Have you wondered why some of your towels and clothes just don’t seem to smell clean after a wash? Or maybe you’ve noticed that cloudy spots remained on your clothes. During the summer months, we use oil-based sunscreens and insect repellent that are absorbed into towels and clothing which is difficult to remove from fabric. Just like this article on cleaning your dishwasher, your combo washer may accumulate mildew and funk as well.
When you load dry clothes in the washer, you assume the washer dilutes the detergent evenly through the soap dispenser drawer while filling the washer. But, the detergent does not soak evenly into your clothes. You also assume the batch will be evenly cleaned. Not so.
Cleaner clothes vs. saving water?
Energy-saving combo washers, like the Splendide 2100, hype saving water and low electricity use. And their reported water usage varies from 5 to 9 gallons just for the standard to express wash cycles. If the main ingredient for cleaning clothes is water, why scrimp? Yes, I understand conserving water when you’re dry camping, but if you’re on full hook-up, use the water. Water is what makes the detergent penetrate your clothes due to the friction in the soapy water during the wash cycle.
Shortcut the wash cycle
If you feel your washer isn’t properly or evenly cleaning your clothes, try doing this first. Fill your bathroom sink with approximately two gallons of warm water. Add the recommended amount of detergent you typically use and swish the water to create suds. Add the dirtier clothes first, moving them around in the soapy water. Next, add the remaining clothes for your typical load to soak up the remaining soapy water. The clothes should be wet, but not dripping. After the clothes have absorbed the soapy water, transfer them to the washer, add your fabric softener and start your desired wash cycle. Don’t overfill your washer.
- Think of this as pre-soak for the dirtiest items.
Those tidy whities
Hint: You’re better off repeating this tip when bleaching your tidy whities rather than adding bleach through the filling drawer, which does not equally distribute the bleach.
Last tip: Every month or two, clean under the rubber gasket for excess hair, debris, mold or mildew that may accumulate. The remaining mildew around the rubber seal could be a culprit for your clothes smelling less than clean after a wash cycle. And don’t forget to occasionally clean the filter too!
Defunkify your washer
Believe it or not, your washer needs cleaning now and then too – not just your clothes. To clean your washer, dip a sponge or cleaning cloth in white vinegar and wipe under the seal. If all debris, mildew or mold is removed, wipe the seal again with a clean damp sponge.
Next, add two cups of white vinegar into the drum. Mix a cup of warm water and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of baking soda. Mix well and pour into the soap, bleach and fabric softener dispensers in the dispensing drawers. Run the cycle at the hottest temperature possible. At the end of the cycle, inspect under the rubber seal to ensure all is clean. Wipe dry and let the drum air out.