If you’ve purchased a washing machine lately, likely you have yourself a brand new front loading spaceship.
If you’re anything like me, when your new fancy washer was delivered – you had to take a seat with the manual to figure out how to operate it.
The manual teaches you all about the 36 buttons and settings, how to use the fancy economy and steam features, loading soap via the auto dispenser and using the “clean” feature. You THINK you know what you’re doing. I mean it is a washer, not rocket science – right?
It’s a racket. Ran by the Washing Machine Manufactures and supported by the Detergent Companies.
Let me tell you a little more – stay with me here.
At the bottom of the Affresh website, you know the “Cleaning Solution” recommended BY NAME on your Whirlpool Washer, you’ll find this written in size 5 font:
“® Registered trademark/TM Trademark of Whirlpool, U.S.A. for Maytag Corporation or its related companies.”
Let me translate that for you – Whirlpool owns the Affresh Brand.
Here’s what it likely reads in your manual for cleaning and soap recommendations:
“Clean Washer with affresh® Use this cycle every 30 washes to keep the inside of your washer fresh and clean. This cycle uses a higher water level. Use with affresh® washer cleaner tablet or regular liquid chlorine bleach to thoroughly clean the inside of your washer.”
“Load & Go™ Liquid High Efficiency “HE” detergent cartridge Each dispenser cartridge holds up to 18.5 oz. (550 ml) of liquid HE detergent, enough for up to 36† loads, depending on cycle and detergent concentration. The cartridge fits into compartment (B) of the dispenser drawer for convenient loading.
Change detergent concentration setting if detergent used is different than factory preset of 2x concentration. See “About Detergent Concentration” section.”
Then in font so small it’s almost illegible:
“† The number of loads will vary, depending on detergent concentration, load size, cycle used, soil level, and water hardness. The maximum capacity of up to 36 loads requires use of 6x concentration detergent.”
Again – Let me translate that for you. If you’re using more than a half tablespoon per load on a single load of laundry, you’re using too much.
If you’re using more than a half tablespoon per load on a single load of laundry, you’re using too much.
Seems insane – right?!
What does this all mean? Why do you care if you’re using too much soap?
If you’re anything like me you assume the more soap – the better!
The cleaner your clothes will be – right?
Laundry Detergent 101:
The main chemicals in laundry detergent are called surfactants. Surfactants – AKA: Surface-Active Agents are made of molecules. One end of the molecule is attracted to water-repelling substances like grease and dirt. The other end is attracted to water. So when the washing machine agitates your clothes, the molecules form tiny spheres, which stay suspended in the water and are rinsed away when the water is drained.
When there’s too much soap, it begins to cause suds. Suds are actually a thin layer of water sandwiched between soap molecules. So when your washer is done agitating and moves to the rinse cycle, there will still be soap in with your clothes.
Why does this matter and why do I say it’s a racket?
Well first of all if you’re anything like me, you have no idea what concentration your laundry detergent is nor what your auto dispense setting is set at.
Ain’t nobody got time for that!
If you’re using too much soap (which likely you are) you’re causing buildup in your clothes AND your washing machine. Soap scum builds up inside your washer and molds. Even worse -it builds up on your clothes and smells like mildew and can even ruin them.
Soap scum builds up inside your washer and molds.
Your washing machine company (like Whirlpool) KNOWS you’re likely using too much soap, which is why they not only suggest a cleaning solution that is made to clean soap scum, they went ahead and started a whole other company and brand to capitalize on this growing market! The more soap you use, the more likely you are to not only need to clean your washer more often, but the higher the likelihood your going to break your machine due to the misuse or even better – you’ll notice the black mold growing inside your machine and replace it all together!
you’ll notice the black mold growing inside your machine and replace it all together!
Why do I say the detergent companies are in on the racket?
Well go check out your detergent bottle. Does it tell you the concentration amount? Mine doesn’t. So how are you supposed to know exactly how much detergent to use or set your washer on for the auto dispense? Well Whirlpool gives you this handy dandy chart..
Number of Ounces ÷ Number of Loads
|2X||1.5 – 2.49|
|3X||0.9 – 1.49|
|4X||0.7 – 0.89|
|5X||.05 – 0.69|
|6X||0.3 – 0.49|
Clear as mud – right?
Okay, so maybe you just use the lines inside the bottle. Wait – that’s WAY more than half a tablespoon!
No surprise they want you to use more than you need. The more you use – the more you buy. That’s basic economics.
So let’s talk about the mold.
The bad.. if you have a front loader, you likely have mold in your machine.
The ugly, it’s in more than one place and some of them can’t be cleaned.
The good news?
You can come back from this and learn from your mistakes. Here’s what you need to know:
- Never use more than a tablespoon of soap for your dirtiest load of laundry.
- Clean your washer at least once a month using the recommended cleaner per the manufacture.
- STOP CLOSING THE DOOR ON YOUR WASHER. When your washer isn’t on, it should always be left open to dry out. Moister and heat breed mold.
- Dry out your gasket after every load and make sure your drains are clear of dirt & hair.
- Wipe down your washer door and keep the soap scum from building up on the bottom side of the glass.
- Pull out your soap drawer and clean it regularly. Not just the drawer, the inside of the washer where the drawer sits.
If you’re anything like me, you not only learned a lot, you have a lot of cleaning to do now. Just do your friends and family a favor and SHARE THIS!