Thread Number: 42606
Today's Topic: Boot Or No Boot?
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Post# 626900   9/22/2012 at 19:55 (1,942 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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Many if not most domestic H-axis front loaders have the rubber boot/seal around the porthole on the washer. However commercial units and some domestic brands like Asko do away with the boot in favour of other methods of creating a seal.

Talk amoungst yourselves.

Post# 626915 , Reply# 1   9/22/2012 at 20:56 (1,942 days old) by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

Much time as I spent watching the Wascomat 30# softmount I can't remember whether it had a boot or not. Can tell you it never struggled to balance.

Post# 626973 , Reply# 2   9/22/2012 at 23:33 (1,942 days old) by qualin (Canada)        

I think machines which lack a boot most likely have better longevity. I think its also probably a better design.

Unfortunately, not very many manufacturers use it. There is probably a reason why!

Post# 627108 , Reply# 3   9/23/2012 at 17:18 (1,941 days old) by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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James Dyson commented that a conventional door seal was like a slimy condom. His Contrarotator machines therefore had the Asko style of seal.

I haven't had problems with conventional seals, yet I keep seeing friends and relatives with mould peppered seals. It must be to do with not properly ventilating the machine after use.

Post# 627115 , Reply# 4   9/23/2012 at 17:24 (1,941 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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Well that and not using proper amounts of detergent and hot water washes.

Moulds grow on the greasy gunk that builds up on door seals if wash water isn't strong enough to keep them suspended and rinsed away.

Oh and it could also have allot to do with over use of fabric softeners as well.

The one complaint persons seem to have about "bootless" domestic washing machines is that the odd small item such as an infant's sock can slip between the tubs and perhaps clog the pump. On a commercial washer without a pump the things would simply flush down the drains and or become caught in any trap set up in the "pit". Indeed laundromat owners tell they often find various odd small items there such as coins, etc....

Post# 627233 , Reply# 5   9/24/2012 at 03:23 (1,941 days old) by qualin (Canada)        

You know, I don't think I could ever figure out why washer manufacturers never sold gravity drain machines. My parents place had a floor drain and ran the drain hose to it. It worked just fine.

The GE Filter-Flo seemed to be OK with it, but the Whirlpool my parents replaced it with had siphoning problems, so they had to put in a trap. Is it just a matter of cost?

Post# 627246 , Reply# 6   9/24/2012 at 07:36 (1,941 days old) by MikeKLondon ()        
No Boot

I have only ever had one machine without a boot and that was an AEG many years ago and it was fantastic. wish they still made something like it now. One thing that I'm confused about is the H Axis machines v FL
my understanding has always been that an H- eaxis is a top loader with a drum action n the uk Philips made one and so did Miele a long time ago. can someone explain what's an H axis and what's a FL

Post# 627347 , Reply# 7   9/24/2012 at 17:45 (1,940 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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IIRC still makes all it's washing machines without a boot, not sure about anyone else.

Post# 627417 , Reply# 8   9/25/2012 at 00:10 (1,940 days old) by ronhic (Canberra, Australia)        

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...yes, they still do.

Post# 627427 , Reply# 9   9/25/2012 at 02:54 (1,940 days old) by chestermikeuk (Rainhill *Home of the RailwayTrials* Merseyside,UK)        

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Mike its all in the terminology, H-Axis washing machines cover our front loaders and those top loaders like the Phillips and Staber. We just call our auto washers front loaders although they are H-Axis, if you asked jo public about H-Axis washers most wouldnt have a clue what you where talking about!!

The V-Axis machines are those like US top loaders and even our twintubs,vertical drums loading from the top..

Boots, never had a problem with any have used, again like other see many which are peppered with mold etc...The Asko`s and Maytag Asko`s along with the ISE washing machines are still produced with no door boots or gaskets, they do offer more usable space in the drum....I wonder when Gorenje will start to use the feature.

Post# 627608 , Reply# 10   9/26/2012 at 01:47 (1,939 days old) by MikeKLondon ()        
H-Axis `v` V-Axis

Thanks Mike
That makes it clear

Post# 627792 , Reply# 11   9/26/2012 at 20:48 (1,938 days old) by Jetcone (Schenectady-Calrods,Monitor Tops,Toroid Transformers)        
I've been thinking of

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a Bi machine. H-axis and V-axis at the same time. Like those station wagons with tailgates that opened as a door or a gate. It could be done now with all the electronic controls. the user determines which door they want to use. It would definitely be bootless.
Saw one in an ancient patent from the 1940's once, thought it was pretty cool!

