Thread Number: 71274  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
Follow-up on LG FL washer...a year later. SQ it is.
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Post# 943379   6/13/2017 at 21:10 by Dreamclean (Portland)        

I had posted last summer asking about what kind of washer to go for. Based on advice, but mostly sale prices, I went with LG WM4270HVA. I was gravitating towards a Speed Queen but went against my better judgement. Let this be a cautionary tale. First off, I'm a very observant person and I derive a great deal of pleasure from doing laundry. Ever since I bought this thing, it has been a major source of stress for both myself and my family. It started with noticing odors weren't being removed either on warm or cold settings, permanent press or delicate. That drove me crazy and still does. I don't like the steam setting bc it breaks down elastic and other components, plus clothes looked even rougher. Right out of the washer they don't even look or feel clean no matter what I've tried. I noticed dirt caked to the bottom of my pajamas. I've done all the trouble-shooting (detergent types and amounts, settings etc) and I'm convinced that these HE washers DO NOT CLEAN CLOTHES and wear them out prematurely. From an environmental standpoint it takes A LOT of energy and water to manufacture and distribute clothing, so for them to wear out so fast negates all good the new rules could possibly do for the environment. All of my tee shirts are pilling horribly. But the last straw was yesterday when I put brand new socks in the washer on cold and they came out pilled and looking 3 years old. I used to be able to throw everything (jeans, tees you name it) in my TL Maytag and everything smelled fresh, looked crisp and clean and lasted years. I don't even remember what clean clothes smell like. So that's it. Selling this piece of sh- and getting a Speed Queen. Attached a pic of all the pilling on my new cotton socks. And no there were no jeans or towels or anything other than cottons in the load. Last one is a pilled tee that has hardly even been worn.

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Post# 943382 , Reply# 1   6/13/2017 at 21:34 by nmassman44 (Boston North Shore Massachusetts)        

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First off I would look to see if you have a vane nicked up in the drum. Then I would look at laundry prep like do you close zippers on jeans and such? Then I would look at what you are using for water temps. If you are using tap cold and never a hot wash for lets say whites, and you don't leave the door open after your laundry day is done, you will get a smell. Or you don't remove the laundry as soon as the washer finishes and you decide to come back a day or two later, that can cause an issue. Then there is the choice of detergent. If one does not use the correct dosage you will have issues.
I have an LG 3570 front loader and never have any issues with what you describe. But thats because I prep laundry properly, sort, and I use a good detergent like Persil or Tide. I also use the TurboWash feature on every cycle. That alone will save time and clean better than just plain tumbling. I have found that the Steam option does very little for performance. I also never use cold water to wash laundry, its either hot for whites on Bright Whites and Warm from everything else. So before you chuck the LG washer figure out what you are doing and go from there. Also overloading the washer will get you the results you describe here. Just my opinion.
Also when you think of getting an SQ washer, if its a top loader as I have one, it aint all that.

Post# 943401 , Reply# 2   6/14/2017 at 02:15 by Dreamclean (Portland)        

Hi there,
Appreciate your reply. I don't think there are any drum problems, I felt around in there again. I can't attribute it to that when the inside of the clothes are pilling to this degree. I've been experimenting with everything I could think to do for a year now. I only do small loads, I don't put anything with hardware or zippers in there, just cotton tops, sweatpants, socks, undies. The odors are localized, mainly armpits. They were still there no matter what wash temperature. I think that improved with the turbowash setting and less detergent but it did not help underwear. The machine itself has no odor and the door stays open.I only use cold water now since the fabric was already being degraded by the mechanical action (presumably wet-nap friction.) Pilling is equally bad on the inside so turning inside out makes no difference. I remove wet laundry immediately. I used arm and hammer, regular tide and coldwater, a highly rated powder, but I think Ms Meyers gets things the cleanest. Tide coldwater apparently leaves a chemical on the clothes to prevent dirt build up, and I was allergic to something in it. When I switched to Tide whites started looking grey. I read Tide has a lot of fillers. The turbo wash option has been on by default. I've filled up the detergent to the line, I use a tablespoon now and tried everything in between. It destroys all my socks no matter the brand, screen-printed tees look several years old after a few washes, rips seams apart in high quality towels. Thought I'd share some more pics. I've been buying the same brands of quality socks and tees for years so I know how long they should be lasting. I think this probably happens to a lot of people but they a) don't expect things to hold up anymore bc they don't b) aren't that observant c) don't have anything to compare it to and d) like to buy new stuff all the time anyway (I don't.) Really shouldn't be this hard...Would you mind telling me which model SQ? I was impressed with the commercial machines when I had to go to the laundromat.

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Post# 943404 , Reply# 3   6/14/2017 at 03:59 by brucelucenta (tulsa, oklahoma)        

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This really proves what a difference in opinions there are about ANYTHING! I have had every kind of washing machine known to mankind and my last, before my LG made front loader, was a Maytag set. I liked them very much and had great success with them. Someone else has them now and uses them daily. However, I like my LG front loading washer and dryer better than anything I have EVER used before. It not only cleans extremely well, it rinses up to 3 extra rinses and everything I put in it comes out clean, fresh and lint free. I used to have the small lint balls on my wool socks too, which I DO NOT have anymore with the front loader. So you see, there are different opinions about EVERYTHING! What one person perceives as wonderful, another person does not. I also think that seeing an HE front loader use so little water is a bit unsettling to most people too. I found that to be true, but as I watch it do it's job, I see that it does do what it is supposed to do with less wear on the clothing than top load washers. My machine is made so the door stays slightly ajar when not in use and I have never had any musty smell or odors. I do regularly use the steam treat option regularly for whites and it does a good job also. I bought the largest capacity machines I could at the time and could not be happier with them in the last 4 years or so.

Post# 943405 , Reply# 4   6/14/2017 at 04:07 by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        


First off, sorry you are having trouble with your machines. It's not fun.

If you are ready to kick them to the curb, however, you have nothing to lose, so, in your shoes, I'd try a couple of things.

First off, get an old pair of nylons (or buy the cheapest pair available), and rub them against the vanes in the washer, and also the *entire* basket -- you want to see if anything snags/catches, including nicks in the vanes, some weld or joint not polished, maybe some foreign material is lodged in one/a few of the basket holes and wearing out clothes. Do the same thing in the dryer, it's sometimes the dryer that does that instead of the washer, or sometimes *both* the dryer and the washer are damaging the clothes.

Second thing, is that clothes that have synthetic fibers or even just "durable press" treatments are way more likely to pill than pure cotton or linen. The problem, of course, is that recently getting *good* long staple cotton is very expensive, so many countries are mixing a bit of polyester or other synthetic fiber to "extend" their profits. Since very few mills are still operating in US and most of our fabric (or even ready-to-wear garments) are made abroad, and their laws let them still label the material 100%, there's nothing we can do short of convincing the lawmakers in US to make labeling of such materials more stringent -- I would not hold my breath on that when the current majority of Senate/Congress is on the paychecks from all kinds of manufacturers.

In any case, opinions vary, and a majority of people in fact claim that a *small* mix of synthetic fibers with a majority of cotton or linen does in fact feel better. I'm not sure I agree, but there you have it, we need to deal with the fact that laundering mixed fibers is a thing now.

So, what can you do? To begin with, I'd recommend high quality laundry detergents that have enough enzymes to clean the clothes thoroughly, some of them will contain cellulase, which will prevent/remove the pills or at least slow down their progression; always open a faucet closest to your washer and bleed the pipes from cold water until you see water as hot as possible, so the machine can wash with *actual* warm or hot water.

