Thread Number: 68626  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Washing Machines, Lint Filers, and Hanging Laundry
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Post# 913906   1/4/2017 at 09:20 (473 days old) by Bobbi (Pennsylvania)        

Here's what I;d like:
-great lint filtering
-miserly water usage
-variable speed agitation settings
-reasonably gentle on clothes
-high RPM water extraction - My Kenmore 90 series extracts at around 600 RPM's, and that's not really sufficient for line drying in the cooler months.

I decided against a front loader. I had two of them over 14 years, and neither were effective at getting really dirty clothes clean. My husband is a mechanic, and we are outdoorsy folks who get clothes dirty for real. A traditional top loader is proving much more effective than either of my FL machines did.

I would love to have a Frigidaire 1-18 for the miserly water usage, lint filtering and seemingly gentle yet effective agitation, and there's one vintage TL that has a high water extraction (rapid dry 1000?), but they seem to be pretty rare. In lieu of that, what machines would you recommend? I have been researching for a few months, and did do a search of this forum. The best thread on the subject seems to be this one:

Is the general consensus still toward the GE Filter-Flo and Maytag with the agitator filter? What about Fisher & Paykel's traditional top loader with overflow rinsing into the center agitator lint filter? Does anyone happen to know the extraction speed of this particular F&P machine?

The Maytag does seem to be effective in lint filtering, however I will do my rinses with the least amount of water possible. I've been informed that the Maytag will have to be at least 60% full of water, which won't happen for some loads. And apparently the extraction speed is similar to my Kenmore, so that won't work.

There is the new Samsung Activwash HE top loader that does have lint filters inside the drum that seems like it would be great, except I don't have the funds to go with a new machine right now. My goal is to have two machines washing in tandem, so the machines need to be affordable.

What machines should I consider?

Thank you for your guidance!

Post# 913910 , Reply# 1   1/4/2017 at 10:39 (473 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
Direct-drive Kenmore (Whirlpool, etc.) spin is 640 RPM.

Current F&P models are 1,100 RPM.  They do not have overflow rinsing nor a lint filter as such.  A "filter sock" (P/N 426451P) that fits into the (standard) agitator is offered as an accessory.

Post# 913928 , Reply# 2   1/4/2017 at 12:19 (473 days old) by Bobbi (Pennsylvania)        

Hi Dadoes - Thank you for those specs. Do you happen to have the TL F&P with the "filter sock" accessory in the agitator? If so, do you like the machine, and how well does that filter work in your opinion?

Post# 913937 , Reply# 3   1/4/2017 at 14:05 (473 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

kb0nes's profile picture
Hi Bobbi,

It seems as if 4 of your 5 goals are best met by a front load machine. The great lint filtration is the only one that is likely missed, but unless you have pets that shed a lot the front load machine will generate less lint also, because it is more gentle on clothing.

It surprises me that you had issues with the front load machine not performing. The cycle time is generally longer and the detergent is far more concentrated, a front loader should out clean a top load machine... Questions would come down to detergent used and wash temperature I suppose.

If I were forced to pick a top load machine it would be one of the modern Alliance made Speed Queens. It won't be as easy on clothing, it will use a lot of water, and it may not extract as well but it will be reliable and parts are available.

The vintage machines are cool in their own ways too. And if you are willing to accept the fact that they will likely need much more frequent service, and that parts may be unobtainable today, then by all means. Like a vintage car though, I consider them more of a hobby then a workhorse machine. The idea that you are able to have multiple machines helps, since you can use the 2nd if one needs repair.

Of course bear in mine my advice is free and based on my opinion, so feel free to do with it as you wish. But a front loader is what I'd buy based on your 5 listed 'wants'.

Post# 913953 , Reply# 4   1/4/2017 at 15:08 (473 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

Which FL machines did you have during those 14 years? 


We've owned two, a TOL Whirlpool Duet purchased in 2007 that we included in the deal when we sold our previous house, and currently have a 2008 Frigidaire Affinity.  Both of these machines offered the largest tub capacity produced by their manufacturers, and both have without any question out-cleaned the TL Amana -- a Speed Queen clone -- that we dumped in 2007 after ten years of so/so cleaning, abominable rinsing, and mediocre spin speed.


On the other hand, I can relate to using a TL machine for filthy jobs.  I'm in the market for a used one I can have as a spare for that exact purpose.  I think in your case the average FL machine could become funky in short order unless you were meticulous about wiping it out after highly soiled loads and ran a lot of "self clean" cycles.  


Instead of a Speed Queen TL machine, you might want to look into a Speed Queen FL.  They're pricey, but built to tough commercial standards and could likely handle anything you threw at them for many, many years.  Not your average FL at all.

Post# 913958 , Reply# 5   1/4/2017 at 15:49 (473 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

I share your opinion that the front loaders can't clean really dirty laundry.
Hot water, good (preferably phosphated) detergent and a cup or so of ammonia are the sure-fire recipe for greasy dirt.
The reality is you are unlikely to find all the features you are looking for in one single used (vintage) top-loader. You need aggressive agitation, Maytag, Whirlpool/Kenmore, GE, Norge, Westinghouse, two-speed capability, the filtration of a Filter-Flo, and the water extraction of a Unimatic.

