Front Loader Washing Machine Tips

Recently I wrote about my New Sorting Clean Laundry Routine.  I am looking at buying a new washing machine and am considering a front loader. I asked this lovely community what you thought of Front Loader Washing Machines, as I have heard many mixed stories, particularly that they harbour a lot of mould around the door seal. I got so many great responses that I thought it would be a good idea to collate them all here and share them with you.

Front loader washing machines are becoming more and more popular, here are a few front loader washing machine tips if you are thinking of buying one.

More tips: How to clean a front loader washing machine.

Front Loader Washing Machine Tips

I am very happy with my front loader Kat. When I first got it (about 4 years ago) I compared one of the kids school polos washed in my old machine (top loader) and one washed in my new and there was a definite difference e.g. no bobbles! Even my husband was amazed. Having said that I know some of the new top loaders have different agitators now so they wash more like a front loader. The things I love are saving water, cleaner clothes (as explained above) and the delayed timer switch – put washing in the night before and set the time when you want the load finished, so great to get up the next morning and the washing is ready to hang out. I have never had a mouldy door, but I never use fabric softener, I am pretty sure it is the cause of mould in washing machines. I have been using a front loader for 10 years. ~ Sarah

I was worried about hearing that front loader doors developed mould also, but I was advised to always use warm water to prevent it – and have never had a problem in 5+ years of using a front loader ~ Vanessa

We have a front loader and it used to be that if the clothes sat in the washer all night they would get a funky mouldy smell. Kind of like old gym gear? We now add a tablespoon of Canesten Hygiene Laundry Rinse in with smellier washes (eg gym clothes) and just every now and again if we think we need it. Smells all gone. I find our front loader SLOW which is why we wash overnight. Check washing times. Shortest full wash takes owner 1.5hrs on ours. ~ Jennifer

I always leave the door and detergent drawer slightly ajar after each load. This allows everything to dry out, no mould and no musty smell. Love my front loader and dryer sitting on top! ~ Adrienne

I leave my front loader door open between washes to prevent mould developing and musty smells. I don’t use fabric softener. I am also on the Gold Coast (north). I love the front opening, but found the machine was very low, making me bend too far to load and unload. (I’m not a spring chick any more!). We now have it sitting on a square table with the dryer above (I do need to use a step to put clothes in the dryer, and get clothes out though – I have short legs!! Lol!) ~ Helen Davey

I love my front loader – wish I’d had it when my four children were young! It saves water, is gentler on clothes but cleans better and has features like delayed start and short wash. I hardly ever use the long cycles as the washing rarely needs it! My only negative would be cleaning the rubber door seal as it constantly holds water and becomes a grime catcher. I’d love other people’s hints to prevent this? ~ Roz

I have a dark purple hand towel. After each load I wipe the excess water & grime out from the seal. And then leave the towel hanging over the door, leaving it open between loads prevents mould. :)… the towel over the door dries between loads, and I wash it with the towels 🙂 ~ the purple towel


Do you have any advice about Front Loader Washing Machines?

Which brand would you recommend?


I’m still on the fence deciding whether to invest in a front loader or the old faithful top loader.

 

 

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49 comments

Janette May 9, 2016 - 12:24 PM

I do a ten minute spin cycle after the last load to ensure there is no water left over. And I also leave the door open.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife May 16, 2016 - 9:36 AM

clever idea Janette!

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Helen May 9, 2016 - 12:41 PM

Hi Kat,
I love my front loader. It’s a Bosch one, was one of the cheaper ones and gets a massive workout with our family of 5. I find it washes far better than a top loader and is very convenient space wise as we have our dryer on top. My tips are – use a very small amount of powder. Much less than a top loader. We use about a tablespoon. Also with the door seal, put a dishcloth sponge in the door and leave it slightly ajar in between uses. That will soak up any excess moisture. Also, I use a very short cold water wash (45 mins) and this sorts out everything from muddy footy gear to cloth nappies. I also find that it is much easier on clothes. Cheaper clothes now last longer.
I hope this helps!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife May 16, 2016 - 9:38 AM

A sponge is a great tip Helen, thank you.