Tumble washers are not as aggressive with clothes as the old top loaders with agitators, so you will do better raising the temperature. For anything cotton/linen and regular synthetics, this will not be a problem, in fact warmer water will help the fibers flex better. The thing to watch out is silk and/or wool, which might require cold water -- on the other hand so much wool is dry clean only that it may not be a problem.

Another thing I want to go over carefully with you is dryer usage -- read your user's guide and/or call LG and ask them what temperatures your dryer runs at. Why is this important? Because you do *not* want your clothes tumbling in the dryer for too long, that causes pilling and/or shrinkage, so use regular heat or whatever is appropriate for cotton with your cotton loads. I can hear several people screaming "what? everyone including the labels tell me to use low heat!?!" from here. Here's the deal. Up to about 25 years ago or so, there were two different situations: home dryers, that run at about 140F for low, 160F or so for normal and about 180F for high heat; and we had really big and fast dryers, used in laundromats and commercial coin-operated laundries, that often *started* at 160F for low, 185F for regular and went above 200F for high. At that point, yes, you might want to run everything at low heat.

But current home dryers are often running very close to 100-110F for low, 120-140F for regular and barely reaching 165-170F for high. What does that mean to you? It means that any new person who is basically not paying attention or is particular about how laundry is done might be getting better results than the rest of us because they select "normal/regular" in the washer and dryer and get a hot wash and a decent drying temperature that doesn't shrink and/or pill their fabrics and finishes in a decent time. Anyone else drying the clothes on "low" will be drying on very low temperatures it's true, but that might extend the tumbling time when the fibers are not wet/lubricated, so they can shrink/pill/wear out faster, which is counter-intuitive, but confirmed by many institutions that study textiles.

Speaking of fiber lubrication, I would also recommend a good liquid fabric softener (even scent-free ones) in your case. They can help a great deal in cases like that. Resist the urge to overdose them, use the minimal amount that can do the job.

As for going back to a SpeedQueen toploader, good luck. I have only used the old style of their washers (over 20 years ago), did not like it. They were rough on clothes and did not clean as well. Of course, YMMV and we have plenty of people here that live in different localities with different water quality to contradict me, and that's completely OK with me. For example, I've used plenty of front loaders, and have friends who have LG equipment, but I have not used them myself, so I can't offer my honest opinion.

But I *can* warn you that the last time I looked at Speed Queen webpage, a month of two ago, the energy label for their current toploader implies that they are using *much* less energy and water. That may be because they are dumbing down the hot and warm to warmish and cold wash, and/or because they are using just spray rinses instead of deep rinses, or worse, maybe they are not filling the basket with water to the top like they used to, or a combination of all of those. That would cause excess wear too.

People here observed that only the Normal Eco, or whatever the name of the cycle is, has temperature, water level and rinse restrictions, and you can use other cycles just like the top loaders of 20+ years ago.

While that would be great, in your shoes, having been displeased with poor performance once already, I'd ask a billion questions, not only at the store(s), but try to find out friends or acquaintances that have *recently* bought the machine you want. This year's model might differ enough from last or the year before model to annoy you too.

Better yet, call Speed Queen and tell them you need to talk to someone and you have pre-sales questions.

I will say this however: from my point of view, Speed Queen promises longevity/reliability. That is great if it's what you want. But I've seen many people who have greatly disliked their sets (all brands, not any brand in particular) for over 15 to 20 years, and the "reliability" of the set was partly because people did not do any more laundry than strictly necessary, many times washing "delicate" garments by hand.

I'd rather buy equipment that might not last me as long but cleans and preserves my garments very well and doesn't irritate me when I'm doing laundry, which is also a thing that provides me great stress relief with the right equipment (and, like you, a lot of aggravation with the wrong equipment and detergents etc).

In any case, I wish you best of luck in your quest.

-- Paulo.

Post# 943447 , Reply# 5   6/14/2017 at 14:35 by washerdude (Canada )        
One thing however

I did notice on the 4.5 CF models of the LG's, which are the newer models and upgraded from the 4.3 CF models, is that their cleaning score has dropped to a "Very Good" as opposed to "Excellent" which was found on the older 4.3 CF models. I also did note how the ratings have dropped to just under 5 stars where as before it was 4.5 stars.

Now based off of seeing this as well, I'm HIGHLY considering NOT to buy an LG set for our new house, and maybe just stick with WP duets or Maximas.

HOWEVER, LG units have been known to have "software issues" which severely impacts cleaning performance, this was seen well in Consumer Reports testing where certain models actually got a Poor rating for cleaning due to software issues, however after getting a machine without the issue the scores jumped to Excellent immediately. In this case, call up the store where you bought it from and have them check the machine out.

Post# 943461 , Reply# 6   6/14/2017 at 17:01 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
"software issues"

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That thought occurred to me too, as I had recently read something online about the dodgy software.

Maybe Dreamclean's model simply requires a software update?

Post# 943481 , Reply# 7   6/14/2017 at 18:42 by Dreamclean (Portland)        
In my pipe, smokin' it

If it's software issues and I PRAY to the laundry gods it is, we are due to have somebody come check it out soon for the warranty.
I'm comparing cleaning performance and fabric wear and tear to a Maytag TL I used for many years at a different house on (hard) well-water. I always, always, used the delicate cycle, in cold water with immaculate results on everything. It was effortless. Life was simple then.
Moving to a suburb of grimy but lovable Portland, on public water, we escaped the widespread LEAD panic of 2016...but my former roommate believed that our water was to blame for less than stellar laundry. The water is soft, because it's difficult to rinse out shampoo and I don't see hard water build-up anywhere. His wardrobe consisted of under armour synthetics and when I found myself recoiling from his stench and mentioned it, he agreed that something was amiss. Growing up in NY in an apparel industry family he staunchly advocated cold water for everything to preserve the life of the garment. Since we both had equally bad results removing normal body odor with hot, warm and cold water we stuck with cold on permanent press. In contrast to his synthetics, my loads are almost exclusively cottons which absorb my day to day sweat and I just don't find that they come out of the wash as crisp and fresh as I am accustomed. Ms Meyers detergent has enzymes so that's covered. I just read that cold water cycles use less water, so maybe that would explain all the pilling. I also read cold water won't kill fecal bacteria. Ouch. If the fabrics require warm or hot water to flex, preventing some of this wash wear, based on what I read today I it sounds like I'm trading pilling for stretched out clothes that are faded from loss of dye in higher temperatures. Anything nicking in the drum wouldn't explain the pilling on the inside. And the new pilled sock that sparked my outrage has never seen the inside of the dryer, along with a few other items. Again, just cold on permanent press in a small load. Great insights, and I would like to test some theories in the light of real scientific inquiry. My next step is to add some more rinse cycles and increase my spin speed to reduce dryer time. It's too late for most of my knock-around clothes, so in the meantime I'm considering a trip to the laundromat for my new stuff bc hand washing isn't effective in removing oils and odors from my experience and research. I'll have the machine looked at but I don't think there's one brand out there I have confidence in now if SQ isn't the holy grail some say it is.


Post# 943490 , Reply# 8   6/14/2017 at 19:57 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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I too would advise the warmer cycles, as others have said.

Detergents usually contain enzymes, which work best around 40 deg Celsius. The warmer water also opens the weave, and helps to melt and release body oils (sebum) from the fabric. Warmer temperatures are also required to remove greasy food stains.

Regarding your terrible odours in clothes: does your detergent contain an oxygen bleach? I have a sneaky feeling that your 'Mrs Myers' detergent is just too lame in cleaning - not enough 'oomph' - most 'Eco' stuff is. Ditch it.

