Thread Number: 35649
American Top Loaders with auto-soak
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Post# 531864   7/20/2011 at 16:53 (4,714 days old) by brastemp (Brazil)        

I know the USA is not used the soaking for cleaning the clothes. I wonder if there are models of top load with the function of soaking with automatic advance?

Post# 531870 , Reply# 1   7/20/2011 at 17:33 (4,714 days old) by volsboy1 (East Tenn Smoky mountains )        

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My G.E. Harmony will soak and agitate for up to 8 hours then will go to what ever type of wash program that you chose.I have ran a 13 hour wash cycle just to see if it would remove stains that were set and it took all the stains out. That 13 hour includes the 8 hour soak and the boil wash which uses the internal heater.I love this washer its been great..

Post# 531977 , Reply# 2   7/21/2011 at 10:41 (4,713 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        
"Lady Executive" Hotpoint washer

I never owned a TL with soak function, but they were available in higher end units (I always bought basic or low-middle range units). There is a recurring ad that unimatic posts from time to time under "Picture of the Day" which features a Hotpoint "Lady Executive" washer with auto soak (soak overnight, then goes automatically to a wash cycle, plus there was option for extra rinse). This model, based on the model's clothing and artistic design of the ad, seems to be from the late 1960s or maybe 1970 at latest. So the soak function was available even 40 years ago, but probably not on entry level models.

The Hotpoint ad mentioned an eight hour soak which they called "overnight soak". The ad seemed to be aimed at the new generation of working American women: the late 1960s and 1970s saw women stop being stay at home mothers and begin to have jobs and careers. These settings allowed a working woman to wash a heavily soiled load overnight, and she did not have to be home (or awake) to manually advance the controls.

Hotpoint as I understand it was the lower priced "value" line made by GE, so I think it's reasonable to assume that GE-badged models offered the same options, if one was prepared to spend money. Or maybe not: since Hotpoint was a value-priced, "young family" brand, maybe they offered the extra options only on Hotpoint, in the belief that single women or two-income families would look to Hotpoint to save $ rather than consider GE. Single-income families with higher incomes (so that mom didn't have to work) presumably would have had less interest in a washer that automatically shifted from soak to wash cycle. Either mom was home to do the task, or they had a housekeeper do it.

If someone set it up after, say, supper time, it would soak eight hours overnight, then automatically advance to wash around 4:0o-5:00, and when the women woke at 6:00, the load would be ready for the dryer. Almost as I use the Delay Wash feature on my FL today----if I set up at 20:00 or 20:30, the load completes by 05:30 and is ready for the dryer. The difference today is my FL's higher spin speed and shorter drying times. I need only 30 minutes to dry a load of permanent press, including the cool down time, but back in the "Lady Executive" Hotpoint days, most likely a similar load had not been spun as quickly and would have needed more than 30 minutes to dry.

The Hotpoint in the ad even had a "wash twice" option on top of the Soak function, so I assume there must have been three compartments for adding detergent: one for Soak, and one for each of two washes. Add extra rinse on top of that and you would have filled the washer FIVE times (not all hot water, but still...). That a LOT of water.

Post# 531978 , Reply# 3   7/21/2011 at 11:02 (4,713 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Although sourced from NZ, they were sold in the U.S.  My Fisher & Paykel GWL08 and IWL12 both have a soak option that can be added to any cycle.  Two-hr soak that follows the wash period.  Optionally shortened to 1 hr with the Time Saver option, or manually advanced after any desired time less than the maximum.  Five agitation strokes occur on 1-minute intervals throughout the soak period.  GWL08 proceeds to drain after the soak.  IWL12 usually (though not necessarily always) has a short agitation period before drain.  IWL12 also has a Prewash option that runs a 6-minute cold prewash, drains (no spin), then beeps for the user to add more detergent and press Start to continue for proceeding into the normal wash period.  Prewash is included by default on the Muddy cycle.  The IWL series is no longer available, but the current EcoSmart model has the same soak option as GWL08.


My Whirlpool Calypso has a Soak option that adds a 16-min soak to any cycle.  Consisting of half the time rotating the basket at 60 RPM while wash water showers over the load, a brief agitation period, then the remaining time soaking again.  A couple mins pause, then it proceeds to the main wash *without draining*.


My Neptune TL has a similar Soak option that runs about 15 mins.  Tumbles for a moment every couple mins to keep the load saturated, then proceeds to the main wash without draining.


Kenmore had their Enzyme Soak cycle for several years.  Mid-line models had it as a stand-alone cycle that soaked for 30 mins with 2-mins of agitation at the halfway point, then 4 mins of prewash (which could also be selected as a separate starting point), drain and spin.  Higher-end models could automatically advance from Enzyme Soak into the Normal cycle.