Seems to me, with a used machine, you will end up having to give up one of your features. Most likely, high-speed extraction. Unless you find a solid-tub Rollermatic with Rapidry----which are rare and old.
BTW 1-18's are water-hogs. Just 'sayin.

The modern-day Speed Queen does have a 700rpm extraction, and all the other features EXCEPT lint filter. They also have a great warranty!

IMO if you go the Vintage route try to find a clean, low-mileage GE, Two-speed with ramped agitator. Spin is about the same as the Maytag (which isn't terrible)
and the Filter-Flo filtration is excellent.
The trade-off: the GE is just as big a water hog as a 1-18.
However, your laundry will be clean! How much is that worth to you?

Good luck!

Post# 913961 , Reply# 6   1/4/2017 at 16:09 (473 days old) by brucelucenta ()        

Also, a front load machine with the "steam treat" option would be the one to have! It will clean like hell!!! The top load Frigidaire did and does clean and spin out well, but promotes lint very badly! So does the old style Magic Chef, Norge and Monkey Wards washers. So neither would be good choices to line dry with.

Post# 913980 , Reply# 7   1/4/2017 at 18:03 (473 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

kb0nes's profile picture
One thought that occurred to me, since you are considering a pair of washers, why not one of each format?

Sure there are things that get really filthy like jeans and outerwear, that could be soaked and washed in the TL machine. There is lots of laundry that is better done in the front load machine, sheets, towels and bulky goods.

This sounds like a win win since you can embrace the good that both machines have.

Post# 914071 , Reply# 8   1/5/2017 at 06:31 (472 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture

I bought an F&P filter sock some years ago to see what it's about, not because I had any lint residue issues with the machine.  It collects a little wad of lint when a "linty" load such as cottons/bath towels is run.  Less than that on jeans.  essentially nothing in it from sheets, synthetics, casual/blends, knits and such.  Doesn't have much effect on the whole and I don't see any notable difference on the clothes if I use it or not.  It's similar to the old-style Maytag cartridge filter in that it functions passively via water currents from agitation, the lowest water level is too low for it to work, and it requires manual cleaning.

Post# 914165 , Reply# 9   1/5/2017 at 17:39 (472 days old) by whirlykenmore78 (Prior Lake MN (GMT-0700 CDT.))        
Phil, You're on to something there.

whirlykenmore78's profile picture

She already has a very good WP/KM TL. now pair that with a SQ front loader and  you'd really have something.


Post# 914450 , Reply# 10   1/7/2017 at 14:44 (470 days old) by Bobbi (Pennsylvania)        

Dadoes - Thank you for the feedback on the F&P filtering. It doesn't sound so great, so I think I will take that one off my list.

KbOnes - A TL and a FL...Wow...that is a great idea! I would not have thought of that one myself. I think it would work well that way. I won't have to worry about whether or not the Fl will tackle the really dirty laundry, since I can put that stuff in the TL. Thanks!!

Brucelucenta - Perhaps a FL with steam would make all the difference. If I do choose a FL, it will be one with steam for certain. Thank you for that bit of advice!

Gyrafoam - Thanks for the tip about ammonia, and all your input. I have been using soap, oxy-bleach, washing soda and borax. Could ammonia still work with those? Or do I really need the detergent? It's worth a lot to me to have clean laundry. When I had my FL machines, eventually all our clothes became all spotted up due to ineffective cleaning. It was embarrassing. I started using a Whirlpool wringer which worked awesome and eventually made the laundry spot free, but it only has one speed which is aggressive - making a lint problem.

Rp2813 - I had a Frigidaire FL from '99 to 2009, then a Samsung VRT the remainder of time. The Frigidaire did a bit better, but not a lot. I used Tide with the Frigidaire and ALDI brand liquid with the Samsung for a while, then I transitioned into making DIY laundry detergent toward the end. That DIY stuff made our laundry dingy.

Thanks everyone. You have given me much food for thought! If I do go for a FL machine with steam, does anyone have any recommendations? A machine with delay start would be awesome - I could have a load of laundry ready to be hung to dry when I awake! I do all my laundry on a single day, so whatever I can do to save time is important.

Post# 914471 , Reply# 11   1/7/2017 at 17:16 (470 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

Ammonia will cut grease better than anything.(You can find it in any grocery store, and it's cheap!) A cup or so of "Clear" Ammonia is a fantastic BOOST to detergents. HOWEVER----combined with hot water it will put off some pretty potent gases----so don't open the lid after you pour it in until the machine is in the rinse cycle. Don't panic---it completely rinses out.

Sounds like you need to make the switch from lame Supermarket detergents and get some real cleaning power going on. Here's where to get it. Get some of their powdered Automatic Dishwasher detergent while you are at it. It's great stuff!

Best wishes!

Post# 914474 , Reply# 12   1/7/2017 at 17:41 (470 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        
A front loader

askolover's profile picture

with heat boost is ultimate!  I've had one for 20 years (my Asko) and let me say, it will out clean any top loader out there!  Three prime examples I can give you right now.  Mind you, these are European washers which will get hotter than ANY other machines available in the USA.