Go for a biological powder detergent with built in enzymes and built in oxygen bleach if you can. The big brands (P&G, Unilever, Henkel) generally have the better formulations, although some of the supermarkets' own versions might be acceptable too - I haven't experienced the American detergent market.

But I do know the British detergent market. Powders clean better than liquids. Powders clean better than those awful 'liquitab' pods. I have found that using liquid detergents alone, body odour does build up on clothing. I have found that powders remove the odours.

Our "Which?" magazine tested detergents and gave supermarket Lidl's 'Formil' powder 'Best Buy' status, matched only by much more expensive P&G's 'Ariel'. Both contain enzymes (six in 'Formil', four in 'Ariel'). Both have oxygen based bleach. Oxygen based bleach helps to remove stains, and more importantly, helps to kill bacteria in the clothing. It does however, fade colours over time.

Post# 943498 , Reply# 9   6/14/2017 at 20:26 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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For example, Persil Proclean 'Power pearls', apparently on sale in the US, has oxygen based bleach (SODIUM CARBONATE PEROXYHYDRATE), and five enzymes (PROTEASE, AMYLASE, CELLULASE, LIPASE, MANNANASE).

Protease removes protein stains: sweat, blood and gravy.

Amylase removes starchy stains (starched linens, mashed potato).

Cellulase cleans cotton and is supposed to prevent bobbling and pilling.

Lipase removes greasy stains and body oils (sebum).

Mannanase breaks down gum thickeners that are found in foods (guar gum, locust bean gum, xanthan gum).

Post# 943505 , Reply# 10   6/14/2017 at 20:49 by Dreamclean (Portland)        

Hi Rolls,
Thanks for the reply. I had tried different eco-brands and I do agree with the general consensus that they don't work that well. However, I keep coming back to Ms Meyers even after buying the mainstream bunny-killing brands. The clothes seemed cleaner and the colors/whites brighter, worked pretty well on odor. I've tried the powders, admittedly mostly in cold water, and they didn't seem to fair any better. Meyers is highly rated and I do like the essential oil type fragrance. I will certainly revisit my biological powder using warm water after seeing your post. I'm afraid I won't be trying an oxygen based bleach if it compromises color integrity, although my nicest things are hand wash or dry clean only so it probably shouldn't matter so much. Like I said before, I think using the turbowash setting (more water, shorter cycle) and less detergent has greatly improved the body odor issue, but I still miss that fresh-from-the-wash scent and the radiant aura of a truly clean load of clothes. I've never even tried the pods (just a gut feeling) so I'm glad to hear a strong opininion about them.

Post# 943520 , Reply# 11   6/14/2017 at 22:09 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Re:  Oxygen bleach


I've been using it for years and cannot say it ever impacted colors.  Much gentler that chlorine.  


Since your clothes are no longer pristine, you have nothing to loose by trying warmer to hot water and a different detergent.  Try Persil or Tide with a bit of softener such as Downey.  I've tried a number of detergents over the years and keep coming back to Tide simply because it does a good job.  I've got a half dozen bottles and boxes of other detergents that never quite performed as they should - so I know the feeling of getting less than optimum wash results.


Post# 943521 , Reply# 12   6/14/2017 at 22:10 by Dreamclean (Portland)        

Ok, so I just bought a liquid Persil $10 for 25 loads on eBay. When they started talking about "10 Diminsions of Clean" that got my attention. Anything is better than the dirty dimension I currently reside in. I know it's not going to solve all my problems but fingers crossed.

Post# 943538 , Reply# 13   6/15/2017 at 01:51 by Dreamclean (Portland)        
About the warm water

Just remembered I used the default permanent press setting with warm water for a few months. So already tried that. I think the pilling also worsened when I used the lower spin cycle. Was doing that to avoid stretching since it seemed to contribute to pulled out threads and misshapen garments. Haven't used hot water, the roommate said it would set stains so avoid at all costs. I've had a year to try everything so I think I've covered a lot of ground, except for the software question.

Post# 943541 , Reply# 14   6/15/2017 at 04:12 by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

So, again, I'd like to start this by saying that I'm sorry you're having troubles, it's no fun, and also that I have no direct experience with the machines you have, although I have several friends who own equipment from LG and they're happy with them.

I'd also like to say that I fully understand wanting to kick something you never liked to the curb even if it's not broken. I think it's your call and you should do what makes you happy.

However, I'd like to mention a few more things in case it might help you or other people reading this thread.

It's astounding how many *different* things can be described by very similar words. A friend of mine visited old castles in Europe in the mid '80s and came back home laughing by how every single docent described the castles they were showing as "we tried to keep it *exactly* like it was 300 years ago" and some of them were super clean and some of them were filthy beyond description.

So, we have had every kind of description for LG washers here in AW: some say that when you select "hot" the machine does a warm wash, and when you select "warm" it's barely lukewarm etc. I'd say take some measurements, or at the very least do what you can to feel the door etc. Because yes, you may have been selecting "warm" all this time and getting a cold wash.

All fabrics "pill"/wear out -- it's just that fibers from some fabrics are weak enough that they break and fall off, while stronger fibers like polyester ball up instead and become conspicuous. Polyester also relaxes a bit with warm/hot water and resists breaking, while in cold water, particularly low level, it will be stiff, break and pill.

Let's talk stains for a second. There's a *big* difference between enzymes sold for the Euro market, where most washers will have heaters powerful enough to fill with cold water and heat it to boiling, if necessary, and enzymes sold for the American market, where washers tended to be top loading and fill with pre-heated water. As you can imagine, enzymes for a "profile" wash, where the machine raises the temperature to human body temp and keeps it there for a decent time, then raises the temperature further, are less expensive than enzymes that have to withstand 120-140F pronto. Nevertheless, most low and middle of the line detergents in US are designed to work at the very least well with 120F exposure immediately, and the top-of-the-line detergents in US work so well because they tend to have at least some of their enzymes that work well in hotter water (140F).

There's more: most of the FLs tumble the clothing and fill at the same time, so no stain will *reach* 140F immediately, in fact, the room-temperature clothes and the machine will absorb heat from the water and even a straight 140F hot fill will end up closer to 115-120F, which is why we tell folks to get a FL with a water heater. This will *not* set the stain, in particular, it will remove the stain just fine with detergents that have high-temperature enzymes in them.

The "hot water will set stains" *can* be true in particular for 1940's conditions: detergents with no enzymes, and people used to let the washer fill up with steaming hot water, let it go for a few minutes to dissolve the soap/detergent, then chuck the clothes in, which would expose the stains to 140F instantly, cooking the proteins and setting the stains.

Now, let's talk about "green" detergents. Yes, it probably has enzymes. Most "green" detergents in US up to a few years ago had none, but then, in actual scientific tests, they kept getting to the bottom of the list because they did not clean very well; enzymes are very expensive compared to other ingredients, though, so I'm not sure they have enough enzymes both from the point of view of number (protease, amylase etc) and from the point of view of percentage of weight of ingredients. I think you will have *much* better luck with Tide HE Turbo or Persil, although many people complain about the strong perfumes in such detergents. The other thing I want to make you aware of, is that until American laws become very stringent with labeling, a "green" label means nothing, in fact, in almost every single case it just means that the manufacturer claims "no animal cruelty" when in fact *all* they are doing is waiting for patents to expire (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate, two major surfactants, have been *extensively* tested on animals over 50 years ago, and the patents have expired decades ago, for example) and using the ingredients. There's no glory in copying Unilever's or P&G's 25-year old formulas and selling them for a high price -- I think it's dishonest on multiple levels; they could sell it for much cheaper, given that they had to do *no* research and they are using 3-decade old formulas, they could be honest about telling us exactly what they are doing. At this point, I'd rather pay slightly less for TOL stuff even though they supposedly tested on animals. I may change my mind later about that.

