Real washing machines

We've pretty much had it with our HE front loader. It's a GE and that may be part of the problem. But it is a piece of junk, only 2 1/2 years old and of course, made in China. It doesn't clean well, it doesn't rinse well and it takes forever to clean a load. We routinely add the 2nd rinse. And in many cases, we will put the cloths through a 2nd no soap cycle, just to provide some extra rinsing. I've read on the internet (sometime a dangerous thing) that rinsing with warm water does a better job at removing soap residue than with cold water. However, you can't rinse with warm water on this and many other new machines, even the "fill the tub machines." I am looking for an old fashioned top loader that actually uses a tub full of water to wash cloths .... you know, like it's been done for centuries. I understand that in a few years, these will be gone, just like filament light bulbs. Even now, many of the top loaders are just reincarnations of the HE front loaders, just turned 90 degrees. But there are still a few of the good old units out there. Any comments on the good old, fill the tub with water, top loaders?
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It seems we usually get what we pay for . . . Discriminating people usually prefer European-designed front loaders which wash better than common US designs partly because they wash longer (typically 40 min. and 20 min. respectively.) About 10-15 years ago US suppliers also introduced front-loaders, much cheaper than the imports so they captured a fraction of the market, but apparently with the short timing to which US consumers were habituated. Brands like Miele still use long wash cycles, thus wash better, but remain also more expensive.
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Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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On Mon, 30 Jan 2012 09:51:24 -0500, Don Phillipson wrote:

I grew up in the UK; front-loaders were normal - top-loaders pretty much disappeared back in the '70s. The front-loaders always seemed to do what they needed to do - they didn't leak, didn't smell funny, they were quiet, and they got stuff clean...
However, warm-water washes were typical - I was quite surprised when I moved to the US and most folk were just washing with cold water using antique-looking (to my eyes) top-loaders. I wonder if the temperature makes a huge difference to seal life, and keeping internals clean so they don't smell etc., and that's the root cause of problems with US machines (rather than poor build or design)
US front-loaders seem outrageously expensive in comparison to European ones, though; I think last time I looked the cost after currency conversion was about 50% more to buy a machine in the US that (supposedly) does just the same job as one from Europe (this was comparing basic models rather than stuff like Miele). So "you get what you pay for" is perhaps a little misleading, because manufacturers in the US *should* be able to build a functional product for a lot less.
You're right about load times though I think - I do recall UK machines taking somewhere around the time that you suggest (certainly somewhere between 30 minutes and an hour for a full load). In the older days it was common practice to load the machine at night and have it on a timer so that it would run at night on cheap electricity (but when electronic timers became common, not all machines would allow pre-setting of controls, or they'd power up OK but need a 'start' button manually poking before they'd start washing)
Personally we've got an old Kenmore top-loader which cost me $50 and runs a load or two per day, and which I'll keep running until the supply of spare parts dries up (not likely to happen for a few decades, I expect) - it does what it needs to do. Uses a lot of water, of course, but I'm on a private well, so the only 'hit' is the (minor) cost of running the well pump.
cheers
Jules
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On Mon, 30 Jan 2012 16:28:57 +0000 (UTC), Jules Richardson

In Pennsylvania, my mother bought a front loader in 1946 or 47. When we moved in 1957, she bought a top loader, a Whirlpool, very similar to the Kenmore/Whirlpool that was bought for my house in 1979

I thought the reason was to save money heating the water. Used to be soap and detergents wouldn't dissolve in cold water.

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On 1/30/2012 8:42 AM, Art Todesco wrote:

...
We replaced the ancient GE recently w/ one their current-generation toploaders.
It hasn't been 20 years yet, like the old one, but so far (year, roughly) it has been quite satisfactory. Only time will tell on longevity... :)
AFAICT there are no new toploaders available that don't have at least some of the new energy-efficiency mandates incorporated.
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On 1/30/2012 9:42 AM, Art Todesco wrote:

