Thread Number: 70115  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Kenmore washer-letters question!
[Down to Last]'s exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 930361   4/3/2017 at 14:56 (561 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture
OK, those of you, whose old Kenmores/Lady Kenmores have letters A through H: What does each letter designate?

I need to know, as I wonder if I could paste some around the various areas around the knobs and timer dial of my washer, and maybe even dryer, just for fun...

Look at 'em all, jot 'em down and let me know!


Post# 930372 , Reply# 1   4/3/2017 at 15:31 (561 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

turquoisedude's profile picture

A picture is worth a thousand words...and is way faster than typing!


From the 65 Lady K in St-Lib:

  View Full Size
Post# 930387 , Reply# 2   4/3/2017 at 16:37 (561 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

yogitunes's profile picture
oddly enough, machines like this were nothing more than a simple BOL timer set-ups....

if you consider BOL one dial machines had the temps built into the cycles....Wash Time, 14 min was Hot, 12 was Warm, and Cold was at the 10 minute mark....

speeds also pre-set according to the cycle.....

Post# 930427 , Reply# 3   4/3/2017 at 18:14 (561 days old) by jetaction (Minneapolis)        
They switch it up

jetaction's profile picture
I have Kenmore lettered cycles from '59 - '65 and they don't always mean the same thing. A was usually cottons/linens with hot water, B was a variation with hot or medium water and after that it's anybody's guess. My
'59 has a J and K cycle as well, I don't think they ever went to K before or after that.

Post# 930498 , Reply# 4   4/4/2017 at 01:27 (561 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        
Help Needed w/ what those Letters really mean!

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture
I remember on my friend's parents' radio dial Kenmore that one letter (A, I think) was for an Enzyme Soak (which my washer has, though it's just 'Soak') and I think the G or H may have been Delicate, or it could be the F like that one...

I think there was even a Rinse or Spin you could get that washer to do, alone, outside the rest of any cycle--most likely the latter--so it's with all that in mind, I want to replicate the features of that particular model into mine--although with those separate knobs mine has for temperature and speed, it will be more of a '70's JC Penney, than a late-'60's Radio Dial Sears...

-- Dave

This post was last edited 04/04/2017 at 09:46
Post# 930697 , Reply# 5   4/5/2017 at 09:45 (559 days old) by lesto (Atlanta)        

The 63 and 64 Kenmore alphabet washers had A (hot) & B (warm) for the normal cycle which was in yellow, C in blue for pre-wash or extra rinse, C (hot & E (warm) in pink (63 model) dark yellow (64 model) for wash n wear cycle and F for delicate cycle in turquoise.

Post# 930699 , Reply# 6   4/5/2017 at 09:56 (559 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, Iowa)        

swestoyz's profile picture

I think one of the last alphabet Kenmore washers was the radio dial 1970 model.  Picture taken from Kenmore71's post about his set:


There are a few other 70 series models from this time frame with the Alphabet, but after 1970/1971, I can't recall many.



Post# 930702 , Reply# 7   4/5/2017 at 10:02 (559 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture
Yes, it would seem logical to designate Hot/Warm, Warm/Warm with A and B, so maybe the (Enzyme) Soak was C...

Remember how most of these type of TOL washers had a selector for Cold Wash/Cold Rinse, too... So mine will be difficult to really authenticate, as I have to deal with a Water Temperature selector that has you do all the work, but then, making my washer one that does all the work for you, may be making mine hard to use... There is also the Speed Control, that I need to intertwine in with the designated letters, according to the fabrics the washer will do...

Lastly, the only thing there really is that I don't have to do anything with is the Water Level and Extra Rinse that these fancy machines come with...

I'm just planning to buy some alphabet stickers and place them around areas of the timer dial and over what temperatures and speeds for the fabrics that each combination is for...

Though it might be fun to add a Legend, as well--if I could find/use suitable material and/or treatment designed for a lasting placement on a washer control panel...

Seems that it will be easy and I will post how this will look... I just need to get some ideas, as it's hard to see anything up close when I look on Google and I think I'm pining away for a POD that shows this type of a machine in an ad...

Yes, I've been Googling Kenmores, and GE's as well... I believe there is a way, just for fun, to replicate this system in my machine--and that it might be a really fun thing...

-- Dave

Post# 930724 , Reply# 8   4/5/2017 at 11:20 (559 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
Late 60s alphabet model 800, predating Enzyme Soak.

Interesting that the (H) Spin Only is tagged in a separate cycle sequence of the timer which includes a "R"inse that isn't designated for anything, and the "R"inse section of it is larger than needed for a fill/agitate/drain leading into the "S"pin section (compare it to the (G) Pre-wash or Rinse Warm designation).

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size
Post# 930726 , Reply# 9   4/5/2017 at 11:26 (559 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture

Well, there's the Spin Only--Now, that I believe I remember this particular washer having!

Wonder if I can get mine, to, or if it's worthwhile to incorporate that feature into my machine... (?)



-- Dave

Post# 931057 , Reply# 10   4/7/2017 at 13:45 (557 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

yogitunes's profile picture
Hey Dave.....this might be something along todays Alphabet setup your thinking of.....

color coded to match the fabric/temps with the cycles......

just a thought.....

