Front-Load Washer Tips and Tricks
By Angie Parkinson
One thing you should know before bringing home your new and highly-efficient front-load washer is that this is not your mother’s machine. Your old habits have to change if you are to get the most out of your purchase. Front-loading washers are different in almost every way from your trusty old top-load.
We scoured various sources for tips and tricks from industry experts and front-load washer owners. Read our list and save yourself time and money as you level the legs and put in your first load.
Always Use High Efficiency Detergent
High efficiency detergent is specially formulated for use in front load washers. Manufacturers will routinely recommend using only this type of soap in their machines because it is concentrated and produces less suds.
Leave the Door Open When not in Use
These washers are notorious for putting off an unpleasant scent. This can be the result of the formation of mold around door seals designed to keep water from leaking out during each cycle. If keeping the door open does not help dry things out and prevent mold, there may be other sources behind the smell in your washer.
Regularly Run the Machine Cleaning Cycle
Run the cleaning cycle at least as often as the manufacturer suggests to prevent potential problems with mold or mildew. Some front-loading washer users report success with adding commercial products like Affresh and Smelly Washer, which are soaps designed specifically to keep mold and mildew from forming on the inner workings of your front load washer.
Leave the Dispenser Drawer out When not in Use
Many people recommend leaving the dispenser drawer out when not in use. Front-load washer users have reported the formation of mold in their detergent compartments if they are allowed to stay wet.
Plan for Efficiency
Front-load wash cycles tend to be longer than top-load cycles. Using so much less water means it may take a little more time to get things clean. Don’t lament the loss of time, however. The higher spin speeds can lead to shorter drying times because they leave less water in the clothing than the slower speeds of traditional washers.
Regularly Incorporate a Hot Water Wash
Cold-water washing is fantastic for conserving energy, but it can add to the buildup of residue in various parts of your machine. Front-load washer users report that an occasional hot water wash can blast away some of the leftover soap and grime.
Inspect Basket after Each Cycle
With high spin speeds, smaller items like socks can easily become stuck to a front load washer’s basket in inconspicuous places. Front-loading washers need to be completely empty after each cycle. Neglecting this step could result in yet another source for potential mold. It will also leave the wayward sock smelling foul.Parkinson, Angie. Front-Load Washer Tips and Tricks. 2014. 31 March
Common stains and the proper removal procedures
Appliances, GE. Washers-Stain Removal 2014. 31 March
- Blood: soak in cold water, then launder in warm water.
- Catsup: scrape off excess, soak in cold water, launder as usual. Chewing gum: rub with ice, scrape off excess, sponge with cleaning fluid, rinse and launder.
- Chocolate: soak in cold water for 15 minutes, rub detergent into fabric and launder in the hottest water that is safe for the fabric.
- Coffee/tea: soak in cold water, then use bleach treatment with the hottest water that is safe for the fabric. Launder.
- Cosmetics: apply undiluted liquid detergent to stain, or dampen stain and rub in soap, forming a paste. Work until stain is gone and rinse well. Repeat if necessary, bleach if safe for fabric.
- Crayon: loosen stains with kitchen shortening, apply detergent, working in until outline of stain is removed; launder as usual.
- Cream/milk: sponge or soak stain with cool water for 30 minutes or longer, work detergent into stain and launder as usual.
- Deodorants/antiperspirants: scrub area using white vinegar. If stain remains, saturate with denatured alcohol and scrub, rinse, and launder as usual
- Fruits,fruit juices,wine: follow same procedure as for coffee. If stain persists, blot with lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide. Where hot water cannot be used, sponge well with cool water and work glycerin into stain.
- Grass: rub detergent in stain, launder in bleach, if possible.
- Grease: scrape off as much as possible, rub plenty of detergent into stain, launder as usual.
- Ink/ballpoint: spray stain with hairspray until wet looking, allow to soak briefly. Hand scrub using heavy application of liquid detergent. Launder and repeat, if necessary.
- Meat juice: scrape off dried portion. Sponge with cold water. Rub with detergent, launder as usual.
- Mildew: pre-treat with detergent, launder. If stain remains treat with hydrogen peroxide, launder as usual.
- Mud: brush off dried portion, sponge with cold water then launder in the hottest water fabric can take. If stain remains, sponge with 1 part rubbing alcohol and 2 parts water, launder as usual.
- Mustard: work glycerin into stain. Pre-treat with detergent, launder as usual. (You should be able to obtain glycerin at drug stores.)
- Nail polish: do not use nail polish remover. Sponge with chemically pure “amyl acetate” (i.e. banana oil – can be purchased at local drug stores). Launder as usual. If stain persists, sponge with rubbing alcohol and launder.
- Oil: pre-treat with concentrated detergent. Let it sit for 1/2 hour, then launder in the hottest water possible, bleach if fabric can withstand. Launder as usual.
- Perspiration: if color is affected, sponge fresh stain with ammonia. Old stain, sponge with vinegar. Rinse and launder in the hottest water that is safe for fabric. If fabric is yellow, bleach if possible.
- Rust: apply rust remover, using manufacturer’s directions.
- Soft drinks: sponge immediately with cold water and launder.
- Transmission oil: usually impossible to remove. Best possible treatment is detergent and the hottest water the fabric can handle.
Possible Reasons and Cures for Wrinkling in the Washer and Dryer
- Reasons for wrinkling
- – Improper sorting of the load (i.e. loading large, heavy items with lightweight, delicate materials).
- – Too many items in washer for the load size.
