Thread Number: 61710  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
Our 1998 Maytag Dependable Care w/ water saver (aka suds saver)
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Post# 843583   9/30/2015 at 06:59 (544 days old) by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        

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Over in the Shoppers Square forum there is a thread about a Maytag suds saver model for sale, and someone was surprised that suds savers were made for so long.  We received ours as a wedding gift from my parents in the fall of 1998.  We did have to special order the machine, but it only took about 2-3 weeks for it to be delivered to us.  It is a model LAW9406AAE.  It has needed 2 tub seals because a manufacturing defect caused the first 2 to split at the seams.  No problems (fingers crossed) with #3 so far.  Our friends call us "cheap" for using a suds saver, but we call it being thrifty because we're saving detergent, water, and the gas it takes to heat another tub of water.  We love this beauty! 

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Post# 843590 , Reply# 1   9/30/2015 at 08:12 (544 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        
That is a beauty.

I have the same series, not as many bells whistles.  All cold rinses and no suds saver.  It is a very good washer. -A

Post# 843603 , Reply# 2   9/30/2015 at 09:29 (544 days old) by glomain (tuscarawas cnty. (eastern ohio))        

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got this years ago,although im a 1-18 guy this thing is built like a tank,you hardly even here it run.too bad whirlpool ruined such a good company w/ their cheep junk ! p.s. idont have the water saver knob(but everything else is the same)

Post# 843610 , Reply# 3   9/30/2015 at 10:30 (544 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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I am a vocal proponent for suds/water savers on traditional top-loaders. Grew up with one (1960 Kenmore) and it allowed our machine to rival the lower water use of front-loaders from that era. Glad you still have yours and are using it.

Post# 843612 , Reply# 4   9/30/2015 at 10:57 (544 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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Yes, I'd call it "thrifty" or "frugal" using suds saver. Cheap--in the nastiest sense--would be using cold water wash only, probably with Xtra detergent (used at 1/4 dose). Or even using detergent "recovered" by collecting other's old detergent bottles at recycling drop-off, taking them home, and rinsing them out. Each bottle should have enough residue for at least one load.

Post# 843614 , Reply# 5   9/30/2015 at 11:03 (544 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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A suds saver is on my list of features I'd like to have. I'm not sure, however, how common they ever were in my area... But it seems like a reasonable way to make a top load machine more efficient. The only real minus I see is that I tend to spread laundry out over the week, and that doesn't fit the suds saver approach. Well, I guess one could use suds saver, but I think letting wash water sit in a tub 2, 3 days waiting for the next load seems just a bit icky.

Post# 843635 , Reply# 6   9/30/2015 at 14:12 (544 days old) by johnb300m (Chicago)        
suds savers

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It's interesting I've never seen anyone note that Suds Saver models only really work if you have your laundry setup with the washer draining into a plug-able adjacent sink.
All the homes I've lived in, have the washer draining directly into a wall drain.
Just an FYI.

Post# 843647 , Reply# 7   9/30/2015 at 15:45 (544 days old) by hippiedoll (tucson, arizona u.s.a.)        
hey there!

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Thank you for posting pics of you're 1998 maytag "suds-saver" so I could see it. Very cool! You know, before joining the group, I had never heard of or knew anything about "suds-saving". And when seeing old washing machine ads & reading about them, I just figured since I had never heard about this, they had stopped making/offering this option. I think it would be cool to be able to "save" water this way but, as it was posted above by another member here, I've only seen washers connected to drain pipes in the wall. I remember one of my aunts having her washer setup in the garage, that drained into a utility sink. But since I was young, never really gave it much thought, other than it being a really deep swimming pool for mine & my cousin's barbies.

Thank you again for posting your maytag "suds-saver" model washing machine.


Post# 843660 , Reply# 8   9/30/2015 at 18:46 (544 days old) by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        
More pics of our setup.

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Here are a couple of pics of our suds tub made by the W.P. Johnson Co. of Des Moines, IA (now Hirsh Industries), and a pic of our drain hose set into the waste pipe in the wall.  The small off white thing in the tub is the plug for the drain.


The water valve is always shut off after use.

