What I don’t seem to have at the moment, is a washing machine.

When we bought our front-loading washing machine, I did a lot of research to determine the best model with the best record and the best ‘street cred’ I could find. Of course I wanted the yellow one, but it turns out that color wasn’t an option. Then I wanted the red one but they were all out of that. Rats.

I got the white one (they all used to be white and now that there are colors I wanted one of THOSE)… the white Maytag Neptune series state-of-the-art (at the time) washing machine and dryer. How I LOVED that machine! (wait, it’s not dead, yet, so I probably should stop talking in past tense already)

So…about the balls I mentioned? Well, it was in the process of felting them in the washer that I realized the door lock light wasn’t going on (and the door wasn’t locking — not always a synonymous thing) and it wasn’t spinning. It would fill. It would drain. That was it.

I tried resetting and rerunning the load three times with the same result. You know what they say about those who try the same thing over and over again, expecting different results? (ahem) By that time it almost 3 in the morning of a work night… not my most brilliant brain time (surprise, surprise).

When I whined mentioned the problem to DH, he reminded me that it was ten years old and perhaps ‘due’ for issues. I mean, the warranty ran out five years ago, so by current standards, we were five years overdue.


Google to the rescue! (Yes, at 3 AM!) I have all the patience of a boiling teakettle and I wanted to get going on those balls!

Google kindly informed me that the well-researched and well-regarded model we had purchased was in fact, one that had horrible machine flaws that caused exactly the problem I had. They were not a case of this happening to a few machines here and there, but ALL the machines of this particular model would eventually have this problem.

Repair bill? Between $350 and $450. Unless…

Unless you have a DH with electrical engineering skills who can read (and understand, even!) the repair documents, order the correct parts, and complete the repairs for around $60. With overnight shipping, the repair items arrived Saturday morning. At that point, the washer looked like this:

guts of washer washer brains

The exposed washer front and the brains of the washer with a fried circuit.


While I was off running errands, DH repaired the washer. There were no left-over parts. (!) As proof of his labors, DH affixed the repair sticker on the top front of the washer.

fixed washer label

At that point we had to leave for grandparent babysitting duties (always fun!) so I wasn’t able to get back to my balls until today.

I could have sworn I took a ‘before’ picture of them at their first felting, when I was creating the core of the dryer balls, but I can’t find it. I *did* take a copy of them after their last felting in the fixed (hurray!) washer.

dryer balls

These were an experiment from the get-go..trying out designs from online instructions that didn’t cover the la-de-dah design issue I was trying to produce. Thanks to Donna who shared a snippet of her red roving fiber, I was able to get a neat effect that I hope stays. It didn’t bleed. None of them did. The green-gold-yellow striping one was actually the most difficult, keeping the stripes in the same sequence as I wound the yarn.

Using these in the dryer instead of fabric softener sheets is the latest organic craze. If you have non-synthetic clothes, they come out super-soft and fairly wrinkle-free. Synthetic fibers will come out more static-y with the wool dryer balls, so I’ll continue using the fragrance-free Bounce sheets for those loads.