Twin Tub



Jo's washing machine is a twin tub. I've seen them before but never used one until now. Jo had to explain how it works, because it is a little more complicated than chucking the clothes in and pressing Start.

First you fill the left side with water and soap. This wash water can be used multiple times until it is too dirty to wash with again, as shown in the photo. In a drought-stricken country, that is a big savings in water. Dials and buttons allow you to choose agitation strength and duration so away you go, washing.

The right side is the spinner basket. After the wash cycle, you take the clothes from the water (they are thoroughly twisted and tangled together), balance them in the basket, close the lids and spin them out for a minute or so.

Then they go into some clear rinse water you have arranged in the laundry sink off to the side and you let them rinse a bit, agitating with your hands or the laundry stick to loosen the tangles, and then you return them to the spin basket for a longer go before putting them into the dryer.

Each load of laundry requires your attention and some focus as the phases end, but it is not difficult and takes less time than the fancy electronic washer/dryer I have in Tokyo. I really like the twin tub.


My mum had a twin tub in the 70's. I remember her glee when she took possession of her first automatic washing machine. This lasted us for years.

What she missed though was the reusing the water for additional loads. This was not due to water restrictions, but because she like to use hot water (the detergents were not as good then) and hot water was expensive.

I grew up under these water restrictions - cost reasons again - and our family were limited to egg timer showers - this was in the 70's. My brother was the hardest hit as he loves his hot showers. So he came up with this idea that if we showered together (we were under 10 years old) then we could both have 2 egg timers worth - ie he could have 2 egg timers worth. I just went along with that because when you are 4 years you really look up to your older brother and if he offers to do something with you then you take it up (damn - am I still doing this). Anyway, the upshot is that to this day, I am a short shower-er. Get in, get clean, get out. Never understood the romance of a long hot steamy shower. It just doesn't appeal.

Now using the egg timer is standard in Australian houses. That and showering over a bucket to collect the water for the garden - you doing that at Jo's?

Certainly for drought reasons, a twin tub is ideal. Many Japanese though, reuse their bath water for the washing machine. I think this is a great idea.. but we rarely take baths.

Very eco-friendly.

The left side of that tub is a face - a big smiling open mouth and two eyes. It reminds me of those "yepyep" alien puppets on Sesame Street.

My mother in law had one of those here in Japan until a couple years ago. Never bothered to ask how it worked though, so I was happy to get a rundown.

We are not showering over a bucket, my shower isnt really big enough, or safe enough to do that. I have thought about it, but even with a little slim bucket it will be difficult to plant the feet squarely on flat shower floor.... I do it at Dads tho! And i was using the timer, but it wont stick to my shower walls and keeps falling off and breaking. So that kinda killed that.... Im a naughty girl. Im a good example of people who know they should be doing things differently but dont.

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  • j-ster: We are not showering over a bucket, my shower isnt read more
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  • JHK: The left side of that tub is a face - read more
  • JHK: Very eco-friendly. read more
  • T: My mum had a twin tub in the 70's. I read more