When you have a very large family of special needs children, you wash an incredible lot of loads every day. I mean a LOT of loads. We go through washers and dryers lightening fast. We've had I think five sets while living in this house for 12 years.
Our current laundry set is only a couple years old, but yet the lid on the washer has rusted off it's hinges, and most of the knobs on the panels have been broken off. That's why we keep a set of pliers in the cabinets over the washer - to turn the machines on.
Now there is nothing special about the stupid little plastic knobs., and until now, my husband hasn't made a big deal about it. But his side of the family would have had the knobs replaced the day after they broke off. My side of the family would have not only never replaced the knobs, but when one washer went kaput, my family was more likely to just set the new one on top of the old one. (Well, we never did that, but we stacked up tvs as they died on us when I was growing up. One time we had a stack of three tvs, one on top of the other.)
Anyhow, the metal posts are now getting to the point where the flat side that the pliers grab onto was wearing away. So Monday we went to Home Depot AND Lowes, and I think we hit Walmart as well. Nobody sells a common little knob that accepts a flat sided metal post.
So today, while we were out getting bloodwork done and taking one of our 14 yr olds to his special behavior class about 45 minutes away, we stopped at an actual appliance store. They had them! But they were $22.98 EACH. needless to say, we didn't buy them. He thinks he can order them online for $6 each.
I'm thinking there is money to be made in this appliance knob business! But, alas, my inspection of this niche market proves that darn few people ever search for a new washer or dryer knob. Which proves another point: I guess most people throw out their old appliances before the knobs fall off and the lids rust away.