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lynette May 9, 2016 - 12:45 PM

Can you spin dry only in a front loader?

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Helen May 9, 2016 - 2:33 PM

You sure can ?

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Kathryn May 9, 2016 - 1:03 PM

Hi Kat,
I have a BOSCH front loader and whilst I would agree that they do wash your clothes well there are a few things that they don’t do. Sometimes I like to hand wash items and just give it a quick spin to get some of the moisture out. Even though the machine does have a ‘hand wash’ cycle I find this to harsh on some materials. Often the spin cycle won’t allow you to spin just one or even a few items. The machine needs to have a a fuller load or a number of towels added just to spin one item. The other thing I miss is being able to soak my white bath towels overnight in Napisan, fully covered in water and then wash them the next day. You can’t do this with a front loader. The water doesn’t cover the whole load. As a mum of young children there are always things that need to have that soaking period before you wash it. It really miss this feature. You also need to be aware that the load indicator is in no way related to the number of items you can actually put into a front loader. Where it might say 8kg, this really translates to about 4/5 bath towels before the drum becomes stressed and overworked. This can mean that you do more loads, which technically counter-act the water saving factor. I love my front loader and whilst I did initially purchase it for its water saving features there are now a number of excellent top loaders that have the same water saving capacity. I guess I will just have to wait for my front loader to die before I purchase my next top loader.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife May 16, 2016 - 9:39 AM

Thank you so much Kathryn for these fabulous tips, yes I like to soak whites overnight too, especially the kids school clothes.

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Jaqueline May 9, 2016 - 1:17 PM

I’ve always had a Simpson top loader and never had a problem. 4 years ago I switched to a Simpson front loader. It’s saves water and cleans the clothes really well. However it puts holes in my tshirt. My first machine lasted 2 years unfortunately. I’m onto my second machine and it’s no better. Can have it on a higher rinse cycle because it moves. Had it serviced but it makes no difference

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Janette Clarke May 9, 2016 - 1:45 PM

I run an old tea towel inside the rubber seal where the water congregates. A little later I remove said tea towel or even a washer will do the trick… never have a smell this way as rubber seal is dried….,

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Saira May 9, 2016 - 3:56 PM

I’m really surprised to read all these stories! In the uk we got rid of top loaders in the 70’s, I guess we generally have smaller houses so space is an issue. I’ve used front loaders all my life. I’ve used them for babies nappies, all the mess that goes with babies, totally muddy football gear, normal family washing, I’ve used it to boil wash, just rinse, just spin, to wash at 30 degrees centigrade….they’re fab! My current machine is a combined washing machine and tumble drier which is handy in the winter.

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Mandy May 9, 2016 - 11:47 PM

We have a Samsung front loader which makes more sense space-wise in our very small laundry than our old top loader. My biggest complaint with it is the length of the cycle – the shortest cycle is 55 minutes, up from about 30 minutes with the top loader.

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Kylie May 10, 2016 - 6:50 AM

Hello Kat
I have a front loader – love how it washes the clothes but the way it washes leaves towels hard and you have to tumble dry for 15 mins before hanging out, is a real pain. I have the mould problem, can’t add to cycle problem, still quite wet when washed problem and length of wash problem. I have a tiny cupboard laundry so had to have a front loader to fit a dryer in as well. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t be that buzzed to get another – kind of feel it’s a status thing “I have a front loader” like Mountain Buggies and fitbits!!!!!!!!!!! Having said this a friend has a Miele one and that was amazing – I would 100% recommend that!!!! The clothes come out SO clean and well spun (mine almost drip which is a pain in winter!) that literally take an hour to dry on the line and her line is under cover! That doesn’t have the towel issue

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Saira May 10, 2016 - 3:58 PM

Kylie, look at spin speeds…my top spin is 1600 rpm but some sold here, in the uk are only 900 …that makes a massive difference. I’ve never ever heard of your towel problem, have you tried using a bit of conditioner? Or if you don’t like the chemicals them white vinegar works just as well. Leave the door ajar when you’ve finished so everything can dry out properly to prevent mould. If you give it a good clean once over to get rid of the mould and then leave the door open a little to let it dry you should notice the difference.

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Carol May 10, 2016 - 6:33 PM

Hi Kylie, the mouldy smell happens when you use the cold water wash all the time. When I first got my macine, I used the warm wash cycles all the time, then decided to change to cold water washes only and that’s when I noticed the smell. Since gong back to warm washes there is no mouldy smell. I guess you could do alternate warm & cold washes. My Samsung front loader has spin cycles that can be increased so I use the Quick cycle and increase the spin speed. With my Samsung, you can also stop it mid cycle to add more items (unusual feature for a front loader). I think the only downside to a front loader is that the length of the shortest cycle takes a minimum of 41 minutes which is TOO long.

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Nat May 10, 2016 - 7:30 AM

Hi,
I love front loaders!
I’ve had a few and they’ve all had different pros and cons but I’ve found the pros usually outweigh the cons and you learn to work around things like not being able to add the wash etc (btw, some machines do have an option to pause a cycle and add to the load before a certain point in the cycle).
I currently have a Bosch. I did a fair bit of research of the machines in my price range and this is what I chose.

Mine has a small load 15min cycle which I love!!! It’s great on water, uses less detergent and takes up less space. I have mine on a front loader drawer which adds storage space too. Whenever I wash clothes in anyone’s top loader I find that my clothes end up with fluff and stuff on the dark clothes particularly. Front loaders don’t have these problems.
Hope you have success!!

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Gracy Prestin May 10, 2016 - 7:34 AM

I have had front loaders for well over 30 years and love them! I’ve only had 3 in that time. The first a Hoover lasted forever ( there was only a Comice of 2 back then – the other Miele, which I couldnt afford). My second asks was fine but I was disappointed. I love my current LG direct drive! I always leave the door open between washes and had No mould problems. Washes are long but you plan & work around that. I find the hand wash cycle fabulous. The spin dry is so good cutting drying time. The current machines offer so much mor variety than the old ones did!

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Hala May 10, 2016 - 7:42 AM

I recently needed a new washing machine. Loved the front loaders,, but hated the mouldy seal problem so much, that I was prepared to go back to top loaders. Then I found they make a front loader with hardly any rubber seal for that specific problem. But only one brand on the market does that Asko. It is more expensive than the other brands. Made in Denmark apparently the expense is for the gears in the motor. So I went with that one. Hope it lasts. My previous one was Electrolux only lasted for the warranty period

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Melissa May 10, 2016 - 8:37 AM

I love front loaders! Our first was an ASKO and it lasted around 15yrs and was only replaced earlier this year, with a Miele (base model front loader). Both machines have a delicates/hand wash and I always use this for my wool suits and then hang them up and give them a light press. Same with silk shirts hardly need to go to the dry cleaner! No problems with smells, but I do leave the front door ajar when its not in use to let it dry out (the dealers recommended we do this for both machines). Mostly use cold washes too. Yes sometimes the cycles are a little long but I’m usually putting through a load most days and put the machine on in the morning before I go to work or as soon as I get home so it’s not a problem for us.

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Kathryn May 10, 2016 - 11:21 AM

Hi Kat
We’ve had front load washers for as long as I can remember, our first Simpson lasted forever! We currently have a Samsung front loader & love it, we’re on tank water so water saving is a must, I’ve not had a problem with moldy smells, I use white vinegar in the final rinse & no fabric softener, so I’m not sure if that makes a difference & once I actually worked out how to use the cycles I found the shortest run time was actually 30 mins, not the 57 that I’d been using, although the 30 min wash is cold water.

