Milnor Washing Machine Saves the Holiday Season!

The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office got a report Sunday from a woman who said a man had stolen her clothes at a laundry on Montana 35 near Kalispell, and that when her husband confronted the man, he tried to attack him. The man was later arrested on a warrant.

~ taken from the Law Enforcement Roundup, The Daily Interlake


I’ve always thought of laundromats as undesirable places; yet there are times when you have no choice but to use their services.

You may be in a pinch with a broken machine. Perhaps you can’t buy one until the next paycheck, or you may have just moved out on your own and cannot afford a washing machine.

Then you may find yourself in a predicament like the one that I encountered shortly before moving to Montana. My washing machine broke down when we were in the process of selling our house.

You can understand that it seemed impractical to buy a new washer right before a move.

We were moving over 2000 miles across the country.

Packing light meant that we’d save money by taking up less space and weight on the moving van.

Problem was, the house didn’t sell as quickly as we expected which meant that the washing situation lasted much longer than ever imagined.

I washed by hand and/or went to a laundromat for at least 9 months. It was a long, miserable time to be without a washing machine.

My latest laundromat experience came on the morning of Christmas Eve.

After doing a load of laundry, I discovered the washer tub hadn’t drained and that I could not get the machine to cycle. It was stuck in rinse, and I couldn’t get it to spin. I wrung out the clothes by hand and tossed them into the dryer.

Fortunately most of the clothes were clean when the machine conked out, so the timing was not as inconvenient as it could have been. It wasn’t until after Christmas that I had to address the increasing pile of dirty clothes on the basement floor.

With a bag full of dirty laundry, David and I drove to the Imperial Laundromat.

Voted Number 1 by the people of Kalispell, it was the inevitable choice for getting the job done. Just for the record, it was not the laundry on Hwy. 35.


Imperial Cleaners


We entered the building and looked for the washers.

I had a lot of towels, all white, and was deciding  whether or not to use a large load machine, the kind you use for rugs and bedspreads, or two or three of the regular sized machines. I figured the cheapest route would do, until my eyes fell upon the two over-sized Milnor machines at the back of the room.

At that moment, I knew we would spend the extra dollar to have the ultimate Milnor washing machine experience.


Milnor Commercial Washers


David built Milnor washing machines when we lived in Louisiana.

Although he did that a long time ago when he was in his twenties.

Using the Milnor machines at the laundromat gave him the opportunity to reminisce about his old job and share a memory or two with me. As he recounted his experiences, I had the pleasure of watching the hard working Milnor’s swish around the laundry.


Swish, swish


To pass the time, we walked around the laundromat.  The atmosphere was pleasant, nice and clean, and bright. Free coffee was available for customers.


Complimentary coffee and condiments


Christmas decorations were still up and I enjoyed snapping some pictures of Ol’ St. Nick. I felt like a nuisance, though, when other patrons began looking at me. Obviously I did a fair job of avoiding them, as the photographs attest.


I was careful not to get any people in the pictures.


Back to the washer where the rinse cycle was almost done. We watched it spin, and then come to a stop. We waited patiently for the light to go out before removing our clothes.

We filled a black garbage bag with wet towels. David looked like Santa Claus as he flung it on his back and we left the building.

Final thoughts

Over the years I’ve seen my share of laundromats; but the truth of the matter is, I’ve never been to an undesirable one, and no one at a laundromat has ever made me feel uncomfortable. I’m not quite sure where I’ve gotten the notion of their notoriety. Although the above police report helps to perpetuate that.

Have you had an undesirable laundromat experience? Let me know in the comments below!




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