Thread Number: 19607
Question for USA guys
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Post# 315100   11/14/2008 at 18:41 (3,261 days old) by paulc (Edinburgh, Scotland)        

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After watching countless youtube videos am still confused as to how the central agitator softner dispenser works......does it throw softener onto the wash after the 1st spin......and on washers with extra rinse option how does this work? Sorry in iam being a do all T/L spray rinse before the deep rinse?

Post# 315112 , Reply# 1   11/14/2008 at 18:59 (3,261 days old) by launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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There are two chambers, an inner and outer.

Fabric softener is poured into the inner chamber, and during the spin cycle between the wash and rinse it is thrown into the outer chamber by "circular" force. During the rinse cycle as water is pumped into the dispener's outer chamber it mixes with and dispenses the product.

Simple and effective. Only problem is unless the washer is designed not to send water through the dispenser for a first rinse, doing two rinses is not possible if one wishes FS in the last to be dispensed "automatically".


Post# 315125 , Reply# 2   11/14/2008 at 19:07 (3,261 days old) by paulc (Edinburgh, Scotland)        

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Thanks, .........your detergents must be very differant to european ones to rinse away with just one rinse.

Post# 315128 , Reply# 3   11/14/2008 at 19:13 (3,261 days old) by launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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What makes you think that! *LOL*

Most Americans then and now do not pay too much attention to detergent residue. The matter is not limited to top loaders either.

Time and again have seen persons load laundromat front loaders and dump in enough detergent to cause foam to gush forth from the dispenser ports and door gasket during ALL cycle phases, including the final rinse and spin. Said persons simply take their laundry from the machine when it is done and bung it into the dryer.


Post# 315131 , Reply# 4   11/14/2008 at 19:41 (3,261 days old) by paulc (Edinburgh, Scotland)        

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Thats awful!!! I was very tempted to buy a top loader before I bought my Miele1613 as we get free hot water ( well its from a centralised boiler and is factored in to our service charge ). My aunt has a whirlpool top loader and was always impressed with quick cycle times and washing ability but i'd have to destroy my kitchen to accomodate a T/ have gatherd from this site that T/L bobble your clothes and a lot more lint is that true?

Post# 315137 , Reply# 5   11/14/2008 at 20:57 (3,261 days old) by peterh770 (Marietta, GA)        

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Very true. You don't really notice it from day to day, but the dryer lint screen will tell you different.

Physics == centrifugal force during spin forces softener in the inner sanctum cup up and over the lip into the outer sanctum. When the spin stops, the product falls with gravity out the bottom of the dispenser and into the tub. Washers like WP/KM, new GE and original Maytags drained the soften down through the barrel of the agitator to the bottom of the tub. The innards of these agitators can get messy with residual product. The flying saucers ones that sit on top of the agitator dripped into the wash tub. The underside of these can be gunky. Of course, most users don't dilute the softener with hot water when loading it, so the extra thickness of the softener can really make a mess.

If there is a spin between the pre-wash and the main wash, the dispenser can be loaded with liquid detergent.

Post# 315140 , Reply# 6   11/14/2008 at 21:08 (3,261 days old) by dadoes (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Correction. There's no water pumped through the centrifugal-type dispenser. The softener simply drains from the outer chamber via gravity when spin stops. If the first spin is stopped for any reason (lid opened, power failure, timer shut off, etc.), the softener will drain out and be wasted if/when spin resumes before the rinse-fill. If there's a 2nd deep rinse involved (assuming the 1st deep rinse is preceded by a spin), softener is dispensed into the first rinse, the 2nd rinse gets none. The only way to retain softener and dispense it into the 2nd rinse is with an electric/timed dispenser ... or in some cases such as my F&P, it doesn't spin before the 1st rinse if set for two deep rinses.

Post# 315143 , Reply# 7   11/14/2008 at 22:03 (3,261 days old) by laundromat (Hilo, Hawaii)        
Downy Balls

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Proctor and Gamble has the solution to the gummy residue left behind by mechanical,agitator mounted type dispensers by making what they have named the "Downy Ball".It is a device that you fill to the proper level,pull up the rubber seal and drop it into your top loading,agitator type washer's tub.It will open via centrifugal force during the first spin and, as the rinse cycle fills the wash tub with water,it mixes with the fabric softner and is evenly distributed during agitation.These are available for about $2 each at Walmart and/or any major grocery stores on your area.You may also purchase them on line at the Downy site.

