Washing Machines in the Philippines

Having lived in the Philippines for over seven years, I can tell you the kinds of washing machines I see the most. It’s the cheap, almost completely made of plastic washing machines. With most Filipinos living below the poverty line, it’s a step up from washing clothes by hand.

Believe me, many Filipinos still wash everything by hand because that’s all they can afford to do.

These Cheap Washing Machines

Teco washing machines
By Solomon203 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Costing anywhere from 4000 to 10000 peso (or from $100 to $200 USD), these washing machines are made of mostly plastic. Only a few parts, including the motor, are made of anything else. They don’t last. I’ve seen my brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law replace their washing machines at least once during my time there and I’ve also seen them being repaired.

Most of the washing machines I’ve seen have one tub for washing and rinsing and another tub for spinning. My in-laws call the spinners the dryers. I really don’t know why. They don’t have real dryers at all and they still hang their clothes on lines behind our house when it’s not raining.

No Cheap Washing Machines for us

After we finished building our house in 2006 and furnished it as much as possible, we ran out of money. I had to save money from my monthly pension to buy the other things I wanted in the house. Even if we had the money to buy a washing machine, we had to wait until our dirty kitchen and laundry extension to the house was completed.

My memory fails me, but I believe the last piece of that extension was completed near the end of 2010. My wife was in the Philippines during the first few months of 2011 and it’s during that period (either February or March) that we bought a Whirlpool washer and dryer set. They make those machines in the Philippines as well as in the United States, and the models we got were made in the United States. I don’t remember how much they cost, but it was more than 60,000 pesos, whatever that came out to in US dollars at that time (around $1500 USD, if I remember correctly).

Within a month, a couple of my in-laws asked if they could use our washer and dryer. I wanted our machines to last as long as they would in the United States, so we politely refused. We weren’t being selfish. We were being practical. I always ask them what they did when we weren’t around (and I’m not talking about washing clothes in particular). They just don’t get it.