Monday, February 6, 2012

Clean Up, Clean Up...

Our new kitchen (and the new dishwasher that came with it) was only 7 months old when we left our house in Chicago to come to Finland. I have to say, besides our doggie, it's one of the things I miss most.

At the same time, I like our little kitchen here. It has everything we need.

Except a dishwasher.

Even though everybody is helping out here, I miss our dishwasher.

Lily does dishes

But more on dish washing in a moment...

Did you know that Finns are the brains behind the Linux operating system? and Angry Birds? and Marimekko fabrics? and Fiskar scissors?

But what Finnish man or woman was the genius behind this?

dish drainer

This dish drainer is conveniently located...

dish drainer over sink

directly above our sink! Seriously, isn't that just genius? I think so. Dishes just drip dry right into the sink.

Sadly, laundry for us? Not so genius. In fact, it's VERY time consuming. I can probably fit 1/4 the amount of dirty clothes into our tiny little washer here compared to what I could squish in at home!


(Yes, our washer is located in our bathroom. See the sink making an appearance in the bottom corner of the photo and our shower curtain to the right?) It's a tight fit in there (both inside the laundry tub AND in the bathroom!)

The tub is about the size of a small spare tire.

inside washer

And no dryer means this:



is a pretty common sight in our apartment.

In order to keep up with clothes, towels and sheets, I need to do at least a load of laundry a day.

towels 2

Whites...take 2 hours and 12 minutes to wash and lots of time hangin' around to dry!

socks from below

I'm pretty sure I'll have a new found appreciation for my appliances when I get home. Although I've got to admit, even though I feel as if doing a load of laundry every day means we are using up more than our fair share of Finland's super clean water from the tap, I do feel as if we are putting less of a burden on our planet by not using a dryer.

It does make for some scratchy towels and jeans though. Just the other day, I realized Sam hadn't worn jeans for about a week. He kept wearing the Sam sweats over and over. When I finally realized and asked him why he wasn't wearing jeans, he explained that they had "turned into cardboard" since we came to live here and they are no longer wearable.

I guess I need to invest in a better softener!


  1. I'm also glad I found a link to your blog through Sennie's blog. I'm a Finn living in Boston and have lived in the U.S. for 16 years. I can't tell you how homesick your posts are making me even after all these years of living in America!!! Early in our relationship my American husband promised to move to Finland one day...still waiting for that day... By the way, the inventor of the dish draining closet was Maiju Gebhard, a Finnish Home Economics teacher. Here is some information about her invention: Oh, and I share your woes about the laundry wash cycles taking soooo loooong in Finland! On the other hand, I find that the laundry in Finland comes our cleaner, because of the long wash cycles. The clothes also last longer, because they are not put in the drier, which saves both energy and money. Clothes are expensive in Finland so this encourages people to take better care of their clothes instead of just buying new ones.

    1. As a Finn living abroad (in Northern Ireland) I find your posts delightful! I look at my home with new eyes :) Your washer seems to be tiny even with my Finnish standards but having it in the bathroom as quite normal in Finland I'd say. I noticed that you use a cloth to do the dishes - the Finns would most often use a dish brush. In fact, the Finnish brand making cleaning supplies (Sini) has a model where the brush end is replacable, so you don't have to throw all the plastic away when it gets worn out but just click the new brush head on the dishbrush. And I miss those cupboards too!