Comment: Kirstie’s in a spin about washing machines

Disgusting: Kirstie Allsopp isn't a fan of washing machines in kitchens

Disgusting: Kirstie Allsopp isn't a fan of washing machines in kitchens - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Like many people not blessed with a huge home, I have a washing machine in my kitchen. It’s quite noisy in full spin and sticks out a bit, but apart from that it’s not really a problem. Apart from, to some people, it is.

Kirstie Allsopp my all time fave property presenter has put a dampener on my big love for her by dissing the kitchen/washing machine combo in a recent Twitter post.

“It is disgusting,” she wrote. “My life’s work is in part dedicated to getting washing machines out of the kitchen.”

She added: “Please note there is a degree of humour in this debate, no need to take it quite so seriously.” But the damage had been done and the backlash she received was so severe that she left Twitter as a result (yes, it was that serious).

Kirstie defended her comments in a Guardian article, writing: “I have always thought that the combination of food preparation and clothes washing in a kitchen was strange, to say the least.”

Really??? Because most of the clobber I put in my washing machine is mildly smelly/very slightly dirty and certainly not a threat to the otherwise – ahem- impeccable hygiene standards of my kitchen. Stuffing some clothes in a sealed unit, then removing them when they’re washed and clean feels like no danger to my health at all. Yes, I’d prefer the luxury of a utility room, but my family isn’t suffering any “disgusting” consequences through a lack of this.

It’s true that housing the washing machine in the kitchen seems to be a uniquely British thing. In the US and Australia, separate laundry rooms are all the rage, while in Europe the bathroom is a popular alternative home for one’s washer. Which naturally makes washing machine location a Brexit issue! Kirstie wrote in the Guardian that Brits think the way we do things – keeping washing machines in kitchens – is best. “And” she added, “if you point out that something we do is peculiar, you had better brace yourself. Because it doesn’t go down well.”

I’d agree there’s some truth in this, but Kirstie doesn’t do herself – or her reputation as an out-of-touch toff – any favours by suggesting that those of us not blessed with a utility room are essentially unclean.