Please sign in to post.

washing machine

There is a washing machine available in the apartment I will be renting. I don't think the owner will be available to answer questions so I'm wondering how this will differ from typical American machines. Powder or pods or liquid detergent, concentrated high efficiency or regular detergent? Will the settings be obvious? I know this may sound silly but I had a similar situation in Poland and never did figure out how to use the machine. Thanks for any help!

Posted by
13234 posts

Great question!

If by "typical American machine" you mean a top-loader, you will find the one in England to be very different, starting with being a front-loader.

We have rented London apartments with washing machines on two separate occasions. Both were combined washer-driers but I don't know if that is always the case. We had a little trouble figuring out the first one, but the more recent one, on the apartment we rented for 3 weeks, came with an instruction manual as it was only 2 years old. It was either a Siemens or a Bosch, like all the appliances in this very modern appliances. The dial looked very complicated so we simply defaulted to the "Eco" setting and let it do its thing. It took a long time, but spun the clothes to near-dryness.

These high-tech machines take the pods, and the apartment owner may well leave a few for you so you can see what to buy.

We had to reset the machine to "dry" and this was clearer on the dial. However, the "regular" setting was too hot for my cotton/spandex (2%) ankle pants---they came out very wrinkled and the fabric felt crisp. Fortunately I was able to revive them by dampening them and hand-smoothing. After that we used a lower heat setting!

Posted by
1063 posts

It really depends on the make of the machine, it will probably be a front loader rather than the top loaders i've seen I abundance in the US. Hopefully some instructions will be left with the machine (and hopefully it's not a washer/drier combo).

Posted by
3580 posts

Ever since my clothes got over-perfumed using laundromat detergent in France I've brought my own
pods from home. I just toss one in with the clothes when I load them. Works fine and has no perfume.

Posted by
2165 posts

I've almost never met a washing machine while traveling that didn't move me nearly to tears. I've learned to pull the manual for the machine up online and work from there and that usually works out for me. But I have to put a bit of effort into figuring this things out. I've never had to buy detergent - it's been available in all apartments. Figuring out which little area to put it in? That's another matter;)

Posted by
340 posts

Why not contact the owner about this before you get there?

Posted by
4626 posts

This question may be a good opportunity to meet the people in the apartment next to yours, and possibly after some charades, enjoy a glass of wine with them while your clothes are washing.

Posted by
3936 posts

We had such issues with the washing machine in Venice - of course everything was in Italian (I even used my translate app without much help). I put clothes in and soap, but couldn't get it to fill or spin - well, some water went in - I ended up having to rinse the soap out of the clothes in the kitchen sink and wringing out as best I could and hanging them to drip dry.

I'd see if they could give you tips - better yet, since every blessed thing seems to be in youtube these days, perhaps they can tell you what make and model and you may be able to see a video of how to use it...

Posted by
5269 posts

If the owner rents out the place regularly, there will probably be a notebook or something with instructions for the washing machine, heating, stove, TV, etc. This has been our experience in apartment rentals. The owner doesn't want you to break the machine or flood the place any more than you do.

Failing that, Jean's plan sounds good. And with the Brits you won't need charades as much. ;-)

Posted by
13234 posts

I don't think it will be difficult, given that this is an English-speaking country.
🍻

Posted by
285 posts

There's always been an instruction manual for the appliances in the units I've rented in Europe.

Posted by
2353 posts

Our first experience with a combo machine was in Spain...could not get the darn thing to work - turns out is was broken! The next occasion went better. I now own one in my motor home - love it! They take a little getting used to but once you learn the tricks they work like a dream.

Posted by
6485 posts

Any good and reputable rental property will have directions printed out and laundry detergent available.

That said one thing I've noticed over the years is these combos take forever to wash and dry. Be prepared for that.

Posted by
2165 posts

Claudia makes a good point - they DO take forever. We had one in Bath that easily took 5 hours to wash and dry clothing. It was unbelievable and everything was so incredibly wrinkled. I've come to prefer the ones that just wash things and don't dry...they're much quicker.

Posted by
2353 posts

That said one thing I've noticed over the years is these combos take forever to wash and dry. Be prepared for that.

The key is smaller loads to wash and even smaller to dry.

Posted by
491 posts

Thank you, everyone, who took the time to reply.