Invitation to a Front Load Washer Experiment

ken_mooreAugust 26, 2011

I am an appliance salesman, and a couple years back, a woman I had sold a large capacity FL washer came to me with a complaint. It doesn�t really matter what brand of washer she had purchased, but I was hoping I could get some of the readers of this forum to repeat the experiment she performed and report their results.

Like a lot of first-time FL owners, she was concerned that her laundry wasn�t being sufficiently "agitated." What she did was load her washer half way like normal, then took a pair of jeans, folded them neatly and placed it in what would be the "center" of the load, and then loaded her machine with loose laundry, not overfilling, but certainly making it a "full" load. She set her machine to "normal" and away it went.

At the end of the cycle, as she pulled the clothes out, she found the pair of jeans still right there in the middle, and still folded neatly, the same way it was when she put it in. She found this very disturbing.

"Well," I asked, "are your clothes coming our sufficiently clean?"

"Yeah, I guess." she replied.

I advised her that the proof was in the pudding and that although her experiment was interesting, the machine was performing as designed. I offered her a full refund if she really felt strongly about it, but suggested she keep using the machine and evaluate it further.

She never did return the product.

So� front load owners out there, would you care to try this experiment for me? I�m still selling appliances, and just the other day, I found myself relating that story while explaining a feature on one brand that uses "power foam" to penetrate that tricky "eye of the hurricane" in FLers, the center part of a full load that seemingly doesn�t get agitated that much. Or does it?

Are your jeans still folded when placed at the center of a load?

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I use old-fashioned cloth diapers, the non-pre-folded type, for dusting. Naturally, I fold up them to store them, since they're quite large. If they haven't been fully opened (unfolded) for dusting, they often go into my FL in their semi-folded state. Many of them come out of the washer the same way, but I never doubted that they are clean.

This may not help your experiment, but that has been my experience.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 2:47PM
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yep - I always fold jeans before placing in the washer. Some will always remain folded through the wash, but are always clean.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 3:02PM
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I know Miele incorporates a special technology to compensate for large volume loads.

They do this because when the drum is fairly full, items in the centre will not "travel" to the outside and it's the outside pieces that get the best clean.

Miele SpinClean ensures larger volume loads are cleaned thoroughly, without excess wear, by manipulating the drum rhythms to ensure superior results and longevity.

The drum will tumble normal for cleaning and then go into a faster tumble pattern that will force items in the centre out to the outside.

I'm pretty sure this is unique to Miele though.

That's why I say, Miele has many little nuances that you don't really appreciate until you own it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Miele Spin Clean

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 7:18PM
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@livebetter - I was not aware of the SpinClean feature, but know from watching my W4842 many, many times (often better than watching TV-lol), the items do not stay in the same place for the entire wash cycle, nor rinse. Now I know what it's called.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 8:46PM
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@cavimum, I know it only engages with a pretty full drum. I either haven't filled my drum enough or I've just never noticed it.

This is one of those features I can't believe Miele doesn't highlight more.

We've discussed this before, but they really need better marketing. I for one would love to know all the little unique features my machine has.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 8:59PM
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If the washer is truly horizontal, chances are that the jeans may stay folded unless the wash pattern is changed during the wash cycle, Miele and Malber uses this type of tumble pattern but if the basket in 10* incline to the rear the rolling action will displace the load. What's in the rear will be pushed toward the front.

If I have time tomorrow I may post a You Tube video on prewash showing the slow tumble action....

Here is a link that might be useful: Miele wash pattern

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 8:59PM
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@cleanteamofny - Oh my goodness,,, that link you posted ,,, if I saw that much suds in my FL I would have cardiac arrest.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 10:40PM
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@cavimum, LOL ... I was thinking the same thing. I watched in "horror" ;)

I've seen a few European videos and they all seem to have more suds than we would think normal here but that video looked like even more.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 11:14PM
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@ cleanteamofny

Like others, I too was shocked at the high suds level of your wash. You really should cut back on detergent - what I see in this video is good neither for your clothes nor the machine.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 11:54PM
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My GOD, this is not my machine and if you look at my vids please take note of the dates that was posted.....
Shees who made you king of the laundry room?

And it's about wash pattern and not suds!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 12:06AM
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@cleanteamofny - I knew that was not your FL video. The person who uploaded it lists the UK as their location.

@livebetter - I've noticed, also, that the UK/EU washer videos show more suds. They also appear to have more water in their wash cycles. Which makes me wonder if the Persil dosing has factored that in.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 8:22AM
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@cleanteamofny, I also noted this was a UK upload (which is why I commented on European sud levels).

No offence intended. That's why I commented that all the European videos seem to have more suds.

Really more of a curious statement since we've been made to feel here that too many suds is a sure sign you're ruining your machine and not cleaning your laundry properly ... lol ...

