Thread Number: 63786  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
Periodic Maintenance for Oasis-Cabrio and Bravos washers - Advice?
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Post# 863604   1/23/2016 at 00:32 (975 days old) by murando531 (Huntsville, AL)        

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Hey guys!

I could have sworn that I posted a thread about this and searched for almost 30 minutes and couldn't find one. I think maybe I started typing one and then never posted or saved it. I apologize if this is a bit lengthy; I've been meaning to ask these questions for a while but never got around to it.

Anyhow, in just a few months I will have had my Maytag Bravos XL for a year, or a year and five months if you include the first one I had that had a bit of...drama. LOVE this washer, haven't had a single peep out of line from it since day one. I really want to keep it that way for as many years as I possibly can, and if I decide to get another machine, I'd like it to leave here in fine shape for whoever inherits the "BravOasis".

I guess to start with, to give an idea of usage habits, I am very particular about loading it to make sure the risk of a badly balanced load is minimized. I also only use the Medium spin speed, which probably tops out at around 900 rpm or more in the last couple of minutes, compared to Max Extract which is the full 1100 rpm for the last three minutes. Even with heavy loads of towels, everything comes out very damp dry, and the dryer has no problem, so it just gives me peace of mind that I'm not adding unneeded stress to the bearings.

I'm also pretty conservative with detergent and fabric softener, using half of the measurement I would have with the traditional washer, and usually no more than the first line on the softener cap for a full load. I rarely use bleach because of concern over corroding seals or the shaft, and if I do use it it's no more than 1/4 cup vs. the instructed 1/2 cup for an HE washer. Seems to be the perfect amount for my needs.

As far as cleaning, I always keep my appliances polished and finessed, but I actually haven't used the Clean Washer cycle very much because the thing already keeps itself spotless. I've never had any grime or residue remaining on the basket walls, and never had anything other than a nice clean smell if you take a whiff in the empty machine. I think because of regular use of hot water on the PowerWash cycle with full towel loads, which is NOT tempered down, the recirc spray, and the fill height for that size load each time, any residues that could accumulate are kept to a minimum.

There's all my "habits" so far just for informational purposes, but at the almost year mark, I'd like to make sure that I'm doing everything I can to prolong the life of the machine. The biggest concerns I've read or heard of this design are the bearings and the drive shaft corroding, so I guess that's really what my big question is.. Should the inner basket be removed every X months for cleaning and relubricating the drive shaft, and what lubricant should be used? And is there anything as far as spin speeds, or detergents/softeners and bleach/Oxi that I should be more particularly mindful of that could hurt the bearings and seals? That's really the only thing I can think of, these machines being relatively simple in the grand scheme.

As always, thank you to anyone who can give advice. It is ALWAYS appreciated. :)

Post# 863650 , Reply# 1   1/23/2016 at 11:04 (975 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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well, we all have our habits of doing laundry, granted I use Hot or Warm washes, leaning more towards Hot....a variation of detergents and bleach as needed, can't say I am conservative.....I always select the highest spin speed...

I have never run a 'clean washer' cycle.....never had a reason to use it....granted when I got the machine, I had to use a power washer to clean it all out...

the main concern I have after rebuilding lubrication of the shaft that allows the tub to slide and float....

it has only been about a year for me, and most likely I will pull the tub at the two year mark, just to check if any lubrication needs to be replaced...granted too, this is a not a daily driver for me, so it doesn't see all that much use, maybe one load a week.....

there may be special lubricant from the factory, in my opinion doesn't seem to hold up for these machines very well......

so I used what I had at hand, hi-heat heavy bearing grease for autos.....its black, thick, and wear gloves, its almost impossible to get off your hands.....I figured something this tough, wont dissolve from use of hot water and detergents....

not really much else to do, a good waxing never hurts, check the inlet screens, and inspect the hoses.....

hope this helps....

keep us posted as to your progress

Post# 863655 , Reply# 2   1/23/2016 at 11:14 (975 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

The greatest thing that you can do to prevent corrosion is to wash in warm or hot water using a quality detergent and water conditioner to fight hardness and prevent mineral buildup, rinse your laundry thoroughly and leave the machine open to dry out. Chemical residue and moisture are what you need for corrosion in there. When we had the Kenmores with frequent service calls, the men usually told my mother that they were impressed at how clean and uncorroded the inner parts were compared to other machines they saw. She always gave the laundry a second rinse and left the lid up with a sheet thrown over the top to keep dust out.

