Injuries should not happen while doing a chore one is expected to do
I have the typical top-loading washer and side-loading
dryer. These are two machines that require you to bend in unnatural
positions to pull wet clothes out of the washer and place them in
It has been said that if you want to avoid back injury, you
should lift heavy things with your legs. Wet clothes are heavy.
But just try lifting those bad boys out of the washer with your
Then, after you have succeeded in disentangling a pair of wet
jeans from the washer, you have to twist to the side and bend down
to wrestle them into the dryer. That is a slipped disk waiting to
By the way, I believe I have solved the question as to where all
the socks go after you've put them in the laundry. It is not the
dryer that eats them, as the commonly held belief suggests.
It's the washer. Think about it. Other than the unnatural
twisting required, I've never had any trouble getting clothes out of
I've never seen any socks attached to my lint trap either. I
have, however, been heard cursing my washer as I yanked and pulled
on wet towels and jeans because it wouldn't give them up. If wet
towels and jeans are that much trouble to extract, socks don't stand
I don't know what the washer's motive is, but clearly, the dryer
is not the culprit.
[to top of second column]
I do have a bone to pick with my dryer, though, or at least its
manufacturer. Why do they design dryers so that the lint trap comes
out upside down? If there is a lot of lint, which is the case when I
do sweaters and towels, I pull out the lint trap and a fuzzy
weasel-looking creature falls out right into the liquid laundry
detergent residue that seems to be permanently glued to the top of
My dryer looks like the chest of that al-Qaida mucky-muck who was
dragged out of bed, photographed in his skivvies and arrested.
If there is not a lot of lint, I still feel like it needs to be
cleaned before every load. But if you bite all your nails off, like
I do, this is a futile effort. If I were you, I'd just put it back
in until you grow a weasel.
If, however, you do have nails, you won't when you are through
cleaning the lint trap.
The big red machines are at least somewhat better than mine
because the loading and unloading is all done at chest level -- no
bending and twisting or lifting with your back.
I'm still waiting for the perfect machine that tells my kids
which clothes are dark and which are colored. It would start
automatically on the right setting and then wash, dry and fold the
laundry without your assistance.
Truly, you should be able to start a load of laundry before you
go to work, ideally without a slipped disk, and come home to clean,
dry, folded clothes. How hard could that be?
[By LAURA SNYDER]
Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist,
author and speaker. You can reach her at
or visit www.lauraonlife.com
for more info.