@cavimum, I too noticed water level. Maybe the smaller units work differently than the W4XXX? Not sure how that would affect dosing of Persil. Keep in mind that drum you were watching is smaller than yours so maybe water is the same it just looks lower in the W4XXX? Maybe someone with knowledge of both units could comment.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 10:23AM
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"Keep in mind that drum you were watching is smaller than yours so maybe water is the same it just looks lower in the W4XXX?"

I had not considered that! Good point.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 10:45AM
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I nearly had one a while ago. I used 1 Tablespoon of Persil "Universal" powder for a Delicates cycle on Cold in my W4842, to wash a half-dozen golf visors. 80 ml is the lowest dose on the box so I went with the 1/4 and rounded down to 15 ml. A scant 15 ml.

I went back to check on things.... and hadat least three inches of sudsy foam. Ack! Ack! Ack! Fears of failed bearings & seals (or whatever I've seen on the internet!) rotting out, were running through my head. One tablespoon! Gah!

(The load of laundry I had just previously done was fine, no suds left in the gasket)

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 11:44AM
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I accidentally included a paper towel in a load done in my Asko a few years ago, and most recently a couple of months ago in my large Miele. Asko is a true h-axis. Miele is a tilted drum. Both times the paper towel came out unscathed. I don't think this would be possible in a top loader.

@ Cavimum

Suds are not necessarily an accurate indicator. According to the folks at Charlie's Soap, it takes as little as 1 ppm of detergent in soft water to cause visible suds in soft water. But at this dilution, the clothes are very well rinsed. Someone with soft water might draw the false conclusion that he or she is using too much detergent, and may end up cutting back on the amount of detergent beyond the point at which the detergent can no longer do its job.

I have a whole house water softener and am very familiar with how much detergent I can get away with using. However, not using a full dose of laundry detergent as indicated by the manufacturer does negatively impact my wash results. I know there are people here who say it doesn't, but I'm far more demanding than most people when it comes to my laundry. I've already instructed my partner to call the men in white coats if I ever use less than 2 TBSP in my machine.

I have figured out an easy way to use a full dose of detergent in my machine without causing excessive sudsing in soft water conditions. A few months back I purchased a box of LanoSoft powdered detergent. The main ingredients are soap flakes and sodium metasilicate (corrosion inhibitor) - the two best ingredients if you have soft water. The soap flakes kill the suds caused by the detergent and the metasilicate protects your spider assembly from corrosion. That last bit is important to me because my plumber told me that softened water is very aggressive and can be quite corrosive when combined with detergent and other alkaline products. I use the detergent dose recommended on the bottle or box, and I add 1 TBSP of the LanoSoft to kill any excess suds and protect my machine.

No residue issues... no cleaning issues... and excellent rinsing at normal water levels.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 12:55PM
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I am delighted to see you still here. I have not seen any posts from you for a very long time. Do you still work for the same vendor?

I will try to do your test, but I suspect that it somewhat depends on the type of machine, the load size and the relative assortment among the items, more than anything. For instance a single pair of jeans washed with a hypothetical load of wash cloths (using extremes to highlight my point) would perform differently from a load composed of all jeans.

Like Cavimum I sometimes find diaper/dusters still folded after washing them together with other housecleaning laundry (mop heads, polishing cloths and terry cloth steamer covers). I think that is somewhat because of the porous, slightly adherent nature of that particular cloth. They are always clean, however.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 1:22AM
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I am happy to be remembered after all these years. I was out of the industry for a while (I went and became a sub-prime mortgage officer, of all things), got back in, got out again and now am back in, but with a different vendor. "Ken_Moore" is no longer an appropriate pseudonym. In recognition of my new employer, I was thinking of changing it to "Kobe_Alt", but then people might start asking me thinks about cordless drills and table saws, something I know little about.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 10:57AM
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I might try sometime, but I don't think this would happen in mine because it seems to have an intentional "fluff" cycle at the end (I assume to prevent the clothes from wrinkling in the "glued against the drum" pattern that occurs from spinning.

However, if it did happen, I think I would see it as evidence of how much more gently FLs treat the clothes rather than of something sinister.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 5:21PM
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Here is a video of my machine doing a load of Casuals and just watch the shirt circulate during the short video. I hope other members on this forum page would post videos of their machines to educate us how their machine operates.

Also, please forgive me for not posting the prewash portion of cycle!

There are many great machines on the market and it's about hands on feedback that can make or break a consumers purchase. In today's world we need to stop endorsing a brand unless you've own it 15-20 years or more and where reviews speaks about the pros and con of a product so we the consumers can make the right decision with limited funds to keep an average household running. With the use of You-tube, THS forum and Big Box review pages will give a fare shake of what's out there and if all the bells and whistle worth the extra bang for the $$$.

@Cavimum and Livebetter,

Thanks for seeing that it was not my machine the added URL link above.
I think this is my last posting on this forum for a while.

Here is a link that might be useful: Follow the shirt

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 11:31AM
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