LG HE TL WT5101- I am very happy - so far
I thought I would post a review of my brand new LE HE TL 5101/5102 machines. I have owned them for the last 3 days, but today if the first day I could really use them because today is the first day my dryer was hooked up.
I purchased the 5101 washer and the 5102 (with steam) dryer after my 2nd HE FL in 7 years died. The first FL was a Frididaire and to be fair, when it was installed in my home, they forgot to remove all the packing bolts and therefore when I used the machine, I probably damaged it as a result. It lasted 2 years before it refused to spln every wash. My 2nd FL lasted 5 years. It was a Kenmore FL. At the end of it's life, it too refused to spin. I'm not against FL. I just didn't have luck with the ones I chose. I couldn't speak to their performance, because until I found this site, i didn't give much thought to my laundry. Now (maybe unfortunately?) that is not the case.
As a baseline, I have medium water and my hot water heater temp is set to 140 degrees. For comparison, for the past 7 years, I primarily used ALL Small & Mighty Free & Clear 2x or 3x. No other additives. No fabric softener in the wash, no dryer sheets.
I've been reading voraciously here for the last week+ while I was waiting for my new machines to be delivered/hooked up. In that time, I've shifted my thinking about what adequate means when it comes to laundry and if adequate is enough. Now that I have been visiting this site, I have revised my thinking about laundry detergent. Either correctly, or not.
Now, let me start my review by telling you what I've done with these very nice machines so far:
1st washer load:
Sanitize load - time = 3:20 minutes (WOW - WTH?)
A medium load of bath and dish towels on the sanitize cycle. I added 3/4 c. Percil universal megapearls to the detergent dispenser and 1/2 c. of baking soda directly in the drum right on top of the towels.
I stopped the washer a couple of times while it was filling during the initial wash cycle and the water felt VERY warm., not hot, and hot luke warm. A bit of a disappointment considering the temp of my hot water heater, but I will read up and see if I can better this performance.
While I was waiting all that time for the first wash to finish I thought I would throw a couple of my sweaters in the dryer on rinsed cycle. I forgot to watch through the window to see if the steam actually worked, but when I took my seaters out 39 minutes later the certainly looked and smelled better then when they went in, and contrary to some of the posts I've read here, they were bone dry.
So after the 3:20 sanitize wash cycle, my towels came out of the washer in such a way that I thought they might actually be fluffy when they dried. They felt clean, well rinsed and the fibers felt like they weren't matted down.
Sure enough, after a 55 minute SANITIZE cycle in the dryer they felt "somewhat" fluffy. What I feel to be an improvement, although maybe not a massive improvement, over towels I've washed and dried in my previous set of washer/dryer appliances.
So, the 2nd wash was most whites or what I call nearly whites (light colored or grey pajama pants, etc�). Done on a Bright Whites cycle w/ 1 extra rinse = 1.25 minutes. Better then 3:20, certainly. I added 3/4 c persil universal megapearls to the dispenser, 1/2 baking soda to the drum - this time half to the empty drum and 1/2 on top of the clothes. I also added 1 scoop of an oxy cleaner.
The towels go into the dryer on a towels cycle.
The towels feel great when they come out of the dryer, maybe a little scratchy, but again, until 2 weeks ago I wasn't this much into my laundry, so I couldn't say for sure better or worse then before.
In the meantime I've been watching the bright whites load currently in the machine. After reading many of the threads on this site, I was worried that maybe the washer would try to wash with an insufficient amount of water. i have so far not found this to be the case. The clothes are always immersed in water, even though the water level is well below the top of the drum since the loads have been relatively small so far relative to what this machine can handle.
So� now the whites/nearly whites are done. They certainly feel and look clean, but maybe not as clean as when I use bleach? Not entirely sure, so I will keep playing around with that. But certainly, with the tools I've given to the machine to wash with, the laundry has come out as good as one could expect, just maybe not as good as one could wish. Like i said though, jury is still out. After 3 washes, if I'm not seeing miracles, I'll reevaluate my chemistry, but for now I think the machinery is doing a great job.