This post was last edited 01/23/2016 at 12:50
Post# 863668 , Reply# 3   1/23/2016 at 12:22 (975 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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F&P's design doesn't call for lubricant on the drive shaft in relation to the basket movement far as I'm aware from the service docs.  The shaft and basket hub are exposed to water and detergent so lubricant (except something super-tacky and high-temp) would wash away and/or melt in hot water ... and get on the clothes.  Neither has gotten stuck, one of them is 16-1/2 years old.

That's not to say it can't happen.  I had a dialog recently with a fellow whose auto-sensing water level function was overfilling. Turns out his basket was sticking, although apparently not completely or it wouldn't have been able to agitate and thrown a fault code in that regard.

Post# 863676 , Reply# 4   1/23/2016 at 12:50 (975 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Would there be a cream for a sticking basket? Was it oversized? Maybe it would be helped by clothing from Duluth Trading Co.

Post# 863769 , Reply# 5   1/24/2016 at 06:22 (974 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Prolonging A Modern Washers Life

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Hi Andrew, I will 2nd Martins comments, First of all there is never a reason to run a clean cycle on a properly used washer.


Always wash on hot, these washers use so little water that as with all washers be sure that you always have a real wash temperature of at least 100 F.


Excessive rinsing rinses away the good properties of detergents [ such as lucubration for the basket bearing and the main water seal ] it is especially detrimental to do extra rinses if your water hardness is not under 3 grains of hardness.


Properly used LCB is very good for the washers long life, no don't soak clothing in water containing bleach.


By all means always use the fastest spin speed available if the clothing is going in the dryer, there is NO EVIDENCE that using the faster speeds can possibly harm the main bearings, motor Etc. But you will save your dryer, save your budget and even the climate of the world by taking this sensible step.


John L

Post# 863884 , Reply# 6   1/24/2016 at 18:56 (974 days old) by murando531 (Huntsville, AL)        

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Thank you so much everyone! You have no idea how much I appreciate it.

I guess from what's been said so far, I'm doing a pretty decent job. Every load of towels is on PowerWash or Heavy Duty with hot water, so I think that and the recirc pump keep it cleaned out. Everything else is washed with cool or warm selected, if the water isn't too cold it doesn't have to add hot, but in the winter it definitely helps with our pipes being inlayed with the concrete foundation. So the water is never tap cold until the rinse.

The last time I actually used the Clean Washer cycle was back in August. I've been clearing the reminder ever since because it's already spotless. One thing I do want to ask; would it be at all useful, every couple months or so, to use the Clean cycle, but with just a scoop of Tide? I feel the Affresh tabs are just too strong with me never having residues visible, or smells, and they're also freaking expensive. I wonder if the Tide and full tub of hot water would take care of anything needing to be cleaned while still showing love to the seals and exposed parts of the drive shaft.

Post# 863905 , Reply# 7   1/24/2016 at 20:43 (974 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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I'd use chlorine bleach instead of detergent.

Post# 863972 , Reply# 8   1/25/2016 at 09:51 (973 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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Dishwasher detergent is equally effective for a 'clean washer' cycle....

have found a number of machines that I had to resort to pool chlorine in a heavy dose to clean it did work wonders...

funny how were heading backwards....there was a time of the introduction of automatics cleaning themselves.....

what next?....a 'Clean Machine' cycle for Dishwashers?....

Post# 863974 , Reply# 9   1/25/2016 at 10:06 (973 days old) by henene4 (Germany)        

Well, we have (had) that in several forms here!

Miele offers such a cycle on its higher end models. Few others do as well.
Bosch had a few DW for a really short time that specified that if the Eco wash cycle was used 5 consecutive times, the last of the 5 cycles would have a hotter final rinse.
ELux DW with a water recycling system run storage tank rinses every few cycles automatically and have a 1:10h clean cycle by selecting the prewash cycle with the Hygiene option.
And, last but not least, for decades already, we have those DW cleaner bottels with the glue sealed hole in the top. You put it in the DW upside down, select a cycle at 150F/65C or higher and let it run empty. Once the wash goes above about 140/60, they dump their mixture of acids and fat removers.

But for that washer, I'd run the Clean Washer cycle about every 4-6 months, and mainly use bleach, simply to get a true specified once over clean.

Post# 863986 , Reply# 10   1/25/2016 at 11:33 (973 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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would be curious as to when you or I finally open our machines up, just to see the effects of not running a clean cycle....

