The options for buying a new washer and dryer can be a little overwhelming — front-loading, top-loading, stackable, anti-vibration, sanitizing, red, blue, et cetera. With my own recent W&D shopping experience in mind, I started reading a recent Washington Post article about how these heavily-used machines became "trophy appliances."The article explains how front-loading machines came to be popular in the US despite the fact that they require laundry-doers — who, for a family, cycle an average of 400 loads a year — to bend down. Already popular in Europe, the front-loaders were adapted to have pedestals (making them taller and easier on backs) and larger capacities than their European counterparts.
Even though laundry loads are still large and frequent, the article also touches on the shift by Americans to considering the long-term savings that come from an efficient machine's reduction of utility and water bills. In contrast to this positive change, and touching more on the "trophy" aspect, consumers also have more superficial options, such as picking between a variety of exterior colors.
• Read the full article in The Washington Post.
(Image: Jill Slater | Apartment Therapy)