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

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#1 of 86 Old 12-02-2001, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've done cloth dipe washing in a standard machine, but I'm wondering if there's going to be a difference with our HE one!

For one thing, it uses a LOT less water. I don't believe the basket ever fills up completely. And since you use about half of the detergent that you normally would (since you're using so much less water), I'm wondering if I should also half the occasional vinegar rinse and/or washing soda?

Has anyone else played around with this, or am I on my own? I've been asking everywhere, and I've only met one other person who owns a HE machine! So, if anyone has any tips....

-Kitty
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#2 of 86 Old 12-02-2001, 09:23 PM
 
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I have a front loader HE and dipes come out great! My first time washing cloth diapers was in a HE from Europe. I was working for a family and they used cloth. As for my frontloader, my friends washer broke so she used mine for 3 weeks. She loved it so much, she bought one too.
No problem with less water and less soap cuz the agitation is so much greater. All we did was dry pail, pre wash cold, wash hot, extra rinse. I use Lifekind liquid and vinegar in the fabric sofener thing. The big NO NO with front loaders is wet pail!:
I hope this helps.
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#3 of 86 Old 12-02-2001, 10:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you! Our machine isn't a front loader (It's the Kenmore Calypso) but I was planning on dry-pailing too, and the only advice I've gotten involved wet-pail and dumping the water. Thanks for the tips!

I had a feeling things would be fine, but it's nice to get BTDT advice, you know? Now I have one less thing to obsess about while I'm waiting to pop!
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#4 of 86 Old 12-02-2001, 10:15 PM
 
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Hey, ya know even if it is not a front loader I would suggest a soap made for HE washers. Like I said I use Lifekind liquid for dipes, but lifelind powder for every thing else.
www.lifekind.com
I think that is right.

Kendra
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#5 of 86 Old 12-05-2001, 04:56 PM
 
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We also use a HE frontloader and do dry pail. We bought the Asko, since it was the only one that let us do a 200F wash (close the cover so baby doesn't burn his fingers!)

Cold prewash, hot wash, extra rinse. We use a grapefruit seed extract powder from the coop. Diapers look like new still!

(Looks like we live in the same neck of the woods too!)
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#6 of 86 Old 12-07-2001, 04:42 AM
 
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I use a front-loader, and my diapers come out great! I use Biokleen detergent, and you use about 1/3 less (says so on the box) for front-loaders. That is 1 TABLESPOON per load, wow! Biokleen works great, and I've been so happy with our new washer. We dry pail and have had no problems. It doesn't have a prewash feature, so I do a short cold wash, then a normal hot wash/cold rinse, and I'm done!



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#7 of 86 Old 12-07-2001, 10:50 AM
 
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Count me in on the HE front loader and dry pail method.

I've been switching detergents around lately since dd has developed a rash.

Anyone try 7th genteration laundry detergent? That's what I'm on now and it works fine.
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#8 of 86 Old 12-08-2001, 11:08 AM
 
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I am so embarrassed! I strong-armed dh into getting an ASKO high efficiency front loader (which we couldn't affford and still haven't paid off ) by insisting we must have it because of the 200 degree wash capability and the claims that it uses so little water and gets all the soap out etc.

Well now I find that I rarely use the 200 degree wash because I don't want to ruin the water proofing on the fleece Fuzzibunz and our baby only has a poopy diaper about once every 2 or 3 washes, so there isn't much to disinfect.

And although I use only a smidgen of detergent (Biokleen or Biopac liquid), the clothes always come out smelling like soap and I can see bubbles in the rinse cycle. So I always set it to rinse multiple times and one little load of laundry becomes a 2-3 hour production! I find myself wishing it would not be so environmentally friendly and would just go ahead and use more water at least for the rinse cycle. Is there some way of getting it to do this?

Any other not so happy ASKO users out there? Or are we all too embarrassed to admit that we may have made a very costly mistake.... Or is it something I'm doing wrong? Help!!
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#9 of 86 Old 12-09-2001, 01:58 AM
 
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summermom-

Hmm, we're using Biokleen too, we didn't change detergents when we got the asko, just the amount (about a tablespoon). Our clothes don't smell like much of anything with just one rinse. We use the 200F for all dipes, not just poopies, and for them we do the extra rinse (a button on ours).

