There are some folks on Twitter who are posting laundry blogs. I think this post, by me almost 2 years ago, is probably the best laundry post of all time. Of all time!
There's just something about laundry. The whole process (minus the folding when it's dry) is filled with, well, process. There is the separating of colors, which brings up all kinds of thoughts; American racial segregation, church and state, apartheid, the middle east, political parties/ideologies, to name a few. And those are just the thoughts that the separation of clothes into like colors brings up.
Then there is the prepping of the machine for the load. You must measure a precise amount of detergent (and maybe bleach, depending on color) and put it in BEFORE you load the clothes. I think this may be a step which many people ignore, or are ignorant about, and the step should be followed for better detergent distribution (I think because it mixes with the water before the detergent ever touches the clothes, therefore distributing the detergent more evenly). This whole part of the process involves physics and chemistry, and also constitutes most of my knowledge of physics and chemistry.
Clothes and detergent loaded (not in that order!), now the water level and temperature choices have to be made. This part of the process is partly physics and partly art. The physics involve knowing what kind of dirt you are removing AND what the fabric can handle in terms of heat without relinquishing precious color, thereby preventing the coloring of other items you don't want colored with new colors (that wasn't the art part, even though it involved lots of color). The art part is the water level. I have found that I am able to manhandle the load-size knob to get custom water levels. I can go a bit more than medium without going all the way to large, and such. It takes nimble, strong fingers. I have them, I guess.
I love watching the water fill up in the hopes that the level I chose will need tweaking. I also enjoy predicting, then seeing, which article of clothing soaks up water the fastest. Cotton beats poly by like a billion times. This part of the process is scientific observation. You learn a lot about soak rates, float limits, and the peculiarities of your particular washing machine's fill level knob.
Once all that is done, and you close the lid, you know you have accomplished something pretty big. You are able to sit down, satisfied you have perfectly prepared for a half hour of cleansing, satisfied that everything that could be done was done to insure the clothes would get as clean as physics and science would allow.
The only thing that could improve upon this process would be one of the washing machines like they have in the laundromat with the window. That would be laundry bliss.