All I want is clean laundry!
Man, I don't even know where to start so I'll just say I know this is going to turn into a wall o' text because there's just no way to be brief.
About five years ago I bought a Maytag washer to replace my dying Kenmore I'd had for twenty years. This was just a normal top-load water-hogging washing machine, and in its way-too-short life it washed on average 1.5 batches a day and did an excellent job. Sadly, it had a design flaw and a little over a year ago it stopped draining. I called around to repairmen and they explained that it would cost almost $200 to fix it and then more than likely it would do the same thing within a couple of years.
That started me on a search for a new washing machine. I researched but I didn't have a lot of time. The laundry had already been stacking up because we'd only been washing essentials since the old washer was having trouble spinning. I ended up buying what I have dubbed the Crapio, a Cabrio WTW5500X, top-loading piece of junk. Of course none of the reviews I read had anything bad to say about it and I loved the fact that it would use so much less water because there just isn't a lot of ground water where we live and our well pumps slowly at its best.
Now I've had that machine just short of a year and although it wasn't noticeable at first with much of the laundry, over that year towels and such have gotten downright grungy. My husband's socks aren't white any more. My formerly off-white bath bath towels and dish rags are now off-white with gray and brown splotches. My pants and bedsheets are pilling (they never did this before) and the sheets are now gray. My husband's work clothes have to be washed three times on the bulky setting before they start to resemble anything that looks clean and then they still smell like diesel. I followed the manual's instructions on how to use this machine. I use HE detergent plus supplements to help with odors and grease. I've experimented with different settings. I have called Whirlpool to see if I'm doing something wrong, and even the dealer. They all told me I'm doing everything right and no one can understand why my laundry isn't coming clean.
Then a couple of weeks ago my little Crapio quit completing the wash cycle, just stopping and unlocking between the rinse and drain/spin. The repairman was out yesterday and after running tests for about an hour, all he could tell me is that it's throwing an error code but his equipment can't pinpoint it so he's going to have to order in a bunch of parts and start replacing one by one until he finds out which part it is that's gone bad. I asked the repairman about the condition of clothes coming out of the washer and his answer was no, your clothes are never going to come clean in this thing; you need a washer that uses water. Thank goodness it's still under warranty, but there's no way I can continue with this washer!
So last night I started reading this forum then came back this morning. By now my brain is completely broken and I know no more than I did when I started so I decided to post in hopes that someone can give me some input.
Here's the situation:
We live in the country where there is dirt. My husband is a mechanic at a dairy and at the end of the day his clothes look like he's been rolling in dirt and oil, which he has. I have a thirteen-year-old son who spends as much time as he can getting dirty.
A front loader is not a good option for me. I have health problems that make just getting the laundry out of the dryer a challenge on my good days.
Also, what is all of this pre-treating laundry business? I am fifty-one years old, was raised in a laundromat where I learned to properly sort clothes and respect the machines by not over-loading the clothes and using the proper amount of detergent. I've never had to pre-treat anything except the worst grease stains on polyester-blend clothing or blood stains on cotton.
Right now I also don't have much money to spend. The Crapio cost over $600 which seriously hit our savings account, and during the past months we've had a bunch of unexpected expenses so by now our savings is nearly exhausted. Borrowing money is not an option because interest means paying at least twice for anything bought on credit. I have no problem with buying a used machine if I can find a good one. It seems these days good ones are few and far between, though, unless you're willing to pay an arm and a leg and I'm fresh out of "legs". I'm also ready to go back to a water-hog if it means having clean clothes again.
So please, any help would be appreciated!