Thread Number: 91503  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Did I kill my washer?
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Post# 1160233   9/23/2022 at 15:48 by Opticalpopsicle (Rhode Island )        

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I recently purchased a 1989 ish Maytag LA512 extra capacity washer. These are my favorite washers and this is my 3rd one, although itís my first extra capacity one. I was so excited!!! WELLLLL, I may have hurt my new washer and Iíve only had it hooked up for a half of a day 😭. It was pretty dirty and smelly with lots of soap scum/hard water type flakes, so I thought that I would clean it. I used citric acid and oxy clean and now it smells great but HORRORS! The smooth finish has worn off the tub and it now feels like sandpaper. Did I just doom this machine? I am HORRIFIED by what I did! I was just trying to clean it! I thought that I had read somewhere that a good way to get all the residue out of washers was with citric acid. Well I guess that info was wrong. I feel beyond terrible!😫 Is this washer now going to damage my clothes and/or rust out soon? Does anyone know? Is there any type of clear coat that I can paint on to try to mitigate the damage? I feel terrible that I hurt this great washer and Iím trying to remind myself that itís just a washing machine and itís not the end of the world, but itís hard, good washers are so hard to find. I feel sick. 🥺 Does anyone have any advice or insight?

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Post# 1160238 , Reply# 1   9/23/2022 at 17:04 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Acid will etch porcelain.

Post# 1160241 , Reply# 2   9/23/2022 at 17:57 by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        

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Even vinegar can damage such a surface. Usually one shouldn't let it dry on the surface and to be sure and rinse the surface thoroughly.

I once found a similar MT washer on the road side which had lots of hard water stains. I thought I was doing the right thing by spraying the tub so it could soak. However, the vinegar quickly dried and when I came back to it a day later the tub was permanently etched.

Post# 1160242 , Reply# 3   9/23/2022 at 18:15 by Opticalpopsicle (Rhode Island )        

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Bradfordwhite, thanks for your reply, Iím glad that Iím not the only one who has done this. Can I ask you how long did the washer last after you etched the tub? Did it rust? Did you notice anything bad with your clothing?

Post# 1160243 , Reply# 4   9/23/2022 at 18:18 by qsd-dan (West)        

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The tub will last for years to come, nothing to worry about. If you want perfection, find a donor machine with a nice finish that's cheap or free and swap.

Post# 1160245 , Reply# 5   9/23/2022 at 18:26 by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        

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Unlike the nice machine you've apparently found, mine was a mid 60s single speed MT that came from an old farmhouse with bad well water. It was free and at the time I was picking up all the trades from an appliance dealer so I had plenty of stuff.
It was so hard water clogged and rusty and had iron deposits. it wasn't worth saving but it served the purpose of teaching a lesson on how NOT to use vinegar.

Post# 1160246 , Reply# 6   9/23/2022 at 18:26 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Etched Porcelain Washer Tub

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It will cause more clothing wear but you can still use it, I would try to find a donor wash tub and change it out.


John L.

Post# 1160916 , Reply# 7   10/2/2022 at 16:00 by thatwasherguy (Kentucky)        
I wouldnít worry too much...

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Iíve made similar mistakes more times than I can count, so I totally get that feeling. However, I donít believe that the wear is going to cause any real issues. From my experience, Maytag inner tubs of this vintage are fairly resistant to rust. When my 1976 A-108 died about 10 years ago, I kept the inner tub to use as a flower pot. (Ended up using it to store the garden hose.). That said, Itís been outside for all of that time, and thereís barely any rust on it. Also, the tub in my 1978 A-208 has worn porcelain inside of it. I havenít really noticed any excessive clothing wear as a result, but I also havenít used it a ton. It too, was (and still is) very much rust free.
Hope this helps,

Post# 1160982 , Reply# 8   10/2/2022 at 19:20 by Adam-aussie-vac (Canberra ACT)        
Whatís probably a better way to clean a porcelain tub

With a strong alkaline work? Since acid can etch the tub

Post# 1161005 , Reply# 9   10/2/2022 at 21:06 by Good-Shepherd (New Jersey)        
I used citric acid

I've never used citric acid but I have used diluted muriatic acid to remove stubborn hard water deposits.

The trick is to wet down one area at time with saturated paper towel or rag only long enough to remove deposits then quickly flush throughly with water.

No soaking or sitting, best done outdoors with a garden hose.

For detergent build up I use Bon-Ami and lots of elbow grease.

Post# 1161009 , Reply# 10   10/2/2022 at 21:29 by Good-Shepherd (New Jersey)        

Here an A712 donor machine for parts, only $15.

The catch is its in the Bronx..

Post# 1161010 , Reply# 11   10/2/2022 at 21:33 by qsd-dan (West)        
Here an A712 donor machine for parts, only $15.

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Transfer the tub, console w/ wring, and 2 speed motor and now you a TOL washer.

You could part the rest of the machine for $ or keep those parts for the future.

Post# 1161198 , Reply# 12   10/5/2022 at 20:36 by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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What about just coating/sealing/glazing it with one of those porcelain repair topcoat kits?

No need to take anything apart, and less work than buying a whole other machine and swapping parts around.

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