LG FL washer - what the heck is Baby Wear cycle?

izeveDecember 13, 2010

I've been lurking here for a while, reading lots of fascinating posts and admiring all you hard core laundry addicts.

Anyway, I just got a new washer with an internal heater - LG WM2301. It's not very fancy (my budget limited my options) but it does heat up to Sanitary, has Water Plus and extra rinse options and is larger capacity than my Duet Sport but still fits in my limited laundry closet space. My Duet Sport left my laundry half clean, if you know what I mean, despite using only Warm and Hot washes. The towels would start smelling musty after a couple of years, the white kitchen towels are dingy.... This is my 4th FL in the last 14 years or so but my first with an internal heater.

So I've ran a few washes over the weekend to test the new washer and was generally pleased with the results. The owner manual for this washer leaves a lot to be desired though :-) The descriptions of the cycles are so cryptic and uninformative that I am starting to suspect it's some kind of elaborate conspiracy of manufacturers to befuddle the consumers. I cannot find any information on length of cycles, number of rinses or temperatures other than the cryptic Cold, Warm, Hot and Extra Hot. Even the Sanitary cycle temp is not specified!!! I've e-mailed LG to ask the temperature and rinses questions but am not hopeful...

In any event, does anyone have an LG washer and could share the info on:

- what temp is the pre-wash option? Is it the same no matter what the main cycle is, or does it use the same water temp as the main wash cycle selected?

- what does "Baby Wear" cycle do other than heat up to Extra Hot? Extended wash time? Extra rinses? Gentler tumbling?

- does the heater engage in any cycles other than Sanitary and Baby Wear (which is preset at Extra Hot)?

- do any cycles have extra rinses built in? My Duet Sport had an extra rinse on Whitest Whites but on other cycles I manually added a rinse.

Any other tips on taking full advantage of the options on this washer to get my laundry clean? I used to use Tide HE Free and Clear liquid for years but it left some gunk on my old washer so I've recently switched to Sears Ultra Plus HE detergent which I really like so far. I don't like the cloying scents of American detergents and the Sears detergent has almost no scent. I use small amounts of liquid fabric softener - Downy Free & Clear or Downy Pure Essentials Chamomile and Lemon Verbena which has sadly been discontinued ;-( by Downy. We're on city water which is fairly soft.

Thanks in advance for any answers and tips.

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Let me start out by saying that I do not have a LG FL, but I do own a FL for the last 9 plus years, maybe I can shed some light on your washer for you and its cycles. I am surprised that you do not have a whitest white cycle on your machine. I kinda thought this was a standard cycle for all Front loaders. According to your owners manual, you would wash whites/cotton on the normal cycle, well there is no heat boost to this cycle to begin with, so whites may not come out as clean as they should. I would use the sanitary cycle or maybe even the baby cycle to do whites in. Your sanitary cycle will heat the water to at least 153 degree's, the baby cycle will go to 130 degree's. A lot of owners manuals will not convey the wash times on the cycles, which I think is stupid personally. But you can figure them out by just turning the soil indicator know to heavy or light soil. All this does is increase or decrease the wash time, and when the heater is in use, it give the heater more time to reach the proper temperature. IF the wash time is too short, the water temperature may never get to 153 degree's for sanitation results. That is why the manuals will say a cycle gets up to XX temperature. If the owner selects a light soiled wash, then more than likely it will not reach its optimum temperature. Alot of People complain about the longer or long wash cylces of front loaders VS traditional toploaders, but the extra time is needed to ensure a gentle cleaning, vs a agatator beating the clothes to deal for 15-18 minutes before going into a spin and rinse.

I have to agree that cylce on machines have gotten rediculous over the past few years, such as baby cycles, kids wear, athelic wear, and my favorite one...beach towels.. which all it does in rinse the towels before you wash them to get the sand out. Like I cant take the towel outside and shake it real well first, and maybe just use a prewash during my wash cycle? Baby cylces will usually add and extra rinse to ensure detergent removal. Bulky cycle usually uses more water, slower agatation and spin speed to avoid excessive shaking of the machine.

