Very Cold Water: What detergent will dissolve properly?

eieio8February 12, 2013

Dear All:

Here in nyc, the weather is so cold in the winter that in my Electrolux washer (Model EIFLW55HIW IQ-Touch Controls), if I were to use cold/cold, I really don't know if the detergent will dissolve properly! This is all due to the fact that the built-in water heater in my Electrolux washer does NOT heat cold water (i think), but will only kick in for warm, hot, sanitize, etc.

I'm uncertain if my specific model of Electrolux actually will warm up the outside cold water a little, just so that it is sufficient for it to be not freezingly cold. I have tried and tried to email and call Electrolux's service department/customer service to no avail. I only get generalize answers or seemingly entirely ignorant staff who are of no help. So my default answer is that cold/cold means that the built-in water heater does not "kick in" in cold water mode, which does NOT make any sense to me! Ultra cold outside water DOES need heating up, right?

May I ask if the good folks here on this forum know much about which detergent(s) dissolve very well in very cold water?

fyi: I mostly use Persil Color MegaPerls on virtually everything, except completely white loads, when I use Persil Powder.

I'm going to buy Woolite's "Complete" or Woolite's "Everyday" in order to wash my wool pile mattress pad (with 1.5" wool pile) this week. I seem to think that Woolite, being used exclusively for cold water washes, has GOT to dissolve even in very cold water. Am I correct? Or misinformed?

Thanks in advance.

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Tide Liquids will work. All liquid will work. there are lots of brands that work perfectly fine in very cold water. I do not use powders except for OxiClean and for that I use HOT water.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 5:32PM
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Many detergents will disolve in cold water but they won't activate.
Most detergent manufacturers will tell you they need at least 60F to activate for cleaning and they don't recommend colder.
Tide has a Cold Water Tide that they say will activate at 40F but when I called their 800 number they said warmer the water the better it will work.

I would call the 800 number on your box of detergent and ask them your question.

This post was edited by jakvis on Wed, Feb 13, 13 at 17:45

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 6:12PM
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Im not very familiar with your machine but I would think if you use cold water it will add some hot to that to bring it up to a higher temp unless yours has Tap Cold and you use that. If so, use the cold/cold instead so it will add some hot. Start it and let it fill, then open and see how cold it is. I am sure yours has this feature. Most all machines do now.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 9:33PM
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@sparky823 makes a good point about the actual temp of COLD in your washer. Our Miele's "COLD" is 86F. It adds hot water to make it what I call lukewarm/cold. We have a "No Heat" setting that only allows cold tap water, no hot added in.

Does your owner's manual give any indications about this?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 6:55PM
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i actually emailed USA Electrolux about this. however, i get the distinct feeling that they are just giving me an answer that sounds good, but not true for MY SPECIFIC model! let me first provide what they wrote:

"Thank you for contacting Electrolux Major Appliances. Yes, our Electrolux Washers have a internal heater. Our Heater turns on for santize once water fill is complete. The heater maintains a set temperature of 152 degrees Fahrenheit. The Appliance has a Automatic Temperature Control

In order for the (ATC), to work properly a selection must be used for the heater to regulate normal water fill selections.


ATC Hot- Heater will turn on if the water temp gets below 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

ATC Warm- Heater will turn on if the Water Temp Drops below 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

ATC Cold- Heater will turn on if the Water Temp Drops Below 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

We hope this information was helpful.

Thank you for your interest in Electrolux Major Appliances."

I say that I don't think this is necessarily true for my specific model is because there is one additional model above my model (my model is the: EIFLW55HIW IQ-Touch Controls)

The model above mine is the one with the larger touch panel for controls. This style of menu-driven larger touch screen is only good if everyone who uses this machine is comfortable with using menu-driven touch screens! For those who are less computer literate, who are not as accustomed to menu nesting, they are better off using the "many buttons all laid out on the control panel) type of controls such as the model i bought. Hence I specifically chose mine for this reason.

HOWEVER, as much research as i did, i was unable to UNCOVER this detail: they claim that there are no feature differences between the models, merely control panel differences - but that is NOT TRUE! i discovered that after i bought and installed my units :( sadly. The higher end model (the one with the touch screen control panel, but only minimally more money to buy) actually has a "MORE WATER" option!!

Due to them sort of hiding the fact that there are indeed actual FEATURE differences between these two models (i have no idea why they'd want to hide this fact!), I would think that the water heater, i.e. the ATC Automatic Temperature Control, might be different in the higher model than my model!

What do y'all think, please?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 7:27PM
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I had this issue with my old Frigidaire FL that claimed to have the ATC. The ATC is supposed it sense it oncoming water temperature and mix in hot to make it war enough to dissolve the detergents. Mine never did in the winter with the sears powders. I now have a Samsung and it seems better at this but still leaves some if you don't dump it forward enough in the drawer. I notice it showers the area with warm water during the fill to push it out into the wash drum. if you have problems maybe try a liquid in the winter.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 8:42PM
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It should tell you in your owners manual if you have ATC cold, if you do, it will add some hot water to the wash to bring up the temp of your tap water.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 9:25AM
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The attached picture is the portion of the Electrolux manual that pertains to the Automatic Temperature of the water.

My issue with it is that, similar to "mike_73" above, i've experienced inaccuracies with what Electrolux SAYS and what the actual product is.

The most obvious being that they claim that my model (2nd from top, though they really only have 2 "levels" of models) has identical features with the top model (prices are very close), with the only difference being the Control Panel / User Interface. The top model uses a larger display/touch panel, and is menu-driven. My model uses many many buttons all laid out, and is NOT menu-driven. I specifically chose mine because: it has the identical features (so i thought) as the top model, and it is easier for those users who are not trained or accustomed to menu-driven user interfaces (i have one in my household).

Well, after i bought and installed my units (washer and dryer), both Electrolux, i THEN found out that the top model has the "Extra Water" feature hidden and not well publicized!! I want that feature!

With that in mind, this very general statement from their instruction manual doesn't exactly give me comfort or confidence in its accuracy.

May i ask what you all think please? Thx!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 12:50PM
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easy way to find out, fill washer with cold water and use a digatal thermometer and measure the water temp, let it wash and before it drains, open the door and check the pemperature again

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 1:45PM
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I lived in northern Michigan for several years. Our tap cold water was extremely cold 10 months of the year. We had the water line set up so some hot water was mixed with the cold. The bigger issue was cold rinses. The clothes will not rinse well in very cold water. As jakvis stated a minimum if 60 degrees for the wash but you also need better than above freezing for the rinse.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 12:07PM
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I use a Honeywell thermostatic mixing valve to assure that my cold water coming into the clothes washer is 65F. The range it's spec'd for is 70-120F but I've found I can apparently adjust it down to about 55F.

Part #: AM100C1070-UT-1

It's my set-it-and-forget-it solution to this problem. Still, I haven't forgotten about it, because I am obsessive sometimes but any normal person should view this approach as a fine solution indeed, as it also pre-seeds the hot water line since the mixer calls for a lot of hot water at first, to get the tap cold water up to whatever temp you set it to, and since all modern washers begin with a cold fill for a moment or two before they kick into high gear and switch to hot water, pre-seeding the hot water line can save you the slight hassle of running water down the drain the nearest faucet.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 3:55PM
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to answer the question asked in the OP - "May I ask if the good folks here on this forum know much about which detergent(s) dissolve very well in very cold water?"

We use Purex and use cold water for most washing and never had trouble. Clothes are clean, smell good but no overly scented, and the detergent works in HE washer as well as the old kind of washer. You don't need much to clean the load!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 8:46PM
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