I'd like to mention fading too. There are a few things to consider here. For example, did you buy beautiful dishcloths or summer clothing that were hand-dyed and hand-woven in Madras, or similar places? The kind of thing you *know* might bleed colors and/or fade, but are prized *precisely* because of that? Then yes, maybe cold or warm wash is advised.

Almost everything else sold in the US is not processed like that in the last 50 years or so. Almost all fabrics that you see for sale are dyed with a process known as "fiber reactive dyes" (Procion[tm] Dyes, for example). Fiber reactive dyes attach themselves to the molecules of the fibers and do not come off until that piece of fiber degrades, to begin with -- that's why they are known as "colorfast". Things that have the potential to degrade the dye-site in the fiber include strong bleaches (chlorine bleach, ultra-violet rays, sunlight), but usually not regular washing even at 140F. In fact, one of the problems one encounters often with such dyes is that the way to *properly* finish the dying process is to rinse the just dyed fabric very quickly in cold water, then another warm rinse, then it should be washed in hot (140F) water, rinsed and dried. Because that process takes time, energy and money, a lot of manufacturers take a shorter, but almost as good, route: they rinse the excess dye, dry the fabric and slap a label telling the buyer to "wash separately" and declare themselves happy. Most people will maybe wash separately once or twice and toss them in a hot or warm wash with other clothes later. The people who washed the items in *hot* water first or at least warm water will experience a *significantly* longer wearing and new-looking garment, because the hot wash will finish setting the dyes more effectively. More about fabric dyeing can be found in the Dharma Trading website (link below).

I used to keep a few cotton dress shirts my husband and I had: they were black or very dark colors, they were over 15 years old when they finally started wearing out. In the last few months of use they got visibly faded (all of a sudden) and started ripping apart at the seams. The remarkable thing about them, though, and the reason I used to show them to everyone who even mentioned fading, was that the *inside* parts of the cuffs, collars, hems etc were still *very* dark, almost the same color they used to be, while the outer parts, which had been in the sun, were the only parts that have faded. Those were not shirts which had dried on the line in the sun -- they were put in the washer, from there to the dryer and then closets. The only sun they were exposed to were the short walks from parking lot to office and back, or walking around to have lunch. I think we can safely discard any "hot water fades fabrics" or "hot dryer fades fabrics".

I'd like to mention two other sources you may find interesting: Cheryl Mendelson's book (Home Comforts: the art and science of keeping house) mentions one of the reasons she started writing the book was because she was a lawyer and she got appalled that one should *not* have to have a Law Degree to be able to do laundry. Most of the things we see on labels nowadays are there because the law is vague enough to require that care labels have to "mention at least one safe method of cleaning" the garment, not the most effective, not the one that will make the garment last the longest etc. Thus you get so many "dry clean only" labels when *everything* in the garment is washable, but no one bothered to pre-shrink say, the shoulder pads or rick-racks or other trim before attaching them to the final product, so now you get to spend *your* money sending the stuff to the cleaners.

Harriet Hargrave, a famous quilter, studied textiles and wrote a book about it (From fiber to fabric). In it, she mentions asking a lot of professors about the "cold wash is best". Well, what a surprise, what the professors said is that any *good* fabric should have been pre-shrunk at the factory and, in most cases, for most people, the hottest wash they will subject the fabric to is 140F and, back when she wrote the book, most domestic dryers would dry the fabric above that temperature, so it shouldn't matter. Also, they pointed out, "cold wash" is relative: at that time, most of the textile schools and remaining fabric mills were in the South, where a cold wash (with pure "cold" water straight out of the tap) is about 80F which is actually lukewarm, and indeed, many current washing machines dumbed down the Hot to 100F or less, the Warm to 85F or less etc.

I will be frank with you -- *currently* most garments sold in US can be washed safely in "warm" (110F/40C) or even "hot" (140F/60C). The couple of fibers to watch out for: some acrylics are temperature sensitive, most can be washed well until 120F; the one that catches people by surprise is polypropylene, a fiber that tends to be used for "technical fabrics", that is, fabrics that people wear in very cold weather because they are light and insulate well, thus being useful for camping/hiking. Those tend to be in socks, some underwear and t-shirts, for example, and they actually can melt in as little as 120F, so one needs to be careful with wash and drying temperature.

What about silk? What about wool? Glad you asked. Those can resist very high heat, but both get weaker when wet, so it's best to wash them gently. Wool, in particular, can take over 250F, which is why one often finds pressing and ironing boards that have a felted wool batting to cushion the fabric to be pressed or ironed. Notice the disparity here: when the wool is not moving, it can take steam and heat just fine. The problem with wool is that the fibers are very much like human hair, which will take and keep a curl when the temperature gets high enough and then gets rapidly cooled, which tends to felt wool. If you are washing wool, you want to keep agitation to a minimum (to prevent the fibers from interlocking [felting]) and you want to keep the temperature *very* stable, which is hard to do at home with hot washes, and the reason we're told to wash wool in warm or, even better, lukewarm or cool water.

So, with all of that in here for you to mull about, we come back to your problem: I am not sure that *any* of the new washers that *look* like your old Maytag will *behave* like your Maytag.

What can you do? Well, again, ask many many questions. If you can arrange to test drive your friends' washers, do so, with the caveat that by now, what is sold to the home market can be sufficiently different from what you find at the laundromat that I don't consider "I used it at the laundromat" as a real, useful, test drive.

You can try to buy an older set -- lots of people are desperate to get rid of their sets because they want to use the newfangled stuff for sale. You could find a gently used, never broken set. Maybe even one of your friends wants to swap your equipment for theirs, both of you would be happier.

All I can tell you is that my parents like traveling to touristy places and coming back with "the t-shirts" for themselves and us kids. After a few too many times they kept asking me and my siblings how come *our* t-shirts looked brand new after 5 years and theirs were faded and/or worn out, and all of us telling them we wash our stuff in hot water with front-loading washers, they finally got a clue and switched to FL when their set died. They seem happy with it so far.

Good luck!
-- Paulo.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO earthling177's LINK

Post# 943557 , Reply# 15   6/15/2017 at 08:37 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
"Ok, so I just bought a liquid..."

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I honestly think that is the crux of the problem.

You seem to be, for some reason or other, married to liquids. And I really don't mean that statement in a nasty way.

Powders, by their very design, are the most advanced detergents available, superior builders, better surfactants, improved enzyme formulations and oxygen bleach. The components don't interact with each other in the packet because they are encapsulated within granules.

The oxygen bleach in powder detergents helps to kill bacteria, not only on the clothes but in the machine too.

Machine manufacturers state that "maintenance washes" must be done fairly regularly. These are done empty, on a very hot cycle, with POWDER. Only powder detergents containing oxygen bleach are capable of cleaning the machine properly.

And it stands to reason, that if powders are used for most laundry loads, the machine will be kept much cleaner, far longer.

Liquid detergents cannot contain oxygen bleach, as it destabilises, and the enzymes are rendered useless.

Liquid detergents also contribute to "mouldy washer" syndrome, where mould, mildew and sour smells build up in the machine. This bio-film can even attack the alloy drum spider assembly.

