Scene: me in my pajamas, sitting up in bed internetting before getting ready for work. The washing machine is running on the other side of the door, and the dog and one of the cats are at my feet.

“Ping!” says my phone.

A text from the landlord - “do you have water running?”

Huh? I think...I get up to see if I left the sink on or something and the neighbors are concerned about the noise. The washer is overflowing. I quickly pull out the knob that stops the cycle and yell for Mr, who is tinkering in the attic. We start throwing towels on the floor. He shuts the water off at the valves. There’s water surrounding the washer and flowing into the bathroom. We’re out of towels and so I rip open a pack of puppy training pads (one of our cats prefers them in his litter box) and start throwing them on the floor, absorbent side down. Mr throws an old cotton comforter into a puddle. I text the landlord to see if he has a shop vac we can borrow. We continue mopping up with puppy pads. Mr opens the washer and we see a crumbly looking beige substance all over the wet clothes. Melted dog biscuits? Cat vomit? I grab a pinch of it and smell it. It smells like scented laundry soap. Mr and I have here for five years and NEVER use scented soap (I’m allergic to it). The machine is at least ten years old. So we’ve got approximately ten years worth of built up soap scum that clogged the machine. It’s a sticky, waxy, almost clay-like consistency.

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At this point we determine that we won’t be needing a shop vac after all and let the landlord know.

I considered calling off work to help Mr with cleanup, but figure he’ll get more done without me in the way.

So yeah, do maintenance on your washer and dryer, folks.