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 Airing my dirty laundry
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GoddessintheGroove
True Blue Farmgirl

265 Posts

Heike
Sacramento CA
265 Posts

Posted - Feb 10 2014 :  06:51:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Laundry is exasperating me!!

We are 2 adults, and 2 kids/teens. Our laundry pile grows babies overnight!

I recently switched my older washer out for one a friend gave me that seemed better. Newer, and energy efficient. The dryers works great (even though it is less important, since I hang dry most of the time), but the washer...blech.

It is a top loader. I have replaced the agitator, so the agitation is correct, but my laundry is not getting clean.

I use vinegar in the water (our water is hard), and am currently using the homemade liquid detergent that was posted here somewhere. Borax, washing soda, and Fels Naptha. Oddly, the recipes called for 1 bar of soap, 1 cup each soda & borax. It came out to about 2 gallons of detergent! Though I think this is wonderful $$ wise, it is just not cleaning my clothes. I wonder if I did it right? It is very "gelly".

Before, I made my powder detergent with Fels Naptha, Borax, Washing soda, and Baking Soda. This worked ok...but not great.

I think a front loader is in order, but right now, I don't have one.

I am ready to revert to commercial laundry soap, but would like to see if anyone can recommend one that WORKS on dirty clothes! I have a boy who is always muddy, dirty, grass stainy...a husband who works in a warehouse and on a job where he constantly gets dirty, greasy, and ink stained. My clothes get paint, dog, mud, outside, chicken, etc on them...the cleanest one is my daughter :).

Our whites are mess...I don't use paper towels, so my white kitchen towels get a beating, as well as undershirts, etc.





FarmGirl Sister #2245
"A journey back to the roots..."
http://www.herbmagik.com

"Women with opinions, pendants, & KitchenWitches...all in one."
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Rosemary
True Blue Farmgirl

1820 Posts


Virginia
USA
1820 Posts

Posted - Feb 10 2014 :  3:08:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Heiki, I don't turn my mix into gel. I just use it in powder form but I'll chime in anyway. :)

Are you stirring the gel throughly before you dip into it for a new load of laundry?

Do you think you might be using too much of the soap? I only use a quarter cup of my powder (same recipe, but left as a powder mix) to my large-load top loader.

We have very hard water here. Other than adding vinegar, which you're already doing, you might want to consider adding a handful of dry baking soda to your loads or going back to your powdered recipe with the baking soda already mixed in.

Sometimes you just have to break down and use bleach on whites. I can't use Clorox because we have a septic system, but Oxy-Clean is septic-safe. I use a knock-off. Same thing, but cheaper. If you let clothes soak in a solution of that overnight, then start the load as usual in the morning, it will do a very good job of whitening dingy towels, undies and so on.

You can also try bluing. They still sell a brand called Mrs. Stewart's. Just be careful with it. A few drops swished around in in a big jug of water is all you need. Add that to the tub (with yoursoap) as it's filling up and let it agitate a bit before adding clothes. This prevents getting blue blotches on anything.
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Beverley
True Blue Farmgirl

2706 Posts

Beverley
atlanta Michigan
USA
2706 Posts

Posted - Feb 10 2014 :  9:14:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I hate my front loader, To me it does not get the clothes clean. It is a HE so only uses 8 gallons of water instead of the 30 I think it is that a regular washer uses but I want my regular washer back. the front loaders you can open during the cycle either. and I like to felt stuff and check it out as it washes you can not do that with a front loader. Just some things to think about..

Folks will know how large your soul is by the way you treat a dog....Charles F. Doran
beverley baggett
Beverley with an extra E...
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http://bevsdoggies.blogspot.com/
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GoddessintheGroove
True Blue Farmgirl

265 Posts

Heike
Sacramento CA
265 Posts

Posted - Feb 10 2014 :  10:36:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Rosemary. I might just go back to powder, like you mentioned. I will try a longer soaking in OxyClean. I try to stay away from Clorox, it just eats up the fabric, and frankly, I hate to think that I will eventually have that coming up my faucet again. blech.

quote:
Originally posted by Rosemary

Heiki, I don't turn my mix into gel. I just use it in powder form but I'll chime in anyway. :)

Are you stirring the gel throughly before you dip into it for a new load of laundry?

Do you think you might be using too much of the soap? I only use a quarter cup of my powder (same recipe, but left as a powder mix) to my large-load top loader.

We have very hard water here. Other than adding vinegar, which you're already doing, you might want to consider adding a handful of dry baking soda to your loads or going back to your powdered recipe with the baking soda already mixed in.

