Meaning of “Washing Machine Heart” by Mitski

Written By Michael Miller

Michael is a music teacher and professional cellist. He loves uncovering the deeper meaning of popular songs.

Ever wondered what’s the deal with Mitski’s “Washing Machine Heart”? This song is a powerful emotional rollercoaster, y’all. It dives into the complexities of vulnerability and desire in relationships. Mitski uses the metaphor of a “washing machine heart” to depict the push and pull, the mess and cleanup of love and intimacy. She’s asking, ‘why not me?’ like we all do at some point when we want to be chosen by someone we desire. The song serves as an exploration of her emotions and also resonates with anyone who’s felt like an option rather than a priority.

“Washing Machine Heart” is that addictive mix of vulnerability and unfiltered emotion that you can’t help but love. Stick around for a deeper dive into Mitski’s poetic world.

“Washing Machine Heart” Lyrics Meaning

Let’s kick off with the very first lines: “Toss your dirty shoes in my washing machine heart / Baby, bang it up inside.” What a metaphor, right? Here, Mitski likens her heart to a washing machine, something that cleanses and takes on your mess. But notice the word ‘bang’. It’s as if she’s saying, “Go ahead, make a mess, but know that it leaves marks.”

Next, “I’m not wearing my usual lipstick / I thought maybe we would kiss tonight.” It’s all about vulnerability, about taking a risk in love. Mitski isn’t wearing her usual armor; she’s open, willing, and prepared for intimacy.

And then comes, “Baby will you kiss me already and / Toss your dirty shoes in my washing machine heart?” There’s an urgency here. She wants to feel wanted. She wants her love interest to take that leap, to say ‘yes, you’re the one I choose.’

Now, let’s get to the gut-puncher: “I know who you pretend I am.” Ouch. That’s the line that tells us this isn’t just about unreciprocated love. It’s about being with someone who doesn’t see you, but an idea of you.

The closing, “Do mi ti / Why not me? Why not me?” This is where Mitski is almost pleading. The scales “Do mi ti” could represent the ups and downs, the cycles of emotion. She’s basically asking the age-old question we’ve all muttered under our breath at some point—why not choose me?

Why Was “Washing Machine Heart” Written?

Mitski is known for her lyrical depth, her ability to tap into emotions that most of us find hard to articulate. When she wrote “Washing Machine Heart,” she was exploring the vulnerabilities that come with love and the emotional toll it takes when you’re not the chosen one. The song was penned during a time when she was feeling these intense complexities herself. This isn’t just a song; it’s a conversation she’s having with herself and inviting us to listen. It’s about self-discovery as much as it is about yearning for validation from another. Mitski packages all these complexities in a poetic, heart-wrenching way that hits home for anyone who has ever felt overlooked or undervalued in love.