Post# 315156 , Reply# 8   11/15/2008 at 00:05 (3,261 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        

I had the great gift of a preowned softner queen machine, that came with this house, It was a maytag with a plastic basket. The reek of whatever softner they used or possibly waxey buildup of this scent was nauseating. Everything i washed smelled like that ##it. I dont use softner, occasionally a dryer sheet for static control and never in towels. many overuse liquid fabric softner to the point I doubt it would be rinsed away Even with a 2nd rinse if the dispenser dropped it in the first rinse. alr2903

Post# 315175 , Reply# 9   11/15/2008 at 01:45 (3,261 days old) by rapunzel (Sydney)        
Most Americans then and now do not pay too much attention to

May I ask what evidence do you have to support this generalization?

Due to the new generation water-miser machines a lot of modern detergents are formulated to rinse out very quickly. Also, top loaders don't only do one rinse. They usually do a combination of a deep and a prolonged and very effective spray rinse. Now there are machines that have a spray rinse before the deep rinse and other top loaders, like my Speed Queen, that performs a deep rinse first and it works very well.

Recent Choice reviews in Australia are certainly not supporting the notion that top loaders leave significant amounts of detergent residue in clothes. They do, however, show that the most water-efficient front loaders do a significantly worse job at rinsing than most of the top loaders available over here.

I am curious to know if American and European CR washer reviews measure and rate rinse performance?


Post# 315182 , Reply# 10   11/15/2008 at 01:55 (3,261 days old) by washoholic (San Antonio, TX)        

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Similar to the F&P that Glenn mentioned, the Whirlpool Cabrio Agi, uses the agitator mounted dispenser cup, however only spins for 1 minute and 15 seconds between the wash and 1st rinse when set for an extra rinse. The short spin doesn’t create enough centrifugal force to move the softer out of the inner chamber.

After the 1st rinse, the Cabrio Agi drains,
spins for 4 minutes at 530 RPM which forces the softener into the outer chamber (Electric drain pump cycles on and off to get rid of the wash water spun out of the clothes),
pauses for 30 seconds to allow the softener to fall out of the outer chamber into the basket and onto the clothes (The drain pump is off),
spins for 30 seconds (Drain pump off),
spins and sprays for 10 seconds (Drain pump off),
then ramps up to 950 RPM to pull the softener through the clothes for the remaining 2 minutes and 20 seconds of the spin with the drain pump off,
coasts to a stop,
spins very slow and fills for the rinse,
spinning stops, water turns off and agitation for the rinse begins and the softener is mixed,
after 20 or 30 seconds when the air is released from the clothes, a little more water is added.


Post# 315185 , Reply# 11   11/15/2008 at 03:21 (3,261 days old) by launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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No hard facts, but the laundromat behaviour one mentioned above is NOT limited to the odd one off person, but rather a pretty normal occurance.

As for American domestic detergents, most are NOT designed for "HE" washing machines, that is to say low sudsing and clean rinsing. Even those labled "HE" such as Tide cannot compete with German Persil, and the German commercial laundry detergent is my stash. Both rinse so clean that by the second or third of the five rinses in my Miele, the water is clear.

As for consumer reporting magazines in the United States, no "Consumer Reports" (top consumer reporting mag in the States), does not rate "rinsing" of either detergents nor washing machines for that matter. Both focus on things such as stain and soil removal, gentleness on fabrics and so forth.

As for top loaders and rinsing, aside from the FP machines and a few others, most washing machines of that design have only one deep rinse after the wash cycle, with perhaps a spray rinse after the first spin. In the name of energy and water savings, the spray rinses have gotten much shorter, or elimiated all together on newer machines.

Post# 315202 , Reply# 12   11/15/2008 at 07:32 (3,261 days old) by rapunzel (Sydney)        
No hard facts, but the laundromat behaviour one mentioned ab

I think laundromat behaviour of that sort isn't only limited to the US. I've observed careless behaviours here in Australia as well as Europe, but that is only anecdotal evidence.

