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Thanks again for joining me as I talk about getting to know your German home. Today we are going to talk about German washer and dryers.

If you are a GS civilian or active duty military and have to live off base in Stuttgart, the base will actually provide to you a washer and dryer for free while you are stationed in Germany. The housing office provides it, you just have to ask. They will bring the appliances in, set it up, do a test run and away you go.

This is great but there are some differences which I learned the hard way.

Wash settings

Anything like gentle or sports mode take longer than an hour. On my machine it’s written in English but that still doesn’t tell you how long the cycle is. There is also no countdown either for each of the cycles. Luckily there is a 15 min cycle and a 60 min cycle. I primarily use the 60 min cycle because I don’t have time to wait for 2-3 hours for one load to get done. Let me explain. The main reason is because of the size of the washer and dryer.

German Washer and Dryer Size

The washer and dryer are physically smaller than American washers. I can only fit 3 large bath towels in the washing machine and it is full. Plus my machine is a side loader not a top loader so you can only fit so much. So if you are used to filling a hamper and throwing everything in there, be aware, it will take 2-3 separate loads to get those done. If you have a king sized bed and a king sized comforter, you might have to take it to the cleaners or find a commercial washer and dryer to get them cleaned. And with our family of five, I am doing laundry every day.

Washer Noise

The washer spin cycle is a VERY loud cycle. I even have brand new washer and it sounds like a jet engine about to take off. I have gotten used to the sound, but my husband was home one day when I was doing laundry. He asked what that loud sound was and I told him, oh that’s just the washing machine on spin cycle. It literally sounds like a jet engine is downstairs and a plane is about to take off. Since there are quiet hours in Germany on Sundays, be aware of what noise you make when using the washing machine.

German Dryer

We don’t vent the air out of the dryer because of the way the house is built. So it is a ventless dryer. Because of this, there is a reservoir on the top left side of the dryer that you have to empty every 3 loads or so because there is water in there. Your dryer will actually NOT turn on and dry your clothes because the reservoir has not been emptied. Ask me how I know! It happened to me.

Luckily, my husband told me that when he borrowed a friend’s dryer, he told him about the reservoir that needed to be emptied which I thought was weird. When the dryer was installed, the guys who brought it over NEVER told me about this feature!

Washing Detergent

As with any appliance, if you have favorite detergent you use, you might not find it here. And if you do, you may not want to use it. We’ve been told that for German appliances, you need to use German cleaning products to include washing machine detergent. I started using Tide pods but then switched to a German product called Persil because the clothes fabric came out feeling harsh and dry, not soft. And that is because of the German hard water. We talked about this when discussing German dishwashers. Their detergents are made to work with the hard water so it’s best to use German products when washing your clothes.

So those are some things to keep in mind when getting to know your German house. Washer and dryers are not the same as in the US. Hopefully these tips will help you as you adjust to living in Germany.