Post# 943575 , Reply# 16   6/15/2017 at 10:15 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
For information:

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"Ultra Tide with Bleach Powdered Detergent"

Ingredient Name {Function}
Sodium Carbonate {removes water hardness}
Sodium Sulfate {processing aid}
Sodium Aluminosilicate {removes water hardness}
Linear Alkylbenzene Sulfonate {surfactant}
Sodium Percarbonate {oxygen bleach}
Sodium Laureth Sulfate {surfactant}
Nonanoyloxybenzenesulfonate {bleach activator}
Sodium Polyacrylate {dispersant}
Silicate {processing aid}
Water {processing aid}
Fragrance {Fragrance}
Palmitic Acid {processing aid}
Polyethylene Glycol 4000 {stabilizer}
Disodium Diaminostilbene Disulfonate {whitening agent}
Silicone {suds suppressor}
Protease {enzyme (stain remover)}
Amylase {enzyme (stain remover)}
Lipase {enzyme (stain remover)}
FD&C BLUE #1 {colorant}


Post# 943589 , Reply# 17   6/15/2017 at 12:09 by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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Ran across this in a discussion on another board. It's oriented from the POV of cleaning cloth diapers but should be reasonably relevant to any usage situation.

Fluff Love University - Detergent Index

Post# 943661 , Reply# 18   6/15/2017 at 22:21 by Dreamclean (Portland)        

Thanks DaD for the Fluff Uni guide. It was Eye-opening and I learned that my ms Meyers didn't pass the test...they said coconut cleansers trap bacteria. Ditching it. So yes Rolls you got me, I'm married to liquids bc I'm still married to my Maytag. Fortunately, the Liquid Persil was rated as an excellent detergent even for cloth diapers. Paolo, you've given me a lot to think about and I appreciate your insights-- the hot water is a true revelation, among other things. About the dyes though- I have seen a lot of my things release dye into the water when I hand-wash so still unsure about color bleeding with today's fabrics and so brainwashed into associating hot water with fading and wear. But again, the Maytag used cold with such success it seems I'm having to pick up the new machine's slack by changing my habits. After thanking all of you I feel like I'm giving a toast or graduation speech or something. Maybe clean undestroyed laundry is in my future. But anyway, you guys need to write an ebook on this bc I'd gladly buy it. So much misinformation out there plus old habits die hard. I'm chomping at the bit to do a load but still not enough to throw in there.

Post# 943677 , Reply# 19   6/15/2017 at 22:57 by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        


I wish you all the success, whether you find an old Maytag set, or find something new that behaves like it or even if you find a new HE set that makes you happy.

I understand, I truly do. Being able to do something that others think of a "chore" as a relaxation/meditation is priceless. For decades I did not understand *why* people hated laundry until I was put in situations (apartment buildings, for example, with "shared" laundry equipment/laundromats) that made me anxious just by thinking about having to do laundry.

So happy that's over for me!

As for hot water and dye transfer/bleed etc. I do suggest that you do some reading in the Dharma Trading website about how to hand dye some fabric. There are multiple slightly different processes, like tie dye, batik, yardage dyeing etc.

See what they tell you and how you feel about it.

I have not actually dyed anything but the couple of times I tie-dyed something or helped overdye gray pants ultra-black for a community theatre group we hang out with.

Once I started washing all my *new* clothes in the same way they tell you to finish dyeing a garment, they started lasting *much* longer.

What I do: *very* quick rinse, a minute or two in cold water in a tub. Swish the garment with similar colors around, squeeze as much water you can without deforming the garments. Fill the tub with warm water, rinse the clothes for 5 minutes or less. Both these rinses are to remove unreacted/unnattached excess dyes -- the dyes can in fact attach themselves to say, a white fabric and that's why you want to remove as much as possible, but you don't want to spend so long that you start removing dyes that *have* reacted but not *fixed* to the fabric.

That's what you do next: 140F water and TOL detergent, it doesn't have to be a long wash, a short wash and through multiple rinses will do fine. If you can't get 140F water, get as close as you can. That should finish the process.

If you can't get your hands on TOL detergents, you may want to get and follow the directions on the bottles of Retayne (to fix the dyes) and then Synthrapol (to remove all the unreacted dyes) so the fabric actually becomes colorfast and stops bleeding. I have had very good luck just washing the garments separately like I mentioned a couple of washes until they start behaving.

Also, like I mentioned before, some traditional processes (indigo blue in blue jeans, madras hand dyed/hand woven fabrics) are supposed to fade throughout the useful life of the fabrics.

Anyway, we hope you find several options that work for you.

-- Paulo.

Post# 943687 , Reply# 20   6/16/2017 at 00:53 by Dreamclean (Portland)        
What's next

Thank-you Paulo (sorry I goofed on the spelling earlier) I will definitely be trying your method on a new red Organic Australian made cotton top I've been afraid to wash.
Tomorrow we're calling to get a technician to check the machine just in case anything is off. I'm going to get a Tide powder to try along with the liquid Persil, buy some new screen printed tees and socks to experiment with and hit that hot water button. Not as worried about cleanliness as I am the pilling, but if I can avoid fabric softener I'd be pretty happy. I'll check back in after I play around with it some more.

Post# 943697 , Reply# 21   6/16/2017 at 04:24 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

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Every new 100% cotton item that I buy gets a overnight soak in cold water with a cup of distilled vinegar. It helps against shrinking and colors bleeding.

That cotton top sounds like it could be a delicate item, so I wouldn't wash it on hot. But every clothing item that one wears on the skin can endure a warm wash (100 - 105F)

Hope in the end you get more satisfaction from your machine than you did until now.

Post# 943740 , Reply# 22   6/16/2017 at 09:24 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Red clothing

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Red dyes usually, in my experience, tend to bleed quite readily. Red garments fade over time, and the sun fades them too. Never wash red garments with a load of whites - they'll end up pink, as you might expect. Never wash red garments with a load of blacks - they'll end up with reddish-brown streaks. It's happened to me in the past.

I wash red items with other red garments, in the machine. I turn them inside out. I wash them in lukewarm-ish water (30 deg C to 40 deg C), with a liquid detergent (bleach isn't in the formulation). I peg them on the line still inside out, so the sun doesn't bleach them. Or they go in the dryer, still inside out.

Black and Navy Blue items I tend to wash together at 40 deg C, sometimes using liquid detergent, sometimes using powder. The powder removes odours more effectively.

Whites and yellows, I wash together sometimes washing at 60 deg C, other times at 50 deg, or 40 deg. I use either a powder for whites or a powder-tablet (powder compressed into tablet form). And even then, I crumble the tablet back into powder form, so that the dispenser drawer flushes clean.

Powder-tablets seem to have been discontinued by several big manufacturers, only the squidgy liqui-tab pods are generally available.

The liqui-tabs have liquid detergent at high concentration, in a dissolvable pouch. There have been instances where the pouch did not dissolve, leaving a plastic gum on the clothing, or on the door seal. Personally, I would not recommend liqui-tabs.

And good luck with wash day!

Post# 943793 , Reply# 23   6/16/2017 at 13:23 by Dreamclean (Portland)        
Questions/fine tuning

Great tips, the red top is handmade of an organic cotton jersey with a hand screen printed design, it does say handwash only but I was hoping it could handle the gentle cycles. I had put off thinking about how to care for it in the long-run but I just wore it for the first time. I don't actually have enough (nice) clothes of any particular color to do an actual load of that color.

