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.
I use white vinegar in every washload as a fabric softener and my laundry has no more sour funky smell. I use about 1/3 to 1/2 a cup per washload. When we wintered in Florida we did not realize their water stinks like sulfer water. I had an awfyl time getting that stink out of my towels and clothes, but continued using white vinegar in every washload and that awful smell is finally gone! Google and read about white vinegar to soften clothes before you leave a nasty comment back on this method.
We called Splendide when our drying times increased. They gave us a procedure much like what Wanda gave below, but without adding anything but water and repeating til water was up to the halfway point on the door, then running a long cycle. It seems with our model, you need to run water through it to get the lint out of the filter, which is designed for water to clear the filter and carry the lint down the drain. The filter isn’t easy to access on this model, and using water saving modes all the time doesn’t keep it clean.
I’ve had my Splendid 2100XC (vented) since the summer of 2018. When drying times increased we started doing the flush out method: I add 2 cups of white vinegar to the drum, then start the unit without clothes in it on Cycle 11; when water stops entering the unit, press and hold “Start” button until all lights on the panel come on then release button; move the dial to 2; press the extra rinse once. Run cycle. In 2019 we took the unit out and cleaned out the rear vent area. I now do the flush method monthly. The machine is very heavy and difficult to take out of the cabinet (with just my husband and I) so we constructed a wooden paltform to slide it onto to work on it. We were then able to do this ourselves. I just did the method suggested in this article and the machine smells great (it had started to get a moldy smell, even though I dry out the rim after every wash). I plan to do both monthly and in the near future clean out the vent area again to keep unit running optimal.
Can’t believe no one is adding baking soda to every wash & really get their clothes clean & smelling fresh! Baking soda is the fix-all for cleaning, sometimes mixing with vinegar, but be careful when using vinegar as it has its downfalls!
I installed the Splendide washer/dryer combo this spring and have zero issues with using liquid detergent as the manufacturer suggested. One key is no more than 50% full load. I mainly use the express cycle with no issues. Regardless of the process someone uses, having a washer/dryer in our 5er is a game changer for traveling!
Amen Leonard. I agree
We switched to detergent sheets and really like them. The clothes are fresher and softer. No drippy messy bottle or bulky plastic jug to throw away either. Easy to use and good for our environment. Win win!