September 2, 2014

SmellyWasher Will Get the Stink Out

For years, Savage, Minnesota  resident Paul Flynn would go into people’s homes as an appliance repairman to eliminate odors from washing machines.

After seeing the problem over and over again, Flynn came up with a way to fix the problem that didn’t require him to take the machine apart by creating a product called SmellyWasher.

Recalling some concoctions he used to clean submarine parts while in the Navy, Flynn mixed ingredients together to eliminate the smell. About four years ago, he and a few others sat around his kitchen table pouring the mixture into plastic baggies and sending it to customers around the world.

Now SmellyWasher has grown so fast it’s the best-selling cleaning product sold worldwide in Ace Hardware stores.

His hometown Newspaper, The Savage Pacer writes:

Washing machines emit foul odors primarily because of poor washing habits, Flynn said.

Mold and mildew build up in the machine from using too much detergent, fabric softener and inappropriate water temperatures.

“It’s all our fault,” he said. “People don’t like to use less detergent. When they notice a smell, their first reaction is to add more detergent or fabric softener. That’s just exacerbating the problem … It’s up to us to change our washing habits. We can’t change the environment: washing machines are damp and dark. The only thing we can change is the food sources for the mold and germs to grow.”

Laundry loads don’t require more than a tablespoon of detergent, Flynn said. Using more is excessive and the residue builds up in the machine. Then when fabric softener is added during the rinse cycle, it also gets trapped and builds up.

Other “common sense” solutions, like using bleach or leaving the door open, also make the problem worse, he said.

“Bleach and vinegar will get some things out, but it will also leave a base for germs to build off of,” he said. “Leaving the door open increases air flow and makes it worse.”

Front-loading washers are even worse, Flynn said in terms of odor, because they have a larger tub, use less water and people use too much detergent.

SmellyWasher is a citrus-based mix of natural ingredients that removes the smell. It’s can also be used as a booster to maintain the cleanliness of the tub. The 24 ingredients are safe and all natural he said.

The idea for creating a mixture to fix the problem came from an experience Flynn had when he was in the Navy for four years. On one particular filed day, he ran short on cleaning supplies. A petty officer took him to the galley and showed him some combinations of regular items “that would do the job in a pinch,” he said.“I’m proud to say it’s an adaptation of that formula,” Flynn said. “I remembered it working well and relied on that when creating SmellyWasher.”

Laundering Without Water – Almost

Is this really the environmentally correct alternative?  This idea was found at popsci.com:

Clean Your Clothes with Plastic: Nylon beads sit in the outer of two nested drums. When both drums rotate, the absorbent beads fall through the mesh of the inner drum to tumble with your laundry, where they dislodge and trap dirt. After the wash cycle finishes, the outer drum stops moving and centripetal force pushes the beads back through the mesh into the outer drum, where they await your next mess.

Xeros’s prototype washing machine uses 90 percent less water than ordinary models, which also eliminates energy-intensive spin cycles and dryer blasts.

The machine replaces all but one tenth of the usual water and about one third of the usual detergent with 0.1-inch plastic beads, reusable for hundreds of washes. The beads are made of the same nylon as many carpets, because the properties that make nylon easy to stain also make it a great scrubber: Its polarized molecules attract soil, and in the humidity created by a little water, the polymer chains separate slightly to absorb grime and lock it into the beads’ cores.

Xeros aims to put machines in commercial laundries next year, where they will use eight gallons of water instead of 80 for each 45-pound load. They may be cleaning your favorite T-shirts at home within several years.

Sears Introduces Next-Gen Laundry Line

Sears is launching a redesigned line of Kenmore and Kenmore Elite high-efficiency front load washers featuring “smart motion” technology that’s gentler on fabrics while improving cleaning performance.

The smart motion feature is based on an agile direct-drive motor that creates five unique wash motions by precisely controlling the action of the drum. The motions are custom combined for each wash cycle, providing the proper amount of cleansing agitation for each garment type, whether it’s lingerie, denim or rugged work wear.

The five motions include:

tumbling, a conventional wash motion where clothes are moved from the bottom of the drum to the top of the drum in a large, circular motion;

rolling, in which clothes are gently moved in a small circle along the bottom of the drum, keeping them immersed in water;

scrubbing, in which the drum alternates direction causing friction between the clothes, creating a scrubbing effect while keeping clothes immersed in water;

swinging, in which clothes are gently tossed side-to-side for a delicate hand-wash effect, and;

stepping, in which clothes are lifted to the top of the drum and then dropped sharply to the bottom of the drum.

The system also incorporates an innovative square door design, new curves, intuitive controls using color and sound cues, and new designer colors including ginger and chili pepper. The line, which is rolling out now through December, features seven washers (with matching dryers). Retail price will range from $800 for a 3.6-cubic-foot drum with eight wash cycles, to a 4.5-cubic-foot capacity unit with 14 wash cycles at $1,600.

