Hard water, Faded Clothes...what to do?

Ann HargreavesFebruary 5, 2011

Please help. In just a few months of using an Electrolux FL my clothes are looking drab, dingy, faded and rough.

I live in an area of CA known for having hard water. In the past, I dealt with it by using more detergents, and more rinsing. Having a FL, I can no longer do that.

I have been using Arm & Hammer powder detergent, Borax, and Washing Soda.

What should I do?

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Oh, I remember the learning curve when I first bought my front loader. I loved it and was frustrated by it at the same time. I had a few suggestions thrown at me and I picked up a few things along the way, too. I hope some of them help you.

The first suggestion would be to switch to a liquid detergent, or until you use what you have on hand, to predisolve your powdered detergent in hot water before starting the load. There are also products that you can use for hard water, like calgon liquid water softener. You may also find out that using less of everything in your wash may help. Another idea would be to add vinegar to your fabric softener compartment. It does wonders for helping remove deposits on your clothes.

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 3:47PM
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The dinginess is due to precipitated calcium carbonate. If your washing machine has a heating element chances are it is already getting build-up. You need to take immediate action for the sake of your clothes and washer parts. You don't need to jump through a lot of hoops, just get yourself some STPP (sodium tripolyphosphate) and add it to your wash. IT WORKS.

You can order STPP here. In the meantime while you are waiting for your shipment of STPP, see if you can find a bottle of liquid Calgon water softener in the laundry section of your local Albertson's or other grocery store. Most stores in hard water areas will have this. Or a similar product called White King.

Most people start with 1-2 TBS of STPP per load, but that will depend on the size of your load, machine size, hardness of water, etc. I would also advise a tablespoon or citric acid in the final rinse. You can get citric acid in the dishwasher section of your grocery store under the name LemiShine.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 3:53PM
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