing out appliances, and, for the most part, they seemed pretty comparable to the US. But let me just tell you, Americans are spoiled when it comes to laundry care!

Take a look at this label and see if you can figure out what I mean: IMG-20150325-WA0001

Did you catch it? Much to our surprise, this top-grade appliance takes 240 minutes just to wash a single load! Surely, that couldn’t be right! A typical American system (mind you, I’m merely guessing on the numbers) takes about 30-45 minute to wash and 45-90 minutes to dry. Craig looked all over the store to find better machines, but ALL of the appliances (washers AND dryers) were in this same time range. This is especially troublesome considering how much smaller the washers and dryers are in comparison to a typical American system. So, it takes significantly longer to wash fewer clothing items. Great.

But the icing on the cake is when you consider the German noise-making laws (Ruhezeit – literally meaning “quiet time”). By law, residence are not allowed to vacuum, play loud music, do laundry, or do anything else that could potentially disturb their neighbors between the hours of 8 pm – 7 am, 1 pm – 3 pm, AND all day Sunday. So when on earth are we supposed to find a seven-eight hour window of time to do one full load of laundry??? I guess someone’s not getting a job…

After a considerable search, Craig finally conceded that this was the best he was going to get and went back to the store to make a purchase. Luckily, he found a salesperson who spoke English, and the process of buying the appliances only took him a half hour. It was quite another story, however, when it came to the installation.

Craig scheduled an appointment with the store to have the handymen come and install our new washer and dryer. Much like a typical American appointment with the cable company, they gave him a 4 hour window when he would have to wait at the apartment for them to arrive. Ordinarily, this would be no big deal, but being that we only got the keys a few days before and that all of our belongings are somewhere on a ship in the Atlantic Ocean, Craig literally had nothing to do. In fact, the only place for him to sit in the entire apartment was on the toilet, so he grabbed his laptop and made an impromptu office.


He was bored enough to take a selfie. That’s saying a lot.

He waited and waited for the workers to arrive. Two minutes before the end of his four-hour window, he called the main store to inquire. The receptionist rudely (but correctly) stated that the workers still had 2 minutes to get there. But, unfortunately, they never showed up. It turns out the workers had car trouble and were unable to get to the apartment in time. Craig now has to reschedule and play the waiting game yet again. Let’s hope next time the German handymen employ their stereotypical punctuality.


8 thoughts on “Getting a washer and dryer

  1. Everyday Asia says:

    Groan and good luck? Our washer in Mumbai has different modes from ‘quick’ which is around the typical N American 30 mins to ‘normal’ = an hour to ‘dirty’ = two hours… it does beg the question aren’t you all clothes ready for wash ‘dirty’??


  2. swanpride says:

    Eh…nope. I wouldn’t want to use an US machine for all money in the world. But then, I wouldn’t use a Bauknecht either. I would take some money in the hand and buy a Miele. That looks unreasonable expensive at the first glance, but it pays off tenfold. I have never encountered a Miele which didn’t work for at least ten years without any repairs, and working for 20 to 30 years with repairs is not unusual. And what you pay more, you have easily back in your pocket which time based on what you don’t need in terms of water and electricity.


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