samsung 331 vs frigidaire FAFS4474LW - better rinse?

jillnJanuary 18, 2012

I have two specific questions:

Does anyone have experience with these models in terms of rinsing cleanly? Specifically, does a towel or washcloth have soapy residue if you place it in clean water and swish?

Also, can an owner of the samsung 331 tell me how many rinse cycles it does by default (the frigidaire manual tells how many rinses in the different cycles, and they offer an extra rinse option, but the samsung manual is less helpful, and the 331 only has a separate rinse&spin cycle)?

Background, if you're interested:

We were planning on getting the samsung 331 based on consumer reports' review, but then our homebuilder's appliance guy said he gets a lot less customer complaints about the frigidaire FAFS4474LW (we're trying to stick with samsungs or frigidaires because our homebuilder, who we know personally, can get us a discount on those two brands). Our main priority is very clean rinsing because we have a baby with sensitive skin and we are cloth diapering. (We use Charlie's soap in our current top loader and plan to continue using it in the HE machine unless we have problems.) We also want a relatively quiet machine, because it will be on the second floor. Also, we would prefer to keep the cost reasonable (the Samsung 431 has a second rinse option, but it's quite a bit more expensive).

I saw another thread about samsungs not rinsing well, but it sounded from some responses like all HE machines might have the same problem because the manufacturers get rebates for using very little water - too little for clean rinsing. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!

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In addition to the number of rinses, it can be helpful to know if the laundry in the drum is spun between rinses. Th spin removes a lot more water prior to the next fill.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 12:25PM
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I have had the Samsung WF331 since September. IIRC, the main (only?) difference between the 331 and 330 is the steam vs. additional rinse features. On the 330, the "steam" button is replaced with an additional rinse option that can be added to the cycle.

Normal, heavy duty, and sanitize cycles all have standard 2 rinses. Quick Wash includes only one rinse, and from what I have experienced "Beddding" includes three rinses by default. Now that I have had the machine for a few months I wish I had purchased the 330 with additional rinse. Steam is pretty gimmicky and I only use it to boost the heat in normal mode. It isn't really visible vapor, just a low water level brought to a high temperature in the bottom of the drum. Someone recently paralleled this to steaming a whole pot of peas in an inch of simmer water -- good comparison!

I am still on the tail end of the dosage learning curve so I can't say for certain what is the fault of the machine, but I do occasionally have to run a "rinse only" or "quick wash" cycle. This was originally nerdyshopper's suggestion from his experience and I've found it to be helpful.

We all strive for "clear rinses." The internal argument I have with myself is that if the third rinse is completely clear, it wasn't really necessary; the prior rinse had effectively removed soap residue. If I now have a second rinse with only a few small bubbles or the slightest milkiness to it I consider the load rinsed and move on. Even if this Samsung is not the best rinser of all front loaders -- and I'm sure it isn't -- my clothes are brighter and softer than when washed in the top-load precedessor. No regrets.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 6:29PM
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The Frigidaire may use the recirculation pump system that sprays the clothes to wash/rinse them better. Might be something you want to check out.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 6:37PM
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We have a Samsung model WF337 from a couple of years ago. It was one down from the 437 (I think). I has an extra rinse button. I find that there is still a cloudy residue in our white washcloths after using the second rinse. I read somewhere that using a rinse and spin cycle results in some of the water being saved for the next use, so my option when I want really well rinsed clothes is to just open the door so the electronics resets and then doing a quick wash with no soap. That's the best option for me. You could do likewise if you are really worried. It uses very little water and is Cold/Cold so no heat.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 6:50PM
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The 331 does spin at medium RPM between rinses to pull out more water and soap.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 7:07PM
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Hi all. Thanks so much for the excellent feedback. I had read the thread about nerdyshopper's laundry nirvana, but kind of agreed with his wife's comment about how it was supposed to be an automatic washer. I mean, I would really like to have a machine with enough options (pre-wash, extra rinse, etc.) that I could do a normal load without having to attend to it in the middle (and a diaper load without having to attend to it three or four times, as I do now). The frigidaire does have an option called "freshwater rinse", which sounds like it might add extra rinse water while it spins, though I wasn't sure if that's what it meant. But I notice no one piped up and said they have the frigidaire and love it, so maybe the samsung is still my best bet. Thanks again for all the help!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 8:56PM
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The Freshwater Rinse will add one extra rinse before the final rinse.

These Frigidaire units are pretty similar to the Electrolux IQ Touch washers and people seem to like those. I will give a link to a very detailed review of the Frigidaires later - that other site is currently down because of this protest thing that's going on right now... It's

I find it strange US front loaders rinse only twice by default. Maybe the manufacturers were thinking, since top loaders only do one (deep) rinse, two would seem generous. My Duet can do four rinses and some LG and Kenmore washers even five.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 9:11PM
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    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 11:19PM
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Wow, thanks, Alex. That review was VERY informative. Our main concern about the frigidaire was that CR gave it a lower cleaning rating, but now I'm feeling like that's not a concern. :-) CR also said it was worse on vibration, but better on noise, so that seems like a wash, as it were. So now I'm thinking we'll go with the frigidaire after all. Thanks so much again to everyone for the help!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 12:13PM
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Go easy on the detergent to reduce residue! HE washers don't use much water, but if you spin HIGH and choose an extra rinse you should be happy with the results as I am with my Samsung 520.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 4:17PM
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I don't have any input on the brands but we do use cloth and have an FL. You need a deep rinse. 50 rinses with excellent spin in between won't matter if you don't have sufficient water to saturated them completely. Sanitize would be too hot and destroy pul and damage any microfiber if used regularly. You also want a warm rinse.

Water plus during wash cycles isn't necessary but I do often need to stop and restart when washing a load of hemp or bamboo dipes. Reason being that the dipes keep absorbing after the sensors have decided there is enough water.

Check out the cloth diapering sites for info on the specific models and wash routines would be my advice.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 9:09PM
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Thanks, Sandy. That's helpful. We only use basic cotton prefolds, but I will definitely check out the diapering sites.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 9:33PM
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Just thinking, I always do an extra water rinse and complete spin prior to washing or after if it's needed. I don't know if all models have that.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 5:40AM
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I had a Frigidaire from about sever or so years ago. mine had a extra rinse option and rinsed well so I thought. that machine destructed after about 6years when the one top spring that holds the outer drum up ripped out during the final spin letting the machine walk off in to the basement wall.

Now I have a Samsung I Got in April I have a steam washer and no extra rinse option. so far it seems to rinse good if you don't use too much soap. I don't have super sensitive skin or any baby in the house.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 11:32AM
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