Your prewash temperature will be the same as your wash temperature that you select. Some european made machines, like a Meile may be different, depending on the model, especially if it only has a cold water hookup to it and the heater heats the water to the wash temperature. This is called step cleaning and is quite effective in stain removal on clothes, but it takes more time to do this and Americans in general do not want to wait that long for a wash cycle to complete itself.

Your Wash temps will be cold 66-70 warm 90-105, hot 120-130 sanitary 153-158 the reason for the large variation is due to LG giving me these figures and I have contacted them in the past over wash temps for both there front loaders and the new wave force HE top loader.

I hope this helps you out some

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 1:03PM
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Thanks gates1, this is very helpful. I was curious about the Baby Wear because when I tried it, the total time for this cycle was actually longer than Sanitary at the same soil level so I wasn't sure if they extended the wash part of the cycle or added a rinse to it or what. It's good to have another heated cycle in addition to Sanitary, and it sounds like it may be a good option for color cottons that may not need Sanitary temps but need higher temps than the tap Hot option (which in my washer never is really hot because I have a loooong water pipe between the water heater and the washer). The normal/cotton cycle on this machine is useless - I opened the door to check the temp mid cycle and it was barely luke warm, about the temperature I would use to hand wash my cashmere sweaters!

Being European I don't mind the long cycle times - in fact the short American washes always seemed suspect to me: how can anything get clean in 25 minutes in the machine???? I tended to wash most things on Heavy Duty in my Duet Sport and things went in and came out about the same, marginally cleaner. I was thrilled to use Sanitary on Saturday - I washed my towels and when the washer heated up the laundry room smelled like laundry day at my Mom's - I've missed that smell of hot laundry :-) My grandmother used to boil all bed linens and towels in a big pot on the stove - that was before the modern washing machines....

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 3:20PM
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The longer wash cycle never bother me either in my machine. My stain treatment option, activates my heater and adds 30 minutes to the wash, which is a good thing. If I want something washed and done early in the morning, I just set up my delay start. I rarely wash in cold water, usually warm and hot, sanitary is used weekly also.

You bought a good machine, it just lacks the silly cycles that most people do not need cause you can make those cycles yourself with some thought and common sense. All you lost is maybe some capasity and the 1400rpm final max spin speed, no big deal and you didnt pay over 1500 for it.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 11:18PM
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Thanks again. I got the matching dryer too(had to do that because my machines are stacked) on a great Black Friday special. I also sold my Duet Sports on craigslist, so all in all it was an inexpensive upgrade.

As to the 1400 spin, this machine has Spinsense. When that function is turned on, it continues to tumble, tries spinning, tumbles, does something else, tries spinning,tries pumping out... I don't know what exactly but it takes a good 10 minutes before it actually spins - you would think it's getting ready for a space shuttle launch the way it's going. In any event, all Spinsense seems to do in the end is lower the rpm of the spin cycle so it doesn't vibrate as much :-)

One more question gates1 since you seem so knowledgeable. I've read somewhere that you can press a combination of buttons on all LGs to get it to display the temperature inside the drum. Do you by any chance know what buttons on my washer would do that?

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 5:50AM
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I may have the anser for you Izeve. According to someone on this site, they wrote a while back, according to your model, that if you push ther wash/rinse button and maybe the soil button too it should give you the inside temperature of the water. Your spin sense program will detect any excess viberation and slow down the final speed speed, you can turn this off if you like. Your max spin speed is 1200 rpm btw.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 11:41AM
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Yes, try pushing Wash/Rinse (maybe along with Soil Level) at the same time and it should give you the temp in Celsius. LG units are pretty informative: pressing the right buttons will give you the water level, temp, drum speed etc. Unfortunately, there's no service manual for your unit to download...

I also pulled up an older service manual for another LG unit with Baby Wear cycle: it has a 70 minute main wash and an automatic third rinse. Total time is estimated at 120 minutes.


    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 11:39AM
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Thank you both. I will give it a try on Saturday and report back. And thanks for the detailed info on Baby Wear cycle. With the Extra Hot temp and an additional rinse it sounds like it would be a good cycle to use for towels and bed sheets.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 1:41PM
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