Sometimes you just have to break down and use bleach on whites. I can't use Clorox because we have a septic system, but Oxy-Clean is septic-safe. I use a knock-off. Same thing, but cheaper. If you let clothes soak in a solution of that overnight, then start the load as usual in the morning, it will do a very good job of whitening dingy towels, undies and so on.

You can also try bluing. They still sell a brand called Mrs. Stewart's. Just be careful with it. A few drops swished around in in a big jug of water is all you need. Add that to the tub (with yoursoap) as it's filling up and let it agitate a bit before adding clothes. This prevents getting blue blotches on anything.



FarmGirl Sister #2245
"A journey back to the roots..."
http://www.herbmagik.com

"Women with opinions, pendants, & KitchenWitches...all in one."
http://www.goddessinthegroove.com

Find me on FB: http://www.facebook.com/theGoddessintheGroove
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GoddessintheGroove
True Blue Farmgirl

265 Posts

Heike
Sacramento CA
265 Posts

Posted - Feb 10 2014 :  10:39:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Beverley,
the fact that I can't open the washer during cycles is a con for me too. I dye...and felt :). I was thinking about that.

I grew up with front loaders, that is all we had in Germany. I don't remember anyone having problems with their laundry. Plus, they agitate longer, use less water, and spin out better. I may research some new top loaders too.

All I want is clean clothes, nothing fancy.

quote:
Originally posted by Beverley

I hate my front loader, To me it does not get the clothes clean. It is a HE so only uses 8 gallons of water instead of the 30 I think it is that a regular washer uses but I want my regular washer back. the front loaders you can open during the cycle either. and I like to felt stuff and check it out as it washes you can not do that with a front loader. Just some things to think about..

Folks will know how large your soul is by the way you treat a dog....Charles F. Doran
beverley baggett
Beverley with an extra E...
https://sites.google.com/site/bevsdoggies/
http://bevsdoggies.blogspot.com/



FarmGirl Sister #2245
"A journey back to the roots..."
http://www.herbmagik.com

"Women with opinions, pendants, & KitchenWitches...all in one."
http://www.goddessinthegroove.com

Find me on FB: http://www.facebook.com/theGoddessintheGroove
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CurlysQuilts
True Blue Farmgirl

569 Posts

Sarah
Northeast Kingdom VT
USA
569 Posts

Posted - Feb 11 2014 :  10:03:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have extrememly hard water too, and none of the homemmade recipes I tried worked (unless you used a ton!) but then I finally found this one:

1/2 c citric acid
1/2 c plus 2T finely ground soap
2 cups plus 6T washing soda

Mix in can. Shake a lot first day. Will try to clump. Use a rounded quarter cup per standard load. Vinegar in the rinse.


This actually works really well for hard water, and it gets my whites really white when I add 1 cup peroxide to the wash. And it's really easy to make!




Curly's Quilts
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Farmgirl #5076
I am a recyclin, home schoolin', home grown, hand sewn kinda farmgirl!
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GoddessintheGroove
True Blue Farmgirl

265 Posts

Heike
Sacramento CA
265 Posts

Posted - Feb 11 2014 :  11:32:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Sarah, I will try it!!!

quote:
Originally posted by CurlysQuilts

I have extrememly hard water too, and none of the homemmade recipes I tried worked (unless you used a ton!) but then I finally found this one:

1/2 c citric acid
1/2 c plus 2T finely ground soap
2 cups plus 6T washing soda

Mix in can. Shake a lot first day. Will try to clump. Use a rounded quarter cup per standard load. Vinegar in the rinse.


This actually works really well for hard water, and it gets my whites really white when I add 1 cup peroxide to the wash. And it's really easy to make!




Curly's Quilts
My website:
www.curlysquilts.weebly.com
My Etsy shop:
www.curlysquilts.etsy.com
My Farmmade shop:
http://www.farmmade.com/store/curly-s-quilts

Farmgirl #5076
I am a recyclin, home schoolin', home grown, hand sewn kinda farmgirl!



FarmGirl Sister #2245
"A journey back to the roots..."
http://www.herbmagik.com

"Women with opinions, pendants, & KitchenWitches...all in one."
http://www.goddessinthegroove.com

Find me on FB: http://www.facebook.com/theGoddessintheGroove
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texdane
Farmgirl Legend Chapter Leader Chapter Guru

4361 Posts

Nicole
Sandy Hook CT
USA
4361 Posts

Posted - Feb 11 2014 :  3:24:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Heike,

I was going to chime in, but everything I would tell you is similar to everyone here. I like to use the powder form of the detergent. I also like the bluing. I have very, very hard well water. For whites, alongside the bluing, I found that seltzer in the rinse water makes a difference too. I also pre-treat my husband's white shirts around the collar and on any stains with a solution that I found here, but was meant to clean the shower. Use one cup of warmed vinegar mixed with one cup of original Dawn dish detergent, and place in a spray bottle. It is wonderful for cleaning tubs and showers, but it also is a good stain remover on clothes. I had a front loader once, and with my well water, hated it. I now have an energy efficient washer, but it is a top loader.

