Thursday, 21 July 2016

Twin tub

You know there's those gender stereotypes of the guy who's competent with mechanical devices and the chick who can't understand them. I do have a certain empathy with that notion because, more than once, I've tried to explain to a female how to change down in a car and honestly, it was like talking to a rabbit. I just got silence, a strange look and the absolute certainty that no meaningful communication passed between us. The thing is though, those stereotypes rely on a false assumption, that assumption being, you need to know how something works to use it effectively. Yes it's true, women go through clutches on their cars like a baby on a prune diet goes through nappies but they still manage to get from A to B on a regular basis. The real proof of this concept though, is the automatic washing machine, have you seen how effortlessly women use those things? Put a guy in the same position and you're talking either Vesuvius or the deluge in the kitchen. Why should this be I wonder, well I put it down to something called the black box concept, although in this context white box would probably be more appropriate.

A black box in science or engineering terms, is a device which has an opaque mechanism. You put something in one end and something else comes out the other, you don't bother to look inside to see what's happening. Automatic washing machines epitomise the black box, you put soap powder and dirty laundry in, presto chango, clean laundry comes out. I don't know about you but as a guy, that all seems all perfectly reasonable, so how is it I can never get the thing to work properly? I've done all the research, I know about water hardness, temperature, low foaming detergents, suffocants, the lot and yet about 20% of the time it's a complete disaster. I'm not the only one either because I've noticed, there's a distinct preference for twin tubs with guys who do their own laundry and of course, this being the case, twin tubs are pretty much impossible to buy. This is because they stopped making them, or rather, they stopped making them here but--this is not the case everywhere. If you live in Asia, the middle east, South America pretty much the whole of the world except for Europe and North America, you can buy the modern equivalent of a twin tub, yeah thanks for that.

In truth, there a few modern twin tub washers available as grey imports, the problem being, importers have been bringing in the cheapest and lowest quality items, in effort to get a decent return on their outlay. So guess what's happened as a consequence--yeah that's right, classic twin tubs, the Hotpoints and the Hoovers, now command a premium on the second hand market. You're talking about £160 for a working example, so my advice to you, is if  you got a twin tub, don't throw it away.


  1. Have you seen the little miniature versions of classic guitars that some shops sell? Maybe someday they'll do a series of mini classic washing machines that can be sat on a shelf and gazed at fondly. I'd buy a couple or three.

    1. How little are these little guitars, itty bitty Action Man scale or something that is still playable, say with mandolin stringing? I wouldn't mind getting a little Gretsch like that, Three Steps to Heaven could go down well with a bit of tremolo.

      I'm not sure if they do little washing machines, not realistic ones anyway,they should do, doll's house scale,