Post# 973708 , Reply# 12   12/14/2017 at 22:57 by wft2800 (Leatherhead, Surrey)        

Necroposting again!

Jetcone, I've seen something similar to what you describe (albeit not tilting-axis, just two different points of access) with Electrolux barrier machines - instead of hatches in two opposing sides of the machine, you have a conventional front-loader which is installed side-on to the wall, and has one side hatch, so a bit like what you describe. The WB5180H model is one such.

I'm not sure how practicable a tilting-axis machine might be... sealing would likely be a nightmare.

Post# 973713 , Reply# 13   12/14/2017 at 23:31 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Many if not most

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Commercial/industrial side loading washer have two doors:

Post# 973723 , Reply# 14   12/15/2017 at 04:59 by johnrk (BP TX)        

When did front loading boots start having the mildew problem to begin with?

The first I ever heard about it was what, about 20 years ago or so when the Neptune problem hit the national news.

Westinghouse made all those cool oval window washers for many years but I never heard anything about mold or mildew.

Was the problem always there and we just didn't hear of it because not many FL's were made, or was it a design change, etc.?

Post# 973759 , Reply# 15   12/15/2017 at 08:31 by henene4 (Germany)        
Mold in the EU

I can't really say much about the US, but in the EU, there are usually the same few factors at pay that cause the mold problem:

1) Machines aren't allowed to air out. For example, in London city, most machines are right in the kitchen. Leaving the door open is a tripping/bumping hazzard and thus, doors are always shut.
2) Low temperatures. You won't believe how many machine not once in their life heat beyond 100°F.
3) Overloaded short cycles. Lots of people think stuffing the drum on the quick cycle will clean well enough.
4) Residue buildup that is somehow never taken care of until after it's to late.

Post# 973760 , Reply# 16   12/15/2017 at 08:34 by johnrk (BP TX)        
You're Right,

Factors for Deutschland are different than in the US-

Post# 973763 , Reply# 17   12/15/2017 at 09:00 by jeff_adelphi (Adelphi, Maryland, USA)        
Early mildew problems,

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My brother and I saw Westinghouse FL washers with mildew problems in the 60's  and 70's. It was not a common as today, as hotter water and better detergent were used then.

Post# 975737 , Reply# 18   12/27/2017 at 11:35 by wft2800 (Leatherhead, Surrey)        

Hotter water? AFAIK those WHs, like modern machines, could achieve temps no higher than about 60c. Better detergent? Absolutely incorrect. The detergents back then were crap - dirt couldn't be held in suspension properly, and they were chock full of phosphates!

Post# 975739 , Reply# 19   12/27/2017 at 12:01 by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        

I think he means that before US users were so convinced of this cold water wash nonsense. Back then people cared about clean laundry too and thus were more apt to spend money on high quality detergents like Tide for TL machines and ALL or Dash for FL washers which had phosphates unlike today's user who cheaps out on junk like A&H or Purex detergent which while having similar formulas to 1950s detergents in that they have no enzymes, they are watered down and without phosphates fail to adapt to anything but the softest water.

Post# 975761 , Reply# 20   12/27/2017 at 14:33 by jerrod6 (United States of America)        

I grew up with those Westinghouse fl as my parents had them, and later when I left home I had two of them in different houses. Never a smell or mildew problem, but then never all cold washes. The lowest temp used was warm which was a mixture of hot and cold water from the tap.

I've had my Miele washer since 2003. No mold or smell. When I wash, I do one cold wash and that is for gym clothes, everything else is done using 104F, or 120F and occasional 140F or 190F. No mildew or mold. There is no clean washer cycle on it either.

I think people are told to use cold water and then they don't know any better, and they don't think about it either.

Post# 975765 , Reply# 21   12/27/2017 at 16:11 by IowaBear (Cedar Rapids, IA)        

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The Neptune seemed to set itself up for a perfect storm.


1) Large door boot that retained a pool of water (later fixed with a drain in the boot.)


2) A lighted drum that discouraged customers from leaving the door ajar (light later removed.)


3) No window so customers couldn't easily tell when they were using too much detergent.


4) Many who would pay a premium for this machine would likely be energy/environmentally conscious and wash only in cold water and eschew the use of chlorine bleach.


My 2006 Neptune was one of the last made and has the boot drain and no light.  It's seen weekly hot washes with bleach since day one and door is always open if not in use.  No mold on the boot, it still looks like new after 11 years.

Post# 975782 , Reply# 22   12/27/2017 at 18:08 by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

Every time I see people asking if this is a new phenomenon (or strongly implying it is) I have to laugh.