I was impressed with the insides of my Neptune once I had to open it up....I must be doing something right with it so far...its rare to see me leave a lid or door open...

tips I have found to clean machines that have seen better days.....
-bathroom mold/mildew cleaner, but found Clorox Cleanup to be more effective, especially dispenser drawer areas...
-Purple Cleaner has dissolved some of the nastiest grime instantly...
-baking soda and vinegar can foam out hard to reach areas...
-and as mentioned, heavy doses of bleach, dishwasher detergent, or chlorine for longest, hottest wash available and rinse well.....

one of the benefits of having an HE machine, finally able to run HOT washes efficient and effectively compared to the energy usage of a traditional TL machine....

Post# 864003 , Reply# 11   1/25/2016 at 14:03 (973 days old) by murando531 (Huntsville, AL)        

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I've been wondering the same thing @Yogi about dishwasher cleaning cycles. The Whirlpool does a fantastic job of cleaning itself though so far, filter and all. Even under the door stays clean, which I've NEVER seen happen on a dishwasher.

With the first Bravos XL that I had for about four months, I only ran maybe two clean cycles. When the tech came to investigate the phantom bearing popping noise, we took the tub and everything completely out just to the naked drive shaft, but there wasn't a speck of mold or fabric softener residue at all. Even the outside of the basket and underside were still sparkling. I did accidentally brush the back of my hand against the shaft and had grease smear off, which led me to asking when and how to keep it properly lubricated.

This current Bravos XL 880 has yet to have a single screw loosened and runs like a dream. The phantom thunking sound will happen every so often, usually if a load is slightly off balance so it wobbles the tub slowly during the slow Catalyst spins, but it clears up within a few seconds and is few and far between, and nowhere near like the other one was doing. I'm confident at this point that the 725 was just defective in some way, but I'm scared to death of doing anything to have it happen again with this machine.

I'm hesitant about the bleach, because during the Clean Cycle, at an early point it will fill just enough for water to touch the underside of the basket, and then will ramp up to probably ~250 rpms and the water underneath is torrenting around the outer tub, and I'm assuming being sloshed up towards the shaft and tub seal because of how the drain sump is positioned. Afterwards it fills to the brim and aggressively agitates, and then drains and repeats all of that to rinse.

Mentioning dishwasher detergent, would maybe a couple of Cascade Complete or Platinum pacs thrown in with a Clean cycle every 3-4 months be effective? They still have additives designed to help protect the seals in a dishwasher, so I'm sure they'd do the same with a washing machine. In the long run that would still be cheaper than actual Affresh or cleaner packets.

Post# 864019 , Reply# 12   1/25/2016 at 15:13 (973 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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that 'Thunking' can happen at a surprise moment when your not expecting it....

basically it is spinning the impellor to line up the tub as it sits back down, the thunk is the tub sitting in place hard, in prep for the spin.....not real damage being done, just confirmation its sliding, and working as it should.....

Post# 864030 , Reply# 13   1/25/2016 at 16:06 (973 days old) by murando531 (Huntsville, AL)        

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No..haha. It's definitely not when it's testing for the tub to engage. It's usually during the first pretreating/sensing parts of the cycle, where the tub is slowly rotating while it recirculates detergent water over the load. The first Bravos had a loud thunking, like if a 20 foot tall man's ankle popped or something, every time it rotated and usually at the same points. You could even slowly rotate it by hand and it would do it. When the tech took everything out down to the driveshaft and manually set it to the slow rotation, it did it then, without the basket or agitator. It had to be something down in the bearing, maybe a deformed ball or something. But that was also the Bravos that started screeching and chirping like a demon bird. I have a few videos of it that are on Youtube.

Anyway, this current Bravos never does it the point that the other does. Sometimes during the pretreating you'll hear it thunk a few times and then smooths out, and it's always rare that it does.

The engagement/disengagement testing this one does is very quiet. Just a gentle bump sound when it starts actually filling. The only thing I try to watch for is if I've ever had to stop the machine and drain it, like for pillows or something that need babysitting, I make sure to gently lift and turn on the tub so that it falls down onto the hub teeth. The one time I didn't make sure, it drained and the tub was resting right on top of the teeth but not engaged. When I started the Spin Only, it did the initial engage test but the crash it made as that tub slammed down into place was ungodly and scared the sh** out of me.

Post# 864048 , Reply# 14   1/25/2016 at 18:53 (973 days old) by Joeypete (Concord, NH)        

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I use this in both my Filter Flo and my dishwasher. The FF drains faster now since when I got it so I imagine the STPP has washed away a lot of build up in the lines and pump. My dishwasher, while only 1.5 years old, is spotless! It works well

Post# 896006 , Reply# 15   8/28/2016 at 04:42 (757 days old) by Spacedogb (Lafayette, LA)        

Stupid question here but what is STPP?

