Front Loader Does Not Clean Well

wantcleanclothesDecember 12, 2011

We just got a new Kenmore front loader and clothes are not cleaning well. Our old top-loader got the whites sparkling clean. With this piece of junk the whites still have dirt on them. For example, my socks came out white before now they have dirt. i used He detergent and bleach and they still came out dirty. What is the secret or should I return this piece of junk?

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It's a fact that "most" front loaders clean better than TL. Can you be more specific as to what model you have?? It will be hard for anyone here to give you any advice without knowing details. Not all machines are created equal. For example, did you get one with an internal heater? If not, why not?

Many on this forum have been using front loaders for many years. Personally, I've been using them for 11 years with no issues. I'm very OCD and my things are very clean. In fact, people often ask how I keep my kids socks so white.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 4:32PM
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Can you say what model of Kenmore machine? Have you read the manual?

If you've chosen the correct cycle, the water's the correct temperature, and the machine's hooked up and operating correctly, your clothes won't have any alternative but to come clean. Can you say more about the procedure used? Can you say water-level and temperature observed? Can you say detergent type and amount used?

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 5:33PM
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If you washed your whites on a short cold cycle, you got exactly what is expected of that kind of wash...not clean. Front loaders are very gentle to your clothes and need more time to throughly clean them. If you dont have a machine with a internal heater, chances are you never really got true hot water to wash in anyways. By the time the cold water cleared through your pipes, the water had enough water in it to do the load.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 9:21AM
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"What is the secret or should I return this piece of junk?"

The secret in most cases is to learn how to use your machine correctly....

Can you tell us a bit more about what model washer you got, what cycle you used, is your water hard, what detergent and how much you used, how big of a load you washed? There are a lot of people on this forum who will be able to make suggestions on how to get best washing results if they have that type of information.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 12:59PM
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Relax....just another fly-by.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 8:53PM
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"just another fly-by"

What's with that? I noticed both recent posts with similar subjects registered same day. Hmmm ...

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 9:13PM
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The OP used "piece of junk" twice during their rant, so I suspect they've already made up their mind. I think the OP should absolutely get a plain old fashioned top loader that their mommy used because they obviously don't know what to do with a front loader or how to use one. And why would anyone want to even try to keep a "piece of junk"?

@wantcleanclothes - you deserve better, so get that top loader and be happy!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 6:11PM
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They've been here for a couple of years. They should know better. Obviously not interested in help. Just wanted to rant.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 6:52PM
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I agree with others and I'm very pleased with my front loader. I can't imagine going back to using 40 gallons of water to do what my machine does with 10-12, incredibly inefficient if you ask me.

However, my mother in law still insists that front loaders can't possibly clean your clothes b/c it doesn't have the agitator that a top traditionally does. She just can't get past it...

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 12:59PM
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@Goldens1.....I'm sympathetic to your point of view. I'm caregiver for mom, who has an old-style Maytag TL. I have Whirlpool FL at my own house at a different location. I still use both regularly. Soft water at both locations. TL's about 18 years old; FL a little more than seven. Both have been reliable to-date although each requires different detergent/product dosing. IMHO, there's no rational argument to be made in favor of mom's TL. The FL is superior in every measurable way. Very specifically, it cleans better, has more versatile cycles, has a larger capacity, is quieter, and is cheaper to operate.

Fortunately for me, mom is a place in her life where she no longer has opinions about such things so there's no discussion about it. I'm the family laundry fairy and that's it.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 1:25PM
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It's very hard changing an opinion you've had your whole life. That's why the older folks are, the harder it is (I believe). Luckily my parents are not that old and switched last year to a FL for the first time ever. They had their previous KA TL for 26 years!

My mom loves her front loader. She is on septic and particularly loves the water savings. She also feels things are very clean and loves how much faster things dry.

She likes to hang out items in nice weather and loves having the delayed start. She can have items done when she wakes up and ready to hang out.

Even myself, I've been reading a lot lately about whether certain things we've been told our whole life to eat for our health are even good for us. The science is very compelling that it is not and yet this little voice in my head can't believe it's true because I've been conditioned to think a certain way. It's really hard to change that ...

The testing is pretty consistent that FL clean better than TL and are more gentle on clothes but when you've spend at least ... 40 years doing it a certain way ... well, I can see how you'd have a hard time with the change.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 2:00PM
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"However, my mother in law still insists that front loaders can't possibly clean your clothes b/c it doesn't have the agitator that a top traditionally does. She just can't get past it..."

