Doing laundry in the D.R. is not easy feat, it requires strategy and endurance. You can't just press a few buttons, and voila - have clean clothes. Here is my
easy 10-step guide to washing your clothes in the D.R.:
|So many buckets to fill|
1. Consider the power schedule (if it exists). In my case, laundry is always done early in the morning (just in case the power cuts off early) and never on Wednesdays (power plant repair day).
2. Decide if you have enough water. My community relies mainly on rain water. Water can be bought, but it is expensive, and you will need to wait around for the water truck to pass, and then haul all the water from the street to the house (It's a great work-out!). I tend to do my laundry every two weeks but I sometimes go a month without washing clothes during dry spells.
3. Fill the washing machine, rinse buckets, and softener bucket with water.
4. Throw in some detergent and crank the washing machine dial to 15 minutes.
5. When cycle finishes wring-out all clothes. Wringing-out clothes is a skill, and Dominicans will let you know if you have bad technique.
|Demonstrating proper wringing-technique|
6. Place clothing in rinse bucket number one, then wring-out clothes. Repeat steps for second rinse bucket and softener bucket. As you wring, you will realize that washing clothes is great exercise.
7. When clothes have passed through all the buckets, place them in the "dryer" for five minutes. In the "dryer" clothes are spun around really fast and water is sucked out the sides. After the "dryer" the clothes will still be damp.
9. Once clothes are out of the "dryer" hand them up in the sun for the afternoon.
10. After a few hours in the Caribbean sun your clothes will be dry and warm - almost as if they came out of a real dryer.
Total time needed: 4 to 8 hours. Washing: 3 to 5 hours. Drying: 1 to 3 hours.