Oh, I also can't find powdered detergent in the stores, next one that sells charlie's is over an hour away. so i order it online, usually from the coth diaper stores (bit cheaper than directly from them)
The washers without the middle agitator's do a better job cleaning and do almost no damage to clothes/diapers. I was interning at Whirlpool when they were developing theirs and they were washing wedding dresses in it multiple times and they came out looking perfect, not a sequin missing It is definitely what I am getting when I get a new washer, just the money you save on clothes wear alone is well, well worth it and the way it cleans is superior to traditional washer.
I can't brag enough about this wonderful (but expensive) washer & dryer. It was a bit at first to figure out the whole diaper washing routine but now it works like a charm and we even have super hard water. If you want more specific info about the washer or my washing routine just pm me.
I washed dipes for 6 year in a front-loader. Just the base model Fridgidair that was the first one widely available in the US.
I generally did a hot presoak with soap (the machine fills, tosses the stuff, and then sits. Then started it on a heavy soil load with extra rinse. When that was done I ran an extra short wash cycle with no soap and a high-speed spinout. My dipes came out great, and they all lasted 6 years and I"m still using the prefolds as cleaning cloths.