My LG FL is pilling my clothes

jessvb7January 4, 2012

I have looked up every resource I know to help me with this problem. I'm wondering is anyone has had the same problem. I have an LG wm3360HVAC Front Load washer. Previously I had an agitator washer. I've had clothes for 12 years that have always stayed looking pretty nice. One wash in the new FL and my clothes are pilling up so badly. I wondered if it was just old clothing, so I have washed clothes from brand new to very old, and different quality fabrics. I've tried different detergents in different amounts. I've tried different wash settings and temperatures. Also, my clothes feel terribly rough, even with fabric softener. So I read a tip to use vinegar instead. It seems to make them a little softer, but doesn't help the pilling. Has anyone else had this problem? I desperately need help, all of my clothes are being ruined!

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I do not have an LG, but a few years ago I switched to a Samsung Front Loader (top of the line platinum one with steam and silver technology). Within days, I noticed ALL our clothing looking pilled and rough.

I had previously had Miele for years & years, with clothes looking and staying new for ages. I have back to Miele for a while, and I will NEVER change!

In my opinion, it is the plastic baffles (fins) that basically every company uses! Miele uses smooth, stainless steel baffles. Other companins use plastic, many with drilled holes, so water 'flows" more evenly over clothes. I believes these holes on the baffles rub on clothing, and pill them.

Sorry you are having this problem. Also, I highly recommended Tide Total Care he liquid. It really helps with pilling. It contains enzymes that actually "eat" the pilled fibers. Good Luck! :)

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 9:55AM
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Items that are especially prone to pilling should be turned inside-out for washing & drying.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 12:53PM
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Larsi, thank you, I was starting to think I was crazy. So if the Tide Total care eats the pills does it eat the fabric as well? I have turned most of my clothes inside-out, even the ones that aren't prone to pilling. Still with the same results. Thanks.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 1:07PM
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I don't think it is the plastic baffles. I've had a Bosch for about 4 years and I've had no pilling problem.
Stiff clothes when you first switch to a Fl machine could be the build up of detergent in your clothes.
I had that when I first switched.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 1:20PM
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Make sure you zip all zippers. Remember clothing moves around a LOT more in a FL washing machine than in a top loader. An open zipper is like a jig saw blade.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 1:36PM
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Just a thought, but are you spinning the clothes too fast? Just because a machine will turn x revolutions does not mean all clothes should be spun at the maximum. If it's a stretchy material it can literally be pulled into the holes as it is spinning.

As far as scratchiness...What detergents have you used?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 1:57PM
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I zip all zippers and usually spin on medium to low. I started out with Tide, but switched to Charlies Soap. Still the same results. I just borrowed some clothes from my mom who has an old style agitator washer. I washed those with Charlies Soap, medium spin speed with vinegar in the softener cycle. They came out feeling rough and visibly more pilled. I was hoping that perhaps I had done something wrong previously and it had pilled my clothes, and now that I'm armed with more tips and tricks it might be different with clothes that haven't been washed in my machine, but I isn't. If anyone has any more ideas, or has had a similar experience to me, I'd love to hear them. Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 3:11PM
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There are threads on people who were not happy with Charlie's soap. Below is one thread. You can use the search
site to bring up more.

Here is a link that might be useful: Charlie's soap

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 3:28PM
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Here are a couple of additional suggestions. Use a cycle that uses most water (permanent press or delicates typically uses more water than others) and if your washer has it, use the Water Plus option. Always use the Extra Rinse option. And yes, try a gentler and better detergent (I like Vaska but Tide Total Care gets a lot of good reviews as well). Do not use too much detergent. I find that in my washer I can use the lowest recommended dose on most loads.

I've had an LG front loader for over a year now and really like it. I think it washes very well and I have no issues with pilling or stiffness.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 7:16PM
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I had a Frigidaire FL for 10 years and now own a Miele. Never any issues with pilling.

My parents have new (this year) entry level LGs and they have no issues with pilling.

I have many friends with FL washers (LG, Samsung, Whirlpool, Maytag, Miele) and no one has ever complained of this problem.

Do you think there is something wrong with your machine? Maybe something is causing the pilling that shouldn't be there? Only thing I can think of.

You shouldn't have to use special detergent to avoid pilling/scratchiness.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 7:49PM
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@ jessvb7

I'm probably one of the few people here who doesn't believe that front loaders are always more gentle on clothes than a top loader. When manufacturer's claim that front loaders are "easier on clothes", "gentler", etc., they are really saying that it's the agitator in a top loader that's rough on clothes. This is true. However, due to the higher volume of water in a top loader the clothes will experience far less friction than in a front loader where there is less water and the clothes rub against each other while tumbling.

The friction of clothes rubbing against each other in a front loader can cause increased pilling compared to a top loader. It's simply not true that just because someone has a front loader, it's somehow gentler on clothes than a top loader. It depends on the context. The agitator in a front loader is rough on clothes, but otherwise it is actually gentler due to the increased water level.

My recommendation would be to remove as many of the pills as possible and then ensure you turn the garment inside-out before washing. Tide TotalCare claims pill prevention, but in practice it doesn't have any effect. I have one t-shirt full of pills and have washed it in Tide TotalCare for months - still pilly.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 8:18PM
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I just bought an LG FL 3 months ago and all my clothes are getting ruined!!! Did any of the advice work for you? We couldn't even afford this washer (and the dryer) but wanted the best and are absolutely devastated, that it is terrible! Please HELP!!!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 12:19PM
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I have a new LG front loader. I am in the same boat with the pilling. I have never had the problem in the past (I make sure to wash towels and already pilled clothes separately). I didn't even know there was a name for those little balls all over the clothes. My husband thinks I'm nuts. I just told him yesterday that I've always prided myself in my non-pilled clothes. :)

My neighbor suggested washing less clothes in the washer. I hate the idea though, of putting in a small amount of clothes to wash for such a long time.

