help me clean my socks with Maytag Maxima 7000 XL washer

seashineDecember 31, 2013

I have a 3 month old Maytag Maxima 7000 XL washer (MHW7000AW). I feel like it's not cleaning our socks very well and think I must be doing something wrong. This might be ridiculous, but it's the first washer I've owned, so it's very, very likely that my washing techniques are not the best.
I've washed socks/undies on Normal and Sanitize; increased temp; and added an extra rinse. I've used Country Save powder, Tide Ultra Vivid HE powder, and Wisk Deep Clean HE liquid for detergents. The socks that keep looking dingier and dingier are my young children's white socks. Sometimes it looks like nothing must have washed out of them.
I haven't done a real test of socks and detergents and settings because I just don't have time. I don't think I've tried the PowerWash setting yet.
Can anyone offer me either a suggestion or setting or a detergent that I should try? I truly believe it's a case of operator error not faulty equipment.
Thanks very much in advance!

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Try adding borax, I use about a half cup per load. Hot water and plenty of detergent should do it, I think that powder detergents clean better then liquid. Run a full length cycle, not the short cycle.

This post was edited by kris_zone6 on Tue, Dec 31, 13 at 20:44

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 1:49PM
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Don't know anything about your washer or the detergents you are using. But I've had great results with whites by sorting very carefully -- IOW no other colors, just whites -- then doing a cold prewash or a cold soak cycle with 1 -2 TB Oxyclean (depending on load size) immediately followed by a hot wash with half the suggested amount of regular detergent. By hot I mean 140F or higher if your machine will do that.

Unless the kids' socks are 100% cotton (unlikely) they have some poly fibers & elasticizers which tend to get and stay very gray. Getting DH sport socks white is a challenge even when everything else looks great. It's probably the fiber blend, not the washer. But Oxyclean is a big help.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 9:11AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Bright white socks with kids is just an unrealistic expectation in this day of import fabric products. Oxyclean soaks can help, but the key is upping the quality of the socks, replacing lower quality ones more often, or accept less than gleaming white as OK.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 9:27AM
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Did you have this problem before you got the Maytag? I'm just wondering if your water isn't part of the problem. Are you on a well?

I use Tide Vivid HE powder on my whites and honestly, I've yet to find anything that works better. I was pretty impressed with the improvement in the cleaning of my whites after I got the front loader and switched to that powder. Borax and Oxyclean are good additives and should help, and soaking will very likely make a big difference, too.

Best of luck, hope some of these suggestions work.


    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 4:23PM
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IF the socks are made of any type synthetic fiber, that gray is most likely permanent. My athletic wicking socks & tops (generally CoolMax type stuff) have turned terminally gray & dingey. I have tried everything but like was already mentioned here, once it turns, it is permanent.

I think it's the nature of the fiber. Especially if all your other whites are coming out fine.

Kids outgrow those socks so quickly that, trust me, there are bigger things to worry about in parenting. LOL

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 8:07AM
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Thanks everyone for your responses. I havenâÂÂt tried them all, but have seen some improvement.
IâÂÂm not a âÂÂmy socks must be clean!â type of person. This was just irritating because sometimes there were still little bits of stuff and dust still stuck to the socks.

Rococogurl - I I tried the sorting very carefully and I think that helped. IâÂÂve moved all the white socks to the whites only loads. I think my âÂÂwash all socks togetherâ system wasnâÂÂt a good idea (whites-wise). I donâÂÂt think I can do an in-washer soak/prewash, but will investigate. I can get very hot water, so that should help, if I use the setting all the time.

Hollysprings - I hear you with the quality of the fabric. These socks are cotton, but arenâÂÂt particularly high-quality. IâÂÂm perfectly ok with less than gleaming white, I just wasnâÂÂt ok with them being a lot dirtier looking than with the old washer.

Cj47 - I didnâÂÂt have the problem before the Maytag. IâÂÂm not on a well, but we are in a new location. The water âÂÂshouldâ be the same. IâÂÂll try to figure out an in-washer soak option.

Cayimum - The socks are cotton, and my synthetic athletic socks have become a lot dingier (IâÂÂm ok with it). IâÂÂm not worried about it, it was just annoying to have the socks becoming so much dirtier looking!