CLICK HERE TO GO TO Yogitunes's LINK on Newjersey Craigslist

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size
Post# 931063 , Reply# 11   4/7/2017 at 14:10 (557 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        
Hey, Dave! You Made Me a JC PENNY!

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture

Oh, I looked more 'n' more at my panel & the longer & harder I looked, the more unrealistic this goal of mine seems!


And I don't want to resign myself to a NEW Whirlpool (Good Housekeeping "promise") that was marketed by Wards & Sears, from this design on, although that's what I'm gonna get!


I gotta hand it to Sears for the labeling Regular, White/Regular, Colored, (or Perm. Press, White/Perm. Press, Colored) as opposed to the General Electric practice of Colorfast, Non-Colorfast, as how even as a member of, I still don't know what that means...


So, I'm afraid I can't do much more than entertain this idea, as I don't know how to use material that can endure being on a washer control panel, and the Temp. & Speed Combinations, w/ some exceptions are going to intertwine and as oppose to confuse people who can't handle such a fancy, complicated machine is only going to confuse ME!

(I wonder how even the people whose washer I'm modeling mine off of, let alone how the many others know how washers that do everything but fold the clothes can handle these miraculous machines, that do everything for 'em!!!!)


So I'm afraid, I have to abandon this project, but never the less, it would be nice to see what the nomenclature of these washers is like & what they do...  The makes have long-been limited to Kenmore--LADY Kenmore, especially, and the pre-Hotpoint acquisition-GE...



-- Dave

This post was last edited 04/07/2017 at 19:44
Post# 931066 , Reply# 12   4/7/2017 at 14:25 (557 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        
* * * * !!!!...Eureka...!!!! * * * * (There's still hope

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture

Post# 930699 , Reply# 6



Hey, that's just what I've been looking for! Thank you! How did I forget to buy my Sticky Letters, when I went TWO TIMES to my Wal Mart???? (the TROY location; I'd been playing hooky from work this week at where I work...)


Well, thank you, SWESTOYZ--I'm gonna get right to work on making my washer, THAT washer!!!!



-- Dave

Post# 931358 , Reply# 13   4/9/2017 at 02:30 (556 days old) by washdaddy (Baltimore)        

washdaddy's profile picture
Your Kenmore is rather interesting. It's the first machine that I've seen of that age that had three speeds!

Also, I see that your speed control knob on your machine makes no mention of Normal speed for washing or spinning. Just SLO & X SLO besides the AUTO setting. Did any of the preset cycles have X-SLO as it's default or did you have to set it?

I had a machine very similar but it was only two speed and the speed control switch gave you the four speed combos plus auto settings.

Washdaddy- Rick

Post# 931490 , Reply# 14   4/9/2017 at 21:14 (555 days old) by appnut (TX)        

appnut's profile picture

My high school best friend, the same family that had the Hotpoint dishwasher from early 1960s, they also had a very early alphabet Kenmore.  A as whites heavy soil, B cottons colored, C was Whites normal soil, D was W'n'W sturdy, E was W'n'W delicate; F was delicates.  There was probably was a G and H two for spin only and prewash or rinse. 

Post# 931493 , Reply# 15   4/9/2017 at 21:37 (555 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
Greetings, WashDaddy/Rick.

The machine of picture is not mine.  I have the picture saved from someone else.  That being said, one of my aunts had a Kenmore 800 with that panel.  The usual Hi and "Slo" speed conventions are programmed into the timer cycles.  None of them ran on "X-Slo" by default.  Normal shifted to "slo" for 2 mins at the 4-min mark for whatever reason (which is also when bleach dispensed).  The speed control overrides the "auto" programming to get Slo/Slo or X-Slo/Slo on any cycle.

Post# 933660 , Reply# 16   4/21/2017 at 07:38 (543 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        
"In an effort to make washers as completely--..."

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture
...--automatic as possible--..." C.K.

Well, here is how this is coming along (so far?) or (maybe so far) came out:

-- Dave

Post# 933769 , Reply# 17   4/21/2017 at 20:13 (543 days old) by toploadloyalist (San Luis Obispo, CA)        
Makeshift 90 Series Alphabet arrangement

Ingenious, as well as nostalgic!

Post# 933839 , Reply# 18   4/22/2017 at 04:39 (542 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture

Thank you! Although, it seems as though I've only gotten a K-M in JC Penney's clothes...



-- Dave

Post# 981456 , Reply# 19   2/6/2018 at 00:19 (253 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        
"What in the actual Hell is this?!" -- SK, childhood

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture
Well, here is the best A B C D E F G H that I could make--not perfect, but "ain't nothin' like the real thing", so "close" is what I'd settled for...

-- Dave

  View Full Size
Post# 981462 , Reply# 20   2/6/2018 at 01:34 (253 days old) by toploadloyalist (San Luis Obispo, CA)        

I've seen an alphabet cycle Kenmore in a 1975 catalog, so apparently that was the last year of those.

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

The Discuss-o-Mat has stopped, buzzer is sounding!!!
If you would like to reply to this thread please log-in...

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy