Thursday, January 10, 2013

Consumer Question: Washer doesn't get clothes clean

Just wanted to start out by saying, I love your column, it's my favorite item to read in the observer.  Now the problem, for the past year or so, when I do laundry, some of my clothes come out with what looks like grease stains on them.  They are predominantly on solid color cotton/fleece material.  These clothes do not have these stains when they enter the washer, but after I retrieve them from the dryer, I have to treat and re-wash.  So, bottom line is, I really don't know if the problem lies in the washer or dryer because it doesn't happen every time.  I have researched on the internet, and saw the familiar causes, commericial fabric softener, which I haven't used in about 10 years. I use white vinegar as my fabric softener.   Dryer sheets, again, haven't used in 10 years.  I use the blue balls with nubby's on them. The other possibility I've read about is oil being deposited from the washer.  My washer is going to be 20 years old in April 2013, it's a kitchen aid top loader and up to this point, have never had any need for service on it, it's been great!  Have wanted to get new washer because of stains, but after reading your articles and speaking with many people who have front/top loader HE machines, I am now on the fence.  At this point, I'm seriously thinking of having the washer refurbed, realizing that it will probably cost me the same as a new washer and keeping it as long as it can run.  I just watched that video on the purewash eco-friendly laundry system, and I've emailed them to purchase one. So, in conclusion, do you think it would be a wise investment to refurb the washer and keep it or purchase new?

Can't wait to hear from you,

Hi Jill, thanks for your note and the kind words.
You’ve stated your case very well which leads me to say: Your washer is most likely the culprit. Transmission oil is coming up the shaft and into the tub. A qualified technician could rebuild this washer at a cost of around $500.00 but I do not recommend you go that route. The reason I say this is simple.

The metal in this machine has been affected by all these years of use. You have corrosion factors that will be disturbed when you start the rough procedure of taking it apart. Some areas are prone to leak after it is put back together which won’t be covered by any kind of warranty and in the end it will turn into a waste of your money. I suggest you look at the Speed Queen top load washer which is made the old fashioned way without electronics. Look at my web site and go to Joe’s Picks. It is only carried at a few dealers in the area and you will see them on my website. Thanks again for your comments.
 Joe Gagnon. 

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