I use SA8, ColdPower and (US made) liquid Tide - and all rinse out very efficiently with just one deep and spray rinse. Most Australian powders and liquids still contain phosphates and there are new HE liquid detergents specifically designed for HE top loaders that supposedly rinse out completely using the eco (water miser) cycle.

-'As for consumer reporting magazines in the United States, no "Consumer Reports" (top consumer reporting mag in the States), does not rate "rinsing"-'

That doesn't surprise me actually and I have a hunch that rinsing performance doesn't figure prominently in European CR testing either.


Post# 315215 , Reply# 13   11/15/2008 at 09:00 (3,261 days old) by dj-gabriele ()        

....rinsing performance doesn't figure prominently in European CR testing either...

At least in Italy the valutation for rinsing performance is an important of the final mark on Altroconsumo, the Italian CR, and is always given for each tested machine. On the last test (800 rpm, cheap/everyday use washing machines) only SMEG was rated good at rinsing, Candy was medium along Rex-Electrolux, all the others were either poor (Indesit, Sangiorgio/Brandt, Whirlpool) or terrible (Bosch, Hotpoint-Ariston, Hoover, Ignis).

Post# 315222 , Reply# 14   11/15/2008 at 10:34 (3,261 days old) by irishwashguy (Salem,Oregon.............A Capital City)        
Trust me on this one

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I have a house mate that uses way to much Downy and thinks nothing of it. I have to tell him not to use so much soap.He says that it is out of habit, as if that is an excuse really?! I went to Costco one month ago bought Downy that has 195 loads and it is already gone. I have a Miele and used almost none of it, primarily I bought it for my house mate because he loves the downy smell. This is the biggest one that I could find, and as I said, i have a Miele,and he is a doing his clothes as well as his girlfriends when she is here. I use almost no softener, maybe a little occationally. To much smell, except from the Persil liquid, I love it as of late. I am careful with it. More of what I am getting at is that most Americans wash with the more is more mentality. Soap suds clean clothes, right? Fast and faster, and i will take some Speedos with my cup of espesso and make it to go for the express lane now! I had a friend that used my washer and dryer and about freaked when she saw the program was 1 hour 45 min the way that i usually set it. We are raised to want anything that will make us go faster, not always better, fast is good, now is good, slow is for crock pots and Grandma. The Maytag I grew up with, more than once when I would go to play with it, opening the lid only made the softener run out to early and drain out into the tub. The way the cup is on it, they make it with a crevices, it is captive to centrifical force. When the rinse starts, it drains out into the load. Detergent is only made to work for about ten min or so, and then if you are lucky rinse away, like that will happen when you use too much. I remember my mother using Bold 3 m an entire cup and still using Downy.Anyway..........

Post# 315230 , Reply# 15   11/15/2008 at 12:42 (3,261 days old) by logixx (Germany)        
I am curious to know if American and European CR washer revi

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European tests do measure rinse performance and for the last couple of years, no washer in Germany rated "good".

The German magazine measures rinsing performance for three cycles: Cottons 40°C, Easy-care 40°C and Cottons 40°C with some sort of quick wash option selected.

Performance is rated on a scale from A to E. Based on the October issue of "Stiftung Warentest", no washer scored higher than C for rinsing performance (Miele, Bosch/Siemens, one Whirlpool-made washer) on the regular Cottons cycle with a full load. The rest (AEG/Electrolux, Privileg/Electrolux, Electrolux, Bauknecht, Whirlpool, Blomberg, and Gorenje) all got a D. As for the other two tested cycles: some washing machines received B or even A ratings - but that's because more water is used and/or the manufacturer limits the load size for short/delicate cycles.

As a standard, most washer will perform three rinses on a cottons cycle. Fortunately, they didn't test the 60°C Energy Label cycle for rinsing performance as, in order to save water, some manufacturers just skip one rinse! :(

BTW: on the Cottons 40°C cycle load sizes varied from 5 to 7.5 kg, while water consumption varied from 50 to 71 liters.


Post# 315238 , Reply# 16   11/15/2008 at 14:20 (3,261 days old) by dadoes (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Jeff, that's an interesting sequence the Cabrio follows! I assume the 1st spin is at a slow speed along with being short? One has to wonder what's the reason for the softener release-spin routine. I'd be leery of spotting on the clothes, even with the 10 sec spray involved, but I imagine Whirlpool tested/engineered the sequence to avoid that.

