Front-loading vs. Top-loading Washing Machines - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 86 Old 05-12-2003, 10:35 PM
 
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When I use the front loader to actually wash diapers, I use a mere dribble of detergent (all free clear). A front loader is highly efficient and you don't need much detergent in reality anyways. HTH!
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#32 of 86 Old 05-12-2003, 10:35 PM
 
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Here's my wash routine with my frontloader:

1) Cold wash & cold rinse, extra rinse and extra spin, with 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 tbsp of Allen's Naturally detergent

2) Hot wash & cold rinse, extra rinse and extra spin, with 1 tbsp of Allen's Naturally detergent.

No stains, no smells. I figure since it's a front loader I'm saving on water so I don't mind running two cycles.

edited to show quantity of detergent

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#33 of 86 Old 05-12-2003, 11:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by georgiamilk
I starting to think my frontloader is getting the better of me.....we used to be so in love.......
I know this feeling! However, having seen the wear on my friend's diapers after a year of washing in a top loader, I'm still glad I have my front loader!

Here's what I've found works for us: first, use the correct kinda and amount of detergent for your washer/water type. I use the HE detergent that comes in the large bucket at Sears. You just can't beat $21 for 275 loads!! However, I recently discovered that I wasn't using enough. I was having that same pee smell problem that you're talking about. I had tried EVERYTHING and found that the only thing to get rid of the smell completely was either washing something like 6 times or hanging on the line to dry. So I started paying attention to the line on the detergent cup and realized that I was using about 1/4 the suggested amount, which is a really small amount as it is. I upped the amount to their suggestion and things are working better.

So here's what I do now:
1) cold prewash (pausing to soak for an hour or overnight during agitation) with 1/2 cup baking soda. I don't dunk, so this is a necessity to get the poop out of the diapers and the baking soda has helped with the smell immensely.

2) cold "heavy wash" with an extra rinse. This is the one the HE detergent goes into.

3) hot "light wash" with an extra rinse and about 1/2t sportwash in the detergent dispenser (I like to think I do this to remove any leftover detergent residue, but that may just be in my head)

Charlotte, midwife to some awesome women, wife to Jason, and no longer a mama to all boys S reading.gif('01), A nut.gif ('03) S lol.gif ('08) and L love.gif ('10).
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#34 of 86 Old 05-12-2003, 11:03 PM
 
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I don't use hemp diapers, but I do have some hemp doublers on their way in the mail...hopefully we won't start getting odors!
We have a Miele front loader machine...we do a rinse with nothing in it, then we do a HOT wash with about a tablespoon of Tide HE powder. Then we do an extra rinse when that's all done. We don't have any odors on the diapers.
We do (actually my husband does) the diaper wash everyday so maybe that helps too.
I guess I don't have any advice for you...only my experience to share...but good luck getting those odors out!
-Lynn

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#35 of 86 Old 05-12-2003, 11:29 PM
 
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Thanks so far! I'm furiously writing all of this down...you wouldn't believe how much time I've spent working on this----wait, yes you would!!!

Jane, how much time does two complete washes take your machine???? It would probably take mine 2.5 hrs. It's so energy and water-friendly, but gee, it isn't all that family-time-friendly! Unless I do a quickie, light load, I'm looking at over an hour for all of my pre/washing, rinsing and spinning--but then, I thank goodness it's not me with a load of dipes, scrubbing them with rock while wading in the middle of a cold stream. Ah, my frontloader is one of the very few times a day I adore technology.

My conspiracy theory for the day:

Does anyone else ever wonder if the H/e detergents are really just regular detergents that have been watered down so you still have to spend a LOT of $$$?

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#36 of 86 Old 05-12-2003, 11:48 PM
 
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I'm going to get a front loader and I was wondering about that. I know they have the He detergents; but, I use Seventh Gen. I wanna stick to the nontoxics. Anyone else using a front loader and using nontoxics?
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#37 of 86 Old 05-12-2003, 11:53 PM
 
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One of the things I've found is that you have to use the detergent in the cold wash. This has been the only way I've been able to prevent detergent build-up. I use both fleece and hemp diapers, and this routine so far has gotten everything fresh and clean. I don't usually sun bleach b/c I'm in Seattle so there's not much sun.

Cold/Cold wash with Allens Naturally/ a little less than the line on the front load recommendation on the provided scoop.

Cold/Cold wash with just a dribble of sports wash

Hot/Cold wash no detergent.

So far so good!


Colette
Sydney 3 months
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#38 of 86 Old 05-12-2003, 11:57 PM
 
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hmmm, and you find that the detergent cleans well enough in the cold wash?

i might have to try that.

-krista
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#39 of 86 Old 05-13-2003, 12:28 AM
 
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So far everything has been clean. The Allens Naturally has no scent, so it's pretty easy to tell if there is anything unclean. The cold water I think helps keep the suds down, and then the hot wash gives it a good clean. I also found doing a little smaller loads has helped.

