How to Do Laundry in a Russian Apartment.

Today, folks, we are going to talk about laundry. Here's how it's done.

Step 1. Start with a pile of dirty clothes. 

(This is the easiest part.)

Step 2: Open the cupboard where your tiny washing machine lives. 

(Book included for size reference.)

Step 3. Stare at the Sputnik Control Panel.

Now try to sound out some of the words phonetically.

Start pushing random buttons.

Stop pushing random buttons, for fear of starting a fire or blowing something up.

Notice one word you recognize: OFF.  Now twist the knob to "60," because hey, why not.


The machine is now on. Give up on trying to figure out how to get it to do certain things, and just figure that the best options are set by default.

Dump detergent in the dispenser until you feel good about the amount. In Soviet Russia, there are no measuring cups for detergent.  Maybe add a dash more.

No....that's too much. 

Is it too much? 

It's too much. You would rather have slightly less-clean clothes than soap bubbles bursting forth uncontrollably from your washer.

Scoop some detergent out of the tray, spilling it all over the floor and yourself in the meantime, and try to put it back in the detergent spout.

Step 4: Start the Washer and Wait.


That's right--it will take your little Sputnik machine over two hours for ONE small load of laundry.

Wait some more.

Step 5: Drying Rack.

You don't have a dryer, duh! Very few Russians do. Hang all of your clothes up to dry and wait for about 24 hours.

Voila! Only two days later, and your laundry is completely finished! 

Don't you feel so accomplished?