Rebekah told me about washing her clothes by hand and dumping water over herself in a bucket to wash with, so I didn’t really know what kind of hygiene apparatus we would be using in Manila.
The showers have unlimited hot water, toilets are just like the United States, and air-conditioning is normal in Manila, but the washers are unique. They are a step above the ringer washer I used in Canada on my first mission.
Step 1: Fill the washer basket with water and dissolve detergent. Note: Do not flood the apartment because the hose is full of holes that spray out in all directions. Simply put the entire piece deep in the basket until desired level of water is achieved. (We are still trying to figure out how much water is right).
Step 2: Put the clothes in. It is made for small people so we try to gauge it accordingly.
Step 3: Let it agitate from 5 to 20 minutes depending on how dirty you think your clothes are.
Step 4: Drain the basket. Note: Very tricky. The drain hose needs to be as close to the drain as possible. The drain is in the bathroom on the floor. The drain hose lets out more water than the drain can carry, so watching and turning off and on the drain hose from the machine is necessary.
We have 2 ½ bathrooms, and when I first stepped into the bathroom the first day I tried to figure out why all the bathroom floors are two inches lower than the rest of the floors. That two inch gape is all the keeps the drain from flooding the rest of the apartment – at least while emptying the washer. I really don’t want to know why the other bathrooms are geared this way also. It might mean messy problems in the future.
Step 5: Pull clothes from the basket and place in the spinner basket. Make sure to wind them evenly around because it will rocket the machine around if not balanced. Place plastic lid on clothes and shut the lid and set time to spin.
This is the magic part. It spins the clothes so fast they are only damp when this cycle is done. No wringer washer or hand wringing can get so much water out. This also drains from the drain hose onto the floor and into the drain.
Step 6: Pull the clothes from the spinner basket and place back into the washer basket to fill back up with water and agitate to rinse all the soap out. If you found you have put too much soap in, this step can be repeated many times (after draining each time).
Step 7: Pull the clothes from the washer/rinse basket and place in the spinner basket again putting the plastic lid on the clothes and dropping the lid down. Use a longer spin cycle to spin out as much water as possible. Watch drain just in case of overflow.
Step 8: Take clothes out of spinner basket and hang up to dry.
This is where we realized we needed a clothes rack. We rounded up using every hanger we could find and a few surfaces while finishing 3 or 4 different batches of clothes. Afterwards we walked to True Value and bought a clothesbasket, a clothes rack, iron, and lots of other sundries needed.
Step 9: Find a way to do a batch after we get home once or twice during the week so it doesn’t take all day Saturday watching the washer.