You know this already: your clothes will last longer, you'll save $$$ on your power and water bill, and you'll have a bit of extra space in the laundry room. Hope you feel better about your decision--if not, the used market still commands a fairly high price!
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#10 of 86 Old 12-09-2001, 11:21 PM
 
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Thanks for the encouragement, mooomy! And no, we can't sell it -- I was so adamant about this that our laundry room actually won't accomodate a regular size washer & dryer!
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#11 of 86 Old 12-14-2001, 05:32 AM
 
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Hi there!

I am on my second front loader! I would never own a normal washer again, I love it. I think that they do a much better job of getting clothing and diapers clean. On your cloth diapers I would reccomend using less vinegar and/or baking soda in the wash because there isn't the same ratio of water to detergent/additives as ther was in your regular washer. You don't need to use vinegar/soda each time either.

Also, keep in mind that if the diapers have an odor more than just pee/poop that means you are using too much soap & that the soap isn't getting rinsed out all the way. The soap residue on the diapers will cause an awfull odor! Try doing an initial wash with your soaps etc.. and then run the diapers thru at least two more washing cycles with NO soap/additives to get all the residue out. (Remember to keep covers and diapers in different pails and wash them separetly) I also fro time to time I use Bio-Kleen's Bac-Out in the wash and/or Seventh Generations non-chlorine bleach, it is odorless and does a great job on diapers. On covers to get odors out I soak them in Bio-Kleen's Bac-Out and them rinse and hang dry.

I have found that the way in which I wash the diapers depends primarly on how long they have been sitting in the pail and how often my daughters has pooped, as well as if there is an oder more than pee/poop.

For more info on cloth diapering: washing tips etc..Check out the "diapering info" at www.rocketbabies.com. (There is also alot of really great things there.)

Good Luck!
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#12 of 86 Old 04-16-2003, 05:26 PM
 
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We are getting a new washer and dryer and I cannot decide between the top loaders and front laoders. I want something that gets my diapers and clothes really clean. Anybody have any experience with front loaders and diapers? Good? Bad?
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#13 of 86 Old 04-16-2003, 06:10 PM
 
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Front loaders clean everything better.

The only down side with diapers is that you can't dump them in./ (if I am wrong and someone knows a way please let me know) You have t reach in and pull themout of the pail and then put them in the machine. i have stuck my fingers in more slimey poop than I really care to.

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#14 of 86 Old 04-16-2003, 06:27 PM
 
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This is jst an idea, but could you pull the wet bag out of the diaper pail and stuff the open end in the washer and then push out the diapers like a push-up ice-cream pop (turning the bag inside-out in the process.) OK, I realize that a bag of dirty diapers and ice cream have little in common, but you get the idea.

I have a front loader and it gets stuff very clean and is very gentle on them. one down0side is tat you cant soak the way you do in a top loader. You can run a prewash and let it sit for a while on off, start it agai nso the stuff tumbles around and mixes up and then stop it again. not the same though.

One of the best things about it is how dry it spins the clothes, some things barely have to be dried at all after taking them out. I imagine this would be a huge benefit for diapers.

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#15 of 86 Old 04-16-2003, 06:30 PM
 
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Can't you lift up the tote, push the opening end into the opening of the washer and then kinda push the contents out of the tote into the washer? There is a New Zeland washer that is a top loadable front loader.

I have questions about this as well. Does anyone have issues with build up?

Edit: LOL sfgal, I see we have the same idea! lol I like the push up pop analogy. More like push OUT in this case.
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#16 of 86 Old 04-16-2003, 06:32 PM
 
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I don't know how front loaders work, but I like to add things as the wash is going. For example I wait until the water is filled and agitating before adding tea tree oil. When using Oxyclean I wait until it's fully dissolved and agitating before dumping in dipes. I don't know how you'd do either of those things with a front loader.

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#17 of 86 Old 04-16-2003, 06:44 PM
 
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Ok, I'll chime in again about my front loader. Ours is big. I just turn the diaper inside out like SF Gal suggested and I never touch the dipes. Ours has a soak cycle. It also lets me add items for the first 20 mins or so.

The clothes get cleaner with much less wear and tear. It uses way less water and soap. It spins everything a lot dryer and saves you a bunch of drying money/time. The dispenser drawer has a space for prewash, powder or liquid soap, bleach and softener/ rinse cycle. I just load it up with all the vinegar/ tea tree etc (which I rarely use frankly) and turn it on.

We were travelling a lot between jobs last year and had two homes, one with a front and one with a top loader and using them both on alternate weeks basically and the front loader is better hands down. Your clothes and dipes will last a lot longer too.