My husband has seizures and they sometimes come on so suddenly while he's down he goes to the floor.  He had a candle in a big glass holder lit and had been burning for a while so there was lots of melted paraffin in the holder.  Well he hit it and spilled it all over the floor and all over his favorite cotton shirt.  I stuck that thing in our Miele on the hottest setting which is 190F and added a generous helping of ammonia and Tide.  The wax came out 100% with no greasy stain left at all.


Next scenario.....he has a jacket that's made of synthetic fiber.  It had some kind of grease all over the front of it.  I washed it on a 140F cycle with some ammonia and good detergent thinking it would take care of it...but it didn't.  So I figured it was ruined anyway so what did I have to lose?  I ran it through a 190F cycle again with ammonia and Fresh Start.  It didn't melt and when it came out of the dryer the grease stains were completely gone.   


I work on cars myself sometimes.  I spilled burnt motor oil on my jeans.  I pretreated the stain with Dawn and washed it in a hot cycle in my previous Asko washer with a good quality detergent and the oil came out completely. 


So...the right front loader CAN remove stains.  There are very few stains I have not been able to remove over the past 20 years.  Just my 2 cents worth, your mileage may vary.

Post# 914480 , Reply# 13   1/7/2017 at 18:30 (469 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

I think you are right about the temperatures.
I keep my water heater cranked-up for just that reason. I also use hot water for rinses.
If there is a better grease-cutter for laundry than ammonia I'd like to know what it is!

Post# 914488 , Reply# 14   1/7/2017 at 19:14 (469 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
If there is a better grease-cutter for laundry than ammonia

launderess's profile picture
Oh there are several; sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), sodium carbonate (washing soda), potassium hydroxide (caustic potash), trisodium phosphate (TSP) to name a few. All of which by the way along with borax, STPP and perhaps a few others have been long associated with laundry/cleaning.

Ammonium hydroxide (ammonia liquid) is nothing more than a base gas dissolved in water. The whiff you get from inhaling the stuff is the ammonium hydroxide gases escaping into air, which leaves you with water. This is why you can clean your oven or other things contaminated with grease/fats/oils by placing an open container/vessel of household ammonia inside then tightly closing. The liberated alkaline gas reacts with fats/oils/great to form soap (saponification)which can then be wiped/flushed away. This same reaction occurs when using lye based drain cleaners to clear drains clogged with soap, fats, oils, grease, hair, skin debris, etc...

It is the reaction between base substances (their pH) and fats/oils/greases that does the cleaning. This along with any water softening (by precipitation) and some other unique properties that each base substance possess.

Ammonia has been around for hundreds of years, and there certainly is a place for it in housecleaning/laundry.

Post# 914501 , Reply# 15   1/7/2017 at 20:32 (469 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        
Hey Laundress,

Bobbi has mentioned laundry soda and borax. The addition of alkalinity from liquid ammonia would would also enhance detergents, especially if it contains phosphates.
So, in your opinion are the salts you mentioned superior in breaking down lipids or a combination of them? Just how much of those can be used without subsequent damage to fabrics/dyes? In your opinion, what are the best combinations to use? Just curious.

One of the most difficult issues I have encountered is the removal of residual lipids and their odors,from linens and towels in mortuary use. The worst is always from the anatomical laboratories.

Post# 914507 , Reply# 16   1/7/2017 at 21:17 (469 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
What you want is something commerical laundries have

launderess's profile picture
Used for years; an emulsifier agent.

These products are sold in various forms by suppliers (powders, liquids, etc...) and are designed to be used in conjunction with detergents and alkaline "breaks" to get at fats, oils and other lipid based soils. These are used for laundry coming from a wide range of sources from hospitals to butchers.

In commercial sector it is important to remember laundry is processed through several wash baths each with a function. There may be one or more flush/rinses, a "break/alkali" cycle, finally one or more washes, then bleaching, rinses, etc....

Fats/oils/lipids historically would have been taken care of via various alkali (soap, sodas, salts, detergents) along with high temperatures. However changing nature of textiles (more pure polyester and or cotton/poly blends), along with desire to prolong textile life and reduce energy consumption have lead to development and use of emulsifiers. These may be slightly to moderately alkaline but also not wholly reliant upon pH levels to break down fats.

The common domestic and or cheap laundry trick is to use "Dawn" dishwashing liquid, famous for its ability to cut grease. However again commercial laundry suppliers have far better offerings.

Soaps offer excellent emulsifying properties, indeed that is one of the reasons why they are included in part of modern detergent formulas. For ages laundries in Europe and UK did laundry heavily soiled with fats, oils, greases and blood with nothing more than built soap powders and sodium metasilicate

Borax is one of the most mildest alkalies (see link posted above), and while does bring some properties to the party, isn't the best choice for getting laundry fat/oil laden wash.

Post# 914510 , Reply# 17   1/7/2017 at 21:30 (469 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        
Thanks Laundress,

I think keeping the lipids in suspension is the problem, especially rinsing them out and keeping them out.
When I get into my office Monday I plan to order some of the Powdered Break.

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