The Short Life Span of Appliances Nowadays


A repairman told me that if you want clean clothes, you need to wash clothes for more than 60ºC / 140ºF. Same for dishes.

(Andrea) #146

Maybe so, but it is recommended to not set a home water heater above 120-125F for safety reasons. At 140F, a child could easily get burned.

(Memory) #147

Have you tried adding baking soda to the wash cycle?

(For the Horde!) #148

It is true that higher temperature does improve the cleaning ability. Hmmm, not sure if I agree with that as a recommendation. Sure, if you are talking about hospital or even hotel, you do want to really clean your bedding which is shared by many. However, if we are talking about cleaning your own clothing for yourself, I won’t worry that much. Think of it this way, if you and a stranger must share a toothbrush, then you may want to really clean the toothbrush, sterilize it, drip it in ethanol, UV radiation or even bleach …etc. Yet, if I am going to use my own toothbrush everyday, then I don’t worry about any germ. Moreover, high temperature washing and drying really destroy your clothing fast.

As for dishes, I also don’t worry about using high temperature, chances are that most people get sick from the foods themselves, not the dishes. If disinfection is what you are going after, then you should use bleach every time.


Dish towels, yellow sweat spot on clothes, hot temperature helps, but limit to colours that bleach can handle. Table clothes with colours can be a challenge, pre-soaking clothes in soapy water before washing helps too.

I am not worry about germs, but want the clothes to be clean and smell clean. (Grrr, sweat smell sometimes lingers after washing…)


When temperature is not hot enough, oily dishes or pot wouldn’t come out clean in dishwasher.


Yes, that was the first thing I tried, it made me itch, I then tried white vinegar but I smelled like a salad when I added it to the wash water :frowning:

(Memory) #152


I read an article in the NYT about getting the smell out of vintage clothes. The suggestion was to air dry because heat from the dryer bakes in residual skin oils etc. I like to air dry then finish in a cool dryer for a couple of minutes to soften the clothes.

Also read that fabric softener causes problems because the stuff coats the fibers and reduces the effectiveness of washing detergent. I switched to dryer balls — they work great.


You should never use fabric softeners. They attach bacteria to the clothes. We were made aware of this when we had an infant.


I made a mistake when I wrote that maytag was recommended by my repairman, it was actually speed queen, I’m so sorry. If any mod sees this, please feel free to change. As far as older machines go, any one of the older brand, older model machines are going to out perform the newer ones. I apologize for the confusion … BTW the spin drum on my new LG washer is broken, this will make the 4th service call for this machine which is barely 2 years old and gets very little usage :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

(Lamb Owner) #155

Just talking about this last weekend. At a lake house, I have a 35 year old dishwasher that’s as ugly as sin, but it cleans everything spotless and without fail and drys completely. I wouldn’t dream of replacing it.

Meanwhile, at home I’m on the third dishwasher in 15 years, this one a GE. It doesn’t clean or dry and the door spring falls off all the time and needs a repair guy to put another one on, so I gave up on it and the door just drops unless you guide it. All the moving pieces in the door have fallen off.

I hate it with a passion, but know I’ll be just as disappointed with another new one. And don’t get me started on the water efficient washing machine. I rue the day I thought that was a good idea.


Make sure you are cleaning the washer every few weeks. For our LG, we have to drain the water from the tub into a bucket, then run the tub clean setting. We add a washing machine cleaning tablet too for extra clean.

We had the same issue when we first got our machine of this strange odor, but then read the manual and realized we needed to drain the old water. If you smell it, you’ll understand why the clothes smell. Now we know - no more smelly clothes!


Oh my God, I don’t like having to do this at all. It scratches my hand every time because we have to clean a filter, too, after we drain the tub. The filter is really hard to get out and there’s always gunk left behind after removing the filter that I reach in and clean. The plastic and metal around that part of the washer is very rough. Our Samsung washer alerts us every X number of washes to drain the tub, clean the filter, and run the clean cycle, so we read the manual the first time it did that. I thought I broke it and it was giving an error code.

I wonder why older, agitator-style washers never needed to be drained…

(Dan) #158

Sadly machine parts are crap. Older appliances had strong working parts and no computer gadgets and today things are built to last short term so we keep replacing stuff.

Furniture too…


Hmph … we were advised to

Interesting, we were advised to use affresh no more than once every six months, I forget the reason but I remember the warning … our wash smelled from the get go, the commercial machines in our last place had the same issue with odor directly after they were installed as well. People began using so much fabric softener to mask the smell using the laundry room became unbearable.

(Gwenn) #160

I have never seen one and have been looking. Where did you get yours and what brand? Thanks!

(Dave Skolnick) #161

I’m a little mystified by the number of people with issues. i agree that the service life of appliances is not what it once was, but the performance issues aren’t clear to me at all.

Our new clothes washer (1 year) and dish washer (2 years) work great. We follow the directions from the manufacturer and everything works fine. We have some water issues (hard water, high iron content) but as long as I keep up with the filter and our salt tub topped up there are simply no issues. The dish washer works whether there is rinse aid or not - dishes are dry, some spotting if I miss the little light to remind me to fill the rinse aid.

I really wonder if the people with troubles have RTFM.


We have the same water issues, hard water, high iron content … are you well water and forgive my stupidity but what is RTFM? TIA

(Dave Skolnick) #163

Well water. We change particulate filter about every three weeks, sometimes more often if my wife has a hair appointment. Always a new filter when she comes home! grin We also find flushing the water heater every other filter change makes a big difference in clothes, dishes, and showers.

RTFM = “read the fine manual” although frustrated IT people sometimes choose another word for ‘F’.


Thank you