LG washer shrinking clothes on cold! Please help!

Zeek27July 26, 2012

I purchased a fancy LG WM3470HWA washer back in April, and after several months of denial, I finally came to the conclusion that my washer was shinking my clothes, to the point where they are not wearable, and I never, ever, dry them. I've been hang drying my clothes for years, because I do not like it when clothes shrink, and I've never had a problem like this with as washer.

I called LG, and whoever I spoke to was clueless, and told me to wash my cotton clothes on the cotton setting, which actually uses warm water. I've been using either the cold, or tap cold setting the entire time. I recently switched to the hand wash cycle on cold, because I read that sometimes the agitation from the washers could possibly be shrinking them. However, this has not helped.

I just read that the cold setting uses some warm water to help dissolve the detergent, and that I should use the tap cold cycle to avoid this. I've been using both cold, and the tap cold cycle, and was clueless as to what the difference was because there is nothing in the manual about it. I only found this information on some far corner of LG's awful website.

Does anyone know what the Coldwash (tm) special function is? All it says in the manual is that it saves energy. Well how is that different then just using cold water? I love how they advertise these special setting, yet give almost no information as to what they do.

After I called home depot, they sent out an LG repair man, who checked out my machine to find nothing wrong, and had never heard of cold water shrinking clothes. And, yes, we both checked the hook ups, several times, as did the home depot installer when it was hooked up.

My only options are to sell this thing at a loss, or try to call LG, but I'll I get on the phone are useless customer service representatives. Is it a high efficiency washer thing that is doing it? Were my old washers always stretching out my clothes so now this one isn't? Is it the tide HE detergent?

I'm beating my head against a wall after spending 1K on a fancy washer, and all I get is a machine that ruins maybe 2K worth of clothes.

Help!

Zeek

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georgect

The only thing I can think of (and you said you checked the hot & cold connections). Maybe the machine is adding hot even when you select cold.

Have you paused the cycle and felt the water temp at the beginning and toward the end of the cycle?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 8:44AM
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dave1812

I presume you ALSO checked that the faucet you presume is the COLD faucet, is indeed providing the cold water, so that there is ZERO CHANCE that the washer is getting hot water into the COLD inlet? A washer can't shrink clothes--only the wrong temperatures can do that. DOUBLE CHECK your inlet temps AND open the washer DURING a COLD cycle to verify the water is COLD.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 11:01AM
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sshrivastava

Have you considered that maybe the dryer is causing the shrinkage?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 11:03AM
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dave1812

sshrivastava, did you READ the OP? they don't use a dryer.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 11:12AM
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sparky823

The difference may be in the spinning. With the old washer your clothes came out damper,especially if you used the Permanent Press cycle. Then when you hang dry the weight of the water left in the fabric gave the "stretch" to the clothes whereas with the high spin of the LG your clothes are drier when you hang them so you have less "stretch" as they dry making them seem like they are shrinking. Try using a slow spin. I did see you had tried the hand wash which it may only give slow spin(?)I am not sure about the LG's. I dont see anything else it could be. I think if your water hook-ups were reversed(hoses or faucets) you would have known that. The clothes would have felt warm getting them out of the washer after a hot rinse. You might also try using the cycle that uses the most water--maybe Bulky?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 2:38PM
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weedmeister

It depends on your definition of 'cold' and LG's.

Cold to them may be 68F, meaning that if your tap cold is below that it will add hot to bring it to 68F.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 6:38PM
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Zeek27

Thanks for the replies! I did double check, several times, the water inputs. In fact, the installer ran the hot before hooking it up just to make sure. I've also stuck my finger in the soap dispenser at start up to check the temperature, and it is cold. Here in New Orleans, the water is luke warm, so not really ever cold unless it is winter. I was surprised to find out cold uses warm water to dispense the soap, though that doesn't seem like it could shrink clothes all that much.

The LG guy said everything was working right when he hook up some little computer to the thing. I haven't had time to sit through an entire wash cycle to test the water temperature as it depenses, and the machine will not let me open the door.

My next step is to just turn the hot water off completely at the outlet, but that doesn't mean the machine isn't heating water up, as it has that capability. When the clothes come out, they are not hot or even warm.

I also have used hand wash cycle with very low spin, but it hasn't been long enough to see if it is making a difference.

Has anyone had experience with tide HE? I've never used tide ever, so I guess that is one possibility.