Maytag had a Soak on some models.


I have a 1999 Kenmore 90 that has a stand-alone Soak which fills, agitates briefly, then shuts off leaving the tub full to soak as long as desired.  Well, I think that's what it does ... I haven't tried it to confirm.


Although not a full soak in the traditional sense, Whirlpool's Super Wash ran a 2-, 4-, or 6-min prewash, 2-min soak, half-drain, then proceeded into the Normal cycle.  Higher-end models also had Super Wash leading into the Perm Press cycle.

Post# 532039 , Reply# 4   7/21/2011 at 15:07 (4,713 days old) by franksdad (Greenville, South Carolina)        

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All my Mama's Lady Kenmores and my Lady Kenmore and Kenmore Elite top loaders had soak options.  I never was a soaker until I joined this forum.  My BOSCH front loader has a 2 hour soak cycle.  After reading someone's thread on Biz I bought a box of Biz and have been soaking all my whites heavily soiled items.  Everything comes out sparkling clean!  I no longer use chlorine bleach on my white items (but I still use bleach on my towels).  I am sold on soaking now! 

Post# 532044 , Reply# 5   7/21/2011 at 15:43 (4,713 days old) by brastemp (Brazil)        

In Brazil we have the habit of using the soak time to wash white clothes, as it usually our washers does not have hot water.
Our soap also depends on more time to clear. Many brands write on their packages that require 1 hour or more for the enzymes work.
I have a Maytag EpicZ (Duet Brastemp in Brazil), there is a panel extended wash feature that adds 10 to 30 minutes of soak time, shaking it slowly. Naturally this washing cycles are quite long for an American product.

Post# 532046 , Reply# 6   7/21/2011 at 15:50 (4,713 days old) by pierreandreply4 (St-Bruno de montarville (province of quebec) canada)        

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if you look at this particular top load washer if you have the super wash cycle that includes an auto soak and the advance and refills for the normal portion of the cycle my 1993 inglis whirlpool superpb 2 had this cycle and i use it regularly. and this washer has the super wash cycle.

Post# 532081 , Reply# 7   7/21/2011 at 19:20 (4,713 days old) by yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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I am a soaker too.......and I have the brightest whites without bleach, and using cold water....many guest have been amazed at how super white everything is, and want to know my secret........

I have several machines that soak only, a few other have cycle modifiers to let you soak only, soak and wash, soak-wash-extrarinse.....but theres also dispensers to add product as the cycle progresses and the water changes...

some machines claim a "rinse" cycle as their "soak" cycle.....which is more or less a manual soak, or a 2 minute wash/soak and then drain and spin, what the heck is that?............

My Mom's GE V-12 didn't have a soak option......but by design, the machine would not spin with the lid open, agitate she did a somewhat manual/auto function, set to rinse, add her presoak booster, and leave the lid open......when she was ready, she redialed to a regular wash cycle and let it complete.....

Post# 532082 , Reply# 8   7/21/2011 at 19:37 (4,713 days old) by pierreandreply4 (St-Bruno de montarville (province of quebec) canada)        

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on the inglis whirlpool machine the soak cycle was the rinse portion of the gentle cycle

Post# 532089 , Reply# 9   7/21/2011 at 20:14 (4,713 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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A soak cycle tagged as starting at the rinse position was likely intended for the user to stop the machine after a brief agitation to soak for the desired time, then restart to drain and spin in preparation for running a full cycle.

Post# 532159 , Reply# 10   7/22/2011 at 10:29 (4,712 days old) by yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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If thats the case.....then your machine is not considered "Automatic" is it?......I'm just saying its nice to have a machine do it all, set it and forget it, or at least have the modifiers for the options...........

a simple wringer washer makes a great soaking machine, you could let clothes just soak, or agitate for hours.....theres pros and cons to this.....I found it easier to put a switch inline for the timer motor, basically a semi-automatic machine, to do what I wanted for how long I wanted, and with a flip of a switch, back to full auto.....

a wringer is a great addition to an automatic, soak in one, while washing in another...or...a suds water saving setup....a whole world of benefits

I even save the water from some loads to wash the dogs blankets in........also trying to figure a way to pump the wash water into a garden hose to wash down the sidewalks and dog pens.....why waste it on just a load of clothes?

Post# 532170 , Reply# 11   7/22/2011 at 12:02 (4,712 days old) by Toggleswitch (New York City, NY)        

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I never understood the importance of a soak cycle/ programme as most detergents lose their ability to hold soil in suspension after about 30 minutes.

Basically, the dirt from the armpits and the inseam areas gets evenly distributed back to the clothes.

In my opinion a quick and cool pre-wash with detergent (and full drain and spin) should preceded EVERY soaking period. (And the soak should have fresh water). At least that way the bulk of the dirt is gone.

