How to Make Clothes Cleaner and HE Washers Smell Better: Less is More | Entertainment/Life

It’s Monday in South Louisiana and kidney beans and rice are on the menu at many restaurants in the area. Why? Because it’s tradition, the day the women usually did the laundry while red beans and leftover Sunday ham simmered on the stove all day.

Thanks to today’s high-efficiency (HE) pressure cookers and washing machines, both of these tasks take much less time. Although our red beans and rice haven’t changed much over the years, our washing machines have become something we are still getting used to. In fact, we now have to read – wait – the instructions.

“Most people don’t read instructions, but I do,” said Tim Mullins, a Prairieville handyman who likes to repair his own appliances. “Yeah, 99% of people are like, ‘Oh, I know how to do this’ and just put the instructions aside. »

High-efficiency washing machines hit the market in the 1990s when the federal government imposed energy-saving measures on the appliance industry, according to The new HE machines used less water, less detergent and new spin mechanisms for the dryer to reduce the time spent in the dryer. And the detergent industry has also responded with products to do the dirty work more efficiently.

“We’ve seen a lot of changes over time just in terms of the types of detergents we use in our laundry,” said Bruce Cameron, Ph.D., head of textiles, apparel design and merchandising. at LSU College of Agriculture.

Cameron said that as early as the 1990s, most laundry detergents were powders.

“Now you walk down the detergent aisle and I guarantee you 80% or more is liquids,” he said. “Everything has changed. There are reasons for these changes and for the most part they have been for the betterment of the industry – garment industry, laundry industry, for the consumer – all around.”

According to the website, low-water wash and rinse cycles mean that HE detergents must work differently than traditional detergents. HE washers use 20% to 66% of the amount of water used in traditional models. HE detergents are formulated to be low sudsing and fast dispersing for best performance in HE washers.

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“There are a lot of complaints about machine odors and that sort of thing and it’s because of using too much soap,” said Steve Sims, a technician at Stanton’s Appliance in Baton Rouge. “With our fresh water here, it’s very easy to do.”

High-efficiency washers don’t need as much soap, according to Sims.

“So it’s really easy to use too much soap,” he said, adding that the main complaint is that HE washers smell bad, explaining that “soap builds up in the tub and all your soaps are now biodegradable. They’re starting to break down. and so it’s getting a little smelly.”

Sims recommends using the smallest amount of detergent recommended, generally.

“Most people use the whole cup and you only need a little, really,” Sims said.

Another problem can be overloading the washer, according to Cameron, who advised never filling the drum more than three-quarters full to make sure there’s enough water to do the job.

Cameron also advises everyone to read clothing care labels carefully.

“It’s an implied warranty, and there are instructions on the label,” Cameron said. “I mean ‘wash separately’ or ‘wash with like colors’ tells you that this product is going to fade.”

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