I've read that shrinking occurs when the water and agitation breaks the bonds in the fabric, so it is possible that the extreme spinning is shrinking them. I noticed that when I used to go use my mom's HE machine, my clothes would come out slightly smaller, but I always thought it was the difference in water (she lives up north). This led me to believe it was a high efficiency washer problem, but no where, anywhere, online does this ever come up in conversations or reviews of these machines.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 7:44PM
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cleanteamofny

Since it is summertime, the water temperature is higher because of the unusual warmer temperatures.
The ATC or washer heater should not come on at all because of this.

Spinning fabric will not shrink garments but in some cases stretching them because of how they spun in the tub at a higher rate of speed so that myth is ruled out!

The only area that is left is the MFG not preshrinking materials before being sown together.
Now the only alternative is to buy your new clothing one size larger until multiple washing shrink them down to size.

If anything, it's the water temperature and not your machine shrinking your clothing.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 7:52PM
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curiousshopper

Zeek,

Have you stepped on a scale lately? Lord knows I'd like to blame the washer for not fitting into my size 32 jeans anymore, but I know the washer isn't the problem. :)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 11:56PM
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kodiakbear

It's not an HE washer problem though I don't know what is the culprit in your wash. I had problems with our cotton shirts shrinking but switching to low heat on the dryer and fluffing them a bit before hanging to finish drying fixed the issue. We also use Tide along with other powders. One thing that may help is pre-soaking in cold water overnight after you buy anything that is pure cotton. Can't recall where I found that pointer but it did help.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 6:51AM
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Zeek27

Thanks for the replies! I did double check, several times, the water inputs. In fact, the installer ran the hot before hooking it up just to make sure. I've also stuck my finger in the soap dispenser at start up to check the temperature, and it is cold. Here in New Orleans, the water is luke warm, so not really ever cold unless it is winter. I was surprised to find out cold uses warm water to dispense the soap, though that doesn't seem like it could shrink clothes all that much.

The LG guy said everything was working right when he hook up some little computer to the thing. I haven't had time to sit through an entire wash cycle to test the water temperature as it depenses, and the machine will not let me open the door.

My next step is to just turn the hot water off completely at the outlet, but that doesn't mean the machine isn't heating water up, as it has that capability. When the clothes come out, they are not hot or even warm.

I also have used hand wash cycle with very low spin, but it hasn't been long enough to see if it is making a difference.

Has anyone had experience with tide HE? I've never used tide ever, so I guess that is one possibility.

I've read that shrinking occurs when the water and agitation breaks the bonds in the fabric, so it is possible that the extreme spinning is shrinking them. I noticed that when I used to go use my mom's HE machine, my clothes would come out slightly smaller, but I always thought it was the difference in water (she lives up north). This led me to believe it was a high efficiency washer problem, but no where, anywhere, online does this ever come up in conversations or reviews of these machines.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 7:56PM
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dave1812

Tide HE is excellent detergent--it's well regarded--so much so that I bought some instead of what I've used for years.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 9:14PM
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samsaPDX

WHIRLPOOL FRONT-LOAD CAUGHT RED HANDED DUMPING HOT WATER INTO COLD CYCLE! I have caught my HE front loader dumping hot water in the cold cycle. It'd been bugging me for years, nagging at the back of my mind. Clothes would shrink. I'd open up the door to make a last-minute addition to the load and be hit with face full of steam. But I didn't really know for sure until I got a PureWash eco unit that runs on cold water. Its blue light lights up when the cold water is running, but then every few squirts from the water source the OTHER (hot) hose is jumping while the eco unit light remains off. Gotcha! I am very disappointed in my Whirlpool front loader, and sorely tempted to send it to time-out. Its byzantine presets are over- and counter-thinking me to death: It says "1 minute left" when there are really 20. It dumps truckloads of water on something when you put it in to just "drain and spin." Its accompanying dryer interprets every setting, no matter how clearly you tell it to please dry everything, as "no-you-don't-mean-all-the-way-you-just-want-it-tepidly-damp-and-moldy-really-you-do." And now my washer is flagrantly caught dumping hot water when I tell it not to. It was supposed to be environmentally friendly. Instead it is surly and hell-bent on thwarting any plan I had for laundrological self determination. And now I hear your LG may be in cahoots. I think these front-load designers need to put a little more control back in the hands of the owners. We hold these truths to be self evident: when we push the "cold" button we expect "cold" water. What is so hard to understand about that?

