Are Front Loaders Still Popular? And Baking Soda

monicakm_gwNovember 30, 2012

I'm not getting one but was just wondered if they're still as sought after as they used to be. Because of the stinky washer syndrome, I thought they might be losing their popularity.

I know it won't help the mildew/detergent problem inside the rubber door gasket(?) but I just discovered the wonders of baking soda in the wash. We were to leave to go out of town on a Friday but Thurs night decided to leave right then. I had a load of DH's work clothes in the washer and forgot about them :o Three days later when we got home, I remembered. Thankfully the house was cool all weekend. 66 when we got home. The clothes were sour but not bad, but bad enough to cause a problem when they got warm. First time in over 5 years I'd let this happen. I knew from past experience vinegar didn't always work. Google said use baking soda. One cup for a load. I dumped in a whole regular size box. Use the hottest water your clothes can stand, agitate, stop and let soak for a couple hours. I did a vinegar rinse. That was without a doubt the most NEUTRAL smelling load of laundry! Can't describe the smell because there was none LOL The clothes felt "crisper"too.
Today, I decided to try it on a load of towels, socks, undies and "around the house" shirts that were not sour. I feel like it got rid of soap residue and again, smelled like NOTHING. I don't use fabric softener on that load because of what it does to the absorbancy of the towels. Everything just feels cleaner & crisp...not sure that's a good description. Anyway, I'm happy with it and plan on doing it from time to time. I'm sure it helps freshen the washer too. Mine doesn't smell bad because I leave the lid up ALL the time but it can't hurt :)
Monica

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deeageaux

25 years ago front load washers were 1% of US residential market today they are 35% of market. Front Loaders are 90% of European Union Market. No stinky washer syndrome reported in Europe.

It is logical to conclude the correct name for stinky washer syndrome is ignorant user syndrome.Many Americans have simply not learned how to use their new front load washers.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 5:02AM
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Cavimum

Just thinking out loud . . . that "crisp" feeling may possibly be baking soda residue in the fibers. One cup is a lot, especially in our FL washer and water quality. It would likely take me days of rinsing to get it all out. I can only use 1 Tablespoon of any given detergent in a full load (3/4 full drum).

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 8:09AM
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herring_maven

deeagaux: "25 years ago front load washers were 1% of US residential market today they are 35% of market. Front Loaders are 90% of European Union Market. No stinky washer syndrome reported in Europe."

And 75 years ago, before The Boys marched off to Europe, front load washers were 100% of the world automatic washer market. (The adoption of top-loading automatics in the U.S. coincided, roughly, with the adoption of tail fins on American automobiles.) No stinky washer syndrome reported in the front loader using pre-WWII United States, even using Ivory Flakes as the wash soap.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 1:07PM
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monicakm_gw

Thanks for the history lesson but it didn't come anywhere near answering the question.

Cavimum, I knew that description was going to get me in trouble (LOL) I understand what you're saying but it's not like a dried baking soda residue. I guess they're more new feeling. They're not weighted down with excess detergent and fabric softener (I don't use liquid fs tho). And some people love for their clothes to feel silky soft and limp...that's another description that's not exactly what I want to convey. Before I used the baking soda, if I were to rinse a clean washcloth in a sink full of water, there would be soap residue. I just rinsed one...nada! Remember, I used a vinegar rinse so maybe that helped. YMMV, but I'm pleased with the results. Quite possible I did an overkill on the baking soda tho.
I will cut back on the amt of soda tho.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 2:43PM
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herring_maven

monicakm: "Thanks for the history lesson but it didn't come anywhere near answering the question."

There was a question?

Indeed there was a question mark in the midst of the topic line, but when you came out of the gate, both pistols blazing, stating,

"I'm not getting one ..."

-- and follow that declaration immediately with unsupported statements not in evidence about a type of washing machine that evidently you do not own or use --

" Because of the stinky washer syndrome ..."

"... the mildew/detergent problem ..."