Good luck!

Nicole

Farmgirl Sister #1155
KNITTER, JAM-MAKER AND MOM EXTRAORDINAIRE
Chapter Leader, Connecticut Simpler Life Sisters
Farmgirl of the Month, January 2013

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msdoolittle
True Blue Farmgirl

1056 Posts

Amanda
East Texas
USA
1056 Posts

Posted - Feb 11 2014 :  6:33:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I do not have hard water, but let me chime in on a front loader....hated it!!! It didn't get my clothes clean, and mold grew in the seal, even though I never, ever left the thing shut after a wash. It took almost a full hour to wash the clothes, too. One day, the pump died and after silently thanking the Heavens, my hubby brought me home a Speed Queen top loader. Yes, it uses more water (a lot more). But it gets those clothes CLEAN!They are DONE in no more than 20 minutes, if not less! It also has a real agitator in it, too.

I have been using Biokleen's laundry liquid for right now. I have also used homemade, but not in a while. I bought 5 gallons of the BioKleen, so that is gonna be around for a bit, haha. After that, I will probably re-try the gel homemade stuff. I do use Biokleen's Oxy cleaner on things that have a stain that just will not come out. I soak it in a mixture of that and very hot water for several hours. As far as hubby's greasy clothes, I'd pretreat with the above stain remover to break down the grease. On really greasy stuff, I do occasionally run a hot/warm cycle.

I'd try doing some more experimenting before I threw out the washer with the washer-water, lol.

FarmGirl #1390
www.mylittlecountry.wordpress.com
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GoddessintheGroove
True Blue Farmgirl

265 Posts

Heike
Sacramento CA
265 Posts

Posted - Feb 12 2014 :  10:15:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Nicole!
I will have to try the Dawn/Vinegar. That may take care of the works shirts :).

quote:
Originally posted by texdane

Hi Heike,

I was going to chime in, but everything I would tell you is similar to everyone here. I like to use the powder form of the detergent. I also like the bluing. I have very, very hard well water. For whites, alongside the bluing, I found that seltzer in the rinse water makes a difference too. I also pre-treat my husband's white shirts around the collar and on any stains with a solution that I found here, but was meant to clean the shower. Use one cup of warmed vinegar mixed with one cup of original Dawn dish detergent, and place in a spray bottle. It is wonderful for cleaning tubs and showers, but it also is a good stain remover on clothes. I had a front loader once, and with my well water, hated it. I now have an energy efficient washer, but it is a top loader.

Good luck!

Nicole

Farmgirl Sister #1155
KNITTER, JAM-MAKER AND MOM EXTRAORDINAIRE
Chapter Leader, Connecticut Simpler Life Sisters
Farmgirl of the Month, January 2013

Suburban Farmgirl Blogger
http://sfgblog.maryjanesfarm.org/



FarmGirl Sister #2245
"A journey back to the roots..."
http://www.herbmagik.com

"Women with opinions, pendants, & KitchenWitches...all in one."
http://www.goddessinthegroove.com

Find me on FB: http://www.facebook.com/theGoddessintheGroove
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GoddessintheGroove
True Blue Farmgirl

265 Posts

Heike
Sacramento CA
265 Posts

Posted - Feb 12 2014 :  10:20:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by msdoolittle


I'd try doing some more experimenting before I threw out the washer with the washer-water, lol.

FarmGirl #1390
www.mylittlecountry.wordpress.com



HA!HA!

I will. I see that I need to do some rethinking :).

