Thread Number: 70711  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
LG WM2650HWA - Detergent pacs clogging pump filter?
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Post# 936852   5/6/2017 at 21:01 by niclonnic (Bonney Lake, WA)        

I've had this LG front-load steam washer for 4 years.

Last night I decided to clean the pump filter, after having not done it in a long time. So I opened the access door and drained the water into a measuring cup. It was filthy! Then I took out the pump filter and found it clogged with hair and rubber bands. But I found something peculiar.

The hair was coated in a slimy blue substance. I thought immediately that it was attributed to our use of laundry detergent pacs. I think the plastic fails to dissolve completely in cold water, as on warmer temperatures, they dissolve completely. But on rare occasions, the partially dissolved pacs get thrown forward and onto the front seal!

Do you think that laundry detergent pacs are the cause of this mysterious blue slime? Here are some pics.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 3         View Full Size

Post# 936866 , Reply# 1   5/6/2017 at 22:00 by Wishwash (Illinois)        

Do you use fabric softener? It also contributes to build up.

Post# 936878 , Reply# 2   5/6/2017 at 22:38 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

launderess's profile picture
One, you need to do a better job of "fluffing" or whatever out your wash before it goes into tub. There shouldn't be that many rubber bands or whatever getting down into the filter area. Clean my Miele pump filter perhaps once a quarter or even less than twice a year, nothing is ever in the thing except the odd bit (dress shirt collar stay usually).

Two, if you are using "tap" cold water, depending upon your local climate and other conditions, yes, the pod may not be totally dissolving. What remains is either caught in boot and or otherwise is sucked down into the sump where it is caught by the filter.

If you do mostly cold (tap or otherwise) water washing and or even warm it is strongly recommended to do a "maintenance" cycle using hot or even near boiling water. As such high temperature water drains it will help dissolve and dislodge any gunk in sump so it can be pumped down the drain. Hair, rubber bands and other sort of things are another matter. They will need to be fished out manually.

Post# 936898 , Reply# 3   5/7/2017 at 00:35 by niclonnic (Bonney Lake, WA)        

@Wishwash Yes, I generally always use fabric softener. However, it doesn't really contribute to buildup. I've never seen it while using liquid detergent.

@Launderess I usually shake out laundry before washing it. I'm not sure how those rubber bands got down into the filter. These are the tiny rubber bands used for braces, which my sister has. I think she may have stuck them in her jeans pockets after using them.

The other problem has to do with dog bedding and blankets. My dad's girlfriend owns 2 large outdoor rescue dogs. They are both girls, and they shed quite a lot in their cages when sleeping. I can't really shake out the fur because it all gets stuck in the bedding and creates a big mess in the washer. So that's what clogs the filter the most.

I wash most of my laundry in warm water. However, my dad and his girlfriend generally wash their laundry in cold water, using the standard "cold" setting, which uses a tiny bit of warm water to activate the detergent. We have never used the "tap cold" setting. So that MAY be what's getting caught in the filter.

I do a "tub clean" cycle about once a month with no additives. This cycle uses steam and special washing motions to clean out the tub.

Post# 936906 , Reply# 4   5/7/2017 at 04:02 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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If you can find a very large Pyrex measuring cup or any other that is sturdy enough to handle hot water, consider plonking the pods into said cup filled with water, stir, then pouring into dispenser as machine fills.

Even if the pod film does not fully dissolve you can always fish it out before it goes down dispenser.

Post# 936944 , Reply# 5   5/7/2017 at 09:02 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
It's possible this was a one time occurance

panthera's profile picture

Too many rubber bands, or too much dog fur or something like that started to jam things up and in a short time, this mess.


A few suggestions - first, read Laundress sage advice in #936906, this thread.


1) One way to remove a lot of dog hair before washing is to put the dry blankets in the clothes dryer on air-fluff for 20 minutes. Be sure the filters and exhaust line of the dryer are really clean - if the LG pump filter looks like this, you may have a problem in the dryer.