A common mistake people do when using a front loader is using way too much soap. You really only need a little. This can cause build-up. My front loader was washing out all the residue the top loader left in. There's a huge difference to us.

Mama to 13, and 10 and 4.
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#18 of 86 Old 04-16-2003, 06:53 PM
 
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Oceanone~ What brand/make do you have? What's the price range of a model that has those good features?
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#19 of 86 Old 04-16-2003, 07:21 PM
 
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we got a kenmore front loader about 6 months ago when our top loader died. i have found pros and cons to each.

top loader pros:

-soak cycle
-easy to dump contents of pail in
-agitation seems--in my mind--to work better at cleaning
-no bending/squatting to move clothes from washer to dryer
-cheaper
-easier to tinker with settings to do an extra rinse, or prewash, or extra spin

and my favorite/most missed feature:

-i never toilet dunked b/c i would just take a poopy diaper, remove any obvious solids from it, then put it in the washer alone with a teeny water setting, and let the machine preclean it for me. of course, this was probably very wasteful of water and energy, but i didn't care!!! poopy diapers were never a hassle, like they are now. this was probably my main reason for NOT wanting a front loader


front loader pros:

-less water usage (ours has dropped almost in half, but this is not entirely due to the machine, but to slightly less usage)
-lower water bills
-gentler on clothing
-spins things really dry
-we got a 150$ rebate from the water company


hmmmm. as i read this, the top loader sounds a lot better. i guess the primary reason we went with a front loader was for environmental reasons. but i think i preferred the top loader. i just don't see how that tumbling in such a small amt. of water is really getting things clean (though they DO look and smell clean). mine uses so little water, there is no "water line" like in the front loaders at the laundry mat. i can open it any time during a cycle. no water will come out. basically all the clothes inside are soaking/saturated, and if i pulled an item out, it would drip. but there isn't really any "leftover" water.

what i really want is a machine that lets me heat the water hotten than my water heater. the miele can heat to 190 degrees. i would loooooove that. but we couldn't spend a gazillion bucks on a machine. ours was a discontinued model from a kenmore outlet. then, with the rebate, it was less than the top of the line top loaders.
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#20 of 86 Old 04-16-2003, 10:14 PM
 
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I'm a top loader gal.
I've tried a front loader, but didn't buy one b/c I didn't like it.

I'm sure that there are some brands that are better.
I'm sure that they are more energy effective, water savers and the like.

BUT, there is nothing as wonderful as a top loader for a good long overnight soak.

AND . . . I KNOW my diapers get really clean in my wash and yet I have a good amount of front loader mommas e-mailing me with problems with their diapers having build-up, retaining stains, not cleaning all the way.

BUT . . . I say this too . . . it might just be a percentage of the whole. I might not have any top loader mommas and this is just 'some' of the front loader mommas.

I haven't taken an official poll.
No 'control group' to work from! :LOL :LOL
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#21 of 86 Old 04-16-2003, 10:59 PM
 
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I don't have liners but I must get some. That would also solve my problem of standing by my changing table with a poopy dipe in hand wondering why my pail is still down in the laundry room.

As for which brand is best. I think the Kenmore/wgirpool one is the best. The guy who sold it to us said it was better even than the maytag Neptune because the neptune is slightly reclined making it sorta a hybrid between front and top loaders. So you clothes still spend a considerable amount of time sitting in the water which is one of the benifits of a top loader that your clothes don't sit in a bunch of dirty water. Anywya iI know you can never fulklly triust a sales guy but since he was loosing commission by telling us this I tend to think he was being honest.

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#22 of 86 Old 04-16-2003, 11:38 PM
 
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we have the calypso which is a top loader with front loader qualities. using 1/5 of the water compared to other top loaders and 1/2 the electricity. love it.
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#23 of 86 Old 04-16-2003, 11:56 PM
 
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Quote:
One of the best things about it is how dry it spins the clothes, some things barely have to be dried at all after taking them out.


I thought I would chime in since in my laundry room there are top loaders and one front loader. I eventually stopped using the front loader for initial washing of diapers because I could not soak them and because it was so "gentle" some breastfed poo would be stuck to the diapers when the wash was done. Yummy.

