Thread Number: 6149
What is suds saver?
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Post# 125936   5/1/2006 at 20:30 (5,461 days old) by utjj99 ()        

I found three Maytag washers with the "save suds" button and I don't know what it does? The machines are are the style with white push buttons on each side of a dial that is in the center. The top panel above doesn't light up like some do. Two of the machines have a delicate and normal setting and one just says automatic where those buttons are on the other two. The guy wants $75 each but will take $180 for all three. They are all white and in pretty good shape. Any help would be great. Really would like to know what the suds saver is.

Post# 125937 , Reply# 1   5/1/2006 at 20:44 (5,461 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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The machine with the "Automatic" button is a lower end model, as it has just a single speed motor. Which is not to say it might not be a perfectly good, reliable machine, as most older Maytags are.

In addition to the "Save Suds" buttons, you can spot a suds saver washer because it will generally have two drain hoses. "Suds Saver" means that one can redirect the hot soapy water from the first wash into a basin. There it can be stored until one wishes to use it again, usually for the next load of laundry. Then the Suds Saver machine can suck the water back up into the tub for the next load of laundry. This technique winds up saving on the energy used to heat the water (although obviously it will cool somewhat in the storage basin), and on the detergent (although modern detergents are relatively inexpensive).

Some appliance repair people don't like Suds Saver washers because it's another thing to go wrong. I happen to like them, as the Suds Saving functions can be quite entertaining. You can always use a Suds Saver like a normal washer simply by putting both drain hoses into the same basin for draining.

Post# 125940 , Reply# 2   5/1/2006 at 20:48 (5,461 days old) by launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

launderess's profile picture
Suds saving is a device where the washer will pump out wash water into a sink, then at the next selected wash cycle "reuse" the same wash water. In other words the wash water is reused for more than one wash cycle.

Suds saving features were popular on many washers during the 1960's and 1970's IIRC as a way of saving energy and water. While the wash water is sitting in the sink, dirt settles to the bottom, thus when the washer takes back this water it should not be "that" dirty. Also most washers having this feature stopped taking in the washer water from the sink after a certian period, leaving a small amount of water behind. This remaining water hopefully held all the dirt,lint and muck from the first usage.

To use this feature one has to have those deep laundry sinks common in many older homes. Most modern homes have standpipes for the washer to drain, and that means suds saving will not work.


Post# 125969 , Reply# 3   5/1/2006 at 23:33 (5,461 days old) by maytagbear (N.E. Ohio)        
There is a way to get around the lack of a storage tub

and my Grandmother Loudenback did it. She used a large new-clean 20 gallon galvanized trash can as the holding tub. Her 1956 Kenmore suds-saver was in the kitchen, and no room for a tub. For a few years, she did not have city water, and had to watch her water usage very carefully.

She had the can on a short sturdy platform.

There was a standpipe for the rinse water hose. When she was done for the day, or the rare, rare times when she needed to wash an emergency load, she would angle the long wash drain hose into her kitchen sink, and set a cast iron object on the hose to keep it in place.

Suds-Savers were not gross to people who had used wringer washers, and used the same water for several wash loads, always adding a little more detergent to each wash load. Theory was that by adding a little more (less than a full dose) of fresh detergent, you'd maintain soil supsension and get good enough washing. You'd start with the "cleanest" loads, and work up, during the course of the wash day.

There were other ways of dealing with the tub situation. Some had single polystone sinks and an "overflow tube" in which you'd put the rinse drain hose, and the rinse water would go down, and the wash water was retained.

Our first automatic, the 1964 Whirlpool Imperial, was a suds-saver, but by the time we replaced it in 1978, with a Maytag A208, Ma's flirtation with Suds-Savers had run its course. We did have the twin cement sinks in the basement (Oh, I miss them!) While we still had the Whirlpool, I would do a few suds-saver loads once in a while (maybe twice a year) just for the fun of it.


Post# 125972 , Reply# 4   5/1/2006 at 23:41 (5,461 days old) by toggleswitch (New York City, NY)        
Video of Maytag Suds-Saver

toggleswitch's profile picture
...taken in Tucson, AZ latest wash-in of 30-Mar-06

Click on *media*

see part 1 and part 2

CLICK HERE TO GO TO toggleswitch's LINK

Post# 125977 , Reply# 5   5/2/2006 at 00:37 (5,461 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Here's a shot of an A606S sucking the wash water back into the tub. Please note the two drain hoses.

Post# 125978 , Reply# 6   5/2/2006 at 00:43 (5,461 days old) by launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
What Is The Brick For?