Electrolux Front Load Washer and Dryer Giveaway

The Holiday celebrations are winding down and the clean-up begins – tablecloths, napkins, bedding for all the extra guests. If your old washer has spun its last load, here’s your chance: Woman’s Day is giving away a Electrolux 27″ Front Load Washer and Large Capacity Dryer set.

It’s gentle on the environment and your clothes, with wash cycles that are 83 percent more energy-efficient and use 56 percent less water. Color options include Red Hot Red; Turquoise Sky; Silver Sands and Island White. Retails price is about $3,600.

There’s no purchase required to enter, but entries must be made by January 9, 2010. Click here to enter and read more.

Washing Machine Shopping Guide

Buying a new washing machine can be daunting. Many consumers find themselves standing in an appliance store looking at so many styles and brands, they are overwhelmed. Add to that the fact that often washer purchases are made in a rush because the old machine is broken and the laundry is piling up.

To help the frazzled shopper, we offer this list of questions to consider before heading out to the store.

What type of washer do I need?
If you are buying a replacement washer, you’ll probably choose the same type. If you are moving into a new home, remodeling or just looking for a change, you’ll want to choose a washer that fits the washer/dryer configuration you prefer; either side-by-side or stacked. If you live in a smaller home or apartment, compact washers require little space. They come in both stationary models and portable versions which can be stored in a closet and rolled to a nearby sink for use. Full-sized washers are now available in either top-loading or front-loading models. Front loaders can be placed under counters or stacked under a dryer, and save on energy costs. They are more expensive to purchase than conventional top-loading washers, and require special low-sudsing detergents to get the best results. If you live in an area with very high water and energy costs, like the western U.S., your energy savings could offset the purchase price difference. If you live in another area, you’ll want to spend some quality time with your calculator to determine if a front loader or a top loader is best for you.

What capacity washer should I choose?
Since your new washer is likely to last 10 to 15 years, you’ll want to consider both your family’s current and future size. Your laundry habits are also a consideration. Do you prefer to do your laundry in frequent small loads, or does your schedule require you to do large infrequent loads? There can also be seasonal factors, like sports and other outdoor activities, which might make a large capacity washer a welcome convenience.

How quiet should my washer be?
With more laundry rooms moving out of the basement and into living areas, quiet operation is becoming an important consideration. If you’re looking for a quiet washer, be sure to check for insulation inside the cabinet. Some models have sound-absorbing pads on all sides. Quality engineering and design also play a big part in sound reduction. A strong frame and suspension can help reduce a washer’s vibration from an unbalanced load. You’ll want to ask your appliance dealer about the quality of the stabilizing springs on models you’re considering, and be sure to check for thick rubber pads on the legs. They not only help reduce sound, they also protect your floors from scratches.

Should I look for an energy-efficient model?
Different washer models do vary in the amount of energy they use, and front-loading washers generally use less energy than top loaders. Front loaders cost more, and you will have to determine if energy costs in your area justify the higher purchase price. If you choose a top-loading washer, much of your energy savings will come from the choices you make when washing. Having a lot of cycle, water level and temperature options on your new washer will allow you to match the amount of hot water you use with your load. Some models offer a cold water rinse feature, which saves energy and gives you the same washing performance as a hot water rinse. Presoaking really dirty clothes can also save energy because, after the clothes have soaked, you can choose a regular wash cycle instead of the highest cycle setting. And, remember… when you’re in the store, be sure to compare the bright yellow Energy Guide labels to see which models run most efficiently.

What features are important to me?

Use catalogues, flyers and the Internet to identify your favorite two or three features. Popular features generally fall within three benefit categories:

* Ease-of-use Features
Consider who does laundry in your family before deciding which type of controls you want. Do children or an elderly family member need special consideration? Washer controls have become more advanced and, in many cases, easier to use. Electronic controls offer one-touch cycle selection and have easy-to-read digital displays. Other models have color coding and cycle indicator lights. A large lid opening can make loading and unloading easier. Most manufacturers offer automatic detergent, fabric softener and bleach dispensers, which make washing simpler and help avoid damage to fabrics. Some models also have self-cleaning lint filters. And, if you choose to stack your washer and dryer, you’ll not only reduce bending over, you’ll also save floor space.
* Performance Features
New washers offer a wide range of water temperature and cycle options, which allow you to customize your laundry for different fabrics and garments. Generally, the more cycle options your new washer has, the cleaner you’ll be able to get really dirty jeans, while protecting your fine delicates. You’ll want to find a washer that gives you the cycle and water temperature selections which match the clothes you normally wash. Some models have a water temperature sensor which automatically monitors and adjusts the hot and cold water flow to insure the ideal temperature for best washing results. And, remember to check your water heater setting to make sure the water coming to your new washer is hot enough. Normally, a setting of 120 degrees F. to 140 degrees F. will get good results.
* Durability Features
Washers must endure the corrosive effects of water and laundry chemicals, so rust protection is important. Ask your appliance dealer about the rust-proofing features which different manufacturers provide on washer cabinets and frames, as well as on working parts, like the pump. Check the fill hoses and fittings to make sure they are rust resistant and strong enough to last under high water pressure. Most washer models have a porcelain-coated wash tub, but you’ll want to find out if the coating is thick enough to withstand years of use without chipping. Stainless steel and plastic tubs won’t rust, but check the surface to see if it’s smooth enough to protect fine fabrics. If you’re going to use the top of your new washer as a work area, a porcelain enamel surface is more durable than paint. And, be sure to check the warranty. Some manufacturers cover rust and corrosion.