This brings up some questions...If I'm washing one hoodie or sweater on its own or 1-4 tops how much liquid vs powder detergent? I use a tbsp of liquid for normal sized loads. Since they need to be washed individually, my handwashables rarely see the light of day.
Can screen printed tees handle hot water?
How does elastic handle hot water? Also, synthetic lace?
Anyone have care advice for dyed (dark teal and white) 100% linen sheets? They are handmade as well and it says to use warm water but I wonder if they can handle hot (I have dogs)
I think that covers it all...

Post# 943804 , Reply# 24   6/16/2017 at 14:07 by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture

Hot water is relative to the machine's programming. Variable per the selected cycle and soil level. Many produce nowadays 95F or so for hot on the designated Normal cycle. Heavy Duty would be warmer, and of course Sanitary or Steam with an onboard heater.

Post# 943843 , Reply# 25   6/16/2017 at 15:40 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Hi Dreamclean,

I downloaded the Instruction Manual for your machine, based on the model you gave in your original post.

Page 23 has the various cycles.

The cycle you want for "handwash" articles, is the "Handwash / Woollens" programme. This should be a low temperature wash, with 'much reduced agitation' - designed to prevent felting of woollens. Low spin speed - you might have to run another spin cycle afterwards, at a faster speed.

Cottons and linens (sheets, tablecloths, towels, t-shirts polyester-cotton mixtures) require maximum agitation with high spin speeds. Use "Cotton Normal".

Temperatures seem to default to "warm". This should be absolutely fine.

Use a biological detergent, preferably a powder. Put it in the dispenser drawer, and make sure that the 'liquid detergent' removable 'cup' is removed when using powder.


Post# 943846 , Reply# 26   6/16/2017 at 15:54 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

rolls_rapide's profile picture
Elastic is okay at warm temperatures, be cautious of 'hot' and 'very hot' temperatures, it can perish over time.

Lycra items: wash as "Delicates" , with warm temperature.

Synthetic lace: - check the label. If "handwash" on the label, wash on the woollens cycle. Else it might be possible to wash as "Delicates".

Post# 943891 , Reply# 27   6/16/2017 at 21:36 by Dreamclean (Portland)        
Hand wash cycle

Ok yes, I've used all the cycles properly before but was hoping to use hot to kill germs and prolong fabric life as Paulo explained. It sounds like I can't use hot water to kill germs with underwear, which are mostly synthetics, or the linen, which is what I'm primarily interested in. My main question was how much detergent to use for one-five items. My mother's theory is that I can't effectively clean a small load of items on handwash in this HE machine. So that's my problem bc hand washing is said to be poor at removing oils and odor, on top of my own experience and I don't know how much detergent to use for 1-5 items. These are items which are 100 percent cotton, linen or wool.

Post# 943941 , Reply# 28   6/17/2017 at 07:13 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

rolls_rapide's profile picture
It varies according to detergent. Some powders are quite foamy, others hardly foam at all.

Based on my experience, start off with about 50ml of powder.

Regarding synthetics:

A typical Synthetics load will be much less than a Cottons load, typically about half in weight. This is required to minimise creasing.

Our machines had synthetics programmes with temperatures of between cold and 60 deg C. Agitation was 'medium', spinning was short and slow, due to creasing issues.

The 'Synthetics 60 deg C' temperature was for 'White Nylon' (drip-dry shirts and blouses which had to be kept white).

The 'Synthetics 50 deg C' 'Minimum Iron' was for polycotton 'drip-dry' mixtures and coloured nylon (coloured shirts and blouses). Agitation and spinning as above.

There was never an official 'Synthetics 40 deg C' programme - although it could be achieved on some machines, by reducing the temperature dial, or pressing the 'Economy' button.

In its place was 'Delicates 40 deg C' - designed for acrylics (Acrilan, Orlon) jumpers and cardigans. Agitation and spinning as above.

With the above Synthetics and Delicates, the machine could be programmed to stop at the final rinse called "Rinse Hold", until the user activated the final slow spin. This minimised creasing - provided the user removed the clothes promptly.

Modern machines have essentially the same cycles, but with dumbed down temperatures. One of the first casualties was the Synthetics 50 deg C ('Minimum Iron') - usually replaced by a Synthetics 40 deg cycle.

Regarding the handwash cycle:
It is probably too gentle for your togs. Cotton and linen - wash as cotton. Woollens - was as wool.

What EXACTLY do the garment labels say?

Have a look at this article in the link... it's to do with temperatures and detergents.


Post# 944175 , Reply# 29   6/19/2017 at 00:22 by Dreamclean (Portland)        
After hours of research...

Most of the instructions for all my things say to wash in cold water, which I've done along with warm. The issues were still pilling and odor. With the goal of no odor, more flexible fibers bc of heat and clothes that look new longer, I thought I could override instructions based on what Paulo said and use hot. However since these are synthetic undies with elastic, screen printed tees and thin cottons it looks like that might not be a good idea for my particular kind of laundry. I also read a chapter from Home Comforts and she said hot has a tendency to shrink and fade fabrics. The new things like knits say handwash (a thin merino wool sweater), and the linen sweater said dry clean but the designer told me to put it in the machine on delicate. I have a thin cotton James Perse tee that has a unique dye process and says to wash in cold. At this point I don't trust the machine for these things.

I compared laundry with my roommate who uses the same cycles and detergent and does larger loads and combines denim, cotton tees and synthetics. Her cotton tees are nearly the same age as mine, immaculate with no pilling, they are mostly generic or from the Life is Good Company, which are known for quality tees. My things are admittedly more delicate but her Ann Taylor cotton modal top is just as pilled as mine and she said that started quite suddenly (much like mine). That seems to indicate that many of my Threadless tees may have some modal in there but it's happened across brands. I know clothing quality has gone down a lot in recent years so no doubt that has something to do with it. I won't know for sure until I do a burn test. Yes that's next... The only difference in variables is that my loads are smaller and on another forum someone said that is harder on clothes bc there is less cushion. She puts all different fabrics together, which if the Icebreaker company website is correct in advising to wash merino wools with denim to decrease pilling (yes you read that right) then maybe this is a new theory.

Using liquid Persil I washed the red handmade cotton jersey top inside out in a mesh bag on its own using handwash cold like the designer recommended. I thought it looked a little scuffed up in places and the screen print seemed faded. And wanted to cry.

I tried the Persil on warm perm press and I thought it did clean better but I had one cotton hemp tee that was crunchy from the detergent not rinsing completely even with an extra rinse cycle. I only used 1 tablespoon, and I can't imagine using the 1.6 oz the Persil bottle said. This tells me there's not enough water bc how could a tablespoon still be too much?

As for powder, a textile professor said it is better for actual dirt where liquids excel at removing skin and cooking oils. A couple sites said that granules can contribute to pilling by creating more friction especially if they don't fully dissolve. Since the powders dissolve better in warm/hot and a lot of my items say to use cold, I can only try the powder and see what happens.

The tech is coming this week to check the machine so hopefully I'll learn something new. For now I'm exhausted really.

Post# 944187 , Reply# 30   6/19/2017 at 02:11 by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture

I also read a chapter from Home Comforts and she said hot has a tendency to shrink and fade fabrics.
Thing is, that refers to "real" hot water, tap hot, 120F up to 140F. HE washers nowadays won't get anywhere near that except on a designated Sanitary or Allergen (or maybe Heavy Duty at max soil level) with an onboard heater.

Post# 944205 , Reply# 31   6/19/2017 at 07:38 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
"...and the screen print seemed faded."

rolls_rapide's profile picture
Perhaps it wasn't actual fading, but brightening instead? Most laundry detergents contain optical brighteners which absorb ultraviolet light and reflect it back with visible wavelengths. Whites do look brighter, colours can also be improved.

