Thread Number: 73738  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Today's POD 12/16/17 Suds-Miser
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Post# 973929   12/16/2017 at 05:29 (310 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

Leave it to the marketing wizards at Whirlpool to come up with a system to turn your washer into a cesspool. Oh yeah, the suds look pretty and white, yet the water down under is dirty, dark and gray and teaming with cooties. Yuck!
I know there are people who swear by this system and others who because of a water shortage must use this system, however, I have no use for it at all. Never have, never will.
Just 'sayin.

Post# 973930 , Reply# 1   12/16/2017 at 05:39 (310 days old) by akronman (Akron/Cleveland Ohio)        
oh well

akronman's profile picture
I say leave it to the smart engineers at Whirlpool to come up with an efficient way to wash plenty of laundry, effectively, and rinsed well, without wasting water, heat and soap. I love my suds machines, use them all the time. And I wear clean clothes.

Kenmore/Whirplool 1952 suds, 1959 suds, 1974 suds models. GE Filter-Flo 1979 suds. Maytag 1970 suds model.

Post# 973942 , Reply# 2   12/16/2017 at 07:44 (310 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        
I Never Saw

one of these nasty suds things in a home growing up or as an adult. The idea of running filthy water back into a washing machine is beyond bizarre to me. That's really a reason just to go front load and not have to wash clothes in used, dirty water. That's a load of crap where they say all the dirt will just sink to the bottom.

Post# 973951 , Reply# 3   12/16/2017 at 08:30 (310 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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I have to admit I had no real interest in a suds-saver washer until I actually got one (well, 2 actually - the 51 Kenmore and the 66 Inglis)!  It's not that different from using a wringer washer where one washes multiple loads in the same tub of water when you think about it.  The trick is to start with the lightly soiled items then move on the heavier soiled stuff.... obvious to most but me... LOL


When the suds-savers in Ogden earned their wings was when I was preparing to host Chris' family (5 of them anyway) two summers ago.  I had a lot of linens that had been stored for years and needed to be refreshed.  The suds-saver handled this wonderfully and I was less yelled at for using water (we are on a well and septic tank down there although in 10 years we never even come close to running out of water - blew up the septic tank, but that was due to the previous owners half-assed installation).  



Post# 973956 , Reply# 4   12/16/2017 at 08:43 (310 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture
To me, it looks like an advertising gimmick--or maybe that load happens to have a LOT of soap suds!

I don't think anything in a "water exchange" could really be that SUDSY...

Now, where shall I put the dream I had last night, almost buying a vintage Whirlpool, then copping out at the last minute, and someone almost bought it before me, just turning right around disappointed, but I showed the money (only to be put off at the potential upkeep & dirty fingers just from messing with the lid) & there were even bonus self-cleaning filters, transmissions, pumps and hoses for the, I think, $437?!

(An dream, but the people seemed to look like a couple I work with...)

-- Dave

Post# 973963 , Reply# 5   12/16/2017 at 09:02 (310 days old) by rickr (.)        

rickr's profile picture
We had a suds saver hooked up for a little while, when I was a child. Mom had been using an Easy spin dryer, until my father purchased a 1957 Kenmore "frogeye" washer. He scrapped the Easy, and saved one of the tubs to use as the suds saver. I do not recall mom ever using it, although, she must have tried it at least a few times. After awhile, the old Easy tub was gone, so my mother must not have used it much, and my father must have gotten sick of looking at it.

Happy Holidays, Steve! Give me a call sometime.

Post# 973971 , Reply# 6   12/16/2017 at 09:32 (310 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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you have to get past your 'todays' convenient mentality.....and put yourself into that time frame, HE machines didn't exist...

FL machines, although did exist, we not as popular jumping from a wringer to an automatic...

the main thing, and even today, heating that water is at a PREMIUM, not to mention water cost for some, and not only water entering the home, but also disposing of it...

and to think, washing in water for 10+ minutes, and then tossing it down the drain...

but to wash a load of clothing, then using the water for cleaning rags, then again for the dogs blankets....whats the harm?...except for getting three times the savings...

just so we understand a true "ICK" factor.....ICK is using the bath soap after the last guy....thinking where he used it last, and the first place you used it!!!

