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do you agree with these FL tips?

Posted by phrog (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 19, 14 at 10:44

I'm trying to assemble the tips I've read for helping a new FL stay healthy. Please add to or edit as needed:

1. Don't overload.
2. Keep door open between washes.
3. Dry the rubber door gasket after each wash.
4. Check clothing pockets carefully.
5. Use powder HE detergent, not liquid.
6. Run a hot temp/bleach wash monthly.
7. Clean out drain filter regularly, if accessible.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

3) Dry the boot after each washDAY ... it's not necessary to do so after each washLOAD.

7) Should not be necessary to clean the drain filter on a recurring basis unless bad usage habits are involved.


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

Take out the soap dispenser drawer, empty water, let the washer part dry as well as the drawer itself. Use no fabric softener.


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

I would miss the fabric softener. Is there anything that would approximate the effect and be more acceptable?


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

I've never had a problem with liquid detergent (and have used a front loader for 15 years). But I think many people use way too much detergent and fabric softener, which can cause the buildup problems some report.
I have never run a "bleach wash" but do use the cleaning cycle in the new machine (starting year 2) about every 6 weeks with washing machine cleaner. I normally do warm water washes.


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

I have never had a problem using liquid detergent except that at higher temperature washes, it can foam more than a powdered version of the same brand.

I don't have issues using fabric softener either. Not sure where that complaint is coming from either.

I do a maintenance wash a couple of times a year, leave the door open, pull open the detergent drawer so it can dry and that is about it.

Never wiped a door seal down either.

Use some common sense and good luck.

MRB


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

How much detergent and fabric softener would you use for a full load?


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

I use softener with almost every load and liquid detergent sometimes. No problems with funky odors or anything. I do, however, run a hot wash once a week with powdered detergent that has oxy in it. Oxy bleach helps to sanitize but it not as harsh as chlorine bleach. I'll also press Extra Rinse when I wash whites, underwear, towels or sheets to make sure these items are thoroughly rinsed. This cleans the washer as well.

I also clean the dispenser cavity once I'm through with all the laundry. Not that it would be dirty but I'm afraid the hard well water could eventually clog up the nozzles. Normally, you'll only need to clean it when you find any residue.

I checked the foreign object trap once in two years and found nothing but a bit of fuzz. Like... the amount of cotton you find on a Q-Tip.

Alex


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

  • Posted by georgect Fairfield County CT (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 20, 14 at 11:04

1. Don't overload or under load, (machine will balance better with multiple items than with just one).

2. Keep door open between washes for at least 24/48 hours to air dry, then you may close it.
Keep dispenser drawer open for at least 24/48 hours to air dry, then you may close it.

3. Dry the rubber gasket when done with the washer for the day.
Inspect basket after each cycle (check under rubber gasket for small items).

4. Check and empty pockets, zip up zippers, button up jeans/pants, fasten clasps.

5. Use HE detergents, don't over dose or under dose.

6. Run a hot wash weekly or a "clean" wash weekly (either way, do a hot cycle weekly).

7. Check/clean drain filter every three months or sooner if you get error codes or longer if you have good washing habits.

8. Remove loads immediately when done, don't let damp clothes sit in washer for hours.

9. Use the right spin speed for each load, (less stress on clothes and machine wear and tear).

SAFETY:
10. Turn off water supply when done using the washer.
11. Do not run unattended.
12. Make sure feet of washer are firmly against flooring, level and locked.

This post was edited by georgect on Thu, Feb 20, 14 at 11:08


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

what a crock to say "no fabric softener". If used correctly, FB doesn't not cause any negative issues with one's FL washer. Those sorts of comments are what tick me off about trying to get good info on line. Too many crack pots who don't know what the heck they are talking about when someone asks for information.


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

I use fabric softener diluted, and only for towels. I start with the towel loads. When those are done, I add some vinegar to the softener cup and let that rinse it out during the next wash.