We replaced our old GE a couple of years ago with a top loading Maytag. The Maytag uses less water and takes a bigger load along with being quieter. The clothes get just as clean.
I refused to get a front loader figuring if it lasted a long time, the first thing to go would be the seal.
There was nothing wrong with our old GE but it was over 20 years old. I learned through experience with other manufacturers that what was once a good product line can be a POS today. In this case we relied on the appliance dealer we deal with whose repairman know the current machines.
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I, like many other old timers, tend to agree.
My last washer/dryer set was on old top loading GE, the design GE pushed for a couple decades, the one with the white hubcap seive filter on top of the agitator and an all enameled tub. I had it for years and despite having to replace the transmission once and the tub seal once, both were rather inexpensive simple fixes for mechancically inclined me. They both worked brilliantly and always got my clothes clean.
I now use a co-op's Maytag front loaders. While they seem to do an adequate job of getting my clothes clean, they always leave a couple gals of water in the bottom of the machine. During the Winter, these machines sometimes sit idle for a week or so and you can smell that standing rancid water from previous uses. Not a good sign.
As I understand it, Consumer Reports did a recent issue on the state of new washers. I hear it was not positive, they claiming almost no current washers cleaned as well as washers from a couple decades ago.
I remember my late farm-raised step mom washing clothes back in the '60s. She continued to use an ancient '40s all manual washer, so old it still had an attached roller wringer (motorized) which she hand fed rinsed clothes --after manually draining the wash water and refilling with rinse water!-- refusing to allow a new fangled automatic washer into her otherwise modern '60s home, as they were junk and didn't clean fer dammit. Seems perceptions haven't change much in half a century. ;)
nb
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On Mon, 30 Jan 2012 15:56:27 +0000, notbob wrote:

:-) I remember my grandparents had a machine like that which they used well into the 80s (possibly into the 90s too, I certainly don't remember anything replacing it). I *think* their machine had two separate tubs, one for washing and one for rinsing, but I could be wrong. The wringers were called mangles over there, for good reason.
In the summer, clothes would be hung out on the line, in the winter I think they must have just done everything (v. slowly) on drying racks in the house.
cheers
Jules
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No doubt!
My step mom wouldn't let me get anywhere near 'em, for fear of them mangling my young digits. I saw her get her fingers caught and mangled a couple times, but she was experienced and quick and would pop a strategically located safety latch releasing the wringer rollers fully apart before suffering any serious injury other than a painful pinch. It appeared the wringers were also spring loaded and could be tension adjusted to separate slightly in case something more meaty than wet cotton ran between them. Being so young, I never got to explore the exact working intricacies of that intriguing machine. ;)
nb
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wrote:

1) Sounds like your Co-op washers don't drain properly There should be minimal standing water 2) The new front-loaders use about a third of the water top loaders use. EVEN WHEN they do multiple wash and rinse cycles They also need less detergent. Between 1/3 to 2/3 less.
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On 1/30/2012 9:42 AM, Art Todesco wrote:

We have a GE, made in Malaysia (about 10 minutes away from a samsung washing machine factory I've read), 4 cubic foot, 2 year old front loader and we like it. Uses about 15 to 17 US gallons per load compared with the GE top loader it replaced that was 47-50 gals. We have a water softener that can give us water usage.
We use strictly cold water except the occassional all whites load which is warm
We always follow the soap manufactuer's instructions. Some HE soaps are 2x or 3x or 4x or 5x concentrate in so we measure exactly.
We do about 4 full loads a week. Average washing time is about 60 minutes, rarely under because we usually use added rinse. Average drying time with a GE 7.2 cubic foot 18 000 BTU gas dryer is 31 minutes. I work in a factory setting so I always have to wash heavy cotton and demin clothes.
And although I doubt the washer will last much beyond 10 years, it's savings in water and electricity use PLUS the savings from the gas dryer, will pay for the replacement.
That's just our expierence at home. There maybe better machines that ours, but we've been very happy with our GE Front loader.
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Art Todesco wrote:

Front load HE tilt drums are just fine, it is low quality units of any style that are the problem. My Maytag tilt drum HE washer is going on 9 years old and does just fine. Top loaders use more water, more energy, can snag and damage clothes, you can't fit big blankets and they don't dry as well (high speed spin) and thus use more energy on the drying side as well (unless you air dry).
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Our co-op has the tilt Maytags. Never fully empties. Water sits and becomes rancid/stale and stinks. Jes what I need! ....a washer that starts out with smelly old water.
I think not.
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notbob wrote:

Sharing laundry equipment with others - I think not. The unknown of who used the machine last far outweighs any other issue. My washer runs at least once a week and I haven't had any stale water issues.
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This is what I recommend. It is the same one that coin operated laundries use.
http://www.google.com/products/catalog?pq=speed+queen+washer&hl=en&sugexp=pfwl&tok=acg8NN6XeFMSVK1hZIOhdg&ds=pr&cp=28&gs_id=3&xhr=t&q=speed+queen+washer&gs_upl=&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&biw=1366&bih=628&wrapid=tljp132798917145620&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=10224974119734718372&sa=X&ei=s4EnT7qSEcGQiAL05cm9AQ&sqi=2&ved=0CJEBEPMCMAI #
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