2) This may not be possible, given family dynamics, but switching to a much higher-quality fabric softener which isn't so waxy?

3) The cleaning cycle is doing it's job - I don't know about the US versions, but the German LG cleaning instructions say to clean the pump filter after running the self-cleaning cycle.

4) There's an awful lot to be said for hot water washing with a really good enzymatic detergent as opposed to cold water dirt-redistribution.

5) Make your sister clean the filter the next time. Guaranteed to stop the rubber band in the pockets problem.

Post# 937097 , Reply# 6   5/8/2017 at 11:11 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
"I can't really shake out the fur ..."

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What about running the hoover over the dogs' beds before putting into the washing machine? This would remove the majority of the hair.

You could use a turbo brush on the hose end. Or it is possible to use uprights with the agitator in operation - in this case, a well-planked foot standing on the end of the fabric, and smartly drawing the machine off the blanket, allowing the brush to do the work. I've done that for decades with my parents' animals' beds. And it works.

Though some uprights disengage their agitator when upright, other machines continue to revolve their brush. You have to make sure that the fabric is stretched taut, otherwise it can jam the brushroll and break the belt.

Post# 937108 , Reply# 7   5/8/2017 at 12:19 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
Am I odd in having a problem with running dirty pet bedding in a dryer [to remove the hair before washing]?

Post# 937124 , Reply# 8   5/8/2017 at 14:16 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
No, You're not odd!

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There would be absolutely no way I'd be putting dirty dogs beds into the dryer, before they're washed.

Three steps: hoover the bedding - wash the bedding - dry the bedding.

Post# 937142 , Reply# 9   5/8/2017 at 16:30 by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        
I second that

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I may vacuum the dogs bedding, I will shake the bedding.  I will not put dirty bedding in the dryer before washing. 

Post# 937202 , Reply# 10   5/8/2017 at 20:09 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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I have re-used wash water as in sudsaving......especially for washing dogs bedding....

but placing in the dryer before washing......major EWWWWWWWWWWW factor!....even my dog replies, ARF, ARF, ARF!

I have had Siberians my whole life, with the double thick undercoat, a good brushing alone will result in enough fur to create another dog, and have never had an issue with any machine not being able to handle it.....

Post# 937206 , Reply# 11   5/8/2017 at 20:49 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Local laundromat

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Along with others one assumes has no end of problems with persons either brining in their pet hair laden items, and or local vet/pet sitter doing same.

One "doggy day care" used the large SQ front loader for a huge load of pet bedding. After load was finished you could see hair coating every inside surface of drum and porthole glass.

Attendant put the machine into running a full "service wash" using plenty of detergent then bleach. One could see all that pet hair swishing all over.

Not sure but think the attendant may have told the doggy day care to clear off, as too many customers were complaining about having to use a machine full of pet hair after he had been.

IIRC one of the reasons many seek out old school top loading washers and or even wringer machines is to have something to wash things they won't put into their front loader. This includes things badly covered in pet hair.

Post# 937214 , Reply# 12   5/8/2017 at 21:57 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Pet and Human Hair In Washer Traps

combo52's profile picture

Everyone is missing the point, Hair will not hurt a washer or clog the trap, the hair we see here is caught in other crap, washer traps like this are not designed to catch hair, the hair will normally flush through and down the drain. The little bit of hair in this trap is only a small fraction of all the hair this washer disposed of down the drain.


Now the big issue is to start using the washer properly, In a nut shell, Always wash in hot water,  for all but small light loads do not use the normal cycle, use HD or whitest whites. Use LCB regularly and plenty of GOOD detergent, avoid cheap national brands and high cost Eco brands.


The real problem here is the outer tub and the outside of the wash basket are disgusting in this washer as well along with almost anything that has been washed in this machine. Try taking a clean bath towel out of her closet and making it damp, then put it in a plastic bag for a few days and see how it smells, with a properly washed towel it should take a week or longer for it to smell bad.


John L.

Post# 937224 , Reply# 13   5/8/2017 at 23:31 by niclonnic (Bonney Lake, WA)        

@Launderess Not sure if I'll consider doing a thing like that, as it seems like extra work.

