front loading washer doesn't get clothes clean

slogan3561September 24, 2013

8 years ago I bought a GE profile front loading washing machine based on it's rating from Consumer Reports. It has never gotten clothes as clean as my old, cheap top loader. It is great for gentle washing, but I garden and get actual dirt on my clothes and all my white stuff comes out just as dirty as it went it (socks, etc.). I use the correct HE detergent and have started using those Oxyclean pods, too. Should I just give up and buy another washing machine? Consumer's still states that front loaders get clothes cleaner. I think 8 years is still pretty young for a washing machine, but I come from a time when appliances lasted 20 yeares or so. Should I buy a new one, and if so, what brand?

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dadoes

Are you running those garden-work clothes and socks in cold water on a short cycle? Or are you using more appropriate warm water (hot for the whites) on a heavy-duty cycle?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 2:19PM
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erinsean

For work clothes I would run the normal cycle, warm wash, heavy dirt. I have never had work clothes come through the wash dirty. Now for whites work clothes, I use cloryx...same normal cycle, warm wash, heavy dirt. Some people use Oxiclean instead of cloryx and that is good also.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 2:24PM
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dualref

Some stains will require the use of a stain pretreatment to get rid of the stains in FL machines. What are you pretreating with?
What kind of stains are you dealing with?

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 3:31PM
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twebbz

You may have to use more detergent for a heavily soiled load. I add a 1/4 cup of baking soda to every load with an Oxy product too. For whites, I "pause" the machine for ten minutes as a mid wash soak.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 5:04PM
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twebbz

Oh, I should say that after eight years of trying different detergents, switching to Charlies Soap, Seventh Generation Natural Oxy and Baking Soda plus eliminating fabric softener was the best thing I ever did! (I mix it up in a cup of hot water to make sure it's all dissolved, pour it directly into the drum before I load the laundry.)

To add a bit of scent (Charlie's is scent-free), the first thing I do is add one teaspoon of Purex scent crystals directly to the drum.

This post was edited by twebbz on Sun, Sep 29, 13 at 17:36

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 5:28PM
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Wryly

Those top-loaders that fill up with water and actually agitate -- they really do get dirty clothes clean. I suggest you investigate to find out what it would cost you to buy one now. Also, look on craigslist to see what you could sell your front-loader for. Or maybe there's someone you can give it to, instead of sending it to the landfill.

If it's too expensive or it doesn't feel right to get another washer, then you're going to have do the extra things to get things cleaner. Is the wash cycle really hot or very warm? When I need a hot wash, I have to run the water at the nearest sink to let the hot water arrive on the scene. Would you be willing to soak the clothes in detergent and water before washing?

It's one thing not to waste money, but seriously -- what a waste of time, water, and products if the clothes come out dirty!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 7:07PM
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lcubed

we need details on how you're doing the wash.

what cycle, water temperature, amount of detergent, etc

fwiw, my old danby with a minimal amount of detergent, oxyclean, and white vinegar, heating water to 200 F removes dirt, grease, stains, etc far better than our former top loader (notorious for wrapping stuff around the agitator)

This post was edited by lcubed on Mon, Sep 30, 13 at 19:57

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 7:56PM
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lascatx

I have an LG front loader and my clothes get cleaner than with my old top loader. I usually use about half the amount of detergent suggested, except when washing extra dirty loads. I do pretreat known spots andsometimes use oxyclean.

Whites can require hot water and a prewash cycle can help with stains (as well as pretreating and/or using oxyclean).

If you have tried everything, I would give myself permission to go find a new washer. Yes, they are a significant expense and yes, eight years does seem young, but they now say appliances are made with a 7-10 year life expectancy. You are there and you haven't been happy. Clothing is expensive too, and repeat washing, water, electricity and laundry products add up too. Your washer should be working to make your life easier, not more difficult.

You have the advantage of a machine that hasn't died and left you with a tub of smelly, soapy water. Take the time to shop and get a good sale price. You've got Columbus Day, Veteran's Day, Black Friday and other big sale dates coming up. Go pick out a present.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 11:47AM
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