So you Own a Front Load Washer – How To Get the Best Results from Your Washing Machine

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How To Get the Best Results from Your Washing Machine

The sales literature for front load washers describes how they use about 22 gallons less water than the typical top loading washing machine. By design they also use less energy overall to wash clothes; this would of course depend on how much you use hot water during your washing cycles.  By design there is no agitator and the clothes tumble when washing so there is less wear and tear on the things you wash.  Users of these washers have said that they have to wait longer for their clothes to get cleaned, the washers vibrate a lot and move around, the spin cycle does not get the clothes as dry as they are use to, they have had to restart the washer after it seems to forget where it is in the cycle and if you forget to keep the door open after use, the door, door seal and washer starts to mildew.  So for the problems and the possible solutions:

If your laundry is not dry enough after the spin cycle…

A. Infrequently, a large load which weighs enough to cause the wash basket to droop prevents the water from getting pumped out.  Try washing smaller loads.  Also try to wash like or similar fabrics together for best washing results.
B. If possible you may have to stop the washer and adjust the load so it is not out of balance during the spin cycle.

Your wash is coming out damper than normal…

A. They are going to come out damp though they can occasionally be wetter than normal.  Depending on the washer you may have a dual speed spin cycle.  The washer can be smart enough to adjust the speed based on the load in the washing basket so your wash could come out with more water in them.

Your wash takes too long to get done…

A. Many people select one of the longer wash cycles out of habit.  You have the choice to use shorter wash cycles and select options like “normal soil” to reduce the length of the wash cycle.  The washer will also automatically rebalance the loads during the spin cycle so to reduce the amount of times that happens, wash similar fabrics together.
B. The length of the washing machine cycles can vary by over two hours with shorter wash cycles running about 40 minutes with longer cycles running close to three (3) hours.  Shorter cycles can still do the job if your clothes and other washables have a normal amount of soiling.  The ability to automatically rebalance the load is a handy feature but it takes time so listen to the washer and when it is making noise, stop it and rearrange the wash so the weight is more evenly distributed; this will save you time.
C. The washing machine is not level and the weight of the washer is not even on all four (4) feet. This would contribute to excessive resets for load rebalancing. Check to make sure your washer is level and that each foot is extended just enough so there is equal weight on each foot pad.
D. Have you ever used the wrong dishwashing soap in your dishwasher?  If so, then you know that things do not work well when the water turns to suds in a washing machine.  If your detergent foams up too much it can cause pressure switches to trip and then the process tries to clear the suds by pumping them out of the machine.  It can take a while for this to clear up.

Your washer is vibrating too much…

A. Making sure your washer is “level”.  Set up is important.  The washer must be level for the detergent, fabric softener and bleach dispensers to work. Make sure the washing machine is level and that all the feet/pads are firmly on the floor.  Sounds too simple but sometimes the problems are as simple as one leg not being tight enough allowing the washer to vibrate too much.  It is important that the frame of the washer move as little as possible during the washing machine cycles.  One simple way to check if the feet are secure is to try to rock the machine from each of the front corners; if it wobbles you have to tighten the feet so there is no motion.
B. Limit the movement of the washer frame. The washer drum is intended to vibrate, the frame is not.  There are shock absorbers inside the washer that absorb the motion and dampen vibration.  If you have an older washer you might need to replace the shock absorbers to restore proper control to the wobbling drum.
C. There are vibration dampeners you can buy for the feet of the washing machine. The better quality materials will actually reduce vibration.  When the machine is installed in an upstairs laundry room supported by standard wooden floor joists there will be a lot of noise.
D. If the washer is installed on a tile floor there can be small variations in the height of the tiles so that if the washer moves a few inches there can be room for the washer to wobble too much.  Running the washer on a rubber dampening pad will help reduce vibration.
E. If the washer is installed on a pedestal you should consider getting rid of it since pedestals do make the problem of vibration acuter.  Pedestals are not always that sturdy and have some “give” in them which does cause vibration to be greater than if the washer was installed on the floor.

You have a mildewed smell coming from your washing machine…

A. The smell can be coming from water left in the washing basket, from moisture in the soap dispenser, or just dampness after the load is run.  Wiping down the rubber seal, occasionally cleaning out the detergent dispenser and running a load without any actual laundry but adding bleach can help.  Leaving open the door is also commonly done to eliminate the moisture in the washer.

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