Just as an aside, someone contacted me a few months ago about his new F&P appearing to not work properly when selecting softener rinse. It revved up to 300 RPM spin, then came to a complete stop which released the softener, did a brief spray at 25 RPM, then went into spin again with the drain pump running the entire time. This spin-stop-spray-spin sequence repeated six times prior to the deep rinse. His controller board apparently had a virus mixing up the shower-rinse option with the softener rinse option. :-) F&P replaced it and the machine works properly now.

Post# 315240 , Reply# 17   11/15/2008 at 15:04 (3,261 days old) by launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
I think laundromat behaviour of that sort isn't only lim

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What makes you think persons do laundry at home any differently than at a laundromat?

Then there is also the not to small matter that most American laundry products give dosing instructions calling for far more product than required. Since P&G and the lot are in the business of selling product, the sooner a consumer finished up that box or bottle and buys another, the better.

Second problem is American's also are big on adding tons of other products to the same wash load they've already "over dosed" with detergent. On top of a detergent (with or without oxygen bleach), how about a healthy dose of "Oxy-Booster" (more oxygen bleach with or without enzymes, but often contains more washing soda and surfactants). Then bung a cup or two of chlorine bleach in while one it at it.

Also much of Amercian laundry is not really that soiled, owning to the habit of persons wearing something for five minutes then chucking it into the hamper because it is "dirty".


Post# 315287 , Reply# 18   11/15/2008 at 20:05 (3,260 days old) by washoholic (San Antonio, TX)        

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Glenn, you are correct that the 1st spin is slower and shorter. The Cabrio is not nearly as cool as the F&P, so one has no way to see the actual RPM of spin as on the F&P, but it’s faster than the spin during fill and slower than the final spin on “Casual” which is 400 RPM.

You’re dead on also with the spotting. A load of white towels came out of the washer with spots. The spots did not come out in the dryer, and became more noticeable. The softener cup holds one cap of triple concentrated softener and one cap of warm water (So it was diluted). If one used regular softener there would be no room in the softener cup to dilute it. The spots did come out when the towels were re-washed. The soften cup has not been used again.

That’s interesting about the control board. The spin-stop-spray-spin sequence repeating six times prior to the deep rinse sounds like a great idea for a new cycle without fabric softener. Maybe for people with sensitive skin or following a heavy duty cycle to get out extra detergent.


Post# 315291 , Reply# 19   11/15/2008 at 20:26 (3,260 days old) by washoholic (San Antonio, TX)        
American Laundry Behavior

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The most common occurrence that I’ve observed when watching people do laundry in their homes is that they set the machine for the “normal cycle” with a cold wash and cold rinse not matter what they are washing.

I’ve asked them if they think they should use hot water and the heavy duty cycle to wash the load of whites, but I’ve been told “No, it’s just a normal load of whites.”
What about using Perm Press/Wrinkle Free to wash those dress clothes, “No, there is nothing special about those dress clothes. It’s just a normal load of dress clothes.”

These same people blame the machine if something doesn’t come out clean, or is too wrinkled.

Post# 315292 , Reply# 20   11/15/2008 at 20:32 (3,260 days old) by pulsator (Saint Joseph, MI)        

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My dads wash everything together on the Normal cycle with cold water and "less soil" selected no matter what the soil level is and wonder why their whites come out blue, why stains never come out and why their Whirlpool Duet has a horrible stench to it. I keep explaining to them why these things happen but they just dismiss all the issues including turning the whites blue as, "we just have a crappy washing machine."

Post# 315298 , Reply# 21   11/15/2008 at 21:31 (3,260 days old) by logixx (Germany)        

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My mother is the same: she separates by color and that's it. Actually, she would only need three buttons: Normal hot, Normal warm and Delicate... And one type of detergent and a bottle of softener. She must have inherited that behavior from her mother, who never uses any of the options on her Miele. No surprise my cousin's stinky clothes, which she regularly washes, came out still smelling. Whenever I come over to visit her, I take over as many household chores I can to help her. So once I washed one of these "challenging" loads (this time with Extended Wash and Extra Rinse) and everything came out clean and fresh.

Then again, everyone has different "interests". I, contrary to many other members here, couldn't care less for vintage TVs and radios - or even vacuum cleaners.

