What You Should Know About Front-Loading Washers

Front-loading washing machines have become a hot commodity in recent years for several reasons, one of them being their looks. Attractive and available in an assortment of bold colors, who wouldn’t want one?

The only negatives seem to be their initial cost and their up-keep. Front-loaders can run up to $500 more than the traditional washers. Add more to that if you opt for a pedestal base.

As for the upkeep, they do require more maintenance than the old-style washing machines. This is something that most often goes overlooked for the average buyer until they have a problem. Why? Probably because the salesmen neglect to inform potential buyers of what will happen should they not take proper care of their new front-loading washer.

If you have never owned a front-loading washer, here is some information you should review about how to treat these types of machines.

On this style of washer, there can be residual moisture left after a wash cycle that can be a breeding ground for odors and mold if not attended to properly.

Front-loaders can have a tendency to build up residue on the rubber door gasket, and the soap/fabric softener reservoir. Most owner’s manuals just tell you to wipe the rubber with a clean cloth after you have finished, but a few extra steps will make more of a difference:

• Try to remember to leave the washer’s door and the detergent/fabric softener dispenser door open when you have finished the laundry for the day. This way, it can air out and the remaining water can evaporate.

• Stick with liquid HE detergents, as they will leave behind fewer residues. Also, try not to use fabric softener excessively – maybe opt for dryer sheets instead. Fabric softeners have been known to leave behind a greasy residue.

• If your washer has a cleaning cycle, be sure to follow the directions and run it as often as required. If not, be sure to occasionally run a hot wash with bleach every so often. There are also other retail products available that help keep your washer clean and smelling fresh.

• Never leave a wet washload in the washer overnight; remove it when the washing cycle is complete and leave the door open.

• Check the gasket just inside the door opening and remove any visible debris.

If you are not willing to take this extra care of your washer, then you should really consider the traditional top-loading washer. Additionally, if your household has small children, you should be aware that they might find a front-loading washer a place to play hide-and-seek, which of course is very dangerous.