All of the above. Also do the final wash of the day as hot.


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

1tablespoon of Persil in the main wash compartment. 0.5tablespoon in the prewash compartment as need. Two teaspoons of fabric softener in the towel and sheets loads. I use Seventh Generation softener that is I scented. I use vinegar as a softener for the rest of the laundry loads. I do use the extra rinse option on many loads of laundry. Washed my detergent tray a few weeks ago because of a Perwoll spill. Never washed it before and there was very little detergent build up in the grooves.
Good luck.


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

phrog: "I'm trying to assemble the tips I've read for helping a new FL stay healthy.

1. Don't overload.

Overloading relates mainly to how clean your clothes will get. If your washer is leveled and the overload is not cinder blocks or gold ingots, overloading will have no effect on the durability of the washer or smells therefrom.

2. Keep door open between washes.

Depends on what you mean by "open." There is no reason to close the door until it clicks, seals shut, and you padlock it between washes. A door resting comfortably against its frame, with a gap of a half centimeter or so between the interior and exterior, is sufficient to allow venting.

3. Dry the rubber door gasket after each wash.

We have been using front-loading washers since 1936 -- Nineteen Thirty Six. In that time, we NEVER, not even once, have wiped \down the gasket, and in that time we have NEVER, not even once, had a mold problem.

4. Check clothing pockets carefully.

Well, of course. The dollar bills probably will survive a wash cycle, but the phone number of that dreamy guy you met in the supermarket check-out line will be lost forever if you leave in in your pants pocket through a laundry. Also, if you leave tissue paper in there, then you are going to load up the lint filter in your dryer pretty fast with the stuff that tissues turn into.

5. Use powder HE detergent, not liquid.

An urban legend that, like most urban legends, has no basis in empirical fact. Try washing your clothes without any water at all; they will not get clean. Use that powder in a laundry load where the powder dissolves in water and guess what you have -- liquid detergent.

6. Run a hot temp/bleach wash monthly.

If it makes you feel good, go ahead. A few (o.k., more than three) decades back, the valve on the hot input line of our old Westinghoouse front loading washer gave up the ghost, and we washed in cold water excklusively for the better part of a year before we got the valve fixed. Mold? No.

7. Clean out drain filter regularly, if accessible

Yes.

[unstated 8.] Limit the use of fabric softener.

If fabric softener were a kitchen appliance, it would be the trash compactor that converts 30 pounds of garbage into ... thirty pounds of garbage. The difference is, while, except for the purchase price, the use of otherwise useful space in the kitchen, and the cost of electricity to operate it, the trash compactor actually does something. But the fabric softener makes your towels, underwear, sheets, and clothes less able to absorb moisture (and therefore disables them), and -- just maybe -- will be a host to mold in your washer.


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

I have exclusively used a front loader washing machine since the mid 1990's. I have NEVER, NEVER had one speck of mold, mildew or any issues with bad smells. I have had the bottom of the line Frigidaire, to the most expensive Miele and Electrolux models.

My proven, 100% guaranteed success plan is:

--NEVER, NEVER leave the door to the washer closed when the washer is not being used. Front loaders must breathe. Breathe. Just breathe :)
-- When the washer is not in use, do not leave the soap dispenser tray in the machine. By leaving the door open & the soap tray out, there is air movement created throughout the machine!!
--Speaking of the soap tray.....after you are done with the machine for the day (not between loads), but when you will not be using the machine for 12+ hours.....remove the soap tray and rinse all compartments, valves, nooks and crannies with HOT water. Especially the fabric softener compartment!
--FABRIC SOFTENER....I always, always use it. And always will. Never had one single issue with machine build up, mold, mildew, slime!!
-- 99% of my wash is done with warm water. Once a week, I run a load of white towels/white socks and I use the HOT or Sanitize function. This makes whites white, no need for bleach & it really keeps the machine drum spotless and cleans the inside of the machine!!
--I prefer powder detergent, but always keep a small bottle of Tide he liquid or Persil liquid.