Post# 315302 , Reply# 22   11/15/2008 at 22:14 (3,260 days old) by favorit ()        
Indesit made the 4-button-MOON for such people

My granny from the wasboard went directly to a Candy FL.

That machine got bored by running boilwashes only . Sometimes it spun those handwashed clothes that couldn't stand a boilwash

Gran was a bit bleach addicted, so when she was about to wash, everyone here ran to hyde his/her favourite shirt.... dark socks with unidentified WHITE spots were soooo common ;-)

Post# 315449 , Reply# 23   11/16/2008 at 22:19 (3,259 days old) by toggleswitch2 ()        
There is a REASON ASKOS need 7 or 8 rinses..................

~They do, however, show that the most water-efficient front loaders do a significantly worse job at rinsing than most of the top loaders available over here.

Rinsing is simply a matter of dilution. One top-loader's deep rinse may incorporate as much as 100L (say 26.5+/- gallons)of water.

Assuming a typical front-loader uses 20L of water (5.3+/-gallons of water), one can easily see that 5 top-loader rinses approximates one top-loader's deep rinse.

Reminder:Aa bucket of water is 2 U.S. gallons +/-.

Post# 315489 , Reply# 24   11/17/2008 at 08:51 (3,259 days old) by favorit ()        
Rinsing is simply a matter of dilution

This is true, but depending on the way it is done and on the fabric you're rinsing.

While handrinsing one uses a reasonable amount of water and changes it a few times as necessary, rather than use just a lot of water in a single rinse.

Other effective factors :

- Interim spins, in both VA TL and HA FL & TL

- Sprays while spinning probably do more than the single deep rinse in VA TL

- Water hardness. Hard water requires more detergents, otherwise it helps rinsing (calcium & magnesium salts link with detergents and precipitate, so it rinses better). Soft water needs less detergent but doesn't help dilution.

Asko W have the OPTIONAL 7+ rinses as soft water is very common in Scandinavia. Similar feature have swiss machines ( VZug, Merker, Schulthess ...) as in southern Switzerland (Vallais,Tessin and Graubuenden) soft water is an issue.
Mieles have the water plus sys, Aegs and Bosches have the "sensitive" option..... also, in case of suds lock, these machines add further rinse(s)

So, if one lives in a hard water place he/she can use the standard watersaving setting ..and lots of Calgon/descaler

Where water is soft one hasn't limescale issues but has rinsing ones, so 7+,sensitive,waterplus and such options come useful

Commercial laundries in hard water areas have water softeners to save on chemicals, indeed they have soft hot&cold pipelines for wash fills and hard cold water fills for rinses

Me too had prejudice about the single deep rinse on VA TL, as i didn't know about spray spins ....

Anyway it is true that the energy/water saving "race" has somewhat pushed things beyond a reasonable limit. For our sake this mostly happens on the programme used for eco ratings

I.E my newer machine uses 52 litres @ full load on standard setting. When I have towel & bathgown loads I use the waterplus to have low washing level but 4 high level rinses as the older machine does

Post# 315534 , Reply# 25   11/17/2008 at 15:18 (3,259 days old) by toggleswitch2 ()        

~Sprays while spinning probably do more than the single deep rinse in VA TL

oh yes I agree. But the clothing is folded over upon itself during spin and there are corners and bits that probably don't get throuroughly rinsed.

Perhaps a spray rinse, then a deep-rinse, then another spray rinse is best.

Alas, this latest water-saving mania kick killed-off all of that.

Post# 315550 , Reply# 26   11/17/2008 at 17:04 (3,259 days old) by launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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As someone who has stood standing over a Hoover TT doing several "spray" rinses, am here to tell you that the process can indeed be effective. Know this because items that have been processed accordingly, when put into the wash tub for a "deep" rinse, the water is quite clear and free of detergent residue.

Spray rinsing must be designed in such a way that laundry is allowed to absorb water, then it is spun out.

On the Unimac commercial twin tubs, the spin spray basket has a central diffuser cone that sprays a fine mist of water onto laundry as it is spun on low speed, the the machine ramps up to speed to spin the water out. This is repeated several times until the laundry is "rinsed", then the final high speed spin starts.

Merely bouncing water off laundry as it spins very quickly does little if no effective rinsing. It does however help to remove excess foam in tubs, so can be of some use.

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