I don't even try to change people's minds, and often have to agree to disagree, even if that 'agreement' is in my head. ;o)

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 2:29PM
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livebetter, I agree with u about the "older" comment! :) My folks are in their eighties and steadfastly refuse to:

1. get a smartphone

2. switch from slow-ass DSL, which requires HOURS to download movies using their DIrect TV service via the 'net. I keep telling them that Comcast, while costing a bit more, will open up all sorts of choices, such as Netflix

3. Dump their admittedly-hated newish TL Maytag (it's a far cry from the models that maytag made years ago, which were reliable) for a TL.

It really is true--it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks. :)

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 5:35PM
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Just remember you will be old someday, too. My mom is 85 and has more energy than me, they have Dish, cellphone, new granite in the kitchen, attend concerts even Jimmy Buffett etc. I think some people have been stubborn their whole lives and it's not necessarily age related. It's a character trait. I like trying new things too, I attribute this to my parents who were always excited when anything new came along. They were never into antiques or nostalgia about washers that's for sure, lol.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 9:30AM
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"....whether certain things we've been told our whole life to eat for our health are even good for us."

Just an aside.....I was in grammar school in the fifties. We were taught the "food pyramid".....which we learned decades later was created and promulgated almost 100% by the dairy industry/lobby.

Another fairness, the new "upscale" HE washers, both TL and FL are, indeed, more complicated than the old agitator-standard machines. It is more difficult to figure out what's going on in there even for folks in their prime of life/intellect. Various posts on this forum provide ample evidence.

I also remember the switchover from leaded to unleaded gasoline for automobiles. It took many years before things got straightened out and the new cars ran like they should. Today, they're more or less marvelous....better than ever. And more expensive than ever. I suspect that's what's going on in the laundry machine industry. However, it certainly is annoying for people who buy turkey-machines that don't do what they're supposed to and then break.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 12:03PM
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asolo, the reason cars run better now has NOTHING to do with gasoline formulas. It has to do with fuel injection and computerized engine controls. Carburetors simply don't work as well as electronically controlled fuel injectors. Cold starting is very problematic with a carburetor.

I ought to know--repairing those systems was my profession.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 3:25PM
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asolo, I don't understand your comment about people not understanding "whats going on in there". Washer action isn't rocket science. You need proper agitation, time, good detergents, and proper rinsing. If you can't figure out "what is going on in there", maybe you need to clean the FL's door window. I have no problem seeing "what is going on in there.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 3:27PM
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"....NOTHING to do with gasoline formulas..."

Well, actually, it certainly did...along with other government-mandated changes of that era. New metals and new technologies had to be developed to meet the mandates as well as to sell cars. Somewhat similar, I thought, to what has occurred with washing machines. Or at least that's the point I was trying to make....apparently unsuccessfully with you.

"I ought to know--repairing those systems was my profession."

OK, you're a genius. I was only working in OEM automotive engine design at the time so I guess I don't know anything.

"I have no problem seeing "what is going on in there."

I give up. Was my point really that hard to understand?

Whatever. It was just an aside anyway. Not interested in going around with you.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 4:06PM
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asolo, way to go off-subject. you tried to claim that unleaded gas was the reason that "cars ran as they should". that's completely false. I already mentioned the REAL reasons that cars began to run better. Your last post then goes off on a tangent about better metals. Consumers don't care about the metals (as far as drivebality goes--they would care in relation to the reliablity factor). They care if the car starts when it is cold outside. And they care if it starts in a "hot-soak" condition is what one gets when they drive the vehicle until it is fully up to temperature, they park it for a brief time, and then restart the car. Carburetted engines had issues with such conditions. Computerized fuel injected engines don't.

Once again, you have demonstrated your great ability to spread FUD.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 5:34PM
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oops! make that "driveability".

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 5:35PM
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Amazing dave strikes again.

On we go. Washers, wasn't it?

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 5:54PM
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If you didn't spread so much misinformation, you'd never hear a peep out of me. It's your choice. Either clean up your act, or be prepare for rebuttals. You just happen to be the main spreader of misinfo on this forum. Others just give their opinions, whereas you seem to think (mistakenly) that you know what you are talking about as if it is fact, but the truth is you have repeatedly given out bad information.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 6:55PM
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Having failed as arbiter of truth, you're everyone's favorite peeper, Dave.