Post# 896013 , Reply# 16   8/28/2016 at 07:28 (757 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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STPP is Sodium TriPoly Phosphate, a complex-phosphate compound that can be added to laundry or automatic dishwasher detergent to sequester mineral content of hard water and enhance cleaning performance.  Food-safe version of it is used in various foods (typically for moisture retention) and cosmetics (such as toothpaste).

STPP is often confused with TSP (TriSodium Phosphate), which is a different phosphate compound that generates a precipitate when binding with minerals in hard water (STPP does not generate a precipitate).  TSP is sold at home improvement outfits and used for washing walls and driveways.

Post# 896027 , Reply# 17   8/28/2016 at 10:29 (757 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
periodic maintainance?

Whirlpool doesn't recommend TSP to clean these washers, only "Affresh". WP also says bleach will keep them clean when used in between the "clean washer" cycle use.
Not meaning to troll the thread and all with criticism, but given the lifespan of these machines seals, bearings, etc. and repair costs, what difference does it make?
If you buy a 5 year extended warranty, you'll get one overhaul repair covered, then two to three years more out of it. After 7 years, time for a new one.

Post# 896326 , Reply# 18   8/29/2016 at 22:58 (756 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Bearing Failure In Washers

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98% of the time if your washer has an early major failure of bearings, it is because of a seal failure usually due to mineral and scum and mold etc in and on  the seal area.


Poor washing practices cause these build-ups, generally Too little detergent for soil levels and water hardness conditions, cheap detergents, lack of hot enough water for the wash cycle and little or NO use of real chlorine bleach, these are the major causes of early seal and bearing failure.


Cleaning the washer is not a bad idea, but it is no substitute for just using the washer properly in the first place, a properly used machine may never need a cleaning cycle.

Post# 896364 , Reply# 19   8/30/2016 at 07:10 (755 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Our water isn't hard.

I use detergent and a little bleach for whites. if the clothes get cleaned in the washer, doesn't the washer also get cleaned?
The manufacturers have some of us brainwashed. Maybe they need "Affreshed" brains!
Guess I'm feeling my oats today.

Post# 896448 , Reply# 20   8/30/2016 at 17:30 (755 days old) by murando531 (Huntsville, AL)        

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Thanks John. I actually only run the clean cycle every 3-4 months just as a formality, but because every towels, whites, and sheets loads are run with hot water, and this machine uses true tap hot water on all cycles except Normal and Rapid Wash, it keeps itself consistently shiny without any help from me. I "deep clean" it once a month or two, but that's just by filling it manually with about an inch of warm water and a splash of all purpose cleaner, then cleaning the outside of the tub ring, around the dispensers and the cabinet with a cloth and toothbrush. I also have only exclusively used powdered Tide or Persil pearls, except for darks which get liquid Persil or Tide/Gain/Cheer. And fabric softener use is minimal, typically enough to cover the bottom of the measuring cap and that's plenty to leave a light scent and cut down on static, but never enough to ever leave a residue in the machine. I really do feel Whirlpool excelled with the last few year models of the Oasis because of the recirculation pump being used at the beginning of the rinse to clear off the basket, as well as the gradual spin it performs with a small amount of water at the bottom of the outer tub. You'll always hear it swish and gurgle the water under the basket before the drain pump kicks on to empty it out fully.

So far, in regards to what some of said about there being no need to lubricate the drive shaft for the sliding/floating basket, I can still lift on the tub and it slides up and down without any scratchiness whatsoever. So, so far so good. I've yet to have a single problem or hiccup with it since April 2015 when I got it, and it shows no signs of giving an issue any time soon.

Also, vacerator, I've never encountered a single solitary washing machine that was "entirely self-cleaning". Every single washer design I've used or had the chance to experience has needed some form of TLC to stay pristine and odor/stain free. That goes for Whirlpool/Lady K belt-drives, GE Filter and Rim Flo's, Maytag A-series and Dependable Cares, as well as the Atlantis/Performas, WP Direct-Drives of all brands and varieties, Frigidaire's pre and post-Franklin transmission designs...the list goes on. Even a Speed Queen will stink with countless washings because of the natural residue that is created and deposited on every area of the machine where water does not actively move, such as the upper area of the outer basket and tub ring. It's just naturally what happens when you're mixing water and dirt and chemicals.

This post was last edited 08/30/2016 at 18:40

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