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Front Loader Washer does not get clothes clean
  • I have a Whirlpool Front Loader Washer purchased one year ago. It does not get my clothes clean. I called the repair service and the repair man told me that I should only use a small amount of HE detergent for each load. I was using a full cup and that caused a build up in the washer which caused the machine to not clean my clothes.

    Now I am using the correct amount of detergent and my clothes still do not get clean. I will dress my kids in the morning and look at their clothes and they look dirty. It's driving me crazy.

    Has anyone had this experience? Is it because front loaders do not clean clothes as well as top loaders because they use less water/energy or did I buy a lemon?
  • I have a front-load washer and I adore it. A Kenmore. My clothing comes out squeaky clean.


    My kitten loves the front-load washer, too. Chases the soap bubbles and clothes as they spin in the window.
  • No problems with our front loader either, it's a Kenmore. Are you sure you are using HE detergeant? What happens during the cycle? Can you see the water and suds and spinning? Maybe you're overloading with clothes?
  • I have read that using too much detergent in a front loader can damage the washer...

    Does your washer have a clean washer function?
  • using HE detergent, not overloading clothes. I just read a bunch of bad reviews about the
    Duet. I'll have to have the repair man out again.
  • amykey --

    go to gardenweb.com, ask on the laundry forums....

    http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/laundry/

    you'll get the answer there!

    Pete
  • You should only use powdered HE detergent. The liquid (in particular, Tide liquid HE) can also ruin your machine.

    I have a Duet, and have loved it for over 2 years. If clothes aren't getting clean, perhaps you need to change wash cycle selection? (For instance, I use Whitest Whites with great success on our basic whites and it gets the kids socks clean without using bleach. It uses really hot water, however, so you have to make selections carefully.)

    The Duet came with a DVD instruction lesson. There is a learning curve associated with a front loader. For instance, b/c it uses so little water, the water doesn't have much time to get hot before it is done drawing water into the machine. If you want a warm or hot wash cycle you have to run the water at the utility sink to make sure the right temp water is actually making it into your wash. The Duet heater only comes on in the whitest white and the sanitary cycles.

    You can also select pre wash, pre soak, extra rinse if you used a lot of detergent. Residual soap can actually attract dirt to clothes (and hair) causing them to get dirty looking easily. For a regular cycle and a normal sized load (not jammed full), I only use a half scoop of the tiny HE scoop that comes with my detergent.

    Oh, and since HE powdered detergent isn't always easy to find, you might want to know that a very good HE detergent, with enzymes, is sold in a huge bucket at Sears. This is what I use.

    http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?cat=Washers+%26+Dryers&pid=03209862000&vertical=APPL&subcat=Detergents+%26+Cleansers&BV_SessionID=@@@@1889211305.1186020010@@@@&BV_EngineID=ccddaddlikjjlkjcefecemldffidflk.0

    I buy it online and select pickup at store, and get it from the Sears at the Livingston Mall.

    Good luck!
  • Oh, and I also use a wholehouse water softener. Softer water will get clothing cleaner with less soap. If you have hard water, you might try adding some powdered Borax to the wash with your detergent.
  • We have a front loading Kenmore too, and love it. If we put too much detergent in, it goes into SUD (suds) mode and clears itself out though. When you say your clothes don't get clean, what exactly do you mean? Are they looking dirty?
  • front loaders rule
  • We have a LG front loader. Our clothes have never been cleaner. Also our water use is down dramatically. I don't know first hand how the LG's rate however my sister told me only good things were written about my model. The LG has brought new life to stinky old clothes that we thought were lost.

    We've been using liquid Tide HE with great results. We now going to try Costco's brand because again my sister told me that Consumer reports tested both and found no discernible difference between using the Tide or Costco's brand. With Costco's HE detergent every third wash is a free one against the cost of Tide HE.
  • We use ordinary detergent. We use very, very little. I think I'll measure next time,
    but I think we use about one ounce.

    I'll repeat a tip I gave last time we discussed front loaders, since shh thanked me
    then. One of the many advantages of a front loader is that you can load it really,
    really full. We cram the laundry in there fairly tight. It works!
  • There is an article in today's Wall Street Journal about this. It seems some brands/models are worse than others and using the HE soap or half if regular soap helps. If you use too much soap some of the models will sense this and use more rinse water so that the water savings are wiped out. Oh yes, some models grow mold so it is recommended you wipe down the interior of the door and seals periodically--or leave the door open to let them dry out.

    Even new, traditional-style top loaders don't do the job they used to due to some kind of regulatory change. Guess I'll stick with my current machines until they fail.
  • when my front loader stopped getting clothes clean, it was a sign I didn't recognise that it was about to need a re-balance because a drive-belt or something was going to break. a 15-min job for a qualified tech to do, and worth the money to do properly and in time - had to do it twice and never again, still using the same machine and loving it.
  • We got a front loader when we moved here 7 years ago. At that time it was hard to find HE detergent so I used regular detergent but small amounts - I often felt the clothes weren't clean. HE is now easy to get but I use much less then they suggest and our clothes are perfectly clean. I like Costco's HE brand (no perfumes).
  • Ok, call me an idiot, but what the hell is HE when talking detergent? We recently got the new LG and I'm hoping wifey uses the right quantity of the right stuff.
  • I believe it's high efficiency. We recently purchase the LGs as well and are loving them.

