Do high-efficiency machines actually clean anything? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 15 Old 02-17-2012, 06:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We just got a great deal on a scratch-&-dent high-efficiency laundry machine, at Lowe's.  I love the idea of using less water, less electricity and less detergent.  However, I also have 6 people (all males, except me!) and a dog, to clean up after.  As I peek through the fascinating glass top of our new machine, it looks like (depending on the cycle) it gently stirs, or softly rocks, the wet clothes, then spins them dry.  There is no agitator.  I admit, I don't have the time to stand there and watch an entire cycle!

 

So, how do these things work?  Do they actually get things any cleaner than if you soaked them in soapy water in a bathtub and hung them up to dry?


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#2 of 15 Old 02-17-2012, 01:17 PM
 
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Oh yes they clean, better than the top loader but it does take longer. And because the clothes aren't being torn from side to side by the agitator, the clothes last a lot longer. There are, however, significant quality differences between machines - I've used a high end Samsung that was meh at best (towels got smelly after only 2 days) while my little Miele gets everything clean and towels don't get smelly even after a week.


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#3 of 15 Old 02-17-2012, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoamingWidgeteer View Post

Oh yes they clean, better than the top loader but it does take longer. And because the clothes aren't being torn from side to side by the agitator, the clothes last a lot longer. There are, however, significant quality differences between machines - I've used a high end Samsung that was meh at best (towels got smelly after only 2 days) while my little Miele gets everything clean and towels don't get smelly even after a week.

Funny!  The one we got is a Samsung and it's a (perhaps rare?) high-efficiency top-loader.  Maybe the gravity of the clothes falling from the top to the bottom of the front-loaders is a cleaning function we're missing out on.  Oh, well.  We've gone years, buying used machines for $100 on Craigslist - or getting them free, when friends upgrade - and keeping them 'til they die.  After actually buying a new one, we won't be replacing it any time soon!  And it does have an absolutely astronomical capacity.  I've never seen a washer (designed for home use) this big.  In that respect, at least, it's exactly what we need!
 

 


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#4 of 15 Old 02-17-2012, 01:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post

Funny!  The one we got is a Samsung and it's a (perhaps rare?) high-efficiency top-loader.  Maybe the gravity of the clothes falling from the top to the bottom of the front-loaders is a cleaning function we're missing out on.  Oh, well.  We've gone years, buying used machines for $100 on Craigslist - or getting them free, when friends upgrade - and keeping them 'til they die.  After actually buying a new one, we won't be replacing it any time soon!  And it does have an absolutely astronomical capacity.  I've never seen a washer (designed for home use) this big.  In that respect, at least, it's exactly what we need!
 

 

Oh dear - I hope it works as well as advertised! How long is a regular cycle?
 

 


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#5 of 15 Old 02-18-2012, 02:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by RoamingWidgeteer View Post

Oh dear - I hope it works as well as advertised! How long is a regular cycle?
 

 


1:15.  For the most part, it seems to work well.  It gets dirt out of our boys' jeans, which is noteworthy!  It's just that, #1 - watching it, I can't fathom how it's cleaning anything; and #2 - the day I posted, I did a load where everything with visible dirt came out cleaner, except one of my 4-year-old's favorite sweatshirts, which I swear was dirtier than when I put it in!  I had poured a little detergent on a spaghetti sauce stain (because I couldn't wash it immediately).  It looked like the sauce had simply relocated to a different spot on the shirt and there's a noticeable outline, where the detergent was.  ??  Hopefully, just a fluke!

 


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#6 of 15 Old 02-23-2012, 07:10 PM
 
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I have a HE front loader and have had it for nearly 2 years and it's got some quirks that I dislike but overall it's a good machine.  It gets stuff clean.  I have done diapers in it and wasn't pleased with the performance but I think that was mostly related to lack of water instead of the actual performance of the machine.  It took a lot of tweaking to get the diaper routine down but it's do-able.  But for regular clothing(even mud-caked outside play clothing) it's great.  I've put clothing in there that was literally saturated with water and sand and it came out lovely and clean.  It routinely cleans up berry juice, chocolate, coconut oil, strawberry stains, etc.  So yeah, I do think it gets clothing clean though I have no idea how since like you said, it rocks the clothing back and forth.  And we use homemade detergent so it's not like I'm putting scary chemicals on our laundry to compensate for a crappy washer.