And before anyone says that optical brighteners fade colours, consider this: optical brighteners have been used in carpet extractor shampoo formulations too, such as Vax detergent. The original Vax liquid (the one where you added separate defoamer) had a violet tinge.

I think Modal fabric (rayon) is a tad more robust than you might imagine. Have a look at this link, below.

Regarding pilling, generally I do not experience it on my cottons. I have an old "Regatta" brand polyester t-shirt which does have awful pilling. Perhaps your tops have a mixture of polyester?

On the other hand, it could be that the quality of cotton they sell these days is just plain old dreadful quality. I have a few pairs of ancient denim jeans which have outlasted the newer 'softer cotton' jeans. The soft cotton jeans frayed and wore out very badly indeed.


Post# 944250 , Reply# 32   6/19/2017 at 13:56 by jkbff (Gladstone, ND)        

jkbff's profile picture
I am sorry for the laundry troubles, but I am so glad to see this thread.

I recently switched from a Miele W3038 washer to a LG WM3997 and I was thinking its all in my head, but my laundry is not as clean and doesn't feel the same as laundry from my Miele.

For both machines, I use liquid persil on for the pre-wash, and then either miele color or white powder for the main wash. I programmed the Miele to do two extra rinses, on the LG I always select two extra rinses. I also select turbo wash so I get the added spray.

If I wash Polyester polos or slacks, on both machines, it was always a warm wash with a medium spin. On the Miele I always used a custom cycle with sanitize for my bedding, towels, rags and anything unusually grungy. The LG, I will just usually use hot, the sanitize cycle adds way too much time and it just seems off from the Miele sanitize cycle (the times I've used it didn't seem to help). Also, one difference with my laundry now is that the Miele's were on the third floor. The LG is right next to my hot water heater and directly connected to the hot line out so it has instant hot water.

I don't have a lot of variation in my day to day routine. I typically have the same food spills, the same oil / grease / sweat on my clothes and my stuff just doesn't feel or seem clean like it did from the Miele units. I never had spots left over on my laundry from the Miele and my collars were always clean. Collars are an off color now.

Since I've started using the LG, I've bought more socks and underwear. I thought it was just a coincidence. Also, my high thread count cotton sheets don't have that same feel to them like they did from Miele. They feel heavier.

I've been needing to do my pillows, but I am not sure if I am going to be happy with the results. I was thinking I'd use sanitize and steam on them just to see if I can get the entire pillow clean. I haven't done my down comforter in the LG either.

Anyways, I just thought I'd say something since I was thinking it was all just a mind issue until I came across this thread.

Good luck!

Post# 944253 , Reply# 33   6/19/2017 at 14:26 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

foraloysius's profile picture
There might be no connection, but you're both using Turbowash and you both have problems. Just saying...

Post# 944269 , Reply# 34   6/19/2017 at 15:59 by jkbff (Gladstone, ND)        

jkbff's profile picture
I was thinking that, but I tried without turbo wash for the first few loads, it doesn't put as much water in the tub then. Also, some stuff felt a lot dryer than when I use the turbo wash, so that tells me things aren't getting as saturated.

The physical debris/hair etc is removed better with the turbowash.

I should mention that when I use the turbowash, I do increase the soil level so it makes up for the wash time that it cuts using turbowash.

Most all of the cycles I do are around the 1:30 mark.

Post# 944327 , Reply# 35   6/20/2017 at 01:20 by Dreamclean (Portland)        
Synthetic blends and burn test results

Oh yes the dumbed down temperatures, it's something to consider so I'm probably going to experiment with some new inexpensive screen printed tees first.

After reading so many complaints about clothing deteriorating in the wash no matter the brand, it seems mass produced clothing really has gone to the dogs in recent years, and it happens to coincide with the mainstream getting used to HE washers, so the washers are getting blamed. Case in point, I remembered a hoodie I bought last year from a UK brand called Misguided. It was a cotton poly blend, and literally started pilling within two wears. I contacted the company and they brushed me off. It was about a $40 hoodie, but never having seen a washer, that was inexcusable. I had never had that happen with anything before. And you think about all these vintage cotton poly garments on the market with years of use behind them but are still kicking it. I learned that the tendency towards pilling can start at many points during the actual manufacturing process, usually because machines are not calibrated properly and the weave is not tight enough. So it's not materials alone.

I had read the modal article but again I think it must vary with the weave and quality. In the unscientific poll below, it was not rated highly for durability and many comments indicated anecdotal evidence supporting those results. The Ann Taylor shirt that was the only item in my roommates load that was pilling like my (allegedly cotton) tshirts, and was a modal cotton blend. I cut a swatch of that material and one of my tees, and performing the burn test, noted very similar reactions. Both appeared to pull away from the flame, turned black and had a melted effect as seen with synthetic blends. They both smelled like burning paper, had an afterglow and produced grey smoke and a fine ash as cotton is supposed to. Based on a YouTube video showing a cotton swatch, my tee should have quickly ignited on contact-- unless the weave makes much difference. So I do believe my tees are mixed with modal (another cellulose fiber) bc polyester would have had a black plume, chemical smell and hard bead-like ashes.
I found a true cotton tee from another UK company called Amplified that makes rock tees. This shirt has seen a ton of wear and there was no pilling. I believe that the nicer cottons are silky to the touch like this one, so I'm going to be more selective when shopping. As for the red tee, the designer assures me that the screen print looks the same and she has already road tested the fabric with little signs of wear after 100's of washes. Admittedly I've been a little paranoid so I'm going to try to put my perfectionist tendencies to rest now and enjoy the top. I have a lot more confidence in handmade sellers on Etsy than retail designers, who stand by their quality, have pride in what they do and wear the clothes themselves. I plan on getting my socks on there, it seems like Eastern Europe is still producing socks as they used to be made. I had bought some socks in France by a brand called Achile, and they lasted for 15+ years. I know European consumers are a lot more savvy and demanding, I just wish Americans would follow suit otherwise we will continue to be a throw-away society and most people aren't aware of the need to recycle all this surplus. I have considered starting a blog in the past since there is no consciousness about quality and clearly no accountability with the labels or manufacturers. As an example, I bought a sweatshirt from an indie eco-label and realized that the thread tension had caused it to buckle at the seams and created holes. The sweatshirt had been given glowing 5 star reviews (one reviewer even said she bought three) even though it looked terribly frumpy and saggy on the model bc of this glaring defect (I chalked it up to posture initially). When I contacted the designer for a return, she was completely ignorant of the issue even though she had sold many in different colors. She didn't even seem to fully grasp the seriousness of the issue until after a few email exchanges. This is basic sewing 101, and she's had her online boutique, Beklina, for over ten years. Anyway, something has to give and in America we need to raise our standards for a lot of different reasons...
Thanks for listening and all the tips. Feel a lot better about the washer but still have some kinks to get out and a lot of clothes to replace but that's the fun part :)


Post# 944328 , Reply# 36   6/20/2017 at 01:34 by Dreamclean (Portland)        

Hi Jkbff, I'm glad to hear this has been helpful. I was actually looking into a Miele the past couple of days so it's good to hear your experience. I just don't think the rinsing or water levels are sufficient..if I used the 1.6 oz of recommended Persil you could probably stand my clothes straight up on the floor. One measly tablespoon ought to wash out fully unless I try half of that which sounds crazy. That was with one extra rinse cycle on warm. I could do three but figured that might be harder on the clothes. The other thing I might try is to add 2-3 gallons of water after pausing the cycle. Everything just feels slightly sticky and looks dull...


