CONTRIBUTED BY KIMBERLY MITCHELL
If you live in a typical Japanese style house, you may have a washing machine without a hot water hookup. I spent our first 6 months here wondering why the stains weren’t coming out of my clothes. Then I realized that it was only washing in cold. I asked my Japanese speaking friends to help me figure out which button said “HOT”. They laughed at me and told me Japanese washers don’t do hot water.
As it turns out, it’s more eco-friendly and cheaper to use lower water temperatures for your wash. And for the most part, it works great. You may have to change your detergent, or work on stains right away. But you may have noticed many Japanese households hanging their clothes outside to dry. Sun is a great stain remover and sterilizer.
So after I thought about it, it isn’t that farfetched that you can get by with only a cold water washing machine. My only problem is that I was trying to cloth diaper my baby, and for that I really needed a super hot water wash. In the few weeks that I tried to use my cold water washer, all I got was stinky, leaky, stained up diapers. Combined with the fact that everyone had given me enough disposable diapers to last me until potty training, I just gave up on that. But, now I have the answer.
If you have one of these washing machines, you may have gotten an extra hose like the one pictured above. If not, you should be able to find one at the Makeman or a similar Home Depot-esque store. I just clicked on end into the washer, filled up the sink with hot water, and stuck the big end into the water. A little experimenting with blind button pushing and voila, it was sucking the hot water up from the sink to wash my clothes!
It’s still much easier to just let it wash with cold. But on the occasions that I really want a hot water wash, it certainly is nice to have an option.