* Up to three times the water is needed for most US top loaders than for European front loaders.
* Spin speeds in top loaders are usually slower, resulting in more moisture left in clothing.
* Top loaders that agitate are not as gentle on clothing and linens.
* Frontloaders in Europe have internal water heaters, which saves the cost of using your hot water heater at the same time as your washer. This means that you can select temperatures between 30 and 95 degrees Celsius (86-203 F) and the machine will heat the water to that termperature. Rather than using bleach, it's possible to use very hot water on whites such as socks and sheets, thus saving the world from more Clorox in the water system. Cold water is an option on newer machines and European detergents for cold water are now being sold, as well as good pre-wash stain remover sprays.
* Some models offer spin speeds as high as 1600 rpm compared to the average toploader's less than 1000, resulting in higher water extraction and faster drying clothes.
* The tumbling action of a front loader is much gentler on garments than the an agitator in a top loader.
1) Read a book on my kindle in the bubble bath
2) Have a cup of tea on the terrace and listen to the birds sing
3) Bake a cake. . . from scratch
4) Take a long walk in the country
5) Inventory the pantry and go to the grocery store with an extensive list of staples to buy
7) Hang the previous wash load outside on the clothesline to dry in the sun
8) Weed the orto (vegetable garden); toss the snails into the adjacent field
9) Make minestrone, chopping all the fresh vegetables (no cheating with pre-chopped frozen veggies, though they really are quite good)
10) Prune something -- an olive tree, a fig tree, a rose bush
11) Make olive oil infusions with rosemary and sage from the garden or lavender pot pourri
12) Reflect on the fact that living The Slow Life demands some concessions. If I had to choose between my WiFi and a twenty minute wash load, WiFi would win hands down.
Copyright Sharri Whiting 2011
|While the towels are washing, the Umbrian countryside beckons|