I'm so frustrated with this issue that I've thought about exchanging for a new top loader.....Does anyone have or know of anyone with one of the top loaders? Do they have this issue as well?

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 1:50PM
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xtreme and Mexi, do some searches on this Forum for "top loader" or "TL" or front loaders or FL. Just do some searches here and you will find others who prefer top loaders and those that do not. You will read about the pros and cons of both types of machines. I personally have a Whirlpool top loader and would not have a front loader if it were given to me, but you may or may not agree after your searches.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 12:43PM
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I have the same issue with my Whirlpool Duet. It pills knits. It pulls out threads. It makes holes. It destroys the texture of wonderful towels after just one wash.

I can reduce the damage a bit by choosing the short, delicate cycles. And I ALWAYS use the lowest spin setting, even though it leaves things very wet.

I've done tons of testing and experimenting in the 2 years I've owned the machine, but this is the sad truth.

The Duet is built like a tank, with a smooth stainless tub. So I am convinced it an issue of front loaders, but SPECIFICALLY ones that use really low amounts of water. Be aware that you CANNOT compare water amounts or temps from even the same model of machine made in different years, because mfgs can and DO program them differently to reach/exceed government energy targets.

My neighbor has an LG front loader, and she likes it and has no complaints. However, I notice that her knits are all pilled. I guess she just doesn't notice or get bothered by it as much as I do.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 8:16PM
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Thank goodness someone else is having this problem, I'm not losing my mind. I have had an LG FL for a couple years and I am having the exact same problem with pilling, even on clothing only washed 2 to 3 times. I was about to buy a water softener because I have tried everything else. My old TL gave me no problem with pilling. My new one is destroying all my clothing other than jeans and towels. I have a warranty from Sears but if it can't be repaired I don't think there's any hope for me.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 11:14PM
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Sorting properly is more important when washing in frontloaders.

1) Do not combine knits with items that exacerbate friction, such as towels or denims.

2) Close all zippers, snaps, hooks, & buttons to help avoid snagging.

3) Wash knits on a suitable delicate-action cycle.

4) High spin speeds do not promote pilling ... items don't move or rub against each other during spin, they're pressed stationary against the drum. However, fabric can be pulled through the drum perfs by high g-forces which can cause snagging or tears.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 10:28AM
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I may be alone here. But I think your problem is linked to Charlie's soap. I briefly used Charlie's, and started to see your sort of problems pop up in my own laundry. I know it is not my washer, which happens to be a Miele. :) In my opinion, Charlie's offers nothing to protect garments in the wash. I even have mechanically softened water, and was hugely disappointed with the results. My clothes immediately became stiffer, and darks took on faded look. I soon ditched the Charlie's. The second thing I can think of is that your washer might be tumbling with too little water. If you have the extra water option, I would use it. If not, try Perm Press or Delicate programs, as they tend to use higher water levels than Normal or Cotton programs. Also extra rinse would probably be an order, just to make sure detergents are rinsing completely.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 11:01AM
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I find it strange that Jessvb7, extreemecouponmom, and helper111 all have the same complaint and joined the day of the complaint and never posted again.
My dauhgter has a FL and her clothes look great. I had an old TL and moved to a house with a very small TL and am looking for a new machine. The FL works fine for me, but I would prefer a TL so I don't have to bend over- plus I can reverse the washer dryer arrangement. If my laundry was laid out differently, I'd definitely consider the FL.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 10:45PM
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I have a 6 year old Whirlpool Duet Sport with plastic baffles and no special settings and have never had pilling. I sort the types of clothes - t shirts, knits and lightweight cottons together, jeans and tougher stuff together, bras go into a good quality lingerie bag to prevent snagging. Never wash towels or sheets with "good" clothes.

I agree, some of these complaint postings on this forum and others seem a little odd.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 1:57PM
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I have a whirlpool duet washer and it's doing the same thing...I don't believe it has anything to do with the soap...I think it's the holes in the drum. I think the enamel coating is only on the inside of the drum because I can feel rough edges along the inner edge of many of the drain holes. I think that when the spin cycle 'suctions' the clothing against them the knits are able to get sucked further back and catch on all the rough spots.
Going to look into cost of replacing drum versus new washer. :-(

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 4:59PM
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I am facing the same pilling issue with my new Samsung FL. All my clothes are coming out rough pilled and sometimes even with holes. Tried all different settings but nothing helped. Anybody got any solution to the problem?

    Bookmark   last Tuesday at 11:48AM
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I don't think a single solution has ever been identified as a cause for this problem. Seems a combination of conditions in this thread could be the source to the problem. What has changed in your washing habits other than the machine?


    Bookmark   last Tuesday at 12:53PM
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New HE front loaders are harder on clothes than the ole top loader ever was. It's the ridiculous wet nap washing (not enough water). When it tumbles they create friction and rub on each other creating pilling. Wash the garment inside out, or add water, or use a cycle that uses more water. Nothing beats the lubricating properties of a pool of water.

    Bookmark   last Tuesday at 3:47PM
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