Topic was washers.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 7:28PM
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Well, I'm one of the nay-sayers. My Bosch 500 is my second FL, 1st was a Maytag Neptune. I do not believe my Bosch does a good job. I am careful to use the recommended amount HE detergent (liquid). I've tried different brands, used baking soda, etc. and the clothes just don't smell clean. I've been through the machine & it has no mildew present. The problem with my unit is lack of water - there is very little water in the unit when it runs. I don't feel there's enough water to adequately clean. The only thing that makes it clean to my satisfaction is to add 3 gallons of water to each load. I'm glad many of you are getting good use from your FL - but I'll never buy another one.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 8:49PM
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Yo, ratflinger....

Can you describe observed water-level during the cycle? "Normal" would be a clearly-visible puddle beneath the heap of clothes in there.

Since you seem to be saying you're three gallons short, I'm interested in learning of the shortcoming of this machine. I believe this machine uses about 4-5 gallons for a typical fill which would mean, from your description, that you're not getting the fill you're supposed to. I believe the machine would pump out additional added above its limit-switch. Don't know. Surely doesn't sound right, though.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 8:58PM
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"I don't feel there's enough water to adequately clean."

Then I'm sure no FL will ever live up to your expectations. And it is "your" expectations that there be more water - a common complaint among those that don't feel their FL cleans properly.

I can assure you (and others reading), however, that I am a VERY particular person - quite OCD about many things actually. If my FL (Miele W4842) and my previous FL (Frigidaire Gallery) were not cleaning my laundry ... I would know it.

I've even done a few loads in my parents LG FL and been very pleased with the results.

My current Miele uses even less water (or so it seems) than my previous Frigidaire and I think it cleans and rinses better. Go figure ...

Good luck with whatever format you pick moving forward.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 9:23PM
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ratflilnger, adding 3 gallons of water indicates one of two things:

1. you simply think you need to add more than is necessary

2. your machine isn't working correctly.

HE FL's use VERY LITTLE water, yet clean exceptionally well when working correctly. I doubt there is even 3 gallons of water being used in my Samsung, during a typical small washing cycle. My Sammy 520 does a superb job of cleaning even filthy rags. And there has never been an sort of smell or unclean fabric coming out after a cycle is completed. Wish I knew why you didn't complain to the mfgr when your Bosch was new...

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 9:26PM
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livebetter, I'm like you--i am VERY PICKY, and must say that my FL Samsung has bested my expectations by a mile--everything comes out remarkably clean and odorless (I use free and clear detergent, fragrance free FS and dryer sheets). even when i use vinegar in lieu of FS, everything comes out of the washer without a vinegar odor. COuldn't say the same when I tried that in my Maytag TL!!! :)

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 9:31PM
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asolo - On a small load there might be a small puddle of water visible, with a large load nope. 3 gallons in a large load will show visible water, but not up on the glass. Once the Bosch fills it doesn't recheck the water level, so I guess I could fill it until it ran out the top. My old Neptune cleaned well, but it had the usual Maytag bearing problem.

dave1812 - I believe at first it was cleaning, at least OK. Over time it seems to have gotten worse, or maybe I just notice it more. I will say that adding water has cured the not-so-clean smell the clothes used to have.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 9:10PM
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"On a small load there might be a small puddle of water visible, with a large load nope. "

Your machine isn't doing what it's supposed to. You should see conspicuous "puddle" regardless of load size. Probably not "up on the glass", but substantial. .....enough to slosh up onto the glass with every tumble, certainly.

The machine's sensors aren't doing what they're supposed to. What they're supposed to do is assure sufficient water level REGARDLESS of load size......"sufficient" being indicated by that puddle, which is assuring you everything in there is saturated plus a little extra. If you're not seeing a puddle, your machine's the fill-limit sensor isn't working right.

Not personally familiar with your Bosch. However ALL FL's work this way....because they HAVE to in order to work at all. Have you called the Bosch tech-line to ask about this? I'm suspecting quick/easy fix.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 10:08PM
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I too had a Maytag Neptune before I got a Bosch Nexxt 500! I can tell you a couple of things:

- My Bosch *does* recheck the water level! If I wash a single item it'll never add water (obviously), if I wash a big load it'll add more water a few minutes into the load, sometimes twice. Something may be wrong with yours in that area...

-On small loads, there's visible water, on large loads not so much, but after the recheck/refill, everything is completely soaking wet so that's enough water to clean.

-Having two small kids I've washed probably over 1500+ loads since we've gotten it and for the most part, everything comes completely clean and odor-free (except for when we were potty-training and had to wash things twice, for obvious reasons.)

-The Bosch is really good at guaranteeing wash temperatures via the internal heater, which is a REALLY good thing for cleaning. And I like having the sanitary option, even though I don't often use it.