Here's the scoop -- I've seen people who had frontloaders in the 60's and 70's and some of them were super gross with mold/mildew and some were so clean you might as well think they were brand new.

When I was living in South America in the 80's, Whirlpool started distributing a couple of models of a British version of the Philips frontloaders under the Frigidaire brand, and my family got one. Then friends and neighbors got the machines when they saw ours and how well it worked. Over half of the machines stayed clean as new too, and some of them had varying amounts of mold/mildew -- all of the ones that were contaminated seemed to only do cold washes and/or stay closed most of the time, while the clean ones spend most of the time with the door at least ajar if not open, and the dispenser drawer removed or ajar.

At this point, one could think that maybe water quality has something to do with it, and maybe it does for the majority of cases. But one case in particular is very interesting to me: when I moved out of the home, I left the washer for my brother and his family to use, and it got a small amount of mold/mildew -- they were using the same detergents and water I was using, but lower temps with mostly cold washes, and they were keeping the dispenser drawer and door closed because they had kids. Of course, when I visited, I would quickly clean the machine for them and it would stay clean for a while, but the cycle repeated.

So, maybe there are people out there that do everything right (high temp washes, good detergent, air out dispensers and tub) and still get problems, and maybe sometimes it may be that some machines are made with substandard boot materials etc -- but my money is mostly that people aren't using the machines the way they were supposed to.

And this is not reserved *just* for the "dreadful" frontloaders either -- all my life I've seen people who owned toploaders of all kinds ("water hogs" from the 60's to brand new HE toploaders) with the same problems. My gut feeling is that it's always the same old thing, people who aren't airing the tub after wash day is over and people who overload and/or use all cold washes and/or cheap detergents have the problem.

In my experience, it's very rare to see people who have blinding white and bright colored clothing have problems with their washers having mold/mildew -- it's somehow only a problem for people who have muted colors and dingy whites, and people who complain about spots being left on their laundry. In the few cases I've asked for details because they were complaining and asking me for advice, they were using short cycle times, lower temps and either overdosing or underdosing detergent, and most had no idea if the machine was rinsing well because they never hung out near the machine not even every once in a while to see if everything was going according to plan -- they loaded things up and disappeared for several hours, firmly believing that if the laundry was cycled thru, somehow the machine would have done everything properly as it it were Rosie from the Jetsons.

And I'll grant them that *some* modern machines can repeat rinses until clothes are well rinsed but most machines don't do that or just get rid of the oversudsing condition, but do not rinse enough.

And as usual, YMMV.

   -- Paulo.

Post# 975795 , Reply# 23   12/27/2017 at 19:29 by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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Damn. Whats wrong with me? I keep misreading/misunderstanding the titles.

Post# 975800 , Reply# 24   12/27/2017 at 20:07 by wft2800 (Leatherhead, Surrey)        

Here's a funny thing... I've never used detergent with either phosphates or enzymes in it. Enzymes trigger skin allergies here, and phosphates are rightly banned. I've never, ever had any problems with mildew on the boot, even when I was rarely washing at over 40c and never used bleach, and tended to keep the door closed. The Miele I bought secondhand recently did have some black residue on the boot, but that soon went away with a few 95c washes and a bit of bleach...

Post# 976088 , Reply# 25   12/30/2017 at 06:38 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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I personally think there is a little more to it than just detergent type, wash temperature and airing of the appliance.

There is the possibility of the fabric of the building and its site.

A brand-spanking-new house might have less moulds and fungi spores floating about in the internal atmosphere than a 60 year old property with a fusty cellar.

A house sited on a breezy hilltop is probably much better ventilated than one situated near boggy marshlands.

If a washing machine is installed in a chronically damp/musty, poorly ventilated room, surely the mould spores are going to latch onto the nearest damp surfaces (washing machine tub, seals, dispenser drawer).

Then if you add in cold water washes, using too much fabric conditioner, and using liquid detergent, you end up with a veritable recipe for disaster.

Post# 976769 , Reply# 26   1/3/2018 at 19:05 by wft2800 (Leatherhead, Surrey)        

My house was built in 1903. Cavity walls and machine-made brick, but lime mortar and coarse sand & horsehair lime plaster, for the most part. It sits on chalk downland at 280ft AMSL. The back garden slopes up away from the kitchen where the washing machines live. It's generally a bit damp, but the land drains well and the house is breathable. The problem is with new-builds that aren't designed to breathe - cement mortar, cement-based plaster, no open fireplaces or chimneys...

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