Top-loading and front-loading washing machines don't just look different, they wash different too. Front-loader washing machines are more energy efficient, but before you switch from your top-loading washer you need to know a few things if you expect clean laundry. Knowing a few front -loader washing machine tips will help you avoid some common mistakes.
Use HE Detergent
High-efficiency, or HE detergent is not a gimmick. Front-loader washing machines require HE detergent because they are designed differently and cannot handle as much suds as a top loading washing machine. Excess suds can not only damage your machine, but it can also directly affect the performance and quality of your wash. The machine may not rinse all the soap from your clothes or the drum of the machine itself.
Sorting is an important part of doing laundry when using a front-loader washer. The clothes tumble among one another in order to get clean in the washing machine drum. For this reason, in addition to sorting laundry for colors you may also want to sort for fabric. Certain fabrics that are more prone to lint should be washed alone, like terry cloth, flannel and fleece. Delicates like satin and silk should not be washed with rough fabrics like denim or canvas.
To save energy with your front-load washing machine you want to preferably do full loads of laundry. That being said, you do not want to overload your front load washing machine. Front-load washing machines do not have an agitator, they tumble clothes in a fashion similar to a dryer. For this reason, you want to ensure your clothes have room to move freely in the drum, otherwise they will not get as clean.
Wash Your Washer
Front-loading washing machines have an airtight drum so they don't leak water when they are running. However, if you leave the door shut between uses this may cause moisture to become trapped inside and mold and mildew may grow. This may affect the machines ability to function properly and cause your clothing to smell funny. Leave the washer door open for one to two hours after each use so moisture can dry up. Once monthly, run a normal wash cycle with bleach and leave the drum empty.
- "Simply Green: Easy, Money-Saving Tips for Eco-Friendly Families"; Melissa Seligman, David Seligman; 2009
- Energy Star: Clothes Washers and Dryers
- Tid Bits and Stuff: Front Loaders and High Efficiency
- Photo Credit Southern Stock/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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