No more fighting over washer space

Ever thought your relationship with your laundry machines would be just perfect if only they were a bit more chatty? Welcome to life at Wheelock College, where the washer and dryer not only do laundry, they text and e-mail.

“You can manage your time better,” said Delaney Deane, 22, of the system that allows students to log on to a Web site to see when the washing machine is free or get sent a text or e-mail when a load is done. “You don’t have to run up and down the stairs to see if a machine is free.”

With the click of a mouse, students can view an animated screen that shows the status of all the washers and dryers in the laundry room.

“It’s like a cartoon. If they are in use, they will be shaking and they will be red,” said Alyssa Howe, 20, a junior at the small Fenway college with 752 students, 93 percent of whom are female.

Sheena Witkum, 21, said she checks the Web site, laundryview.com, before leaving her room to see if her wash is done. “It’s awesome. You don’t have to stand there for 20 minutes waiting for it to finish,” she said.

The texting Maytags are part of a glistening new $24 million eco-friendly student center and dormitory complex.

Ed Jaques, Wheelock’s director of facilities, said students especially appreciate the washing-machine wizardry, although he quipped that some feel the era of the robot-slave Laundromat has not got far enough. Some, he said, have asked him: “When will you be able to have it fold our laundry, too?”