This post was edited by larsi on Fri, Feb 21, 14 at 9:37


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

Larsi, the bottle of liquid detergent is for what?


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

The fabric softener debate. My position is you launder items to get the gunk out, why would you put artificially scented gunk back in? And, as mentioned above, reduce the ability of fabrics to absorb? I hate it when I go to friends' houses who use fabric softener on their towels - yukky smell and it's hard to get myself dry after showering.

My HE toploader doesn't require a bunch of rules to be followed. I leave the lid open for an hour or so after the last load of the session. I run the clean-washer cycle when the light comes on, after 25 loads, using clorox not those high-priced cleaning tablets/powders. I turn off the water supply when going out of town. That's it.


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

Without fabric softener, don't your fabrics come out feeling stiff and abrasive? Mine do, especially towels.


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

phrog i think the reason some people are so "anti-FB" is that they have used too much so they think that ANY usage of FB results in water-phobic towels and smelly washers. They should be diluting FB at LEAST 1:1 or 1:2 before putting it in the FB dispenser. Its their loss that they haven't learned that a little is better than too much. oh well, we can't change some people's misconceptions...


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

I use fabric softener for my towels and there is no fragrance left on them the softener is diluted, a judicious amount is used and the towels are properly rinsed.

The towels are soft -- but not so soft they won't absorb water. If that's happening, or they carry the softener fragrance then too much product is being used and rinsing is inadequate IMO.

Even my best 800 g Restoration Hardware towels and the 1200 g super luxe Turkish towels feel scratchy after repeated washing without fs -- at least in my water. Need may depend on the water.


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

If towels are thoroughly rinsed in soft water they require no fabric softener whatsoever. Even a double rinse is inadequate in hard water.

There are products for in-washer softening, Calgon comes to mind and is what I used back when my house was under construction and my washing machine was outside. Websites that sell cloth diapers are a great resource for detergents that clean and rinse thoroughly in hard water.


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

dianne47, that's not true. I have totally-soft (as in ZERO grains hardness) water and prefer a slight amount of FB for our towels and some other fabrics. don't try claiming that other people don't want additional softness from what soft water can provide. ("If towels are thoroughly rinsed in soft water they require no fabric softener whatsoever.")


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

dave1812: "phrog i think the reason some people are so "anti-FB" is that they have used too much so they think that ANY usage of FB results in water-phobic towels and smelly washers. They should be diluting FB at LEAST 1:1 or 1:2 before putting it in the FB dispenser. Its their loss that they haven't learned that a little is better than too much. oh well, we can't change some people's misconceptions."

It was not my intention, in making a tangential remark above, to start a fabric softener flame war. I have a personal preference (we do not use any), but we have no dog in the fight.as to whether others should.

But every commercial fabric softener product is a wax. If you are aware of any exception, please share your research. All waxes share certain characteristics, among which is acting as a water repellent. The way a fabric softener works is to coat fibers so that the fibers do not absorb water, and thus resist clumping. If the product fails to prevent a fiber from absorbing water, then it does not perform the softening function; if it does perform the softening function, it does so precisely because it reduces the absorbency of the fibers.

A corollary of a wax's water repellent quality is that it does not wash off the fibers that it has coated. In successive washings, therefore, a fiber that has received a light coating of wax in a prior wash cycle will get an additional layer -- "wax build-up" -- on subsequent washes, and eventually after multiple cycles will be fully armored against any water absorption. Using a lesser quantity of fabric softener per load is offset by repeated wash cycles.

And no one has yet learned how to make a wax product that will coat the fibers of fabrics in a load of laundry without also coating all the parts of the washing machine that come in contact with the product. Eventually, every part of the washing machine that comes in contact with wash water will acquire a coat of wax.

Because that is how fabric softener functions.