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This post was last edited 09/30/2015 at 20:15
Post# 843661 , Reply# 9   9/30/2015 at 19:07 (544 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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I used a heavy duty 30 gallon trash can as a suds saver tub when I lived in a warehouse apartment. It worked well. When saved water was returned to the washer for the final load, I'd open the back door and tip the inch of water in the bottom of the can out into the alley. Where there's a will...

Post# 843663 , Reply# 10   9/30/2015 at 19:24 (544 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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Spectacular setup.....

but true, you don't have to have a great setup like this to suds save.....

I learned from JohnL long ago to suds save with a setup like his, where you would drain one washer into the next, with enough machines you could get 2 or 3 re-uses of the water.....most times starting with HOT, the next load will be about medium warm, and the third would be warm......

a trash can is a great use for suds saving, a wringer washer is another great tool if your machine is not a true SudsSaving machine, the pump is built in to return the water...having a storage tub of some sort is a requirement when having a SS machine......and of course you would have to adapt your laundry techniques to get the best benefit...

can't recall at this moment, but there was a SS machine that would save the water inside itself.....

people do what they have to, to make it work.....

Post# 843673 , Reply# 11   9/30/2015 at 20:14 (544 days old) by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        

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This suds tub was in the basement of our home, and when we converted our enclosed front porch into a laundry room we brought it upstairs.  We installed a utility sink in the basement as a replacement.

Post# 843764 , Reply# 12   10/1/2015 at 14:37 (543 days old) by hippiedoll (tucson, arizona u.s.a.)        

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Now I'm thinking maybe I should get the maytag wringer washer back from my aunt for easy "suds-saving"? Especially since she isn't using it...

Post# 843779 , Reply# 13   10/1/2015 at 16:55 (543 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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I like to see more setups that members have for suds saving, whether machine automatic, or manual application.....

I think the ideas would help others....

when I start a few loads, amazing how fast you can go through the weekly wash...

usually you have to add about 1/2 dose of detergent for each reuse of water...

Post# 843800 , Reply# 14   10/1/2015 at 18:39 (543 days old) by rockland1 (Wisconsin)        
Maytag Suds Saver

Over the years had a couple Maytag with suds savers. We had a Mustee Drain Tub
that was specifically designed for suds saver models. Super easy to use and
served as a utility sink as well. My parents has suds savers as well and they used a galvanized garbage can which did a fine job. In my experience probably 90% of the
people that purchased them, had one prior. It was a very economical way to do laundry and you always finished up with a load of rags or rugs!

Post# 843874 , Reply# 15   10/2/2015 at 04:56 (543 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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"...and you always finished up with a load of rags or rugs."  Truuuuuuuuu!

Post# 860823 , Reply# 16   1/9/2016 at 06:35 (443 days old) by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        

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Another advantage of having a nice suds tub is that it can double as a deep sink for soaking large items if need be. 

Post# 860883 , Reply# 17   1/9/2016 at 12:37 (443 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Frigidaire Unimatic washers could, with user attention, save suds in the cabinet. There was a spring anchored ball that could flip over the end of the drain hose to prevent the water from being pumped out during the first spin. After the first spin. the machine was stopped, the washed load was removed and a second load of laundry added along with some additional detergent. The drain hose was removed from the sink or pipe and placed over the edge of the washer tub. The ball over the end of the hose was flipped out of the way. The timer was set for the desired wash time and the washer started, but immediately stopped and the timer advanced 4 increments which started the washing action as well as the pump. All of the stored water was pumped back into the tub. At that point, the ball could either be put back over the end of the hose to save the water or the water could be allowed to drain. The drain hose was placed back into the sink or drain pipe. After all of the laundry was washed, the loads could be rinsed one after the other.

While all of this seems time and labor intensive, although perhaps not to us, owners of these machines were usually stepping up from a wringer washer so they appreciated saving and reusing the hot water and were not adverse to spending time near the machine while it did so much of the work for them. One advantage of this system was that the water cooled less than in a separate storage tub and was reused with less time between uses because the water did not sit during the rinse and final spin before being reused. Not having the machine go through a rinse meant that the wash tub itself stayed hot which also kept the temperature of the water up.

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