Post# 973972 , Reply# 7   12/16/2017 at 09:45 (310 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

toploader55's profile picture
Extra Credit Martin.

Quite the visual on the "ICK" dissertation. : )

Post# 973973 , Reply# 8   12/16/2017 at 09:46 (310 days old) by jimmler (Nipomo, CA)        
Slighty off topic, but....

jimmler's profile picture
....still suds saver related.

Did any manufactures build laundry sinks to match their appliances? The one in the POD looks to be steel with a porcelain finish. Not quite a match for the washer next to it, but I don't think I've ever seen a sink like that before. Most of the ones I'm familiar with were concrete or porcelain over cast iron.

Post# 973977 , Reply# 9   12/16/2017 at 09:57 (310 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

ea56's profile picture
When my family first moved to the country in 1964 we had a 62’ MOL Whirlpool with a suds saver in the kitchen with a laundry tub next to it almost identical to the one in the POD. We also had a well that wasn’t very productive and a septic tank, with 11 people living in the house, my stepfathers family was living with us for a while.

Like Martin pointed out hot water was also saved, and with all of us needing to bath regularly, and a septic tank that you sure didn’t want backing up with 11 people needing to use it, not to mention the shortage of water the sudsaver was a life saver.

Our clothes were always clean. And, yes when the water pumped back into the washer, the remaining wash water at the bottom of the laundry tub did look a lot dirtier than what had just gone back into the Whirlpool. And since some water was left in the laundry tub, the washer topped off with fresh water to bring it up to the fill level the machine was set at. And we always added a little additional Tide or Cheer for each successive load. We never washed more than 2 additional loads with saved wash water, before refilling with fresh water. And we always began with the lightest soiled items first. It was really no different than reusing the wash water like you would do using a wringer washer, which we eventually replaced the Whirlpool suds saver with in 1969.

Post# 973983 , Reply# 10   12/16/2017 at 10:27 (310 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

This post has been removed by the member who posted it.

Post# 973984 , Reply# 11   12/16/2017 at 10:31 (310 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        
My two cents

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 I imagine Suds Saving systems were/are a boon to people who lived in water challenged areas such as Southern California (especially in the "Chinatown"era) and folks in places like Australia where water still might come only from cisterns.


As with a lot of vintage appliances I enjoy any bell and most whistles.

Post# 974011 , Reply# 12   12/16/2017 at 12:03 (310 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
one word- Diapers

It was the baby boom. Disposable diapers weren't yet on the market, and they bought a washer before paying a laundry service.
My mom used "bleach" in the diaper wash water. Bleach kills bacteria. They were just going to get all poopy again anyway. She had 3 in diapers or training pants at once for a short while.
She used Sears laundry detergent by the pounds in a week in her turquoise model 70. She liked the suds saver.

Post# 974014 , Reply# 13   12/16/2017 at 12:14 (310 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

ea56's profile picture
My Mom used Hexol in the diaper pail when my sister was in diapers. She always very conscious of germs. Then they were washed in the hottest water available with Ivory Snow and Snowy Bleach.

Some people were very unsanitary about how they handled dirty diapers. I can recall watching my stepfathers sister rinsing out dirty diapers in her mothers kitchen sink! Now thats the ultimate eck factor in my book! Then they wash lettuce in the same sink with out scouring it out with cleanser, disgusting! And these people cornered the market on Pepto Bismol, they always had diarrhea. I wonder why?