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Post# 125981 , Reply# 7   5/2/2006 at 01:18 (5,461 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
Yep, to hold the non-stock flimsy suds sucker hose down. The hose was so flimsy it actually collapsed under the negative pumping pressure. It's on my list of things to fix in the collection.

Needless to say, these are not my daily use machines.

Post# 125987 , Reply# 8   5/2/2006 at 05:33 (5,461 days old) by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        

polkanut's profile picture
Our house came with an aluminum "Suds Tub" strictly for the purpose of using a suds-saver. When we bought our '98 Maytag, it had to be special ordered because suds-savers were on the way out, and fast. We use ours all the time, and wouldn't trade it for anything.

Post# 126071 , Reply# 9   5/2/2006 at 19:42 (5,460 days old) by mickeyd (Hamburg NY)        
Suds Water Saver/ Save/ Return/ Suds Suds SUDS YAY YAY YEAH

mickeyd's profile picture
Dear Suds Lovers,

For me, susdsavers are among the coolest thing in existence. Most people pay little or no attention to the wash water as it exits. Indeed, as someone pointed out, today many machines drain unseen water into standpipes.

My point: the hot clean fragrant wash water is often spotless and wasted on the sewer. To me it is an unimaginable loss of wonderful resources, not to mention the absolute fun missed by people who have not experienced the splendor of the suds return.

When I become as skilled as so many of you are with digital camera equipment,
I promise a suds return TO--as the saying goes-- DIE FOR !! The 4th of July is my target date. Wish and hope I make the goal.

Post# 126091 , Reply# 10   5/2/2006 at 20:30 (5,460 days old) by bpetersxx (earth)        

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these are the hoses

Post# 126092 , Reply# 11   5/2/2006 at 20:32 (5,460 days old) by bpetersxx (earth)        

bpetersxx's profile picture
semi pristine 806s

Post# 126093 , Reply# 12   5/2/2006 at 20:32 (5,460 days old) by bpetersxx (earth)        

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Post# 126097 , Reply# 13   5/2/2006 at 20:37 (5,460 days old) by bpetersxx (earth)        

bpetersxx's profile picture

Post# 126099 , Reply# 14   5/2/2006 at 20:43 (5,460 days old) by bpetersxx (earth)        

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this is so minty it is sinful

Post# 126100 , Reply# 15   5/2/2006 at 20:44 (5,460 days old) by bpetersxx (earth)        

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Sudsmater did u have a 606s like mine and a 606s like I wanted to get in coppertone color

Post# 126126 , Reply# 16   5/3/2006 at 00:07 (5,460 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture

I have a white 606S, it's the one in the photo. The other machine is a 606, not a suds saver.

Thanks for the photo of the hoses.

And an 806S - the pinnacle of sudsology.

Post# 126224 , Reply# 17   5/3/2006 at 14:08 (5,460 days old) by frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

frigilux's profile picture
I've always thought suds-savers were an excellent way to drastically improve the water/energy efficiency of a toploader. Some people can't get past the notion of using wash water for more than one load, but I grew up with clean clothes and my mom used the suds-saver on our Kenmore all the time.

Our 1960 used a fast agitation speed while the water was returning to the tub for Load #2 and it was splashtastic! Unfortunately, the wild splashing caused the tub light to get wet and pop. Later in the '60's, I believe Kenmore switched to a slow agitation speed for the suds-return.

Post# 126322 , Reply# 18   5/3/2006 at 19:38 (5,459 days old) by bpetersxx (earth)        

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fresh videos at putfile

Haier Danby Maytag


Post# 126481 , Reply# 19   5/4/2006 at 09:31 (5,459 days old) by designgeek ()        

Bpetersxx, you're going to get me to install WMP on my Mac one of these days soon...!:-)

If you're in an area that has a serious water shortage, you can almost-kinda-sorta get a similar result as follows:

Wash a few loads in the same wash water, stopping the machine after it pauses between wash & extract/spin, and removing one load manually and putting in the next. Then the last load of the day goes through the complete cycle uninterrupted, and then you go back to the rest of the loads and put them through the rest of the cycle.

Or you can re-use the final rinse water from one load as wash water for the next. This also calls for watching the washer and manually intervening before final spin.

So here's a question. What about hacking the suds-saver controls to recycle the final rinse water for the next load's wash water?

Then, use a warm or hot rinse for final rinse, and it'll be recycled for a warm or hot wash in the next wash cycle (assuming you do multiple loads on the same day).