So I like the soaking/agitation features of the older top loaders. Then I take out the diapers that are thick and have slow drying times, usually all the fitteds, and put those in the front loader for a full plain hot water cycle. They come out feeling just damp-ish (while my other diaper can feel near to dripping) and it has saved on my drying costs immensly.
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#24 of 86 Old 04-17-2003, 12:06 AM
 
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Hi, I just wanted to add my 2 cents. I have a Maytag Neptune set. I never touch dirty diapers (use a bummis bag & dump them in ala ice-cream style, LOL). I use the presoak option to soak my diapers, prior to washing them in hot. The neat thing about these types of washers is they only use a little water, and tumble the clothes through the water. HOWEVER, unlike a top loading washer, they don't sit in the same water for the entire cycle. The water changes a bunch of times throughout the wash cycle, so they actually get MUCH cleaner, without using a ton of water! You can fiddle with things as they cycle progresses (you can open the door & check for suds, etc). My washer as a metal inside, and I see no build-up after washing diapers for 10months (plus all our clothes, we've had the set for about 2 years).

so, if I had to do it all again, I'd do the front loader again. I think it's better for the clothes, and great for using less waters.

HTH
Amy
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#25 of 86 Old 04-17-2003, 12:13 AM
 
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here it is and it is the BEST for stain removal too!!


http://www.epinions.com/content_57763991172?sp=irev
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#26 of 86 Old 04-17-2003, 12:43 AM
 
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I have a Bosch:

http://www.epinions.com/hmgd-Washing...splay_~reviews

The features it has that I like are:
soak cycle
added rinses and prewashes
hand wash cycle

Darshani, on mine there are several cups in the drawer for adding detergent, etc. There are three cups, prewash, wash and rinse, so I can set it to do a hot wash with prewash and extra rinse and add baking soda to the prewash, the detergent and tto to the rinse all at the same time! (Not that I always use all of that, that was just an example.)

I do have a hard time using little enough detergent not to get a build up. I'm not sure why. :
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#27 of 86 Old 04-17-2003, 03:21 AM
 
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I LOVE our front-loader!
Being from Italy, I grew up with them, and I just couldn't believe how bad the top loaders were when I moved here! They just didn't get stuff as clean, it seemed like they got stuff WET , not CLEAN.

We got rid of our (actually pretty nice) Whirlpool Ultimate Care Set and got a Whirlpool Duet set and it's wonderful. It uses somthing like 68% less water and electricity, and 1/2 as much soap. Stuff is 100% clean, no stains.
Consumer Reports also recommends the front loaders, if you can afford them.

Darshani, with mine, you can add things up to 10 mins after you start the load. And you have all sorts of compartments for adding stuff...

I have to agree with the others, the only drawback is no start was/stop/soak option, which I did ALL THE TIME ...in fact, my washer was my diaper pail! But, it's a small price to pay for cleaner dipes and less impact on the earth!


This is what we have (5/5 stars:
http://www.epinions.com/Whirlpool_Du...shing_Machines

Ilaria mamma to Owen, Caroline & Patrick .... loving life as expats in Asia intactlact.gifnovaxnocirc.gifuc.jpgnamaste.gif
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#28 of 86 Old 04-17-2003, 09:48 AM
 
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Yeah, I've heard they clean everything better. I had a friend in college from Denmark who was always bemoaning our lack of front-loading washers.
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#29 of 86 Old 05-12-2003, 10:18 PM
 
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Hi!

Frontloader question.....I'm having a detergent dilemma....my never-ending science experiment is growing tiresome. What amounts and what detergents/extras are you washing your diapers with? I've having a tough time getting my hemp clean without doing two full washes w/extra rinses.

I was doing Sports Wash and baking soda, until Holly helpfully pointed out SW might not be strong enough for hemp. I ran to the store to get some Tide Free...but still, no diaper love. What are your amounts? 1/2 cap, 1/4?? what??? I starting to think my frontloader is getting the better of me.....we used to be so in love.......

I am doing 1 tbsp baking soda pre-rinse
then 3/4 cap of sportswash in the pre-wash
rinse
rinse again (often w/more baking soda)

still smelling pee---repeat above---then they're clean....any insight appreciated


Amy

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#30 of 86 Old 05-12-2003, 10:31 PM
 
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-i do a cold pre-rinse with nothing in it

-then a hot wash with about 1/2 cup baking soda and about 2 tablespoons of all free and clear (with the extra rinse setting)

-then i do another rinse, and if i still see bubbles, i'll do even one more rinse after that

-about once every 2 weeks i skip the baking soda and put about 1/2 cup of vinegar in the first rinse

i've never had pee odors, but once in a while i'll get stinky hemp. usually the vinegar fixes that..

good luck!

-krista
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