Thanks to the DOE’s “Common-sense Energy Efficiency Standards, local Energy Trust organizations, EnergyStar ratings, and the sales guy at your local big box store everyone thinks they are in the know about front load washers. If your facility has recently installed front-loading washing machines, this can be a small step to an energy efficient or water savings program, an admirable goal. However, there are major differences from the top-loaders. These differences often end up costing user’s time and money if they don’t adapt to washing machines that work under a different set of rules than they are used to. So, now that you have new front loaders, be aware how they should be used differently for the most effective wash!
Use less detergent.
Front-loading machines are energy efficient so they use less water. In order to keep their efficiency, you’ll want to make sure to use the bare amount of soap. If too much soap is used, the machine may have to add more water and time to compensate — or more likely will shut itself down and force you to run another cycle.
Load one item at a time.
In a front-loading machine, the horizontal tub rotates the wash so that, in theory, your laundry doesn’t need to be fully submerged to get clean. But that also means you shouldn’t clump the load together, overload, or even underload, or they just won’t get clean. They really can be that finicky!
Coin Meter gives tips on using front-loading washers.
Cut your drying time (maybe).
The wash cycle is longer in a front-loader, but should spin faster, so you may be able to save on your drying time. But don’t just assume this, as many front load washers handle more clothes then a top loader — which can lengthen your dry time instead.
Keep door open between loads.
These machines are prone to mold and can get a really bad smell that you don’t want on your laundry. Keeping the door open between loads can really make a big difference to ensure that the machine dries out properly. Water will also collect in the folds of the rubber gasket on the door, so this helps to air those out too.
Clean out your machines.
Wipe down the machine with watered down bleach, or run wash with vinegar and baking soda every month or so. This will get rid of extra residue and film, and help alleviate any mildew. Make sure to clean those folds of rubber gasket on the doors, to keep out that funky smell that front-loaders are famous for.
Don’t use Tide Pods or other pod detergents.
The pod detergents don’t dissolve well anyway, but this is especially true for these machines that uses a lot less water. The convenience is not worth the hassle.
If you’ve recently installed front-loading washing machines, we suggest you post a list of these guidelines in your community laundry room, so that your residents know how to use the new machines properly. And if you’re still thinking about getting front-loaders, we highly recommend you weigh your options carefully, as it might not benefit your residents or property the way you hope it will! Give Coin Meter a call, and we can help you determine if it makes sense to make the switch.