@Panthera Here's my take on your suggestions:

1) That sounds like a neat trick! I'll have to try that next time.
2) We're using Kirkland Signature (Costco) fabric softener. Not sure about the quality of it, but it softens our clothes well. We've used name-brand fabric softeners in the past that have worked well. I can't tell a difference between brands.
3) I have always trusted the cleaning cycle.
4) From my perspective, all temperatures seem to clean our clothes well.
5) I'm not sure if my sister will do such a job.

@Rolls_rapide I'm not sure about vacuuming the bedding. One of the blankets is crocheted, so using a vacuum would damage it. The suction would be too strong for loose fabrics.

Post# 937233 , Reply# 14   5/8/2017 at 23:56 by henene4 (Germany)        

Some pet hairs have the tendency to bunch, mostly because some hairs have lots of little scales that stay pointing outwards, even when wet. That gives the pet fur more density and thus better isolation properties then human hair. Same with feathers, they bunch up when wet.
Human hair on the other hand has a closed surface where the scales only stand out verry little to not at all. Best thing to see that in action: Dyeing your hair opens the surface of your hair so the pigments can enter inside the hair. If not neutralized before washing out, the pigments can get washed straight back out of your hair. That is why you use a lot of care products on colored hair, to keep the scales closed.

But you are right in the fact that bad laundy habbits can contribute a lot to this effect.

Good detergent in a proper dose (slightly higher then ususal I'd aim for) should help, as well as lots of water and rinses (prewash, extra rinses, use of cycles with more water). If you use fabric softner, proper rinsing is of utmost importance. If you ever got detergent mixed with softner by accident in the softner compartment, you know the sludge that that leaves behind. Same goes with laundry.

Post# 937308 , Reply# 15   5/9/2017 at 09:10 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Oh, for goodness sake

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Obviously one can always wipe the dryer drum down afterwards.

And let's not even bother PRETENDING there's some sort of hygiene problem - just run it at a high temperature setting for a few minutes.


But, yes - if vacuuming is possible, that would do it, too.

And y'all are OK with the bedding going into the washing machine 'that way' but not the dryer????

Post# 937322 , Reply# 16   5/9/2017 at 10:20 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

rolls_rapide's profile picture
Does the your LG have a recirculation pump, in addition to the drain pump?

If so, it is vital to keep the pumps' filter clean. Jammed impellers can cause pump motors to fail. And failed pumps can cause the electronics to conk out.

Depending on the manufacturer of the appliance, one of the pumps might be less robust than the other pump (for example, Zanussi 'Jetsystem' recirculation pumps were a tad more robust than the drain pump).

I have a suspicion that the reverse is the case these days, and that the recirculation pumps on some machines is relatively fragile/weaker, compared to the drain pump.

Post# 937360 , Reply# 17   5/9/2017 at 13:44 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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Oh, just imagine what hair salons and pet groomers must go through?, they would have to be cleaning these out every single day, that is if they even have these sort of issues...

not that its impossible for a pod, coin, paperclip get past the groove into the outer tub......seems more likely that pods are placed into the dispenser, which drops it directly into the outer tub, and directed into the sump.....

seems this issue has many causes to clear up, or have it repeat over and over....

if anyone can't show respect for my machines, they wouldn't be using it.....

Post# 938050 , Reply# 18   5/12/2017 at 16:48 by Laundromat (Hilo, Hawaii)        

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If you are using the pods,be sure you lace them on top of the load being washed. Do not use the dispenser because it will build up in the pump. I prefer liquid over pods or powders. They dissolve fest and get clothes more thoroughly drenched in the solution.

Post# 938502 , Reply# 19   5/14/2017 at 13:39 by niclonnic (Bonney Lake, WA)        

@Rolls_rapide My LG washer does not have a recirculation pump.

@Laundromat I always put pods directly in the drum before loading the washer. I never use the dispenser drawer. I have a feeling I should go back to liquid detergent...

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