FarmGirl Sister #2245
"A journey back to the roots..."
http://www.herbmagik.com

"Women with opinions, pendants, & KitchenWitches...all in one."
http://www.goddessinthegroove.com

Find me on FB: http://www.facebook.com/theGoddessintheGroove
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mommatracy
True Blue Farmgirl

490 Posts

Tracy
My. Olive NC
USA
490 Posts

Posted - Feb 19 2014 :  8:24:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I never knew that Clorox should not be used with a septic system. What is the problem with it. Been using it for years.

www.cottagebythebay.blogspot.com

~Trust in the Lord...but row away from the rocks~
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jpbluesky
True Blue Farmgirl

6055 Posts

Shirley Jean (Jeannie)
Florida
USA
6055 Posts

Posted - Feb 20 2014 :  11:01:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a new Energy Efficient washer, and I miss my old one so much! This one sounds like two cats fighting all the way through the wash cycle! Even my grandchildren said, what on earth is that noise? There is nothing wrong with it, it just sounds that way as it swishes.....like Yeoow, Yeoow,....they don't make them like they used to. Who knew it would sound so awful? It is not like you can test drive them before purchasing. :) Wouldn't it be funny to walk into an appliance store with a load of dirty laundry?

Farmgirl #31

www.blueskyjeannie.blogspot.com

Psalm 51: 10-13
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GoddessintheGroove
True Blue Farmgirl

265 Posts

Heike
Sacramento CA
265 Posts

Posted - Feb 20 2014 :  2:57:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
THAT would be perfect! At least we could see if it really works :).

quote:
Originally posted by jpbluesky

I have a new Energy Efficient washer, and I miss my old one so much! This one sounds like two cats fighting all the way through the wash cycle! Even my grandchildren said, what on earth is that noise? There is nothing wrong with it, it just sounds that way as it swishes.....like Yeoow, Yeoow,....they don't make them like they used to. Who knew it would sound so awful? It is not like you can test drive them before purchasing. :) Wouldn't it be funny to walk into an appliance store with a load of dirty laundry?

Farmgirl #31

www.blueskyjeannie.blogspot.com

Psalm 51: 10-13



FarmGirl Sister #2245
"A journey back to the roots..."
http://www.herbmagik.com

"Women with opinions, pendants, & KitchenWitches...all in one."
http://www.goddessinthegroove.com

Find me on FB: http://www.facebook.com/theGoddessintheGroove
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Rosemary
True Blue Farmgirl

1820 Posts


Virginia
USA
1820 Posts

Posted - Feb 22 2014 :  3:51:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mommatracy

I never knew that Clorox should not be used with a septic system. What is the problem with it. Been using it for years.



Tracy, septic systems depend on bacteria to break down waste. Clorox interferes with this essential process by killing the bacteria.
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teckelhut
Farmgirl in Training

32 Posts

Sussie
Deschutes Junction Oregon
USA
32 Posts

Posted - Feb 27 2014 :  3:53:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Are you adding Baking Soda to your wash load? We have VERY hard water out here but one cup Baking Soda per load sure makes the clothes come out clean.

Sussie of Teckelhut Acres
Heritage Chickens
Meat and Show Rabbits
Certified Naturally Raised
Certified Humane
Deschutes Junction, OR
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JerseyGirl
True Blue Farmgirl

181 Posts

Michele
Southern NJ
USA
181 Posts

Posted - May 13 2014 :  02:41:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My whites take a beating also. I use good old bleach when necessary but also Blu-it...I get mine at Walmart.
I have a front load washer and dryer. Every now and then I run vinegar alone thru a cycle and it helps my washer run more efficiently and the clothes smell much better.
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IndoorsyGal
Farmgirl in Training

11 Posts

Allison
Fort Scott Kansas
USA
11 Posts

Posted - May 23 2018 :  08:17:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Really dirty clothes or stains have to be soaked, treated, or scrubbed before washing. The washing machine will never clean your really dirty or greasy clothes all by itself.

I was very gentle on my kitchen towels, but my husband gets them greasy and full of - I'm not sure what - but they are filthy when he cooks. I never liked throwing my kitchen towels in with clothing or even bed linens because of the potential grease in them (I wash in cold water) so I always throw the week's batch in a small tub of hot soapy water to degrease them. I swish them around a bit, maybe scrub a stain, and then rinse a bit. I'm not washing them right away since I don't have a washer and either do laundry at my folks' when I go take care of them or at the laundromat, so I have them to dry. Then they can go in the wash with the bed and bath linens.

I have found that Spray N' Wash type stuff sprayed around collars and cuffs (or a hand scrubbing with a little soap) removes the dirt and oils and I spray it on as it's going in the wash. No detergent alone - homemade or storebought - has ever "cleaned" my really dirty clothes for me - as in removed most stains. I scrub those by hand quickly just before washing or sometimes just apply a stain remover.

I've used grated Ivory soap and washing soda OR borax, not both, for years but now this DOES NOT WORK for me in a town with "extremely hard water' because even with Calgon, the minerals bind to the soap and most of it gets trapped in the clothing fibers and wrecks my clothes. So I am back to a non-soap natural detergent and Calgon at the laundromat and regular no dye no perfume brand at my parents'. Not my favorite options, but it is what it is.