Colette
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#40 of 86 Old 05-13-2003, 12:47 AM
 
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Edited to add: I have a Kenmore front-loader (the basic version, not the Kenmore Elite) that I bought in '99.

My stash is half Sugar Peas (hemp) and half Mother-Ease (cotton/polyester). Here's my latest wash routine for my front loader:

1. Warm/cold wash with MAYBE 1/4 teaspoon Amway detergent (for stain removal)

2. Hot/Cold wash with 1/2 cap sport-wash

3 & 4. 2 Warm/Warm cycles to rinse all bubbles away

Yes, it takes forever for the spin cycles, but this is the best wash routine I've found so far. If I use so little detergent that I don't have to do extra rinses, the dipes aren't clean. I'd rather have really clean dipes and do more rinses.

Good luck to you! I just convinced my mom to buy the super duper Kenmore Elite washer last week, and she's in love. I can't wait to wash my diapers at her house now!

Best,
Nichole

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#41 of 86 Old 05-13-2003, 01:05 AM
 
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I don't do nearly as many washes as you all do. Here's what I'm doing now (it changes monthly, it seems :

cold rinse of poopy diapers, to get residuals poops off

cold soak overnight of everything

spin out in the morning

hot wash cycle with "rinse plus" with 2 Tblsp of Tide he

done!

Editted to add that I have a Bosch machine.
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#42 of 86 Old 05-13-2003, 01:30 AM
 
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re: conspiracy theories. I guess if I were paying more for the Tide or whatever HE detergent, then I'd wonder if it weren't a ploy to get money out of me, but since I bought my washer in 99, I've only spent $50 or so on HE detergent, so I don't think it's a ploy. I'm saving a TON of money on detergent. And FWIW, the HE stuff really does suds less than the other stuff in my machine, which is the point of HE detergent. It does make it hard to determine if your detergent is rinsing clean, though, since it doesn't suds :.

Charlotte, midwife to some awesome women, wife to Jason, and no longer a mama to all boys S reading.gif('01), A nut.gif ('03) S lol.gif ('08) and L love.gif ('10).
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#43 of 86 Old 05-13-2003, 09:38 AM
 
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Would those of you with a working wash system edit your response to list the type/brand washer you have? I wonder if this makes a difference in how to wash the dipes. I too have been struggling with not only ammonia smelling dipes but also stiff dipes. I only use 4 Tablespoons so maybe that is still too much. I have a Neptune.
Thanks a bunch!
~Tricia
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#44 of 86 Old 05-13-2003, 11:32 AM
 
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If I don't use HOT water WITH the detergent, I have stinky diapers, unless I modify my routine to include extra water I don't want to be using.
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#45 of 86 Old 05-13-2003, 11:41 AM
 
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Georgiamilk, I have a Kenmore HE3t, and yes, the cycles do take forever - about an hour and fifteen minutes for each. I usually start a diaper load around dinner time then start the next cycle before bed, then dry/hang to dry the next morning.

At least the dipes are practically dry from being spun within an inch of their life! :LOL

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#46 of 86 Old 05-13-2003, 11:52 AM
 
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I'm in the market for one. I had decided on the Kenmore, (not the elite). So, any suggestions and best places would be good as well.(Raleigh, NC) When we move out of here we'll need one, since w/d was incl'd in this apt. , and we saved up for a front loader!

TIA!
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#47 of 86 Old 05-13-2003, 12:00 PM
 
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I'm using a Frigidaire Gallery, which is almost exactly identical to the basic kennmore front loader. My cycles don't seem to take nearly as long as some others have mentioned, although I've never sat and timed them...

Charlotte, midwife to some awesome women, wife to Jason, and no longer a mama to all boys S reading.gif('01), A nut.gif ('03) S lol.gif ('08) and L love.gif ('10).
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#48 of 86 Old 05-13-2003, 12:01 PM
 
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I agree with the ladies here. Detergent in the cold wash is really important. For smelly dipes I would do a cold soak too if you can. Then a hot wash and maybe even a rinse.

We have a Kenmore HE3 and here's what I do to combat the smellies in hemp (this has worked for some time now)

Cold soak and wash with 2 caps bio kleen (the grapefruit stuff really seems to neutralize the smell)

Hot wash with teeny tiny amount of sensi-clean and another rinse.

does the job every time.

Like I said the key for us seemed to be a really good cold wash/ soak with detergent. Baking soda didn't help us all. I thought it would too.

Good luck!

Mama to 13, and 10 and 4.
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#49 of 86 Old 05-13-2003, 12:12 PM
 
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What does HE stand for? We have a frontloader. It's a Kenmore, I think an elite, but I'm not sure. I haven't figured out how to get the prewash to be on cold. I don't think I can, but anyway, I choose the sanitary cycle (super hot water!) with a prewash and an extra rinse. It takes 2 1/2 hours to run, but I don't have to do anything with it until it's time to put them in the dryer. I put an ounce of Bio Kleen liquid detergent in the prewash and a full scoop of Seventh Gen powder in the main wash. (You can't use liquid for the main wash when you prewash, plus I think dd may be sensitive to something in the BioKleen.)

