Thread Number: 81268  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
LG Front-Load Washer Rant
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Post# 1052869   12/1/2019 at 16:26 (1,552 days old) by niclonnic (Bonney Lake, WA)        

I've owned this LG WM2650HWA front-load steam washer for nearly 7 years now. My dad purchased it from Home Depot for $900, and it arrived on January 16, 2013, replacing our old 2004 Maytag Atlantis TL washer which had just died on us. Since then, the LG has served us very well; it does a very good job of washing clothes, leaving them smelling nice and fresh. The steam feature works very well; it gets most tough stains out. In addition, the Sanitary and Allergiene cycles are very handy. We have never had a single issue with this washer.

However, I'm moving to a newer, bigger house in the same city, but in a different neighborhood. This new house features a Frigidaire TL washer and dryer set located upstairs.

Initially, my family was amazed by the LG washer; it was mesmerizing to see it in action washing clothes. But now I think it's overrated for a number of reasons:

WATER USAGE - The Cotton/Normal cycle uses very little water, such a small amount that while the clothes are fully saturated, I can't even see water during a cycle. LG says it's normal, but I don't know how clean our clothes truly get. The rinse water is very minimal as well, less than the wash cycle, to the point that I don't see the clothes getting fully saturated. But I do see detergent coming out. There is a WATER PLUS option, but I think it's a waste for normal, everyday use, unless I'm washing a massive load of laundry. However, the Permanent Press cycle uses slightly more water for washing and rinsing, and Delicates and Bulky/Large use the most water. Sanitary and Allergiene do use more water for the rinse cycle, but the wash water level is low.

WARM WATER - The warm water generated by this washer is highly variable; on the Bulky/Large, Perm. Press, Delicates and Hand Wash/Wool cycles, it's 50/50 hot and cold water. On a Cotton/Normal Cycle with the default setting, it's more cold than warm. But on the same cycle with the soil level set to Heavy, the water is slightly warmer. Just an observation.

CYCLE TIME - Despite this being a "high-efficiency" washer, it takes a lot longer to wash laundry compared to a TL washer. A Cotton/Normal cycle with the default settings (warm water, high spin, normal soil level) takes about 49 minutes. But if I set the soil level to Heavy, it bumps up the cycle time to 1 hour and 28 minutes, which also increases the water temperature slightly. Sanitary and Allergiene last 1:38 and 1:39 respectively, but those cycles use more energy, due to usage of the heater and/or steam generator. Are these longer times a result of using less water?

VIBRATION - LG claims this washer has a TrueBalance anti-vibration system. While it works fairly well, there are some times where the machine jiggles like crazy, creating a lot of noise and moving or knocking down whatever objects are sitting on top of the washer and/or dryer. But the washer stays in place, and most importantly, the high spin speeds remove more water than a TL machine, which means less time in the dryer.

LAUNDRY PODS - As a result of the low water usage, my dad and his SO have had times where a laundry pod would not dissolve completely, especially when washing clothes in cold water. My dad's SO would be disgusted upon seeing pod residue still on an article of clothing. So we stopped using pods and went back to liquid detergent.

LIQUID DETERGENT - When washing clothes in cold water, liquid detergent is not fully dispensed from the detergent drawer. At the end of a cold water cycle, there's always a tiny amount of detergent still in the dispenser cup. Just a minor issue.

MOLD/MILDEW - Before the machine arrived, I was fully aware that FL washers would require more maintenance than a traditional TL machine. Even though I wiped down the door glass and door seal at the end of the day, along with leaving the door slightly open with the magnetic plunger, some mold has developed in the crevices of the door seal! The worst part of it is, it's difficult to remove the seal to clean it. I watched a video on YouTube, and cleaning the seal involves substantial disassembly of the washer.

In addition, I do perform other maintenance from time to time, such as washing out the detergent drawer and drain pump filter. Whenever the washer drains more slowly than normal, that's my cue to clean the drain filter. Fabric softener residue builds up in the drawer over time.

I will miss this LG a little, but am glad to go back to a traditional TL washer as a result of the issues I mentioned above. My mom says that TL washers with an agitator work better than an HE machine.

