During my trip to the Bosch showroom, I was most interested in finding out how to maintain a front loading washer. I suppose I was told pretty much exactly what I thought I’d be told, but it was nice to hear it from someone else. Be proactive about caring for your washer.
Bosch says that when they receive customer complaints about mold, it’s usually because of the consumer using too much detergent, and not the fault of the machine. I do believe that sometimes we all believe that more detergent is better.
In the application of a front loading laundry machine, it certainly is not. Because front loaders are so water efficient, if you overload your laundry with detergent, it’s not going to wash out. It won’t totally wash out of your washer, nor your clothing. When the residue is left in your washer, it’s got dirt and grime lodged in with it too which becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. Here’s the bottom line:
Use the hottest temperature of water that you are comfortable with and use as little detergent as possible.
Detergent Amount: Chris, our Bosch rep, says that he personally never fills his detergent measuring cap higher than the lowest line. That’s what I’ve been practicing lately, because I’m mold paranoid.
Use only HE detergents. HE (high efficiency) detergents are low sudsing and though regular detergents say they can be used in front loading washers, you might get the amount wrong and over suds the load of laundry. I get the feeling the amount of regular detergent you’re supposed to use in a front loader is less than what the detergent brand might recommend. That’s a guess on my part.
Gasket: He also suggested wiping down the gasket once a month. I’ve been wiping my LG gasket down religiously and now I think I’ve wiped the plastic seal a little out of shape. The door is leaking now. So when you wipe your gasket, be gentle. I was scrubbing mold though.
Hot Water Cycle: Run the hottest possible cycle through the washer every so often to kill bacteria (I can’t remember what frequency he suggested) but I do it whenever I remember.
Leave Door Open?: About leaving the washer door open for air – he said that if you take the above care measures, you shouldn’t have to do this. It’s kind of a hazard and I find it annoying.
Remember, Chris was talking about Bosch washers so all this might not apply to yours. I admit that I’m skeptical maintenance is this “easy”, but the Bosch Vision washer is much more advanced and easier to clean than mine, especially the gunk in the detergent trays.
My take home message is that whenever you accidentally leave laundry in overnight, or maybe use a bit too much detergent for the amount of clothes in the load, get on the case right away. Run an extremely hot cycle, use Affresh or similar. Be proactive because once you get mold in your washer, it’s extremely difficult to get rid of.
Do you have any front loading washer tips? Please share!