They smell clean, and feel like all the detergent is rinsed out. It also gets all the poop out even without dunking. A few of the dipes have stains from when her poop was green when I was eating dairy, but otherwise they don't.

IKWYM about them being spun within an inch of their life! My dipes are homemade flannel and terry and the extra high spin was making them pill, so I turn it down to just high and that helps.

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#50 of 86 Old 05-13-2003, 12:42 PM
 
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Oceanone, isn't she already doing a cold wash with SW? I don't think she's doing a hot wash at all, as you are, with the SW. I think that would really help.....
I sometimes use Biokleen in the presoak instead of Baking Soda. That does work nicely.
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#51 of 86 Old 05-13-2003, 01:18 PM
 
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Holly, you are right. I should have said that after my cold wash with Bio-kleen I think there is still detergent in the diapers. It seems to last through the hot wash and is helped by the sensi-clean. I have some fleece diapers and liners and they are always absorbent and wicking. I think it is because I always get all the bio-kleen out and the sensi-clean helps with that. I really only use a little bit of it though. I would expect that unless you are doing a second rinse after the cold wash/ soak/ prewash that there is some residual detergent. Sometimes even a lot depending how much you are using and what sort. Ensuring that there is some detergent in a hot wash is going to help a lot with hemp, in my opinion.

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#52 of 86 Old 05-13-2003, 01:44 PM
 
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we have a kenmore also. we just bought it less than a year ago. i don't think it's the elite, it was one of 2 in the store at the time

-krista
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#53 of 86 Old 05-13-2003, 05:01 PM
 
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We have a Kenmore He3t frontloader and dryer--don't know if that's elite or not. I tell you what, it has been the best purchase of my mothering career--frontloader, my maya, and CDs We were reimbursed for our homebirth by our insurance company, so I got to buy a washer to wash cloth dipes. Score

I'm going to try and do a cold wash tonight followed by the hot wash with a tiny bit of SW. I'll check back in with results.

I think it was Jane who said she did a spin on the first wash, but is it really necessary to spin after the first wash if you're just gonna wash again? Isn't the spin strictly for drying? I'm thinking it might take some time off the loads if you could skip the spin on the first wash---or am I wrong? I've been skipping any and all spinning if it's not the final wash.

Any thoughts?

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#54 of 86 Old 05-13-2003, 05:12 PM
 
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Chiming in late, but my system with my Kenmore Frontloader (I'm gonna guess it's the basic model) is:

1. Cold Wash/Cold Rinse cycle set on Heavy wash (we do this to get out all the poops from our special needs 3.5 year old) -- I use washing soda in this cycle

2. Hot Wash/Cold Rinse cycle set on Regular wash with generic free & clear detergent. According to the bottle it is phosphate free and biodegradable. (made the mistake last week of trying to switch to a not free & clear detergent and dh's eczema flared up big time )

3. An extra Cold Wash/Cold Rinse cycle set on short wash with nothing but water

I do an extra rinse if I still see suds after the last rinse wash, especially since we all have such sensitive skin in my family.

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#55 of 86 Old 05-13-2003, 05:23 PM
 
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goodness! such long cycles, and spun within an inch of their lives, lol! How do you get ur laundry done if it takes so long! I think you can program them in advance to start, so I can get a head start before I get up! How are ur dipes holding up with those spins? I would *die* if I lost a fuz to the front loader! They're supposed to be easier than the agitators, is what I read!
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#56 of 86 Old 05-13-2003, 05:24 PM
 
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if a front loader lets the water out without spinning, I would still want to spin after the first saok/agitate to get all the poopy/pee pee water off the diapers as much as possible.
I would also want to spin before the last rinse, again to help get the old water with detergent in it out of the diapers.
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#57 of 86 Old 05-13-2003, 05:32 PM
 
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Hmm, good question on the spinning. I think it spins as part of the regular cycle no matter what, I've just been setting it for extra rinse and extra spin. I agree that it's good to get whatever dirty/detergent-filled water outta there before starting with the next wash. Maybe it's unnecessary in the scheme of things, I dunno.

Also, I don't think the spinning is hard on the dipes at all. Essentially they're plastered to the sides of the drum while the water gets spun out. I think the same is true for top loaders; it's not the spinning that beats clothes up, it's the action of the agitator during the wash cycle.

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#58 of 86 Old 05-13-2003, 05:35 PM
 
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My Fuz egg actually has two small holes in the binding. The spinning doesn't seem to be affecting any of the other diapers!
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#59 of 86 Old 05-13-2003, 06:17 PM
 
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(note to self....) so how ru handling it, abigail, a lower setting? (thinking about the washer blindly because I don't remember the settings) I would ! And its a diaper garden I'm just thinking about purefuz, since all reservations are taken!
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#60 of 86 Old 05-13-2003, 06:20 PM
 
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It's actually just the doubler, and I was semi-prepared for it to happen, since others have talked about it. Just not so fast!
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