The is very very minor twisting and knotting of the pajama pants, but certainly no worse, and perhaps even a little better then the twisting and knotting that i have experienced with my last two front loaders. It takes maybe 20 seconds to untangle. But again, a disappointment, the detergent in the dispenser is not 100% gone.
So the whites go in the dryer and now the 3rd load in put into the washer. This time it's a load of brights. I decide to do this on a normal cycle. Most of my brights are tagged to wash in warm, and the ones that aren't, I've made a conscious decision to wash on warm. Once again, 3/4 c of persil universal megapearls, 1 scoop of oxy cleaner, 1/2 c of baking soda.
The 2nd load has come out of the dryer. This time they went in on an anti-bacterial cycle. The come out of the dryer feeling dry and relatively soft.
Now the 3rd wash comes out. Everything feels good and smells nice. No tangles. Good so far. Into the dryer.
4th load goes into the washer. This time I have a couple of t-shirts that need a soak. So, a cotton normal cycle, with a 30 minute soak up front. 1/4 detergent with the wash, 1/8 cup in the despenser, 1/2 baking soda, 1 scoop oxy cleaner, 1 packet Time Free stain-release laundry booster, all go in with the soak. Along with those, I have more t-shirt, and some pants. I put the 3rd load of laundry in the dryer, this time cotton normal cycle.
45 mintues later, I hear a chime and I go look. The dryer is done, and the washer is done. Great. The clothes in the dryer are dry, and the clothes in the washer are�. dripping wet? WTH? So okay, something obviously went wrong, but since I didn't stick around to see what it was, it could have been the clothes didn't wash after the soak, or they did was after the soak, but the medium spin wasn't nearly as effective as I am used to and so they felt really wet to me.
So, I decide to wash them again, on a normal wash. I don't add anything extra to the wash, since I couldn't really say what happened in the last supposed wash. The only thing in the dryer at this point is a pair of thick microfiber socks that needed more time then the other dozens of items that were in the dryer with them. Wash done, clothes are spin "dry". They go into the dryer.
5th load goes in. This time a perm press cycle. Again, 1/4 c baking soda in the bottom of the drum and 1/4 c baking soda on the top of the clothes after loaded. 1 scoop oxy cleaner. 3/4 c Persil universal megapearls. I watch this load occasionally and I see the water lever is more the adequate. It certainly submerges the clothes as well as any top load washer I've ever used.
5th load comes out. The load in the dryer is clean and fluffy. Feels great, smells great. The load in the washer also feels great, smells great.
Laundry feels as clean if not cleaner then previous FL washers.
No suds in final rinse like there was in previous FL washers.
No twisting or knotting of clothes.
Can wash fairly small loads in spite of 5.2 cf capacity.
Sanitize cycle takes 3:20 minutes.
Water probably not as hot as 158 degrees for sanitize cycle. But I didn't measure the actual temp. Definitely hot though, not just luke warm.
Something mysterious happened after soak cycle with a cotton cycle to follow that caused me to think maybe the wash cycle wasn't completed. Not sure what exactly that was. I solved by initiating a normal wash.
What I've learned:
I think I am under using the detergent. I don't think I am using the recommended amount. Next week I will use the recommended amount for medium water/heavy soil and see if I get different results. I also bought Tide HE powder, so in 1 week I will try that instead of the Persil.
Getting optimum results from your washer takes more thought then just throw in the laundry, throw in what you think is the correct amount of detergent, pick a cycle that kind of sounds like what you have in the washer and wait for the results.
I love the smell of a scented laundry detergent in the wash room, although the Persil seems to leave little if no smell in the laundry after drying. That may or may not be a good thing. Jury is out.
I am very happy with my new HE TL washer I read a lot of bad reviews about HE TLs in general, although none about the LG in particular. However I found that tales of twisted and knotted laundry are greatly over stated, or at least I haven't experienced this. I have seen that the washer uses the proper amount of water to submerge the clothes, but not so much that it is wasteful. There are occasional times that a piece of clothing is not submerged in the water, but 2 minutes later it is.