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Another tip

To return to the initial posting in this thread:

8. Add 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup of plain borax per wash load. Borax is a mild disinfectant; allows one to reduce the amount of detergent per load, and aids rinsing.


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

phrog....I keep a bottle of Tide he liquid or Persil detergent, because on my Miele W4842 washer, the Express Cycle and Comforters Cycle (and I think the Jeans/Denim) cycles says to use liquid detergent!

The fabric softener debate is so tiring and so old. If the "wax" in softener is on our laundry and in the machine...when you do a wash with very warm or hot water and preferably powder detergent...the "wax" is washed away. It does NOT build up and build up and build up. Poppycock! It's like frying in a fry pan. Yes, after you fry in oil or butter, the pan is coated with "wax". After you wash with hot water and detergent, the pan is totally clean...just like your washer and clothes are each time they are laundered!!

I always dilute a small cap of softener with water when using. My towels are still super absorbent, fluffier than you can imagine, smell great and best of all....feel great!!!!!!


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

I've done some reading about Persil, including many raves. I can't help but wonder if some of it isn't an attempt to justify the cost ($55/box from Amazon, if I'm looking at the right one. CR's favorite Tide powder was $23 at the supermarket for an 80 load box.)

My biggest question is this: is there any rational/ chemistry-based reason to believe that Persil is better for your machine than Tide, etc powder? I'm not sure what the Tide would be adding, or the Persil not adding, that could rot the FL's parts.


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

Ingredients of powder detergent to compare.

Persil Non Bio Powder
http://www.unilever.com/PIOTI/EN/p4.asp?selectCountry=UK&language=EN&productid=3054687

Tide Powder
http://www.pgproductsafety.com/productsafety/ingredients/household_care/laundary_fabric_care/Tide/Ultra_Tide_Powder_Detergent_-_Orginal.pdf


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

I'm not a chemist, so lists of chemicals don't really answer my question.


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

herring, if you saw my washer you would think it was brand new and I've had it a few years. the key is 1) adjust the water level to be SLIGHTLY higher than factory specs and 2) use very LITTLE FB. I didn't need a lesson in what FB is made of. That's quite presumptuous on your part to think the rest of us here don't understand FB. Nor do I care if you don't like FB. It would just be nice if you weren't saw PUSHY about the subject.


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

The fabric softener debate is so tiring and so old. If the "wax" in softener is on our laundry and in the machine...when you do a wash with very warm or hot water and preferably powder detergent...the "wax" is washed away. It does NOT build up and build up and build up. Poppycock! It's like frying in a fry pan. Yes, after you fry in oil or butter, the pan is coated with "wax". After you wash with hot water and detergent, the pan is totally clean...just like your washer and clothes are each time they are laundered!!
Yeah, but ... whether the wash water typically is warm enough to deal with the "wax" residue, that's the question. The dumbed-down ATC temps on washers nowadays may reach only 75°F to 85°F for warm in many cases. Hot may be a whopping 95°F to 105°F, which is what warm was in the "olden days" ... which means it's perfectly safe to run the majority of loads on hot to get what's really a warm wash ... but people don't know that. Hot is still labeled hot so the consumer thinks it's HOT. Warm is actually rather much cool. Couple that with the concern about oversudsing and alarm at possibly overdosing detergent, and the washing solution may also not be strong enough to deal with waxy residue.


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

dave1812: "herring, if you saw my washer you would think it was brand new and I've had it a few years."

If you saw the paint on our ten-year-old automobile, you would think it is brand new. One reason: every year, we give it a coating of Collinite Liquid Insulator Wax 845. The wax is transparent: you see right through it to the paint below; but the wax really is there.

"the key is 1) adjust the water level to be SLIGHTLY higher than factory specs and 2) use very LITTLE FB. I didn't need a lesson in what FB is made of. "

You have used the acronym "FB" several times; from context, I assume that you mean fabric softener, but FB is an acronym that I have not seen before. One assumes that the "F" derives from "fabric"; what does the "B" represent?