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#7 of 15 Old 08-08-2012, 05:02 PM
 
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i have a HE now after we retired our much beloved gifted washer (at least 20yrs old that was still working) the key is getting the soap just right.  by that I mean depending on your water type the amt of soap can affect how the clothes get cleaned/or lack of it.  It takes a little to tweak it jsut right imo.  Like I learned how much detergent to add to the kids clothes vs. say diapers.  I think the HE machine does have a learning curve.  Now, 1 yr later, I think I have it down but the first few weeks I found myself re-doing laundry because I didnt feel it was clean enough or I thought I could feel residue left on the clothes. 

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#8 of 15 Old 08-19-2012, 07:17 PM
 
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No.
 


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#9 of 15 Old 08-19-2012, 09:36 PM
 
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I've had a middle of the road Fridgedare for the last 5 years and our clothes do come out clean. With much less battering. I do agree that there is a learning curve for how much detergent for which load, a sprinkle of borax for some and a vinegar rinse for some things. My ds1 plays ice hockey and there is no smell like it (dd works at an alpaca ranch , so I know stink!) and it gets all his gear smelling pretty good.
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#10 of 15 Old 10-07-2013, 12:08 PM
 
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I have a Maytag Bravos top loading HE washer that we bought in 2011. I don't like it at all. I'd love nothing more than to have my 1977 harvest gold washer back! That thing worked amazingly! And the standard wash used 12 gallons of water, so it wasn't terribly much...

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#11 of 15 Old 11-18-2013, 11:47 AM
 
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We bought a new dishwasher and I would give it back if I could get my old one up and running. I'm dreading buying a new washer for clothes-- we pick up second hand used ones. BUt I have found that the clothes do need a heat cycle like the drier to kill the last of the bacteria still in the clothes. They start to smell in just a few days sometimes if I hang laundry on the line. NEver an odor if I can put them in the dryer.
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#12 of 15 Old 11-25-2013, 02:46 AM
 
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Yes, my HE washer works great. I wash a lot of very dirty things in it including small area rugs and cleaning rags and shoes and my nursing scrubs. And I can put an entire queen sized comforter in there. It gets everything really clean. I do agree there's a learning curve involved. There are too many choices of settings. I just choose "normal" for clothes, and "bulky" for the towels and other similar stuff.


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#13 of 15 Old 01-28-2014, 07:52 PM
 
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I bought a top loading high efficiency washer from Lowe's last fall. I called the next day and told them to come and pick it back up! That thing was awful! I can't remember what brand, but it was a big name.

The clothes were in the same position when the wash finished, as when I started!! Not enough water to wash anything.

I told them I wanted an old fashioned, agitator washing machine. Turns out, they don't make those anymore. I got as close as I could with a Maytag agitator, semi high efficiency. I was glad to get that, it was on clearance!


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#14 of 15 Old 01-29-2014, 05:37 AM
 
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I had one for two years, a top loader, and was very underwhelmed. We tried another model when I really exaimed the clothes and found they weren't even getting wet all the way. We sent that one back and went as old school as possible. Yay! Our clothes got SO much cleaner. I had no idea how much residual dirt was in them!
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#15 of 15 Old 06-26-2014, 11:03 PM
 
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I got one of the new fangled ones without the agitator.......and needless to say, I don't believe it cleans as well as my previous. Although my previous was still energy efficient and even smaller than our current one (but we needed a bigger one for our family of 7 to keep from having twice as many loads)...but at least it had an agitator!

I also find that it is HORRIBLE on things like shoes. I used to always wash my shoes in my old machine and even with the agitator, it wouldn't hurt them.....so I figured this would be fine. I open the door after the load....and the shoes were in pieces!!!!

Last edited by BlessedOne; 06-26-2014 at 11:12 PM.
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