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Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Appliance Repair Revelation: Wiping Out Washer Lint

appliance tip of the day archiveAhh, yes, the infamous 'residue' problem. Before you go gettin' your panties in a wad, ready to sue the manufacturer of your washer, do these two tests to rule out mechanical problems:

  1. Slow Drain Test
    Fill washer to the maximum level then advance timer to spin. Time for 90 seconds. If all the water isn't pumped out, then there's a restriction in the drain system. If all the dirty water doesn't drain outta da tub, that gookus will stay on your clothes, dontcha know?

  2. Water Pressure Test
    Make sure you've got a strong stream of water for both cold and hot. Especially cold because rinse is done with cold. No cold water == no rinse == gookus on clothes. If no cold water, the valve is probably plugged by gookus in the inlet screen. And, Hoss, don't go doin' the cute plumbers's trick and remove the inlet screen--replace the valve!

Ok, so you did those tests and now your saying, "I'm still getting gookus on my clothes, Mr. Smarty-pants Samurai Guy. Now what?" Hey, you're not happy with the free information you get from the Samurai? Ask for a refund. Ver goot, we shall proceed.

Other common usage things to check:

  1. Detergent formulation
    Make sure you're using a high quality detergent that contains both sodium carbonate and aluminosilicates. They'll be listed on the ingredient list.

  2. Amount of detergent
    The detergent amounts given on the usage label of the detergent box are for average water hardness (4-9 gpg). If your water is harder than average, or if your clothes are really dirty, you'll need to use slightly more detergent than what's recommended on the box. If you have really hard water, you may need to add a packaged water conditioner to each load, such as Calgon® or Spring Rain®.

    If your water is softer than normal, you'll create too many suds, which will retain gookus. In this case, you'd use slightly less detergent than recommended on the box.

    Recommended Reading: The Hard Facts About Hard Water

  3. Cold water washing
    If you wash clothes in cold water only, the cold water should be in the range of 65-75F. If it's too cold for your hands to comfortably be in the water, it's too cold to activate the detergent.

  4. Overloading
    After the washer is loaded with clothes and then filled with water, there needs to be enough head room in the tub for the clothes to swish around in. A properly loaded washer has clothes loosely placed in the tub up to the top row of holes.

  5. Rinse-added fabric softener
    Some fabric softeners and detergents have a chemical reaction that can create white deposits (also called 'gookus') on the clothes. Try switching brands of fabric softeners or detergents or not using fabric softener at all for a couple of loads.

Well, there it is, more wisdom from On High.

To learn more about your washer or to order parts, click here.

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