Are You a Vacuum or a Washing Machine?

I don’t know much about washing machines. Or slop sinks for that matter. Or why there is a hose that looks like it belongs to a vacuum cleaner running from my new washing machine to my new slop sink (both of which, I should point out, are actually rather antiquated and are only “new” in the sense that they’re new-to-me).

But seeing as my first attempt to dye my new duvet cover a darker gray to match the trim in my new bedroom didn’t quite work out (we’ll get to that later), I decide I’m taking no chances this time around. And if there is a vacuum cleaner hose in my slop sink, I’m going to leave it there.


My first dye attempt failed abysmally. Firstly, I bought the powdered dye as opposed to the liquid dye because it was an entire dollar cheaper. Secondly, I was impatient and did it inside of a small metal trash can which was, unbeknownst to me, rusty at the bottom and not quite water proof. I had to heave the entire boiling gray mess into my bathtub, which is teal, and stir it with a paint stick, which wasn’t even big enough to reach down to the bottom.

Suffice it to say, my beautiful duvet ended up all splotchy and tie-dyed looking and even though my taste in bedroom furnishing is shamefully juvenile at times, I draw the line at tie-dye.

For my second attempt, I decided to go all out with not one but two bottles of the liquid dye. I also decided to read the directions… before getting started. Lastly, I decided it was high time to get over my fear of unknown electronics (i.e. my new-to-me washing machine) and give it a go.

(It had to happen sooner or later. I’m three pairs of clean underwear away from going commando.)

No sooner had I turned the thing on than the slop sink began to fill with gray water. As in gray dye water. From the washing machine. Ferreted through the vacuum hose which evidently is not a vacuum hose at all.

The only time I’d ever seen anything like it was when I was living in my second London apartment with a bevy of delightful but hygienically-challenged undergrads. Our washing machine used to overflow into the kitchen sink all the time. Sometime there were even Cheerios involved.

I’m pleased to report that there were not Cheerios involved in this case (I’ve come a long way in the past five years). And just as quickly as my slop sink filled, it drained again.

But still… is this normal?

3 Responses to “Are You a Vacuum or a Washing Machine?”

  1. Landlord

    Using the tub is usually the best way to go when dying large fabric items, the washing machine second best, making sure to set your “soak” cycle, so it actually does soak into the fabric…I bet there’s even a Youtube on this 🙂 I think your duvet came out fine, but make sure you do not wash it with any colors other than black, it may still need to “run”…and make sure you run a load or two of bleach through your washer…just sayin’…it is funny picturing you doing this, I don’t even have to use my imagination 🙂 But since so much in your house is old, I would definitely become more adept at finding instruction/specification manuals on line, they are out there…I found one for my 1930’s ice box.

  2. gondilon

    Kat, Washing machines are not designed to drain into sinks. If you are able to afford it you should have a plumber install a dedicated drain pipe for the washer.


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