Thread Number: 74277  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
HE washday in a vintage topload washer
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Post# 980751   1/31/2018 at 13:55 (258 days old) by partscounterman (Cortez, Colorado)        

Since we moved into our mobile home here, I must confess that I have been running washday like an oil barron. Replaced the temp control on my Kenmore with one that has a warm rinse option and have generally behaved like my house sits on top of a hot spring. No problem with sweet & clean with all that hot water...

My recent bromance with the HE Whirlpool at my in-laws house and the POD the other day about the weird Maytag sudsaver contraption got me to thinking about some thriftier ways. I am a seasonal NPS Ranger; I should be more concerned with conservation and not be so wasteful.

So today I tried something a little different. No, I did not wash in cold water (yuck). Instead of putting clothes into the machine and filling right away, I filled my machine to the low water level with whatever water temp I would normally use and added the detergent. I let the washer run to mix the detergent and make a suds cake. I then packed my full load down into that wash liquor so that it resembled the sodden mass you see being dragged around one of the modern computerized washboards. I left this to soak for about 20 minutes while I danced to some records in the living room.

After that soak, I went in and filled the washer to the proper level with cold water. It's been so long since my washer got straight-up cold water I think she shivered a little. Then I ran the clothes through my usual wash agitation cycle. This dumbed down the water temp to the point that the bureaucrats at DOE broke out the carrot juice and rusk toast and had a little party! I figure I cut my hot water use by half and I actually like the idea of soaking in a concentrated detergent solution :)

Now on to a leaner rinse. I shut the washer off after filling to that same low water level I used for soaking. I then squooshed the clothes down into that cold water, let 'em all set for a minute or two and then set the machine for the drain-spin rinse-spin sequence. When that was through, I set the timer to repeat the spin rinse and spin.

To be completely frugal, I hung the wash out on the line today. I did notice some lint and the clothes were wrinkly (just like Brad & Heather's HE machine!) but everything seemed clean. My clothes aren't horribly dirty anyway, so I may keep up with at least the soak/wash part of it. If we don't get snow here soon, we may be under water restrictions next summer anyway.

Well, now that I've saved the planet in the laundry room I will treat myself to a joyride in my Cadillac DTS(jus' kidding about the joyride, not the DTS :))

Post# 980756 , Reply# 1   1/31/2018 at 14:22 (258 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

Sounds like that worked out well. Requires a hands-on approach, but we're the guys who like toying around with our machines, right?

I cut water use in the Speed Queen by filling with truly hot or warm water, then switching to the Normal Eco cycle for spray rinses. I find the loads are rinsed adequately and I save a lot of soft water. It's encouraged me on to be more frugal with detergent dosing. Loads of kitchen + personal whites get a soak, a wash in the soak water, then two deep rinses.

Post# 980769 , Reply# 2   1/31/2018 at 16:48 (258 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
You ran a DIY F&P EcoSmart.

Post# 980776 , Reply# 3   1/31/2018 at 17:35 (258 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

yogitunes's profile picture
that low water start out will increase your detergent concentration greatly....similar to the Catalyst cleaning of a Kenmore...

but is all sounds good to me...after all, rinsing is nothing more than saturation and your case 2 times....

if the clothing seems a bit wrinkled after the spin, place in the dryer for about 10 minutes, then hang out to complete the drying....and sometimes splitting the clothing into 2 loads might help as well....I do this every time I line dry

Post# 980783 , Reply# 4   1/31/2018 at 19:10 (258 days old) by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

In the early 90's I used to have a TOL GE FilterFlo with SpotScrub cycle or whatever the cutesy name used to be.

It used the mini-basket with very concentrated solution and it worked really well.

The fun thing about that machine is that if you had more than a handful of garments to run thru the SpotScrub cycle, you could fill the machine on low (more water than mini-basket) and put a medium load in it. The solution would be concentrated, and the cool thing is that the "spiral ramp" agitator wasn't too harsh on clothes. It worked pretty well.

Post# 981072 , Reply# 5   2/3/2018 at 00:17 (256 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

I do something like that when bathing. I apply small amounts of Betadine to my mid axial areas then wet the washcloth with hot water, turn off the water then put body wash on the wash cloth and scrub down my body. After I am all washed, I turn on warm water and rinse off then quickly wash and rinse my hair. I have a hand-held shower that can be almost shut off completely between wetting down my hair and then rinsing it. When I have been without my water heater, I have heated water on the stove and found that I can completely bathe and rinse with less than 8 quarts of warm water. There are lots of interesting ways to save water; it's just a blessing that right now they are not mandatory. I do like my 4 HE washers, especially the ones that heat water.

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