What are your thoughts on LG FL washers? Here are some pics, including the mold issue and detergent drawer buildup. The washer is not slanted in the first pic; it's fully level, but I took it at an awkward angle because a gate was blocking the way. The washer is sitting next to a Maytag Atlantis dryer (not shown).

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Post# 1052870 , Reply# 1   12/1/2019 at 16:36 (1,552 days old) by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture

Designated Normal cycle is what's used for testing energy ratings and EnergyStar qualification so is the most restricted on both water usage and temperature.

Not unusual that a given temperature setting results in different effective temps on different cycles.

Less water calls for longer wash time.† Energy efficiency is based on less water (and less heated water), not on longer operational times.† Motor designs are different than older machines, pull less power when running.

Detergent pods are evil.† :-)

Cold-water washing is evil.† :-)

Post# 1053001 , Reply# 2   12/3/2019 at 07:08 (1,550 days old) by lakewebsterkid (Dayton, Ohio)        
LG rant

Some of these can be fixed.
Water level on this machine likely can be raised slightly. There are videos how to do it.
Donít use the detergent tray (blue).
Rinsing isnít good enough? See if extra rinse works. Water Plus sometimes adds another rinse as well.
However, the build up around the seal is very common on these machines. Not much you can do about that.

Post# 1053022 , Reply# 3   12/3/2019 at 11:13 (1,550 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

kb0nes's profile picture
The first paragraph seems to sing the praises of the LG FL machine.

The rest of the post bashes it.

Which is it? Or am I missing something here??

Post# 1053065 , Reply# 4   12/3/2019 at 18:54 (1,550 days old) by littlegreeny (Milwaukee, WI)        

littlegreeny's profile picture
I don't think the boot looks too bad. And it doesn't look like mold, more like just dirt. Have you tried cleaning it with a toothbrush and some bathroom cleaner?

Post# 1053095 , Reply# 5   12/3/2019 at 20:50 (1,550 days old) by murando531 (Augusta, Georgia - US)        

murando531's profile picture
Being that I'm not the biggest LG or Samsung fan, there are a few points here that I'd like to expand on that are either characteristics of any front-load washer brand.

First, the water use. Front loaders of the past 10+ years have become much more water efficient than they were in the old days of sloshy, up to the window water levels. The load of clothes only needs to be soggy and saturated, but not actually submerged in water. The act of the clothes being rolled and lifted and dropped creates the same effect as if you take a hand cloth, run it under water just until it's dripping, and then dip it down in a small puddle of water in the sink and lift it up and squeeze it out, over and over. There's more than enough water in use for the way the machine is designed, and any more would cause the clothes to instead float and ride over the baffles of the drum rather than be picked up and tumbled. And trust me, if you were to pause the machine after the water has finished filling and topping off, if you pull the clothes from the back of the drum, there will be more than a puddle of water underneath it all.

Second, the boot and dispensers. I've snapped a quick picture of the seal of my Whirlpool WFW92 washer. This is with deep cleaning the machine about a month ago, and with normal use since. Deep cleaning for me means getting a cloth, wrung out damp, with a little cleaner, like Mr.Clean all-purpose or something, and wiping out the insides of the seals along with the door itself. Basically everywhere you can touch, wipe it down. The dispenser cavity should also be wiped out regularly, and usually I'll just take the dispenser drawer itself to the kitchen sink and wash it out with a toothbrush and soap. Then, although it hasn't really been necessary because I regularly wash towels and whites in hot water, I may run the machine's Clean cycle, either with a little splash of bleach, or with an affresh tablet. The machine keeps itself remarkably clean though. The best way to keep any mold or mildew off the dispenser entirely is just pull it out when no more laundry needs to be done, and empty the water and let it sit out and dry by a bathroom sink or something. Or even just on a towel on the machine, whatever works best.

As for the detergent left in the dispenser, that does seem to be a machine specific thing. It just depends on the depth of the cups and how the spray jets are designed. Mine flushes out clean 99% of the time, although some thicker detergents like Tide Ultra Stain Release may leave a little blue here and there. You could always try diluting the detergent with water to the max line the same as should be done with the fabric softener dispenser. Another helpful thing may be to reduce the dosage itself. My rule of thumb is to look at the size of the load in the drum and also the overall soil of the clothes. For example, the drum 3/4 full but with clothes that aren't really dirty but just normal, such as no workout clothes, for me would be half of the dose of the 3/4 line in the cup, so line 2 or so. If they actually were dirty and smelly, however, I'd stick with the 3/4 dosage. Some may have different advice, but that's always worked for me to leave the load clean and smelling nice while not having residues in the clothes or on the machine.