Anyone have a suds-saver machine and want to try hacking the controls like that?

Post# 126500 , Reply# 20   5/4/2006 at 11:27 (5,459 days old) by mixfinder ()        
suds saver

The factory issue models drained the wash water into a reservoir, of the owners making. The water sat, while the cycle completed. During that time, sediment (dirt) settled to the bottom of the holding vat. When the water was called back to the machine, it was vacummed up by the pump and redeposited in the wash basket, leaving 2 inches of water behind, which needed to rinsed out before the next load. At the beginning of the wash cycle, the washer would add enough fresh water to replace the water left in the finished laundry and the 2 inches left behind in the holding tank. You could augment the soap at that time in the cycle. Detergents, in the old days, used phosphates to clean. Newer detergents use surfactants which hold soil in suspension unitl the water is removed. Newer detergents lose the ability to hold soil in suspension, with time and agitation, causing redisposition of the soil. The choice of detergents, using a sudsaver, in today's eco freaked out world is important to the finished success of the laundry. Frigidaire and other models that did the overflow at the end of the wash, significantly cooled the water for the next wash. We did the three load rule. Ist load hot and white, second load warm and colored and third load cool and Wranglers, so they wouldn't fade. If you bleached, which messed up the bacteria in the septic tank, you had to be careful in choosing what was washed after the first load so it didn't get bleached out. We did bleach, in cold water in the rinse cycle and then followed with hot wash. Cold water removes many stains which hot water would set (protiens and vegetable) and hot water removes stains left behind by cold (grease), so the combo gives stunning outcomes. Maytags, Whirlpools and Kenmores all agitated as they reintroduced the water from the holding tank. Frigidaires sat quietly and pumped the water into a still wash basket.

Post# 126501 , Reply# 21   5/4/2006 at 11:33 (5,459 days old) by mixfinder ()        
Rinse into Wash Water

If the rinse water has liquid fabric softener, called soft/sour in the laundry industry, it can cause streaking in the wash.

When reusing water to wash in you can use an immersion heater to boost the water temp. I have done unsafe things like use the electric charcoal lighter or refrigerator defroster, but you NEVER read it here and they actually make devices specifically and SAFELY designed for that purpose.

Post# 126520 , Reply# 22   5/4/2006 at 14:25 (5,459 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Vintage detergents contained both surfactanta and phosphates. Modern phosphate-free detergents subsitute more washing soda (sodium carbonate), and carboxymethylcellulose, and sometimes enzymes, to try to replace the superior cleaning action of a phosphated detergent. A detergent without surfactants would be little more than washing soda and/or phosphates. Not really a detergent. Some surfactant is needed to break water tension, improve wetting, and solubilize water-insoluble or lipid-rich soils.

Post# 126574 , Reply# 23   5/4/2006 at 18:19 (5,458 days old) by mixfinder ()        
Vintage Detergent

You are absolutely, correct. I look like a fool. Thanks for edifying me.

Post# 126579 , Reply# 24   5/4/2006 at 18:40 (5,458 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
Sorry, I didn't mean to embarrass anyone. And you may be partially right. Before detergents, and before phosphates, I understand it was a common practice (in the 30's or earlier) to add some washing soda to the wash water to help soften it, and then add soap. Of course, complex phosphates would be even better, as they don't form a precipitate like washing soda does. Soap combines the surfactant qualities of a detergent with some of the "break" functions of a detergent. Its biggest drawback is that it can form an insoluble scum with hard water and heavy soiling. And of course solid soaps don't dissolve readily in cold water. Laundry may be somewhat alkaline (as this helps to turn oily soils into semi-soaps) with the addition of lye, or residual lye from the soap manufacturing process.

Post# 126665 , Reply# 25   5/5/2006 at 06:06 (5,458 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        
Ancient Chinese Secret, Huh?

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Calgon used to made with complex Polyphosphates to soften the rinse water as much as possible and get red of suds. What's it made of now?

Post# 126676 , Reply# 26   5/5/2006 at 06:53 (5,458 days old) by launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

launderess's profile picture
Calgon liquid is mainly sodium citrate, and Calgon powder sodium carbonate and other water softeners, but no phosphates.

Laundry at least that worn close to the body and or soiled with bodily fluids like sweat is acidic, not alkaline. Most if not all body fluids; sweat, tears, urine, even blood are slighly acidic. For one thing it helps provide a hostile environment for germs. However if left sitting for along time on laundry, sweat will turn alkaline. This why one is advised to use ammonina or alkaline substance on fresh sweat stains, and vinegar on old ones.