- – Use of incorrect wash and drying cycles.
- – Incorrect water level during the wash cycles (not enough water for amount of clothes).
- – Washing repeatedly in water that is too hot for fabric.
- – Accumulations of lime scale due to use of carbonate detergents.
- – Failure to use fabric softener.
- – Leaving clothes in dryer after tumbling stops.
- – Too many items in dryer.
- – Too few items in dryer.
- Steps to correct wrinkling
- – Re-tumble on “Permanent Press” setting with small load.
- – Re-rinse and dry on “Permanent Press” setting.
- – If unsuccessful, re-tumble on high heat for 10 – 12 minutes and hang immediately.
- – Iron carefully.
- – If still wrinkled, you may need professional steaming.
- Steps to prevent wrinkling
- – Remove clothes immediately when dryer stops tumbling and place on hangers.
- – Dry only one washer load at a time. Do not combine loads.
- – If drying only one article, add two similar articles, even if dry, to ensure proper tumbling.
- – Avoid laundering heavy permanent press items, such as work clothes, with lighter permanent press items, such as shirts or blouses.
- – Do not wash permanent press items with ordinary items such as towels, bed linens, etc.
- – Items must have room to move freely. Permanent press loads should always be smaller than regular loads, and no more than medium loads.
- – Use Permanent Press Wash and Dry Cycles. This cycle provides a cool down rinse to minimize wrinkling.
- – Use Full water fill for medium load, Medium fill for small loads.
- – If a non-phosphate detergent must be used, avoid the use of a high-carbonate detergent (high carbonate would be in the 7% range).
- – Proper use of fabric softener will minimize wrinkling.
- Tangled, Twisted, Knotted Clothes Tangled, twisted or knotted clothes are usually a result of improper sorting of wash loads. To prevent clothing from knotting and twisting:
- – Avoid mixing heavy items with light items.
- – Avoid putting too many or too few items in the washer.
- – Make sure you set the proper water level for the size load you are doing. The water level should just cover the clothes.
- – Never wrap the clothes around the agitator.
- – Be sure your wash water is not too hot for the fabric.
To view a short video on getting the best wash performance from your washer: Play Video
Appliances, GE. Washers; Dryers-Possible Reasons and Cures for Wrinkling in the Washer and Dryer 2014. 31 March
Appliances, GE. Washers-Tangled, Twisted, Knotted Clothes 2014. 31 March
How to clean your washer
Like most washing machines, Duet washers have rubber gaskets and other parts that retain moisture. These parts are prime spots for bacteria bacteria, mold and mildew. Clean your Duet washer from time to time to prevent odors, and avoid contaminating your clothes
1 -Clean out the catch. Under the machine’s service panel, you’ll find a catch that may be filled with lint and other materials (even socks). Place one or more folded towels in front of your washing machine before cleaning out the catch, as it is probably filled with dirty water.
2-Clean the gray gasket and door seal inside the wash tub. Remove any trapped materials from inside the gasket. Wipe down the entire gasket (including the inside) with a bleach-based cleaner, or vinegar. Dry the gasket thoroughly.
Front loading washing machines are growing more popular each year as an increasing number of consumers want higher efficiency machines that use less water. A problem that has been found with most front loading machines, however, is a musty smell after laundry is washed. The culprit is likely mold, which is most often found on the inside of the door. Clean a front loading washing machine with vinegar to eliminate these smell issues and health hazards. Even if you don’t notice a sour smell, your washing machine can benefit from a monthly cleaning with vinegar to get rid of detergent buildup
1-Run a long wash cycle with only water and one cup of white vinegar in the washer. Do not use any detergent or place any clothing in the wash.
2-Wipe down the door gasket, seals, and door interior with a soft cloth soaked in a water and vinegar solution after the wash cycle finishes. The solution should be 50 percent vinegar.
3-Rinse the door gasket and seals after cleaning them with the vinegar solution to prevent deterioration and damage of the seal.
4-Wipe the inside of the door, including the gasket and seals dry. Leave the door open slightly to allow the washer to air out.
5-Repeat this cycle once per month to keep your front loading washer smelling fresh and to prevent mold on the door.
Bowles, Donella. How to clean a Front Loading Washing Machine with vinegar 2014. 31 March
Front load Bellow(rubber) cleaner
Tilex® Mold & Mildew Remover
Removes the stains you can’t stand, and kills the mold you can’t see. Use Tilex® Mold & Mildew Remover as directed, and you’ll not only remove ugly stains, you’ll kill the mold and mildew that cause them.
Give odor, mold and mildew a swift kick with just one tablet, once a month.
How It Works
The specially formulated tablets are designed to penetrate, dissolve and remove odor-causing residue throughout the entire wash cycle.
1-Empty your washer.
2-Place one tablet of affresh® Washer cleaner directly in the washer tub – not in the dispenser.
3-Run the washer on a clean washer cycle or a normal cycle with a hot water setting.
4-Simply wipe away any residue that may be left behind after the cycle ends.
5-Throw away whatever cleaners you were using before.
6-And, always be sure to follow your washer’s Use & Care Guide for instructions on proper maintenance.
*For washers with a “Clean Washer” cycle, add one tablet to the washer and run the cycle.
*For machines where odor is present, run 3 wash cycles consecutively using 1 tablet in each cycle.
Septic tank safe and washer safe.
Tilex. Tilex® Mold & Mildew Remover 2014. 31 March
afresh Washer Cleaner 2014. 31 March