Front Load Washer Tips

When it's time for a new washer, front-loading, high efficiency (HE) models may catch your eye for their relatively small floor-space requirements and lower water consumption, compared to regular top-loading machines. These sleek appliances can offer high-tech advantages, including smartphone-app remote control, accurate wash-water temperature settings and the capacity for big, heavy loads. The operating differences between these models and the designs that preceded them can be substantial. To get the most from a front-loading washer, keep its special needs in mind.


Front-loading washers require detergents specially formulated for use in these machines. Look for products labeled "HE," and verify that they offer true high-efficiency performance, not just "HE compatibility." Follow detergent and washing-machine manufacturers' recommendations closely to use the right amount of product for the size of your load. By doing this you won't generate an excessive amount of suds, ensuring your clothes tumble freely and are washed thoroughly.


Since front-loading washers tend to use less water and energy than most top-loading models, it’s important to limit moisture and mineral retention. To help the interior dry thoroughly, leave the washer door open for several hours after you wash a load, keeping an eye out for children and pets that might climb in. Run the machine once a month with bleach and without clothes to help keep it clean, or choose a front-loader that incorporates a special cycle just for cleaning the interior thoroughly.


Front-loading washers reach higher rotational speeds than other washer designs do, which can sometimes cause the machine to vibrate. As a result, careful machine loading becomes all the more important, especially when you wash large or heavy items. To minimize vibrations and maximize results, verify your washer sits level on a flat surface, and compensate for uneven floors by adjusting leveling feet, if your model includes them.


Some new front-loading washers include special jets to mix detergent more fully throughout a load of clothes, and add rinse water while removing wash water. These types of features help counteract the longer laundry cycles that many of these machines require, partially because of their reduced use of water. Models with a foaming action help you wash quilts and comforters more effectively, assuring that the cleansing mix of detergent and water pervades heavy, puffy items thoroughly.

Photo Credits: Angela Mayo/Demand Media

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