ALSO, and this is for any machine, Please use fabric softener sparingly. Softener is fantastic to use but in *very* small amounts. For a full-to-the-top load of clothes, I'll use at most Line 1 on the Downy cap. And for towels, barely enough to cover the bottom of the cap itself. Softener can sort of be like rinse aid in a dishwasher, it'll help any remaining detergent to break free and rinse away, as well as leaving a touch of scent and help with dryer static, but using the "recommended" dose on the bottle will leave your clothes feeling greasy, as well as your machine, which creates a breeding ground for the very mold and mildew that some people hate front loaders for. I've seen MANY a full filling top loader with mold just as bad behind the drum because of too much fabric softener.

*I don't remember the image upload quality being so bad here on AW. Maybe it's because I haven't renewed my membership but there's no individual upload button anymore either...

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Post# 1053106 , Reply# 6   12/3/2019 at 23:19 (1,549 days old) by Tomdawg (Des moines)        
My thoughts

The LG You mentioned is a pretty basic machine. New LG front loaders are pretty cool. They have recirculating jets, shooting at the load. I would urge you to look at Lorain Furnitureís video of the latest LG.


He test two models- the 3500 and 3900. The 3500 would work much like the washer you have, I would agree, there isnít much water in it and doesnít look like it would wash a load correctly.. but the result are positive.
The 3900 uses 4 jets to recirculate on the load. I do believe both washers use the same amount of water per load, but the jets make all the difference.

As for top load. To each his own. I guess. Some people love it, others donít. There is nothing wrong with that!
I moved recently to a newer, bigger home in the same city. I went from my whirlpool front load to a fisher paykel top load. At first I loved it. I couldnít believe how fast it can wash a load. But I quickly noticed the downsides. I felt they were harder on my clothes and it was smaller that my front loader, not mention. Louder. They arenít all bad. Just things I noticed. Iím dying to get back to a front loader!

Post# 1053151 , Reply# 7   12/4/2019 at 14:08 (1,549 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
My Samsung

has jet holes in the fins as well. I find that it spins large loads dry enough on medium speed. using my dryers eco normal cycle of 38 minutes, laundry is dry.

Post# 1053897 , Reply# 8   12/11/2019 at 01:16 (1,542 days old) by niclonnic (Bonney Lake, WA)        

Thanks for the helpful info. In the past, I have paused my LG in the middle of a Cotton/Normal cycle, lifted the clothes up and noticed the small puddle of water underneath. So it IS normal to not see water during a cycle.

I agree with your statement about detergent left in the dispenser. I'm currently using Tide Heavy Duty liquid, and it's a bit thicker than normal Tide. A tiny amount of it does get left in the dispenser, especially at the end of a typical 49-minute Cotton/Normal cycle.

Earlier, my dad brought up Tide Pods after seeing them in a TV commercial. Just so everybody is in the know, I have NOT and WILL NOT attempt to consume one of those. He and his SO almost bought some, but picked up All liquid detergent instead. I told him that we could safely use Tide Pods in our Frigidaire TL washer at the new house, after in rare occasions they wouldn't dissolve completely in the LG due to its very minimal water level.

As for fabric softener, everyone in my family uses it every wash. Maybe it contributed to the mold buildup on the boot?

I asked my dad about the cleaning performance of the LG, and he had an indifferent opinion about it. It is a washing machine, after all.

Post# 1053935 , Reply# 9   12/11/2019 at 09:03 (1,542 days old) by turbowash (USA)        

my 2013 LG fl (turbowash) has no mold problems since I raised water level last July. It was minor adjustment, but it looks like additional water helps keeping my clothes free of detergent leftovers and keeps my washer cleaner. I maintain my washer as per manual and water level adjustment was really minor, I can still open the door to add garment if needed on normal cycle.

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