Posts Tagged ‘Washing machines’

How long does a washer last?

January 24, 2011

This post is the latest in the series “How long do appliances last?” They’re written in a style I learned in journalism, called “By The Numbers,” which was often just another way to say “I need to take up space and do something visual.” Voila.

11

The number of years in an average washing machine’s life span, according to data published by Appliance Magazine in 2010. The life span reflects how long the first owner of a washer used it, which doesn’t necessarily mean that it broke down, but it still offers a fair estimate for today’s shoppers.

392

The number of loads washed annually by the average washer, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That’s about seven and a half loads per week.

$750

Average price of an Energy Star washer, according to national retail data from 2009.

$492

Average price of a standard washing maching in 2009.

4.7

Amount of years it takes for the lower operations costs of an Energy Star washer to make up, or “pay back,” for the initial sticker price difference.

30%

Overall savings of an Energy Star washer over its expected lifetime.

Don’t add soap to your washer because there’s enough in your clothes

December 27, 2010

When my new front-load washer arrives this week, my high-efficiency detergents won’t see any action for at least another week. Why?

I’m going to wash all my clothes using the soap they already contain.

That’s right. Clothes washed in top-load washers (like mine) generally contain enough soap residue in their fibers that will suds and finally rinse properly once washed in front-loader washers.

To wash, top-load washers completely fill their tub with water and push clothes around in the soapy water by the agitator (that tall thing with paddles in the middle). This would be like washing your hands by filling a sink with soapy water and swishing your hands around in it. Plus, older, top loading washers simply don’t rinse as well and your clothes end up accumulating a decent amount of soap residue.

Don’t believe me? Examine your dark clothes. Do they look gray or faded? That’s soap.

Disgusting, huh? Now imagine how irritating all that soap is to your skin, too.

(Front-loading washers use far less water, only enough to get the clothes wet, which means they use less soap as well. Make sure you don’t use too much soap or your washer could “oversuds,” producing too much soap bubbles, which might not completely rinse out of your clothes, as a front loader washer is, again, designed to use minimal water. Saying that, they’ll also rinse your clothes much better than a top load washing machine.)

So, I’m going to wash out all the soap left over in my clothes from my old washer using nothing but tumble action and water from a front loader washer.

 

 


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 87 other followers