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Kaycee May 10, 2016 - 11:33 AM

I recently (10 months ago) upgraded to a front loader and would definitely recommend it! As a family of 7, it gets a fair work out and after 10 months I still love it.
I did get a Miele one after alot of reading reviews and listening to word of mouth – yes they are more expensive – but in my opinion so worth the extra money.
We were amazed at how much cleaner the washing came out than in my top loader, and also how much drier it was, cutting down on drying time as well 🙂
I have never had a mould or smell issue at all, and don’t bother drying it out, but i do leave the door ajar, and also use a warm wash as this is meant to stop the mould and smell issue.
My machine has a 20min wash which is great for just freshening up those things that really don’t need a full wash, but do need something. Also has an option of a shorter cycle for each of the programmes, as simple as pressing the button labelled ‘short’.
Also, I can open mine during a wash, simply by pressing and holding the door button, and then once the door is closed again it resumes from where it left off.
The only thing I don’t like about it – and it is a very petty thing – is that it has to be turned on at the power button to be able to open the door….but easily done!!! (eg, been out and the wash has finished and timed out before I get home, then have to press the power button and let it wake up before I can open the door to get the load out)
I do have a sister with a front loader that is a different brand, and it nearly put me off a front loader forever – so def do your homework!!!

I love my machine, am very pleased with my decision to go to a front loader, and would recommend it!!!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife May 16, 2016 - 9:33 AM

Kaycee, thank you for sharing your tip, I didn’t realise they come out dryer, this is great to know especially as I have a smaller line now and there have been days I want to dry more than the line can hold. Quite a few have recommended the Miele, Asko or LG.

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Trish May 11, 2016 - 7:53 PM

Hi Kat,
I bought an Asko front loader 15 years ago and it is still going strong and no problems whatsoever. I will definitely buy another Asko. I love it.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife May 16, 2016 - 9:18 AM

That’s brilliant Trish 15 years and still going strong!

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Jess May 11, 2016 - 11:37 PM

Front loader recent convert here! AEG 10kg incredible machine- well worth it.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife May 16, 2016 - 9:18 AM

Thanks for sharing your recommendation Jess

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Kristin S October 30, 2016 - 2:55 PM

Hi Jess, I’ve just purchased the AEG 10kg & my clothes always come out really wrinkled & my towels dry hard. They also never smell nice like the detergent I use. Do you have any tips I could use? After 2 weeks I wish I could return it ?? Most expensive & worst purchase I’ve made in a while & I researched for months! Disappointed is an understatement!

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Saira October 30, 2016 - 7:01 PM

Are you using fabric conditioner? I know lots of people were telling you not to but I’ve been using it in the UK for most of my adult life (I’m now 47) without ruining any front loaders! Just do a hot wash once in a while to keep everything lovely – the fabric conditioner will work better than vinegar on your towels.
Re the wrinkling….. are you stuffing too much in? Although it says 10kg the clothes still need room to move and swish about…. you could also try a lower spin speed (but that would take longer for the clothes to dry).

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Kristin November 1, 2016 - 2:39 PM

Thanks Saira, no i’ve not used fabric conditioner, haven’t used it in my previous machine (top loader) as I did with my first & it created a black scum in the drum that would leave yucky marks all over my clothes & I didn’t want that to happen again! Also have been told by a number of repairers not to use it. I don’t think i’m stuffing too much in. I purchased the 10kg so I could wash more in 1 wash than my old 8kg would (young kids to wash for!) & I can barely fit anymore in. No way could I ever fit 10kg into it! 🙁 I have only been using the 1000rpm spin as the 1400 & 1200 were waaay too hard & the 800rpm leaves clothes too wet. Thanks for your comments though!

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Saira November 1, 2016 - 5:38 PM

I know the “black scum” you mean and I have a theory about where it comes from but have no experience on top loaders so it might not be right! I don’t get the scum in the drum but I have had it in the drawer. I think it’s when the powder (I use that because my kids were sensitive so found one that worked and stuck with it blah de blah) and the conditioner mix – so if I slop it around then it goes gunky in the drawer and mouldy quite quickly – if I’m more careful it can be a year before it arrives. The drawers come out and you can give them a clean in warm soapy water once in a while to keep the scum/mould away.
Are you wanting soft and fluffy like hotel type towels? To do that I have to get the towels nearly dry then throw them in the tumble dryer for a little bit to plump them up. With conditioner I’m happy with their softness most of the time though. I squash things in quite badly, use the 1400 spin and then give things a shake before I hang them to dry. I really wouldn’t be too worried about the conditioner – everyone in the UK uses it, we also use frontloaders and have done since the 70’s….. conditioner wrecking machines isn’t a thing over here. We do get warnings aboutlimescale build up from the water and are advised to used vinegar or something like “calgon” on a hot wash now and again.