    Best,

    SO
  • We have a whirlpool (I think) - and I've noticed my clothes are cleaner than they ever were. I am having a few issues, though, that have not yet been resolved - 1- can't put bath mats in (even saw something in the manual about that) -that's super frustrating; and 2- our 4 yo daughter has clothes and dress up dresses with crinoline and chiffon type stuff - and they seem to get "burned" in the dryer, but since the spin cycle on the washer is so great, since we use the new washer, we NEVER have the dryer on anything but low heat. Haven't been able to figure it out - it seems to have "burned" some fleece stuff we have as well.... that's been really frustrating...
  • Posted By: krnlThere is an article in today's Wall Street Journal about this. It seems some brands/models are worse than others and using the HE soap or half if regular soap helps. If you use too much soap some of the models will sense this and use more rinse water so that the water savings are wiped out. Oh yes, some models grow mold so it is recommended you wipe down the interior of the door and seals periodically--or leave the door open to let them dry out.
    An actual quote from the article:

    The Department of Energy says complaints about front-load and low-water washers are limited and said the issues seem to be model-specific rather than a problem with the energy-saving technology.


    We like our front-loader and it cleans our things well.
  • I love my front loader but from everything I had read and heard before I bought it this spring, I knew to only use High Efficiency (HE) detergent and NOT regular.
    Except for whites, I only use the cold water setting and things are very, very clean.
    If you are worried about a buildup, think about running it on the white/super hot setting unloaded with no soap to give it a good clean out.
  • what are the advantages of the front loaders vs the traditional top loaders(which we have-kenmores-they work fine!)?

    oots
  • oots - they use significantly less water than top loaders and because there is no agitator it is much easier on your clothes.
  • and bigger loads.
  • Yes - my daughter just came back from camp and the sleeping bag goes in no problem (and the fill won't get all messed up by the agitator).
  • And they are supposed to use less energy, as well.

    The downsides:

    - They cost more to purchase.
    - You can't interrupt them once they start.
    - They take longer. Mine typically runs for an hour.

    We're very happy with our bottom-of-the-line Kenmore. It cost us $750 in July 2003.
  • We were very fortunate to receive our LG as a gift from a friend. One feature it has I guess most don't is a pause button allowing you to open it back up so its just like a top loader in that respect.

    We keep it open after each load because we don't want any mold or mildew to grow. It does take much longer to do a load however the clothes do come out more clean than the Whirlpool top loader
    we used to have. We've gotten used to the longer time, and the optional remote timer (which shows us how much time is left on both washer and dryer) comes in handy so we don't have to make repeated
    trips to the basement until we know the loads are done.

    In all of loving our new LGs, there has been only one real downside. Wrinkled clothes. The washer is super efficient and also can spin the clothes at such high speeds that even after you take the clothes
    out of the dryer immediately after they're done they still will have some wrinkles. I've tried everything however I feel the answer is to lower the finishing spin off the ultra high speed and lower it a bit. The
    clothes may take longer to dry however maybe they'll come out less wrinkled. Any suggestions?
  • Longer wash, shorter dry. Net/Net I find the 'time' is about the same.
  • I'm not a bigh fan of Whirlpool machines. The best liquid laundry soap for front loaders is Fab. I prefer, however, a powder detergent with a powder detergent booster. Just make sure you leave enough room in the machine for the clothes to "slap" down on each other.

    You might have the water level checked and the drain at the bottom of the machine. If the washer is not drawing enough water or ineffectively pushing it through it may affect permformance.
  • thanks for the info-will look into one when my top loader kicks the "bucket"!

    oots
  • Darrens, there is an old-fashioned laudry aid called an Iron, that can help you with those wrinkles.:wink:
  • Well if what Darren wrote is correct (more wrinkled clothes) then I doubt I will ever purchase a front-loading washer. krnl, would you like to know how much I hate that so-called laundry aid you call an iron? Let's put it this way. Many years ago when I realized the old iron we had was rusting on the bottom and thereby getting the few clothes I ironed stained, I order a Norelco steam iron by mail-order (don't even think I had a computer then to do this online even if I wanted to). It came to the house and I didn't open the iron from the box for at least two years. The company could have sent me a brick in the Norelco box and I wouldn't have been the wiser (it did work however for whatever it was that "needed" to be ironed). :bigsmile: Ironing and Wendy: imperfect together!
    Post edited by wendy at 2007-08-06 20:41:52
  • I don't have problems with clothes being wrinkled. Duet W/D. Get the clothes hot out of the dryer, a quick 'snap' and then fold'em, and I'm set. I don't know off hand what spin cycle I use, though.
  • Having to iron everything that comes out of the dryer (polo shirts, etc.) would be a complete waste of both time, energy, and physical energy. We like the fact that the LG reduce our energy dependency.
    Using and iron after each load I'm sure wouldn't be considered living green if we could find a way to avoid it.

    I think the reason the clothes are wrinkled is because my washer spins them SO fast, over 1300 RPM which is one of the fastest on the market. The clothes come out of the washer practically dry.

    I think the advised of giving them a quick snap maybe before we put them into the dryer could make a difference when they're still a bit moist as well as when we take them out of the dryer.

    We'll that a shot next round. Thanks for the advice.
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