-- then you might at least muster up some sympathy for the rest of us who are attempting to convert the thread into an interesting discussion.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 4:28PM
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mara_2008

Google said use baking soda. One cup for a load. I dumped in a whole regular size box.

It is possible that the link you read was assuming the user was using a traditional washer which uses much more water than today's HE washers. This is just a guess. IMHO, 1/2 cup would be plenty for an HE washer.

I think of the 16-oz. size as a 'regular size box'. Sixteen ounces is actually two cups. No wonder your laundry felt so 'crisp'! ;)

Use the hottest water your clothes can stand, agitate, stop and let soak for a couple hours. I did a vinegar rinse. That was without a doubt the most NEUTRAL smelling load of laundry!

This sounds like sound advice. I've done something very similar to this over the years, especially when washing towels or clothes which were already stinky before washing them. At times I've even soaked them all night, then finished the wash cycle the next morning. Worked great every time!

Another big advantage of using baking soda when washing towels is that it softens them naturally, without affecting their absorbency as liquid FS often does.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 5:49PM
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dualref

Do front loading washers in Europe use more water than the ones in the USA?

And not all users of front loading washers get stinky washer syndrome no matter what they do. I know someone who has a front loading machine and never keeps the door open between laundry days because her cats will use it as a litter box. She uses detergent by the cupful and must use at least 1/2 a bottle of Downy with each load and 7 years later her Kenmore front loader still doesn't stink.

On the other hand I knew someone else with a Maytag front loader and within 6 months her whole house smelled like a sewer from it.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 1:22AM
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gates1

I just dont see the need for adding all this baking soda, vinigar to laundry. I once forgot a load of clothes in the washer and it soured. I rewashed it and the smell came out, with just detergent. as far as mold problem with front loaders is concerned, it whas been proven that the reason for this is due to using too much soap, fabric softener and too many cold washes only, which makes all of this build up in any washer, HE top loaders, Front loaders and convention washers too. If you dont think there is a build up in a agitator top loader, take it apart and look at your outer drum along the top of it. It is a thick oily mess. I know because when I took apart a friends washer, his was full of it.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 9:25AM
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dadoes

If you dont think there is a build up in a agitator top loader, take it apart and look at your outer drum along the top of it. It is a thick oily mess. I know because when I took apart a friends washer, his was full of it. Exactly! Anyone who services washing machines can confirm that frontloaders and toploaders both collect gunkus when subjected to bad usage habits.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 10:24AM
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gates1

Even when I had a Top loader and took mine apart, you will get a gunk buildup. I used hot and warm water a lot in washes as I am no fan of cold water wash, it doesnt clean, especially on white...been there and tried that with cold water tide, still left whites not fully clean. anytime you have body oils, they float to the top and weill eventually make a water ring, just like a bath tub ring...no beating it

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 12:04PM
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whirlpool_trainee

Do front loading washers in Europe use more water than the ones in the USA?

Could be. Plus they attain higher temps. However, with the popular trend towards bleach-less liquid detergents and 'cold is the new hot', mold has become an issue with European units as well. The two washers next to mine - 24 inch units - are both full of it and their dispenser drawers are alive! You can (or cannot) imagine the stench of their laundry hung up in the basement to dry.

Personally, I use powders most of the time and liquids for wool (Perwoll) and office shirts (method free+clear). Never used Clorox. Fabric softener mostly to the max. A hot wash every couple of weeks when I have gathered a full load of towels or sheets. Warm washes for everything else. Did a boil wash twice in 1.5 years. My Duet does not have the cleaning cycle and I never cleaned it out. I do wipe the seal and door dry, though, because our water is very hard (21 gpg) and it'll leave water marks everywhere. And I leave the washer to dry out in between uses. No big deal to me and my washer is clean and fresh inside.

Here's the water level on my Duet. It gets high for the cool-down at the end of the vid.

Alex

Here is a link that might be useful: Towels Wash

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 10:14PM
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