Soap is deactivated in the presence of acids, this includes the acids coming from soiled laundry. Housewives would combat this by simply adding enough soap until they had suds that would "stand up".

Have many vintage laundry books from the 1930's and 1940's, where both STPP, TSP, washing soda, and borax are discussed for softening water. So phosphates must have been around back then, probably easy to find at local chemists or general store.

Yes, pure soap is not great for laundering in cold water, but Fels and the any other "naphtha" containing soaps were excellent for laundering in all water temps. It was the petrol that did most of the cleaning, rather than relying simply upon pure soap. Even as late as the 1940's or 1950's hot water on demand from a heater was not something every housewife had; these ladies had to resort on wash days to the same methods as their mothers and grandmothers, boiling kegs of hot water.

Fels soap by the 1940's was more a "detergent" than soap. It contained fabric whiteners, water softening agents, naptha, and other chemicals that made it a great "heavy duty" wash product. However like all soaps, Fels suffers from one major drawback, soaps do not totally rinse out of laundry. Even with several warm rinses, a tiny bit of the oils/fats to make any soap remain. Eventually this soap residue will cause fabrics to grey, and even smell. Instant Fels, was advertised as having "built in fabric softeners" which really was nothing more than the left over fats/oils from the soap.


Post# 126683 , Reply# 27   5/5/2006 at 07:17 (5,458 days old) by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

Laundress, Calgon powder purchased in Canada is phosphated. I'm coveting a box I bought a year ago...a couple tablespoons make all the difference.

Post# 126752 , Reply# 28   5/5/2006 at 11:55 (5,458 days old) by mixfinder ()        

I sit, enthralled, at the feet of a Teacher, to learn more about laundry agents. My grandma, made lye soap with old cooking grease, lye and who knows what else. She boiled it a pot, outside and it gave off smoke, steam and the smell of dead flesh. Not unlike driving through the Northeast countryside and smelling scrapple cooking after butchering. She let the soap harden, cut it into bricks and then dropped a hunk in the grey aluminum square tub Maytag that once had a gas motor and left it there all day, while she washed. At the end of the wash she fished out any remnents and saved them for the next wash day. In the 60's, when she got a Kenmore 70's series washer, she used to use a product called Fels Naptha and also, White King D soap. She made a real production out of it, yet she always overloaded the washer and had gey laundry. From that era, I remember Salvo and Vim, the tablet detergents and also the great Smell of Amway SA-8 that had such a terrific smell and made NO suds. I have read enough about testing soap to recognize words like enzymes, surfactants and the fact of soil redisposition that has caused me to use shorter wash times than before. I used to hear women complain that the Maytag only washed for 12 minutes and that wasn't long enough. I became a laundry legend, with my 806 Maytag in the 80's and it was from listening to an old,old man, who was a door to door Maytag salesman in the 30's, tell me, never to combine bleach and soap and to use the cold then hot formulary. Many years later I learned about brightening agents in detergent and how bleach prevented them from
working. I also discovered the wonders of overnight soaking in detergent, allowing the enzmes to dine on the soil. The area where I grew up had very hard water water. The people with money bought softeners and the rest bought Calgon. I remember that laundry detergent wouldn't even dissolve with out it, but floated around in clumps on top of the water. I am excited to hear all I can about the function of cleaning agents and how to make them work for me.
Thank you Launddress

Post# 126758 , Reply# 29   5/5/2006 at 12:07 (5,458 days old) by toggleswitch (New York City, NY)        
I used to hear complaints that the Maytag only washed for 12

toggleswitch's profile picture
One minute per pound is the rule-of-thumb!

Thought for the day:
If the clothes were being washed by hand would EVERY piece get 12 minutes of attention/mechanical action?
Some may FEEL it needs more time; (notice I did not say *think*). Based on WHAT rational provable fact?

Post# 126762 , Reply# 30   5/5/2006 at 12:30 (5,458 days old) by mixfinder ()        
12 minutes

After many years of doing "laundry" by hand I really enjoy the performance of a "machine"

Post# 126783 , Reply# 31   5/5/2006 at 14:26 (5,458 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
My understanding is that it is the insoluble scum that soap forms with hard water minerals - and not with oils or fats - that causes the greying that can occur with long-time washing with soap.

In the absence of hard water minerals, soap does a pretty good job at removing oily stains from fabrics. Unfortunately many greases and oils used on cars and machninery are mineral fats, and soap has a harder time dealing with these.

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