Post# 974042 , Reply# 14   12/16/2017 at 14:44 (310 days old) by wft2800 (Leatherhead, Surrey)        

I've been known to drain my Miele out into the Bosch next to it at the end of a wash cycle to save on hot water and detergent, but we're talking 95 degrees celsius, and I only do it if the water is fairly clean anyway (and usually the Bosch is dealing with really filthy stuff that will get a second wash in any case). Another parallel is using an old wringer or twin-tub - the old Hoovermatic worked pretty well. However, you'd want to drain it out if you were washing really nasty stuff - and generally, for that reason, you'd start off doing the day-old shirts etc and finally progress to doing the baby's nappies last of all...

Post# 974077 , Reply# 15   12/16/2017 at 16:55 (310 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

When I was a kid, several people I knew still had wringer washers. Not one of them changed the wash water with each load. They'd use it for a second or third load---and they'd use the rinse water for several loads, too.

I grew up with a suds saver; our clothes were clean and we were healthy.

Post# 974119 , Reply# 16   12/16/2017 at 21:05 (309 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
We've discussed this before

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Suds saving automatic washing machines were invented to capture a market of households that either out of necessity or desire wanted to save resources.

Such housewives likely preferred and or would only use wringer washing machines as they suited their purposes. However even by the 1950's there was a concerted effort to get shot of what many considered dangerous and old fashioned way of doing the wash.

The so called affluence of post WWII USA didn't spread to everyone and everywhere equally. There were still plenty of persons living on farms or whatever that hadn't changed much if at all from before the war. New housing developments or not many still were on well water and had septic tanks. As such had to be careful of how much water they used either way.

The other thing is even in the 1950's you had women both young and older that clung to the old ways. The idea of using all that hot water and soap/detergent for just one wash load, then send it down the drain seemed wasteful.

So now you Mr. Appliance salesman is trying to steer Mrs. Frugal American Housewife to one of those new fangled fully automatic washing machines. However you cannot close the deal because she won't budge over issues regarding water use.

Enter the "suds saving" washer!

Now You Mr. Salesman have something to come back with and finally (hopefully) get Her Indoors to ditch her old fashioned wringer for a fully automatic washing machine. Suds savers gave the energy/resource savings of a wringer/semi-automatic, but also the ease and convenience of a fully automatic washing machine.

As mentioned previously on this topic, Consumer Reports of the 1950's didn't think too highly of suds saving washers. Their cleaning ability, reliability and so forth varied by brand, but CR didn't see the point in "suds saving". They felt water had cooled to be of any use in a second load, and had issues with the "ick" factor regardless.

Post# 974196 , Reply# 17   12/17/2017 at 07:58 (309 days old) by Magic_Clean (Florida)        

were advantageous for many where an adjacent laundry tub was available.

*Primary markets were the mid-west, mid-atlantic and northeastern states. Homes with basements and laundry tub are common. Providing a no cost installation
*Was a very modest upcharge from a non suds saving washer
*Used correctly, washing results were good and hygienic
*Saved upwards of 18 gallons of water with each re-use
*Saved gas or electric in connection with water heating
*Saved water & sewer expenses
*For homes with marginal well & septic systems, automatic washing became possible
*Its use was optional

Post# 974252 , Reply# 18   12/17/2017 at 13:48 (309 days old) by 114jwh (Vancouver)        

My grandmothers first automatic, a late 50's or early 60's Kenmore, was purchased with the suds saver option. She had a double concrete laundry sink next to it in the basement from her days using a wringer washer. She used the suds all the time, following the process others have mentioned, washing the cleanest items first and dirty work clothes last.

I have an Inglis BD that has a suds saver as well (a 1978 machine). The thing that is different about this one is that when it is filling the wash tub from the sink it agitates on slow speed instead of normal. I'm pretty sure I remember my grandmothers agitating at normal speed given the splashing as it was sucking the water up. They must have changed to this in later machines perhaps?

I was wondering if you could change the wiring around so it would save the rinse water instead? I would be quite happy to re-use rinse water. Has anyone tried this before?

Post# 974253 , Reply# 19   12/17/2017 at 13:51 (309 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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As I recall mention in a previous discussion, WP/KM agitation speed during suds return was changed to slow to cut down on splashing.

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