I have a fl and I hate that I have to add water to it otherwise the diapers do not get very clean. I have messed with my routine to try and side step doing this but no dice. I know not everyone has to do this. Maybe mine uses a lot less water? Also we have really soft water and I have to be very careful about using the tiniest bit of detergent. It does get our clothes really clean and if I only used flats then there wouldn't be a problem.
I have a Duet front-loader and I LOVE it. I've never had any problems with getting my dipes clean, but I've only been CD'ing for a few months.
Our water is pretty good here, so that probably helps too.
I love that it's better for the environment, and gentler on the diapers, and does such a wonderful job.
It also spins at such a high speed the clothes/dipes are just damp when they're done in the wash - not nearly as wet as clothes washed in a normal washer!
In case you want to know about routines, I use a dry pail (no dunking, no swishing, and no spraying) and chunk the dipes in there... 1 cold rinsewith 1/2 c baking soda, then 2 full hot washes. It takes a while, around 2 hours 20 minutes total.
I've got a HE3 (Not sure if its Kenmore or GE, and don't want to go check it out :LOL), but I do the dry pail thing too. Dd is only on breastmilk so no solids to worry about.
Love my FL because:
-I can reach and get everything! I'm only 5'1", and top loaders always had me stand on my tip toes to reach for the odd loose coin or button.
-I can put A LOT of clothes in there. Eg, I can do a queen sized comforter, and all the bed linens in one go.
-The delicate cycle is really delicate. My fringed tablecloth came out of it unscathed.
-Can't soak items. You have to stop the cycle, and the clothes just sit in minimal water.
-The spin cycle is really really strong. Mine sounds like a jet engine taking off! Good thing about it is like the PP said, the clothes come out just damp, and take almost no time to dry.
Doing the dipes has been no problem, especially now with the good weather. I just put the diapers in the "whitest whites" cycle with a "Pre-rinse". The cycle takes 1hr 25 mins. I use approx. 2 tablespoons of a Hydrogen Peroxide cleaner, and whatever remaining stains (which is very little) get sunned out. I sun all my dipes now, and just throw them in the dryer with a wet face cloth for 15 mins to soften them up.
Its been fun.
I'm just glad Dh hasn't caught me sniffing the diapers fresh from the sun...
I've got the neptunes and I've never had a problem with diapers.
I do one cold water short cycle wash with baking soda and sometimes TTO and then the super long hot wash with extra rinse with a little Tide... good as new every time.
the con to it.... it doesn't have a see through door. If you are going to get one and you CD, I really recommend getting one with a door you can see through.... that way you'll know if you have soap build up (by being able to see the bubbles).
well in the coin-op laundry room at my apartment complex the managers just installed an energy-star compliant front loader ~ and it sucks. it doesn't hold nearly as much, it's a pain in the butt to load very dirty diapers (or very dirty ANYTHING) into, and in the long run costs us way more money.
(i have to wonder at something that supposedly saves energy and water, but you have to do two loads instead of one because the thing doesn't hold as much. are you really saving energy and water then?)
eta ~ on the upside, it is very very quiet.
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