There are lots of things in this world that I really hate, but wasting money is probably in my top ten. I hate spending money that I don’t need to spend. I don’t like paying someone to do something that I could do myself (unless I really don’t want take the time to do it, but who hasn’t been there?). It’s why I taught myself how to sew. It’s why I found copycat recipes of my favorite meals at my favorite restaurants and have nearly perfected them.
And it’s why I took apart my washing machine last week.
To tell this story, I need to go back a few months to when I bought what is now my favorite sweatshirt. Other than it just looking great on me and being perfect in every way it had metal aglets on the strings, and I just thought that was so cool.
Then one day, I was folding laundry and saw one string had been mangled and was now missing the bottom 3 inches (goodbye, cool metal aglet), so I cut the other string, so they would match and didn’t think much of the washing machine eating part of my shirt. It was the machine’s first offense, after all.
A few weeks later, my husband found the bottom half of a pocket was jaggedly cut off in a pair of athletic shorts. I sewed it shut. He still had one good pocket, anyway (and a weird half pocket).
The final straw was when my husband was folding laundry two weeks ago and found that 4 inches were missing on the strap of my sports bra. Sports bras are $17, and I knew ,even if we found the missing chunk, it would never return to its former glory.
I said, “that’s it!”
I took my flashlight and stuck my head in the drum of the washing machine, determined to find the jagged piece of metal or broken something that was eating our clothes. I spun it around a few times, then I saw it! One of the baffles (the plastic agitators in a front load washing machine) had been chipped and had a nice sharp edge on it.
We tried to finish doing laundry, but kept getting a drain error, and the fabric hadn’t made it to drain trap, so my husband called the repair company and asked for an estimate. $350 to get the fabric piece out and install new baffles!!!
The machine cost $500, so I said, “okay, I’m gonna take it apart. If I fix it, great. I will have saved us about $300. If not, we will just be buying a new one anyway.”
I got my tools and went to work. It took about 4.5 hours over the course of 3 days to disassemble it, but I got it done. I ordered the new parts for $60. I decided to replace all 3 baffles because the other 2 were looking pretty rough, and I wasn’t going to take apart the whole machine again in its lifetime.
I washed the inside of the drum (which was sooo nasty!) then spent an hour and a half putting it back together. And guess what!
It works 🙂