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 4:38AM
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dadoes

ATC (automatic temp control) may add some warm (or hot, depending on how the machine is engineered to mix the incoming water) on the cold setting to keep the water in the tub within a range of 60F to 68F. Cold lower than that impedes detergent from dissolving and cleaning properly. Toploaders may also have ATC, it's not unique to frontloaders.

Confirm that you are selecting the correct cold setting. Some machines have two cold selections. One is ATC cold, the other is TAP cold (which does not maintain a target temp).

The reason some water sprays on Drain/Spin is for the child safety routine. The door locks, water sprays for a moment, the door unlocks for a few seconds, then it locks again and the cycle continues on. Premise is that if a child is inside when the machine is started (kids playing), the momentary spray of water is a warning that the machine is starting and the trapped child then has opportunity to kick the door open when it unlocks. Every cycle starts with this sequence, including Drain/Spin when used as a spin-only.

This post was edited by dadoes on Thu, Dec 6, 12 at 6:19

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 5:58AM
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fre0

I also am having a problem with fabric shrinkage when using by four year old LG front opening washer and LG dryer.

After only about four washings, my fitted water bed sheets shrank enough that it is hard to put them on the bed. The top sheet, which used to reach up to the headboard, has shrunk by almost a foot.

Some of my T shirts have also shrunk to the point that it is difficult to get them off. When I wash my walking shorts, they shrink so much that putting them on for the first time after washing them is very difficult, after which they stretch enough to make them wearable. And, I HAVE NOT GAINED WEIGHT! In fact, my waist has gone from 31.5" to 30.5" since changing gyms and my weight dropped from about 145# to about 142#, so obviously my weight is not the problem. Also, according the the label on the shorts, the waist size is 32".

I use Tide HE detergent and on the washer, use the permanent press setting which is recommended for permanent press. I also use the permanent press setting on the LG dryer. The cold water is actually quite cold and the washer doesn't seem to add much hot water (which is about 122F at the water heater) on the permanent press cycle, which selects "warm" as default.

Before getting the LG washer and dryer, I did not experience a problem with shrinkage.

I have no idea what is causing the problem or what to do about it. The bed sheet manufacture (Tri-Sew Service, Inc., in Conyers, GA) claims that LG washers cause shrinkage, but I do not understand how they could.

Does anyone have any ideas?

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 3:52PM
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Cavimum

Does your LG washer have the Steam Technology feature? If so, is it engaged? If so, and it is not engaged, could it be possible it is "on" anyway?

    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 4:51PM
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whirlpool_trainee

Have you tried not putting them in the dryer?

Alex

    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 5:23PM
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Zeek27

fre0,
I am glad to hear I am not alone here. After a year with this washer and several thousands of dollars of clothes ruined, this LG washer has got to go. I'm getting another one. It kills me to do so because it cost so much but it has ruined everything.

Alex,
Yes I have tried not putting them in the dryer. It's common knowledge that hot/warm water and drying clothes can lead to shrinkage, however, in my case these cannot be the issue because I do not wash them on anything but tap cold water and I do NOT dry them at all. All my clothes are hang dried.

Save yourself the cost of an expensive washing machine and several thousands of dollars of ruined clothes and do NOT buy an LG. Very disappointed and completely clueless as to how or why this shrinkage occurs when I use tap cold water settings, hang dry clothes, the "hand wash" wash setting, have checked all water connections, have stood at the machine and monitored the temperature of the water entering the soap dispenser for the entire cycle.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 10:06AM
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PerkyEdhel

I too have a somewhat new fangled washing machine that shrinks my clothes. I have the hot water off at the tap and the manual says nothing about a capacity for the machine to heat water on its own, it can't be hot water unless the heat in it is created by friction...

I recently discovered that my particular model has an electrical fault that Samsung needs to send a repairer to fix, so maybe that is the issue.

Also, my machine has an "air turbo" function that dries the clothes more than other machines I have used, so I have considered that this might be the issue.

Does your machine dry clothes better than other machines you have owned, and if so, do you reckon it may have shrunk them through friction?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 2:16AM
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cdvd159

Please check your actual connections re: hot and cold spigots. We live in an older home and the spigots were reversed from what they usually are on a newer home, i.e. our cold water is on the left, hot water is on the right. When the machine was delivered and installed the technician had hooked up the washer incorrectly. We unfortunately suffered from shrinking clothes before we realized the problem.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 1:47PM
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