Saturday, November 7, 2009

Problem solved...

We go a set of front loaders earlier this year. By front loaders, I mean a washer and dryer that load in the front versus on the top... Anyway, I was beyond thrilled to receive them. They made me enjoy doing laundry. Strange, I know. I have a thing for new gadgets!

Things were running beautifully until I noticed a problem with my towels. They started to smell. I was warned of this "front loader phenomenon" from several people prior to getting ours. I knew to leave the door open to let the inside of the machine dry after a load was finished. I did just that 99% of the time. So why were my towels stinky? I washed them on hot with fabric softener AND dried them with a dryer sheet. Still, they smelled like mildew. Uggghhhh. I mean, do towels expire? Do you need to dispose of them after so many uses and replace them?

A friend mentioned she had the same problem. She washed her towels on the sanitation cycle, which seemed to do the trick. I didn't "see" a sanitation cycle on our washer. So, I drove the towels to Columbia and used the Malone's sanitation cycle. Sure enough, it did the trick! No more mildew, smelling towels!

THEN, a few days later, as I was putting a load in our washer, I noticed the washer itself smelled like mildew. I was ready to scream. I finally called the company they were purchased from. They told me about these tablets. It was recommended that I use them once a month to help clean the washer. Call me crazy, but my top loader from 1912 never required some $10 pack of tablets to keep it from smelling!!! I was none to pleased with that answer so I call the manufacturer. They were great and sent someone to the house to check out or stinking problem!

And problems he did find!!! The door hinges were bent and the door lock was messed up...who even knew?!?! As for the smell, there was a HUGE!!! What? According to the repairman, I was using 100 times too much detergent. Well, he didn't exactly say that but close enough. I have been using the "he" or high efficiency detergent (as recommended) and filling it according to the lines on the cap. "Oh, nooooooo," he said. "That is way too much. All you need to use is an amount the size of a quarter." Me: "The size of a quarter??? Like the silver coin???" Him: "Yep!" Me: "Even on large loads????" Him: "Yep!" Apparently all that extra detergent causes a buildup in the machine and can leave a lovely mildew smell! Go figure!! Then he told me I need to run the washer once a month with one cup of white vinegar. Pour it in the detergent slot and let 'er go! That will clean the machine and keep it from smelling. I showed him my little tablets and he just laughed. "Vinegar is much better. And cheaper!" I like that! Too bad I don't have the receipt for the tablets. I would march them right back to the store if I could...which I probably could at Walmart but I didn't get them there and I would feel guilty for doing so...

AND, the repairman informed me that, indeed, we have a sanitation cycle. It is called the "Kids Care" cycle on our machine. The water temp gets up to 150 degrees in an attempt to kill all the germs that collect on children's clothes. It also functions as my sanitation cycle. Had I read the manual thoroughly, I would have learned that a while back! Instead, I just overlooked that cycle because it takes 2 hours to complete and I wash all of his clothes in cold water anyway. Now I worry a bit about germs?!?! But how to you keep from shrinking his entire wardrobe when washing it at 150 degrees? I guess I should have asked the repairman that question!

Morals of this story: 1.) Run your sanitation cycle once a month with 1 cup of vinegar. 2.) Keep your door open after you run a load to let the inside dry out. 3.) If your towels mildew, the sanitation cycle seems to fix that problem, preventing you from having to replace them! 4.) ONLY use liquid detergent equivalent to the size of a US quarter!

Yes, this is another random post. It is just that I have talked to several people about this lately and am happy to have a solution. Maybe you are a closet mildew towel smelling user and you needed to know this valuable information. Or maybe you are considering the purchase of a front loader and I am just saving you a little trouble! And saving you a little cash!


Melissa said...

Good to know--I would love to have some front loaders some day, and now I will know how to care for them! Thanks!

KTL said...

Unbelievable!! I'm publicly announcing that Justin was right...he read that we should use vinegar to wash our towels because they stink so bad, but I was skeptical and we haven't done it yet. O.k. so he was a little right, I just couldn't bring myself to wash the towels themselves in vinegar, but we'll definitely be doing that with the cleaning cycle. And yes, if we hadn't talked about it, we definitely have the same problem and this post was anything BUT random, thanks!

Jana said...

If it wasn't so much fun to watch the clothes spin around I would say the washer sounds too high maintenance, but it's really cool:)

The sales guy told me to leave the door open. I used vinegar in most all loads with my old washer because it kills bacteria without using something harsh like bleach. I think I will definitely keep that habit up now!!!

Although, according to this gal, we are using way too much detergent. I guess I will have to cut back.

Sonja said...

I can't believe that you didn't call me immediately with this information!!!