Either way, laundry is more than the machine. If clothes are really stained or dirty, you have to manually pre-wash or pre-treat them.

We were two adults and two teens and I never did more than 3 loads of laundry a week - one white and light, one dark, and one linens. I own 5 tank tops, 5 long sleeve pullovers, 3 wool sweaters, a hoodie, and three pairs of jeans and 4 sleeveless and long sleeve blouses for layering when I go out to someplace nice. I guess I've had a minimalist wardrobe since it became trendy and maybe a minimalist wardrobe idea will help you reduce the laundry pile. Now with just me and the husband I do 2-3 loads every two weeks - and he gets really grubby out in the yard. But he also wears the same pants or shorts for outside work and just changes when he comes in.

Anyway, don't expect your washing machine to do the work of getting really dirty clothes clean. I think we've been sold a lot of lies on that one.

https://sweaterdoll.blogspot.com
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loribeck
True Blue Farmgirl

585 Posts

Lori
Alvordton 36
USA
585 Posts

Posted - Nov 29 2018 :  4:06:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I did not know about using baking soda. I will have to try it.

Lori Beck
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loribeck
True Blue Farmgirl

585 Posts

Lori
Alvordton 36
USA
585 Posts

Posted - Nov 30 2018 :  5:37:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a front loader. Sometimes the seal leaks and water gets on the floor. The washer is only a couple of years old. I also wish I could choose how long to leave my load of laundry wash. I wish I had my top loader back


Lori Beck
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hoosiercountry
True Blue Farmgirl

566 Posts

karla
north port fl
USA
566 Posts

Posted - Nov 30 2018 :  6:35:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was nursing when we could only wear white, and well water can do a number on whites. I too tried everything on the market, and any suggestions I heard or read. I had a friend that told me to try dish washing detergent, and she said get the cheap stuff, put it in with your detergent at the start of your wash. I have been sold ever since. I get a cheap powder from Dollar General, it has been a long time since I used bleach on my cloths. Hugs Karla

FGOM March 2018

I dusted once, it came back. I'm not falling for that again.
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loribeck
True Blue Farmgirl

585 Posts

Lori
Alvordton 36
USA
585 Posts

Posted - Dec 15 2018 :  5:23:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rosemary

quote:
Originally posted by mommatracy

I never knew that Clorox should not be used with a septic system. What is the problem with it. Been using it for years.



Tracy, septic systems depend on bacteria to break down waste. Clorox interferes with this essential process by killing the bacteria.


Thank you for sharing that. I didn't know that Clorox should not be used when you have a septic system

Lori Beck
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loribeck
True Blue Farmgirl

585 Posts

Lori
Alvordton 36
USA
585 Posts

Posted - Jul 02 2019 :  7:04:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
While doing laundry today I was thinking about the subject of washing machines. I have the front loader but I am not as impressed as I thought I would be. I have to say in all honesty that I like the older washing machines better. With the front loader you have to wipe around the seal on the inside so that it does not get a musty odor to it. Even if the door is left open it can still get a musty odor. My seal around the door still leaks on occasion and it just irritates me. My husband and I have several animals that we have rescued and that builds up on the wash. I don't want company to smell dogs and cats when they walk in so I am always washing bedding and covers from the sofa. I don't care as much about the dryer as I have racks to hang clothes on to dry. I would like a clothesline to hang stuff outside though. That is one of the projects I would like to get done this summer.

Lori Beck
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StitchinWitch
True Blue Farmgirl

591 Posts

Judith
Galt CA
USA
591 Posts

Posted - Aug 02 2019 :  2:39:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We got a new washer last month because my 38 year old Whirlpool finally bit the dust. I'm not sure if I like the new one. It is supposed to be efficient. True, it uses very little water; so little that I'm questioning if it is really cleaning the clothes. My old washer used lots of water and took 25 minutes to do a load including a second rinse, This new one takes 1 hour and 5 minutes to do a load. It may be saving water but it sure isn't saving electricity.

Judith

7932
Happiness is Homemade
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loribeck
True Blue Farmgirl

585 Posts

Lori
Alvordton 36
USA
585 Posts

Posted - Aug 02 2019 :  5:25:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Judith, I also have an energy efficient washer and it takes forever to do a load of laundry. I miss the old washer I had. I really don't think it's all that efficient. I have a front loader and it takes as long to clean it after every load because the rubber around the inside of the door will hold moisture and stink if it isn't dried out with a cloth

Lori Beck
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