The wrappers get out of hand

Every morning, the very first thing I do, before I even have breakfast, is turn the washing machine on. Every single morning. Seven days a week.

A family of five, with three growing kids and an awful lot of muddy sports kit, creates a lot of washing. Often I wash twice a day. On days when I do sheets or towels, it can be as many as four times a day. Washing takes A LOT of time.

In the morning, I hang the damp washing up, move the nearly dry washing to the heated airer and put the dry washing away. In the evening, I move more nearly dry washing and put more dry washing away, then I get out the washing for the following day and load the washing machine for the next morning. If I’m using the tumble drier, I will be loading and unloading it as needed throughout the day.

And my family have NO IDEA how much time this all takes.

Because the washing machine does the washing, doesn’t it?

On a Sunday morning, I switched the machine on as usual and went out about my business until it was time to empty it. But something was wrong. It was leaking. The rubber seal inside the door was all distorted and there were metal bits sticking out around it. And, plain to see inside the seal, were previously hidden wrappers from my son’s pockets.

I’ve been telling my son for YEARS not to put wrappers in his pockets, but he doesn’t listen and nothing changes. As he’s got older/ bigger, he’s got greedier/ hungrier and started eating more. More food means more wrappers. It’s out of hand.

But, naively, I never thought it would actually affect the washing machine. It was just irritating.

It was hard work, but my husband managed to sort the seal around the door. But it still wouldn’t work.

So then he went under the sink to check the pipe. Then he pulled open a little door on the front of the washing machine and pulled out lots of wrappers from the filter.

This took a lot of time and there was a lot of water leaking all over the floor.

And still the washing machine wouldn’t work.

I’m tired of talking about wrappers. My husband says my son needs to put them in the bin. Like I’ve been saying for the past umpteen years. And he says that, if my son doesn’t put them in the bin, I should remove them from his pockets before putting his trousers in the wash.

Er – no. Why should I? None of this is my fault. I work really hard, seven days a week, to ensure my entire family has clean, dry clothes at all times. It is NOT my job to check a 14 year old’s pockets to make sure he’s not going to block the washing machine.

I’m tired of it. Tired of nagging. Tired of talking about it. And I’m certainly not taking the blame for it.

So I let my husband deal with my son. My son has the chance to change things now. I’m not getting involved any more.

Luckily for my son, after my husband returned to the washing machine for further filter unblocking later in the day, he managed to get it working. But I really hope this doesn’t happen again and we’ve seen the last of the wrappers in the pockets. I dread to think how much the washing machine would cost to fix.

Washing machine, 365, 366

Author: Sarah Mummy

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24 Comments

  1. Arghh so it was all the wrappers that caused it? That’s a lot of loads in one week so it’s no wonder it tried to give up the ghost. Glad you got it all fixed and I hope he does discover the joys of a bin very soon!

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    • Yes, damn wrappers! So far, so good! It must have scared my son as we haven’t had any wrappers in the pockets since.

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  2. I’m actually quite surprised that the wrappers caused that, though in hindsight I guess it’s understandable! I hope your son has seen the consequences and realises now and changes his habits!

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    • Somehow I never expected it to happen, but with the sheer quantity of wrappers I suppose it was inevitable. So far, so good, I haven’t seen any more wrappers! I think he’s terrified he may be asked to pay for the washing machine to be repaired!

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  3. My bug bear is tissues and no matter how often I remind them (or check their pockets) the tissues seem to get in the washing machine … and I wont even start on the hair grips!

    Glad to hear that the washing machine was saved. Like you, I am not sure what I would do if ours was broken!

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    • Thanks, it was a big relief when it started working! We have tissues too, but wrappers are the big thing. I’m pleased to say we don’t have hairgrips in the washing machine, although they seem to get pretty much everywhere else!

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  4. I feel your pain, so glad you got it working again and a Miele, they are built likes tanks and cost a fortune, so a broken one is the last thing you need. Mich x (off to empty the tumble dryer now!)

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    • Thanks! My mum is always telling me how Miele washing machines should last 20 years. I think we’re probably going to put us under rather more pressure than my mum does though! x

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  5. Ahh, I feel your pain. We have the same machine and I was mortified when I called an engineer out a few years back and he found two five pence pieces behind the door on the filter. I check it fairly regularly now but still find all sorts – Lego, wrappers and the collar stiffeners from my husband’s shirts. It’s impossible to check everything that goes in the machine though isn’t it? I don’t think anyone who doesn’t actually do the washing for themselves really gets it!

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    • They really don’t get it at all! Oh yes, the collar stiffeners, we’ve had a fair few of those turn up too! I think we will be checking the filter regularly now too.

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  6. You are very routined with your washing. Amazing! I am very impressed. I too have an issue with being the only one to ‘deal’ with the children and discipline. It gets me down sometimes, it really does. Glad your husband stepped up to the mark…eventually 😉

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    • I always find it amazing when people don’t have a routine for their washing. To be fair, it’s probably the only aspect of housework that I do particularly well!
      When my husband steps up to help with the discipline, that’s when the kids tend to get upset as he gets more cross than me! They should just listen to me and do what I say before he has to get involved!

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  7. I am like you Sarah and can only ‘nag’ for so long and then I hand the parenting baton to the husband to deal with the kids. Glad you got it working again and hopefully he has learnt his lesson x

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    • Thanks very much. He seems to have learned his lesson so far – I haven’t seen any wrappers for a few days now! x

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  8. We had to clean the filter on ours only yesterday as it was playing up, and it was guinea pig hay and fur that was in there! My first waking thought tends to be about the washing, which I know is sad, but like you say, it doesn’t do itself.

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    • Oh my goodness, how did that get in there? I normally brush all our clothes down after we’ve been handling the guinea pigs.
      Glad I’m not the only one who thinks of washing as soon as they get up!

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  9. Oh goodness yes, I know exactly what you mean and not just about the wrappers (annoying) but how you feel! How long are we responsible for the things we’ve consistently tried to remind our children. There are some I’m giving up nagging the older children about I’ll come back with ‘don’t say I didn’t warn you’ in a few years. Although it’s not easy when it’s our machines they’re breaking and houses they’re messing up – mine stuff wrappers down the back of the sofa!

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    • There are definitely some things I’ve given up nagging about, but others I keep trying! My younger son just drops the wrappers on his bedroom floor. That’s annoying too, but at least they’re not doing any harm there!

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  10. I must confess I am the wrapper/tissue person in my house, I do the washing on a Thursday afternoon so I hang it up to dry on Friday as that is the Gardeners day off and he has a habit of just wiping his hands on what ever is hanging on the line

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    • Oh my goodness, I can’t believe he does that! I think it’s bad enough if my kids discreetly wipe their hands on their clothes under the table, but at least they’re kids and the clothes belong to them!

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  11. Washing for a family of five is just crazy isn’s it? the wrappers would drive me bonkers too, but I’m glad you got it fixed. x

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  12. I find all sorts in our washing machine that I swear wasn’t in pockets before I put it in, sticks, marbles, money (I like that one!), stones you name it… Glad you got it sorted! 🙂

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  13. Not that I have teenagers, but if the wrappers don’t come out the pockets, your son should pay for any repairs. If he had to pay for the one bill I doubt it would happen again! Can you tell I’m the “bad cop” in our house!!

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  14. Oh no that is so annoying. I’m glad that you managed to get the machine working again, I would have been really cross. I never check pockets and have been caught out many times, but as you say, when you do as much washing as we do, you just don’t have time to do it with every pair of trousers. I could seriously do with someone to come and do my washing and sorting as it does take hours out of your week.

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