Sofie May 12, 2016 - 6:15 AM

Hello everybody. Here in Belgium everybody uses a front loader. Best brand is Miele (german) mould and soap residu can be prevented by doing a Hot wash at 90°c/hottest temperature available to killer all gems that stay behind at lower temperatures. Cycles are longer but use less water. Mke sure to get a big one, loads of 9kg and such to be bleek to wash your own duvets/family sized loads

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife May 16, 2016 - 9:18 AM

Great tips, thank you for sharing Sofie

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Anne Berry May 13, 2016 - 10:16 AM

I love my front loader. Only tip I got was to never use fabric softer from the repair man as it damages the machine slowly.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife May 16, 2016 - 9:10 AM

Great tip Anne, yes many are saying not to use fabric softener, I have used vinegar in my top loader but I have just read that somebody says it’s not good for the front loaders, so will do some more research.

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Lyn May 13, 2016 - 11:55 AM

My first front loader is a Miele (basic model) and I love it. Uses so much less detergent and water. I use the 30 minute cycle 99% of the time – my clothes don’t really get dirty. I also leave the door open between washes. I don’t own a dryer and hang my clothes under cover and find I don’t have to iron very much at all compared to my old top loader. The man who installed it told me it should last up to 20 years!! I hope he’s right. I would highly recommend it. However, I wouldn’t get a washer/dryer combined in one machine as it seems the dryers take all day.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife May 16, 2016 - 9:09 AM

20 years, now that would be a great investment Lyn! Ooh that’s good to know about the combo machines.

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Kirstyn May 13, 2016 - 12:07 PM

More Front Loader advice; a washing machine service guy once told me to periodically (maybe 3 monthly) run the hottest cycle available, without any clothes. This will give the mechanism (I think he called it a ‘spider’) a good rinse off. Apparently surplus laundry powder can build up and eat away at the mechanism. In theory, this should increase the life of your machine. He also said you really only need to use about half the amount of washing powder the laundry powder companies suggest. I err on the side of caution and use about 1/2 – 2/3rds the suggested amount and my clothes come up beautifully. (I do, however, throw in a dose of napisan with everything but darks/denims). To play devil’s advocate though, once a Front Loader cycle starts, there’s no adding extra items in part way through (as you can with a Top Loader). So that sock that you didn’t notice you’d dropped, will have to wait til the next cycle!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife May 16, 2016 - 9:07 AM

That’s a great tip Kirstyn, it would also give the drum a good clean as well.

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Trish May 13, 2016 - 2:51 PM

Hi we brought an Asko front loader after our top loader fisher and paykel died(We had it for over 10 years). I had done a lot of shopping around and I love the fact that the Asko don’t have the big glass door and huge deep rubber seal so it helps with the mould and smell that the seals sometimes get.I found the machine is actually bigger in the bowl as the door doesn’t have to fit in, so this means you can fit more washing in it. You can adjust the wash cycles to suit, so you can change the temp, spin speed etc on all the wash cycles. A quick was for me is 45 min, with cold water and a spin of 1600rpm, so that’s pretty good. It also has the delay start. I’m very happy with my purchase and like others have said I don’t use fabric softener.Also you can add to the wash if it has started, you just push the stop button, when you here the door release click you can then open the door to add to the washing. Hope this helps,Trish

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife May 16, 2016 - 8:57 AM

Thank you for sharing Trish, i hadn’t thought about the space the door is taking up inside the bowl and great to know that this one you can pause and add clothing, as many don’t do this, thank you for sharing your tips.