Robert/Samantha, if you could come up with programs for a computer as well as wiring harnesses to fit all types of machines (as a replacement "timer") you'd make a fortune on this site alone for those of us who desire customizable cycles and proper washing techniques!

Post# 532281 , Reply# 12   7/22/2011 at 21:19 (4,712 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Yes and No

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Certain parts of modern detergents may loose power after a period of time, but others will keep going much longer than thirty minutes.

Depending upon what one wishes to do (stain removal, heavy soil, etc) soaking beyond thirty minutes can have benefits.

Enzymes and most oxygen bleaches will continue to work for several hours, even in warm or cool water. Thus a long or even over night soak goes along way in shifting stains/whitening by increase in contact time without the drawbacks of the high temperatures required to really get oxygen based bleaches going.

When properly done one does not reuse nor circulate laundry in water that has been used for soaking. Items are either taken from the soak bath or the water should be drained at least half way and then fresh water added.

Better washing machine programs most always did the above, that is a full or partial drain of the soak water followed by a topping up with fresh water for the main wash cycle. Point being you don't want to distrub the "muck" which has settled to the bottom of any tub used for soaking laundry.

Post# 532301 , Reply# 13   7/23/2011 at 00:00 (4,712 days old) by neptune ()        

My Amana top loader has a soak option i have used it once.

Post# 532347 , Reply# 14   7/23/2011 at 09:17 (4,712 days old) by brastemp (Brazil)        

I think overnight soak is a long time. For best results when using cold water to soak time should be 30 minutes.
Our top loads in Brazil has exaggerated a lot in this time and in some programs put more than one hour of soak. I think detergent enzymes stop working after 2 hours of soak time, so when the agitation starts there is no more cleaning action.

Post# 532430 , Reply# 15   7/23/2011 at 16:48 (4,711 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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Will continue to work for much longer than two hours, again I know this because have soaked items much longer than that with no loss of cleaning power.

Main reason soaking isn't done that much anymore is that modern detergents and other laundry additives by and large have removed the need. Indeed with some products one can launder items in cool, cold, or even lukewarm water and still get the same results as with soaking then washing.

Then there is unless one has two machines and or does the soaking in a separate tub, using that cycle ties up the washing machine thus slowing down laundry day.

Where one does soak is for items that are too delicate for even the limited movement of the Miele's delicate cycle. Such items as very fine embroidered and or trimmed table linen and such.

Post# 532444 , Reply# 16   7/23/2011 at 18:08 (4,711 days old) by cehalstead (Charleston, WV)        
GE with enzyme soak cycle

My grandmother's Filter-Flo (circa 1969) had an "enzyme soak cycle". This was when enzyme soaking products, such as Biz and Axion, were first introduced. The cycle consisted of fill (water temp. your choice), agitate for about 5 minutes and then soak until you came back and changed the dial to the cycle of your choice.

Post# 532450 , Reply# 17   7/23/2011 at 18:30 (4,711 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
It Should Also Be Noted

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That because American domestic washing machines by and large were of the top loading variety, much of the same laundry routines from old days were kept.

Hot water will set many stains, thus one of the reasons for soaking and or pre-washing in cool or warmish water.

OTHO European front loaders with their ability to heat cold water removed much if not all the need for pre-soaking. Such machines did have "pre-wash" cycles as part of the normal wash through the 1990's (my Miele W1070 does), but with the advent of better enzyme based detergents even the need for that cycle has been removed.

Post# 532469 , Reply# 18   7/23/2011 at 20:29 (4,711 days old) by brastemp (Brazil)        

Interesting.. My Maytag EpicZ has pre-wash function, but in fact is the function soak and non a adicional pre-wash before washing.

Post# 532514 , Reply# 19   7/24/2011 at 05:14 (4,711 days old) by ozzie908 (Lincoln UK)        
Euro Washers

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My FL has a pre-wash cycle which you can use on any temp cotton cycle I have only used on a really dirty whites wash as it removes the need to use stain removers and soakers etc just extra washing powder and everything comes out like new :)


Post# 532531 , Reply# 20   7/24/2011 at 09:27 (4,711 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

My Frigidaire 2140 FL has a Soak cycle. I believe the only temperature choice is Cold water, and since the unit lacks Auto Temp Control, that could be rather chilly water in winter!! Its big brother model the 2940 does have ATC. Frigidaire recommends adding a half dose of detergent for soak cycle, which I do. It gently agitates the clothes every couple of minutes, but mainly they just soak. The cycle seems to take about an hour. There are no options to extend the cycle beyond the programmed time. At the end, clothes are spun out but not rinsed. At that point, the owner must return to the machine, add more detergent, and select a Wash cycle. The machine does not automatically advance from Soak to Wash by itself.

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