Post# 944522 , Reply# 37   6/21/2017 at 17:57 by Dreamclean (Portland)        
After picking the tech's brain

Had the annual Sears check-up on the LG set. Everything looked good no problems. He did say that all the machines since the HE changeover of 2009 do not clean as well as the old TL's especially Maytags and the Speed Queen. About the pilling and worn screen printed tees he said it is definitely caused by the clothes rubbing against each other. So the clothes will get worn down in a FL from abrasion, whereas the TL wear the clothes through shredding. Since I washed everything in my old Maytag TL on the delicate cycle, I escaped both kinds of wear for the most part.

If he bought a machine today he said it would be a TL Speed Queen, that LG's are the best of the mainstream brands and to steer clear of Samsung and GE altogether.
As for detergent amounts, for a normal load in an LG they recommend two tablespoons, less for smaller loads. So I'm fine with that but he wasn't surprised detergent still didn't wash out of some. He advised against adding water as some people have tried since it would just drain bc of the built-in sensors.
The technician has 25 years experience, so pretty confident he's seen it all but didn't know much about Miele. Leaning towards selling the set and getting a SQ again...

Post# 944626 , Reply# 38   6/22/2017 at 06:34 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
"caused by the clothes rubbing against each other."

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That is disappointing. They only way to reduce/delay the problem would be to activate the 'Turbo Wash' for most of your loads.

Have you tried a small amount of fabric conditioner in the final rinse? I know you said you didn't like the stuff, but it might help to lubricate the fibres and delay the pilling.

Post# 944629 , Reply# 39   6/22/2017 at 06:52 by mrb627 (Buford, GA)        
In My Experience...

mrb627's profile picture

Lack of sufficient detergent contributes to more fabric wear.
Also, additional rinsing beyond the scope of what is needed can contribute to fabric wear.

The water stingy FL machines today aren't as gentle as the models offered 25+ years ago. Add to that the cycles have doubled or tripled in length.


Post# 944631 , Reply# 40   6/22/2017 at 07:35 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
"FL machines today aren't as gentle"

rolls_rapide's profile picture
I would agree with that - on some programmes. Other programmes (Woollens, for example) are now too gentle, and certainly not a patch on the woollens cycles of yesteryear.

I would also say that I think modern programme lengths are hugely excessive. Totally unnecessary. The maximum time of a cycle should be no more than 90 minutes for heavily soiled cottons. An hour should be more than enough for normally soiled laundry.

Post# 944657 , Reply# 41   6/22/2017 at 11:56 by washerdude (Canada )        

While you wait for you new SQ TL...
Enjoy (Don't raise it too high).

I must say, reading this thread made me reconsider getting an LG FL, turbowash does not seem to be all the rage of what it sounded and looked like. I'll probably stick with a WP made FL.

Post# 944692 , Reply# 42   6/22/2017 at 16:17 by Dreamclean (Portland)        
Turbo wash

Hi Rolls yes I use turbo wash on everything. Hesitant about softener since it has chemicals & can be gunky, (plus I'm sensitive). And thanks for the video washerdude. I wasn't aware you could do that with LG's. MrB I just started using an extra rinse cycle just on two loads...I could try two tbsp but since it doesn't wash out fully as it is and my loads are probably less than normal size, I don't know that will be the solution. At this point I'm not comfortable putting anything of value in it so I probably won't be experimenting with my new things. It's ruined all of my new socks and they weren't cheap. The tumbling is what shrunk them even with cold water.

I guess in my mind, I visualize optimal cleaning in a TL with the clothes suspended in water sloshing around with the detergent creating an emulsion to lift the dirt/oils. Since the fibers can move freely and expand, the water detergent emulsion can enter and leave the fabric at any angle. On the other hand, I feel the FL's tumbling action doesn't allow for a free-flowing system or fabric expansion and release. They are packed on top of each other and friction is the least effective way to clean clothes, which explains the absurdly long cycles. I wonder if it even drives some of the soil deeper into the fabric...I have many thick cotton socks I think that happened with bc the soil looks as if it got locked up in the fabric. I'm not an engineer but that's the only way I know to explain it. My first experience with a FL was a Bosch in Poland. I noticed it was pulverizing my clothes while my Norwegian flatmate walked around wearing shredded and holey clothing, seemingly oblivious.

I also think it would take a whole lot longer for a TL to "shred" the clothes than it does a FL to pill them, when I'm looking at one wash succeeding with that. I'm hoping if i get the TL SQ I'll get by on the delicate cycle like I used previously.
Also, kind of crazy that these things only last 5-7 years isn't it? I've read the landfills are overflowing with HE machines. What a waste of resources. Planned obselescence should probably be a crime at this point in our evolution.
Going to look at SQ's this week, and the Amana sure did have good reviews so that got my interest. There were quite a few bad reviews but they weren't verified, as someone pointed out.

Post# 944701 , Reply# 43   6/22/2017 at 17:05 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

rolls_rapide's profile picture
Good luck with your shopping for a new machine. It can be a hellish experience!

Regarding Bosch: My mum has a Bosch and it washes quite well. It dates from 2006 and uses a reasonable amount of water to wash and rinse. It was one of the mid-range "German" models, so reliability was better. I have spoken to sales folk in a few shops, and "Spanish Bosch" was the one to avoid, usually at the cheaper end of the spectrum.

My mum's Bosch - I think - washes, rinses and spins more successfully in a shorter time-frame than my Panasonic which uses a miserly amount of water and dithers about whether the spin is balanced or not.

Post# 944705 , Reply# 44   6/22/2017 at 17:35 by Dreamclean (Portland)        

Thanks, I went through it a year ago almost to the date. That was on top of a house reno and moving so I'm in a much better place. I don't see an alternative when I can endure info overload better than ruined clothes. This time I'm going with my gut and I didn't have a good feeling about the LG but someone managed to influence me that has since been wrong about just about everything. He managed to talk me out of the SQ at that time. It's funny how gardenweb laundry forum is almost evangelical about SQ and it seems to be the opposite here (maybe).

Post# 944718 , Reply# 45   6/22/2017 at 19:22 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

rolls_rapide's profile picture
I think that between us all on here, we all have had experience of at least one machine that has driven us up the wall - whether it be because of consistently poor performance or dodgy reliability.

Go with your gut feeling, and don't be persuaded by those smooth-talking, 'fly-by-night' salesmen.

Post# 944742 , Reply# 46   6/22/2017 at 20:24 by mtn1584 (USA)        
A Speed Queen suggestion....

Buy the electronic model for greater washing flexibility cycle wise and a 5 year warranty as well.

Post# 944758 , Reply# 47   6/22/2017 at 21:35 by mrsalvo (New Braunfels Texas)        

A couple of years ago my TL Kenmore bit-the-dust when it locked up on the spin cycle and nearly caught on fire, pouring smoke out all over the house. Afterwards I looked at all the new washers, front load and top load, took my time, and decided on TL Speed Queen, I knew what I was getting and I have never regretted it once. The only thing you have to be careful about with Speed Queen is NOT to overload it, as stated 2 or 3 times in the owners manual, it can cause excessive wear on the belts. Love, love the fast cycle times and saving on detergents, it doesn't take much, and clothes are well rinsed. Also LOVE the simplicity of the design.

I'm not saying it's all-that-and-a-bag-of-chips too, but for what's out there today its probably the best over-built, BASIC designed washer available on the market. It does have its short comings to be fair but I'm willing to work around them. It's a water hog, but that's okay. The washer works for our situation.

Good luck with your decision. And always follow your gut instincts.


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