Good luck and enjoy your new washer!

Here are some of the Washers and Dryers available on the WEB:

Laundry is Moving Up

The next generation of laundry has arrived and the status quo is getting a much-needed makeover. New washer and dryer technologies and innovations in detergents and clothing care save time and energy, making laundry feel like less of a chore.

Everything in its place

Laundry rooms used to be relegated to the basement, but more people are finding space for washers and dryers in convenient areas of the house like upstairs near bedrooms. Experts say installing a “laundry nook” is not only a good investment and can raise the value of your home, but it can make hauling baskets of clothing up and down flights of stairs a thing of the past.

The closer the washer and dryer are to living spaces the more important it is for them to be quiet. “Look for machines with new technologies that reduce vibration for nearly noiseless laundry sessions,” says home design expert Doug Wilson. “If your washer and dryer are out in the open, look for colorful and sleek models that can stand out stylishly on their own. New models are available in a variety of designer finishes such as wild cherry red, Riviera blue and even colors that give the look of stainless steel without the stainless steel price tag.”

Near the laundry area or on the go, make sure to keep the latest stain removal products handy. Treating a stain as soon as it happens can help to ensure your clothing won’t be ruined and prevent the need for multiple washings to remove the stain. Oxygen-based stain removers are gentle, nontoxic and effective on nearly every stain and most types of fabrics. And portable stain-erasing pens and wipes are handy for treating stains no matter where you are.

Get the most out of your wash and save energy

Until now, washers only used one washing motion — tumbling — to clean clothes. Select washers from LG now feature technology that provides a new way to care for your clothes with four new washing motions — rolling, stepping, swinging and scrubbing.Cold care, heavy duty and enhanced hand-wash cycles use a combination of these motions to gently and effectively clean clothes. For example, the cold care cycle uses cold water in combination with these motions to clean clothes as effectively as the normal cycle that uses hot water, but with an energy savings of more than 60 percent.

Look for the ENERGY STAR label on washing machines, and you can cut your water costs by up to 50 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. There are also machines that automatically adjust the water temperature and the amount of water used for each load to prevent excess and waste. Detergent designed for use in cold water helps to save energy by effectively cleaning clothes without hot water.

Another trend in laundry is the use of steam for greater energy and water efficiency. Steam washers and dryers also offer enhanced clothing care options such as short, steam-only cycles that help to reduce wrinkles and remove odors from clothing with using water and detergent (and can help cut down on trips to the dry cleaner in the process, helping to save money in addition to energy).

Stay healthy

With 70 percent of U.S. households affected by asthma or allergies, LG’s SteamWasher with Allergiene cycle gently and effectively reduces allergens, including common triggers — like dust mites and pet dander — on fabrics by more than 95 percent, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

“Now there’s a washing machine that is so effective at reducing common household allergens, the LG SteamWasher, that we are able to certify it ‘asthma and allergy friendly,’” says Mike Tringale, director of external affairs for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

Washing Machine Shaking the House? This Might Help

We have come across an intriguing product: Shake Away Plus, from Kellett Enterprizes. These pads claim to reduce the noise and vibrations that many front loading washing machines have. Some washers have even been known to “dance” across the laundry room.

Here is the Shakeaway claim:

    Shake Away Plus Vibration Isolation Pads will reduce the hassle of your front load washer vibrating.The package contains 4 KE Shake Away™ PLUS pads .
    They will effectively reduce the transfer of vibration from your washing machine or dryer to the floor surface with it’s five layer design.

    Each pad measures 2-1/2” x 2-1/2” x 1” thick.

The four pads retail for just under $30.00 plus shipping.

Repairing a Whirlpool Washing Machine -Video

Sometimes the hardest part of repairing an appliance, is knowing how to get the machine apart so that you can get in and get to work. A professional has seen a washing machine disassembled enough times to know when to push and when to pull. Here’s a great little video with instructions on how to take apart a Whirlpool Washing Machine to make repairs yourself.