-The big tall paddles seem to extract / whip up a lot of suds during rinses, so I almost always select "Rinse Plus" and "Bleach", even though I don't hardly ever use bleach. That basically gives me two more rinses, which helps keep the itchies away in our house.

I would get the machine checked out to make sure the fill / load size sensor is working correctly for sure.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 10:39PM
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I also have a Bosch nexxt, a 500 plus to be exact. The tilt on the drum is quit large in the nexxt series, so on normal cycles you don't see much water at the door.
The water will just up to the drum holes near the front. If you want more water just start the washer on the handwash cycle, pause and select the cycle of you choice. Handwash will fill up to the boot, very handy with large hard to soak items.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 12:19AM
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My Samsung washes with varying levels of "excess" water--ie various puddle sizes. No matter if there is a puddle or not, it always washes remarkably well. At first, I was very apprehensive about the lack of much visible water, but after having every load come out clean and fresh smelling, I'm no longer concerned about the water levels. Samsung tech support told me early on that small loads may have a puddle, and large loads may have NO puddle whatsoever. BTW, some cycles weigh the load prior to filling and some don't. From what I've read about that model, the motor will exert more force during the wash cycle to agitate the clothes, for heavier loads.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 12:11PM
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"I'm no longer concerned about the water levels."

Confused then. You seemed concerned previously about water levels in there. Started a whole thread about how to increase the water level. (TIP: increasing water level in Samsung 520
Posted by: dave1812 on Sat, Mar 24,)

I've been impressed with Samsung's design developments over the years, especially their new suspensions systems, but I don't quite understand this water-level issue -- if there is an issue. What am I missing?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 12:53PM
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yes, I know you are always confused. perhaps that explains why you give out so much misinfo.

let me break it down for you. I learned early on that you can open the door to get the washer to add more water. that was when I was overly concerned in the beginning. I just recently thought it would be nice to share that feature with fellow members of the forum. Also, there is the OCCASIONAL load that seems to not have as much water in it as usual and that's when I'll add extra. it's quick and easy to do that. However, I'm sure it will wash fine, but I know that others ARE CONCERNED about low water levels, so thought I'd share.

The Stain Away cycle seems to usually have the most water in it of any cycle, but that's just my observation, as I tend to have small loads for the S A cycle. There is apparently SOME fluctuation in the amount of water used in a particular cycle, even with the same size load.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 2:20PM
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We've scrapped from time to time but I don't see any cause for your attitude here.

I was being perfectly respectful. It was an innocent question about a machine I have a growing interest in that you have experience with and I don't.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 3:05PM
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You'd be "respectful" of the entire group if you didn't so often spout erroneous information, dating back to when I first came onto this forum last year. I don't have a ready compendium of all your inaccurate info, so I won't quote chapters and verses.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 3:16PM
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I suspect "the group" is quite capable of forming their own opinions about this exchange without your guidance. My opinion is that this hair-trigger response of yours over absolutely nothing serves no one and makes you look ridiculous.

If you want to come after me, I suggest you wait for an opportunity. This wasn't one.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 4:29PM
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U always have to have the last word. write something following this post so as to not break your bad habit...

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 4:39PM
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Thanks for the suggestions - I will try the handwash one & then I might call Bosch.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 7:53PM
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Have had a Maytag Neptune front loader washer since May 1, 1999 (the second model front loader Maytag came out with, they made improvements over the first 1997 model). Never had a problem with it. Am very satisfied with washing results. To the question of machines using very little water: As long as your clothes are being saturated with water and detergent, then your clothes should be getting clean. proper dose of detergent + proper water temperature + tumbling = proper cleaning.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 10:07AM
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FRONT LOADER IS CRAP! It does not clean well as people claim it does. My child got sick one day and threw up all over. I washed the clothes in the FRONT LOAD WASHER and the smell just came out the same as it went in. This was a BRAND NEW WASHER! I also had it set on second rinse and the it ran for 1 1/2 hour. This is waste of electricity esp when it didn't clean at all! I think not having clothes emerged in water will not clean at all! and it doesn't!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 11:23AM
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stayathomome, u crack me up. I have a Samsung 520 which easily gets tons of black grease out of WHITE rags that I use on our 3 cars. FL's do a great job of cleaning if u know what you are doing and YOUR PARTICULAR washer has the CORRECT amount of water. FAR too little, or too much water (the clothes wont tumble properly and hence won't get clean) will impact washer efficacy substantially. Poor detergents also won't help! Guess I use all the right stuff...

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 6:17PM
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