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whiteliondreams's avatar

How do I efficiently use my washer?

Asked by whiteliondreams (1698 points ) August 28th, 2012

I use a Frigidaire front load (energy star) washer. I do not know the specs because it’s actually my partners machine and I simply wash our clothes.

What I want to know is, how do I use it efficiently in the sense that I am not damaging my clothes? There are multiple settings and I use “common sense” to set the wash according to the load, but I am not certain if I am putting too much or too little detergent in the washer regardless of how little or much it may appear to be. Mind you, I follow directions to the T.

I have noticed some of my clothes fading. It may also be because I do not have much clothes and I wash them more frequently, but frequently is bi-weekly. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

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11 Answers

DigitalBlue's avatar

Are you using generic detergent? Sometimes it is about the quality of the detergent when it comes to fading colors. You can also buy detergent that is meant to protect against fading or detergent made specifically for washing color or dark items.
I wash everything in cold water, except for linens and towels and whites that I bleach (like socks), which is also easier on the clothes.

ccrow's avatar

I also use cold water for everything except the things I use chlorine bleach on, which I do in hot water.(Primarily kitchen towels, dishcloths etc) Fading can happen because of the material, aside from other factors; for example cotton will probably fade faster than a synthetic… also strong colors like black and red can fade more noticeably than more muted colors. If you are following the directions on how much to use, and your clothes are both clean and completely rinsed, you should be fine.

rooeytoo's avatar

The only time I change the settings on the washer (top loader) is when I wash stretchy exercise clothing, then it goes onto cold wash and delicate setting. The rest of the time it is on normal with warm wash, cold rinse. Everything gets clean and smells nice so I am pleased. The water level is set to automatic so it senses how much it needs depending on weight I guess. I hang everything out so the sun does fade clothes, I don’t mind though, I like the faded look.

CWOTUS's avatar

Have you read the manual?

RTFM.

jca's avatar

I use cold or warm water. Never hot. I use the shortest setting, which I started doing a few years ago when I read that Martha Stewart recommended it. She said that unless clothes are very dirty, like ground in dirt from children or construction workers or something, a short cycle, like “permanent press” is enough to get average-ly dirty clothes clean.

I put jeans and linens in the dryer, but my shirts, underwear and my daughter’s clothes I almost never put in the dryer. Dryers “cook” the clothes and make them wear out faster. They kill elastic on clothing and the tumbling wears out the fabric. On rare occasions if I do put a piece of clothing in a dryer, other than jeans, I try to put it on a lower heat setting, like “medium.”

JLeslie's avatar

I hate my front load washing machine. Here is what I have figured out. The bleach does not completely empty and rinse through from the place I fill with bleach and the lines. If I do a dark wash after a bleach wash, the dark wash gets faded. A friend of mine says her washer (a different brand) will leave bleach spots if she does dark after white. If I do a white wash with bleach I make sure the next wash is another white or light colored load.

Edit: I just saw your other Q and thought I would write here also that some people advise not to use Tide on dark laundry, that it has a lot of detergent in it. But, if you have always used the same soap and now your clothes are fading in this new washer, I am back to the leftover bleach possibility.

DigitalBlue's avatar

@JLeslie brings up a good point, I do my washing in a certain order. Kids clothes/my clothes/husband’s non-work clothes separated by lights and darks, then my husband’s work clothes, then blankets that the dogs sleep on, then bleached items, then towels. I’m not saying the same “formula” would work for each household (obviously if you don’t have kids/pets, this doesn’t apply the same way), but this way our clothes are washed in a sort of safety cushion where they won’t be contaminated by my husband’s greasy work gear, or lingering bleach – and I like using the bleach after I’ve washed the pet blankets, because.. I don’t know. Pet blankets get gross. I feel like it cleans the machine, a bit. Towels are my “buffer” load.

whiteliondreams's avatar

I do separate the clothing accordingly, but I never realized the implications detergents have on clothing, the dryer has on clothing, or the temperature of the water affecting the clothes so detrimentally, either. Thank you all soooooo very much as I truly, sincerely, and deeply appreciate the assistance. I hope for more tips. Thank you again.

zenvelo's avatar

I use liquid detergent instead of powder, it dissolves much better. I use cold water on everything except whites. And I use unscented detergent, it’s easier on the clothes and it keeps me from smelling like chemicals.

Front load washers do not need as much detergent as top loaders, so make sure you aren’t using too much.

rooeytoo's avatar

Wow, this is an education! Thanks for the washing lessons, hehehe. and
GQ

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