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Why Isn't Washer Getting My Clothes Clean?

Submit an Entry: Your Laundry Questions and Answers

By Mary

My Laundry Question

HE Front Loader machine doesn't clean as well as my old top loader. Is it just me? everything I've read says they work great, clean better and are more energy effecient. What am i doing wrong? some of my towels and kitchen cloths don't come clean and they smell musty and are still stained. Are theses machine really as good at cleaning as everyone says they are? They may be more water effecient, but they run longer so use more electricity.

Share a Little Background Info

I have had my top rated Kenmore front loader for 4 years. While it is great at doing a much bigger load that a top loader, I find that the clothes don't come out as clean. They dont get "beat" up as much for sure because there is no agitator, but they also come out with the same stains as they went in with. This is after i've sprayed them with a stain remover. I put 2 dishtowels in with my regular load on hot and when they came out they were still stained with tomato sauce and smelled as musty as if they were sitting out wet for a week. Armpit stains and smells dont come out of shirts either. Another downside are the the whites. They are losing their luster and not as white as before. Pulling the clothes out is a bit of a chore as well because they come out of the machine knotted up.

Lessons Learned

  • i have tried multiple HE detergents, lemon juice and vinegar in the rinse cycle, detergent boosters, hot, cold, warm water washes....nothing. As I have a window and can see what is going on inside the machine, i notice how everything just bunches up and gets twisted together. Seems to me that is why the dirt stays in the clothes.

Fabric Content of Item (if appropriate)

mixed fabric content.

Mary Marlowe Leverette, About.com Laundry & Laundry Rooms, says:

Front load washers have the advantages of handling larger loads and using less water. However, they also require more care and attention than a top load washer.

Your clothes are not coming out as clean or fresh smelling because your washer is dirty. If you use too much detergent and/or fabric softener, the dirt from the wash washer settles on the outside of the wash tub and is redeposited on the next load of clothes. The lower water levels do not flush it all away. This is the cause of the odor.

You must clean your front load washer at least monthly to keep it functioning at its best. Always use an HE detergent and even then, cut down on the amount you use.

As for the tangling clothes, you may be overloading your washer. It is also important to place each piece of laundry in the machine separately - not in one big pile. This will help keep the tangling to a minimum.

Good luck!

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