Most problems people are experiencing with their front load washers are due to consumer misunderstandings about how machine should operate. Actual problems are rare, rather than inherent.
Anyone who purchases a front loader will find they have to do something that seems completely unbelievable to most North Americans. They will have to actually read operating manual.
We all seem to believe we come pre-programmed knowing proper way to operate washing machines. Our mother took five minutes one day to show us proper way to do a washing, therefore we don’t need to learn any more. Wrong! Front loading washing machines are a whole new breed.
The first thing to understand about front loaders is that most require a special detergent to operate properly. It is a low suds detergent, often referred to as “he” detergent. It means high efficiency. Tide produces a HE detergent, as does Gain and Sunlight.
Do not be tempted to use regular detergent. It will produce too much suds for a front loader. Excess suds in a front loader will interfere with its whole washing process.
Suds are basically air bubbles and by themselves do not clean anything. Excess suds in a front loader simply lay on top of water, creating a cushion or barrier between water and clothing.
While its top load cousin submerses clothes in water this machine does not. It works by picking up clothes and then dropping then into water. Excess suds will actually stop clothes from reaching water. Rather than dropping into water clothes will hit suds and not get through to water below. So if clothes rarely touch water a poor wash will result.
Compounding this misunderstanding are sales people. Many are falsely informing customers that a front loader will operate with any type of detergent.
The second consideration is that they seem to work better using a hot or warm wash temperature. A cold rinse is fine, but for wash temperature warm or hot is better.
Again let me refer to European models. They usually have a built in water heater to maintain wash and rinse temperatures. In North America we use household water tanks for hot water. For cold water we depend upon ground water temperature. This means our washing temperatures can vary drastically depending upon season. If water temperature entering machine is too cold detergent will not dissolve. This can cause a buildup of detergent inside working surfaces of machine.