"That's quite presumptuous on your part to think the rest of us here don't understand FB."

Actually, the evidence is clear that most of those who post here do understand what fabric softener does to the fabrics, coating the fibers and reducing absorbency. The point that I was making in this thread was that fabric softener is added to the laundry load specifically to leave a residue behind on the fibers of the fabric; if it all were washed off by the water and laundry detergent during the wash cycle, then it all would go down the drain. Inasmuch as the purpose of the product is to coat the fibers, it should be no surprise that the washing machine parts that the fabric softener contacts also will receive a coating that persists after the laundry has been moved to the dryer.

"Nor do I care if you don't like FB. It would just be nice if you weren't saw PUSHY about the subject."

Did you read what I wrote and posted a very few messages above your posting? I repeat it for your benefit below:

"It was not my intention, in making a tangential remark above, to start a fabric softener flame war. I have a personal preference (we do not use any), but we have no dog in the fight as to whether others should."

Here is a link that might be useful: It probably would be a boffo fabric softener


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

oops, i mean FS.

you are presumptuous to think that my washer is coated with FS. it's spotless. your problem is you have know-it-all-itis.


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

I have been using liquid detergent and liquid Downy Free & Sensitive FS for years and never had a problem with any kind of buildup or smell. I use the recommended amount for the size load and we have never had any issues of any kind. The towels are very soft, yet still very absorbent. I do rinse the FS dispenser under running hot water usually about once per week and that keeps any remaining softener left in the dispenser from drying and turning into a greasy gunk.


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

dave1812: "you are presumptuous . . . your problem is you have know-it-all-itis."

We are reminded of your December 29 and December 30, 2011, contributions toward the end of another thread. http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/laundry/msg1215150123462.html?17

Here is a link that might be useful: Richard Hofstadter and George Marsden have studied this


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

herring not sure why you are dredging up old threads but I'm confident you found the time to do so very exciting and productive. now run along and get a life. arguing over this nonsense is boring.


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

@phrog - I cannot answer your question but I can tell you that the results I get with Persil, and megaperls specifically, is excellent. I had the same reaction about the cost but it's not made here, it's imported so clearly that's a factor.

Fortunately, with our soft water I need to use so little Persil that it lasts a long time. But I still have a little Tide HE left over -- I used Tide most of my life and through most of the life of my first FL. I sometimes use it on my cleaning cloths (don't need Persil for those) but they don't get as clean as when I do, occasionally, use Persil.

But I think it's really a matter of how each detergent works for each user with their water.

Will say this. After reading the lists of the chemicals in both Persil and Tide, I think I may move to Cal-Ben pure soap on the next round.


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

It would be interesting to have someone else do similar loads with Persil and with Tide, not identify them for you, and see if you can figure out which is which.


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

No one else to do that. But I have done a good deal of consumer reporting and test kitchen work so I believe I could do a controlled test.

But even if I could show a difference in my machine and our water it might not matter for someone in another region with different machine & water. One reason the cheat sheet buffalotina and I did was fairly successful was that we both live in the same state, have the same approach to doing laundry, used the same settings. Often we got the same results. Occasionally we got different results.

I'm perfectly willing to admit it all might be "perceived" results.

But this conversation did make me think I might try some loads with the Tide as I still have some and see. Towels seem to be the most reflective of these changes.


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

The original tip list is all good. However, if you have hard water and no water softener, I would use a weak acid instead of a bleach in the hot wash cleaning cycle monthly. Vinegar, CLR, or citric acid would all be good acids to use. They will remove lime and calcium deposits. A bleach will not.


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RE: do you agree with these FL tips?

My FL has a cleaning cycle which I use when the light comes on. The washer manual says to use cloryx bleach or washer cleaning product. I use bleach...cycle takes 40 minutes, and I was amazed at the soap suds that were seen in the glass door. At the end of the cycle......clean washer.


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