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Ingrid May 15, 2016 - 6:32 AM

Hi Kat, I have just gone through the same as you, always had a top loader and it recently died after 14 years of getting a workout with a family of 5~I asked friends and family their recommendations as to top v front and there were mixed reactions. I found that some who had front loaders over 4-5 years had less features, whereas now technology and flaws have improved. I had an LG top loader 8.5 kg and have purchased an LG front loader 10kg. Most people that are complaining of mold, a few different salesman gave us great tips when researching: fabric softener is designed to be used at a min of 30 degrees, i always washed in cold water but my new machine starts at 30degress depending on which cycle, and gets hotter, the display shows when you choose which wash type. My shortest cycle is 30 minutes, so yes it definitely saves water. School clothes for example, arent grotty week in week out, so a 30 min cycle alternating would be fine. We buy our washing powder from Godfreys, by the 20kg bucket, which suits front and top loaders as its low sud forming, so i didnt have to replace our powder when switching. I heard a great tip to use vinegar in my previous machine, but apparently that is a big no no, so back to fabric softener with a hotter wash to activate the softener. Yes you may bend over more with a front loader but apparently Aldi bring out stands for less than $100, much cheaper than the traditional ones sold, ill keep my eye out. I also have a microfible cloth that sits on top, i use this to dry any water after the final wash., and leave the door open to vent. After 3 weeks since purchase, I havent had any smells or mold issues (yes early days, but my laundry is a good soze, so plenty of air getting through), and I love this machine. Im converted!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife May 16, 2016 - 8:53 AM

Thank you so much Ingrid for sharing your recommendation, I didn’t know you can purchase stands for the washer, this can be good for those with back issues. My brother owns a Godfrey’s store and really loves the washing detergent, my mum used to use it too and raved about it.

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Di May 17, 2016 - 9:40 AM

Hi, great post Kat, thank you for sharing! Do you or any of your followers recommend powder over liquid washing detergent or vice versa for a better clean and long term affect on the machine (front loader). Would love to hear what people think. Thanks

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife May 17, 2016 - 9:57 AM

Hi Di, you were just on my mind…. you’ll see why on Thursday 🙂 I use liquid, only because my kids have sensitive skin and when I found something that didn’t irritate it I have just stuck with it for years.

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Krystal April 10, 2017 - 4:52 PM

Can someone help me. I am getting my new Electrolux front loader delivered tomorrow. I am a little confused about the detergent part.
It has the pre wash, the main wash and then softener section in the detergent drawer.
My question is where does my Napisan go? In which section?
Are you able to put Napisan in the prewash section, which is a powder and then in the main wash section, can I then use OMO liquid?
Or do I put the required amount of detergent powder, mixed with the required amount of napisan in the main wash section? Or is that then become to much detergent.
Hoping someone can help me.

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Jess October 7, 2018 - 4:08 PM

Which washing machine did you end up getting and are you happy??
My front loader is on the way out so thought I’d start researching so that it can be replaced when it dies.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife October 10, 2018 - 8:54 AM

I ended up with a Miele Front loader, its good, I’m still just figuring out and adjusting the settings to my liking 🙂

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Ian Stewart January 13, 2020 - 9:58 PM

As someone who was involved in the commercial laundry field many years ago, I can categorically say that front loading washing machines are superior to top loaders. For many years Choice Magazine rated all the front loaders above the top loaders in any given test series of washers. That brings me to the problem of detergents for front loaders. Because they have lower water usage, they need a LOW suds high efficiency product, most likely a powder. Unfortunately right now, I can’t find a commonly available product that the maker doesn’t claim: “suitable for both front and top loaders”. This can’t be correct, because both machines need a detergent with different properties to enable the machine to operate at its best. Anyone know of a front loader only product, please? What has caused my search is the inability of the detergent to be completely rinsed from the load, even with a 3rd rinse. Most machines normal programmes only have 2 rinses.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 14, 2020 - 3:09 PM

That’s very interesting Ian. I’m not sure about front loader only detergents. I use Dynamo in my front loader because my kids and hubby all have sensitive skin (eczema and psorosis). I’ve tried to change over the years, but I find Dynamo doesn’t effect their skin so I stick with it. Kat x

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