So hereâÂÂs what I found that helps so far:
-Sort my laundry well and put the white socks in white load (duh!)
-I used the PowerWash setting which seemed to help immensely.
-I noticed that a little âÂÂliftâ controller in the detergent drawer was dropping too low for the powdered detergent. It was a third to half of the detergent from dropping into the wash. Once I fixed this (removed the lift), the socks seem to be much cleaner! Hurray!

As an aside, my mother, my husband, my sister, an just about everyone who knows me, would be shocked that a) the dingier-becoming socks were bothering me, and b) that I spent this much effort to seek help and find a solution. Ha, I guess I am a little domestic!

Thanks everyone!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 6:39PM
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I have read if you take a pot filled with water,add 1 cup(also read 2 cups in another place) white vinegar,heat to rolling boil then drop clothes in and let soak overnight this will whiten them. Might try this on the socks.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 8:01PM
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seashine, kris_zone6 gives a good tip. I personally always wear liner socks (Smartwool) under my outer socks (o.k, I'm weird), and -- when they are part of the load to be washed -- I happen to use them as the doser of the 1/4 to 1/3 cup of borax that we add to every load in our washer. I just put the borax into the socks before putting them into the mesh bag that keeps the socks from disappearing in the wash-spin cycles. (We use Vaska Lavender liquid as our detergent.) With that routine. the liner socks always remain snowy white.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 9:21PM
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herring_maven - question ... because I am fiber obsessed and, well, detergent/laundry obsessed. ;-)
Wouldn't the alkalinity of the borax damage the wool socks over time? I'm merely thinking out loud ....

I wear a lot of silk 'long underwear' shirts from Winersilks, all a thin silk knit. They all seemed crunchy from the alkalinity of detergents. Enzymes have never gone near them. Recently, I started washing them in baby shampoo and they are no longer crunchy because the pH is more neutral, for silk (protein fiber like hair.)

So that's why I'm wondering about adding borax to detergent for wool socks.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 10:37PM
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seashine, glad the sorting worked out. It does work I think.

I also swear by Oxiclean. Just 1 tb gives me such good results either in prewash or wash. Or it could just be an overnight soak one time prior to washing. Do think you would see even better results.

@cavimum -- We also have the silks. I like the Perwoll silk/wool for those. Only use 1 tsp. With due respect to herring maven I don't get the borax, a detergent booster which I don't need with Persil. Baking soda is less expensive for suds suppression and I'm surprised how well it's working.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 7:19AM
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Regarding soaking--can you pause the machine? Just be sure that it's been fully loaded with whatever water is going to be added, and that it's tumbled enough for all of the detergent to be dissolved. And if you're doing a hot wash, maybe let it heat up a little. Then just "unpause" it to finish the cycle.

It'd be worth a try.


    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 9:02AM
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I soak everything! Makes sense to give the detergent time to do it's work. I soak mine, my husband doesn't soak his. Guess whose comes out cleaner?

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 2:00PM
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@rococogurl - I agree that the Perwoll is the best for silk & wools. I use it on Hubby's wool sweaters and such.
I love the scent, but it makes me itch. (argh!!!)

Seriously, I wish Persil would make a detergent with no perfume. Thank goodness for Sears Ultra 'free/clear' version and Charlies Soap.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 3:48PM
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Oh so sorry cavimum. Bummer but at least you found some things that you don't react to.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 6:11PM
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Cavimum: "... because I am fiber obsessed and, well, detergent/laundry obsessed. ;-) Wouldn't the alkalinity of the borax damage the wool socks over time?

We have seen no negative effects of concentrated borax on our Smartwool merino wool socks.

"I wear a lot of silk 'long underwear' shirts from Winersilks, all a thin silk knit."

Heh, We used to use a lot of those, too. Three or four or five years ago, we switched to "PolarSkins" medium weight base layer sourced from (irregulars), and never looked back. But when we were using the Wintersilk layers, the borax never caused an issue that we were aware of. The issue would be different with enzymes; silk and enzymes really do not get along.

"So that's why I'm wondering about adding borax to detergent for wool socks.

Not an issue, in our experience, where we use the socks as a doser for the rest of the laundry load.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 11:35PM
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@herring_maven - Thank you for getting back to me on that. Good to know the borax doesn't cause a problem, in case I should ever think we need to use it.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 6:12PM
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Thought I'd post a follow-up.
Thorough sorting, the PowerWash setting, and OxyClean poweer, are keeping my whites white.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 3:30PM
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