You might be concerned about “whether the front-load washer makes clothes hard” before choosing a new washing machine.
The straight answer is NO.
The front-load washing machine does not make clothes, such as towels, comforters, etc., hard. However, this matter doesn’t depend on the washing machine; it depends on the absence of silicon coating on the fabric. Following a few steps, you will be able to make your clothes soft again using a front load washer.
I’ve explained in this article why clothes get hard after drying and how you can make them again soft and fluffy with your front-load washer.
Are the front load washers responsible for making clothes hard?
As I already have said, the front load washer isn’t responsible for hard-on clothes. Even washing and drying procedures, such as using top load or manual hand washing, can make clothes hard in specific scenarios.
A great example is Towels. New towels are fluffy and soft and remain the same after the wash cycle for months or a few more. But after that period, it feels stiff, crusty, and scratchy when it gets dry after a wash.
No matter what type of washer or dryer you use, the result remains the same.
The same might happen for blankets, comforters, or similar linen fabrics.
Cause, New clothes like towels, bed covers, comforters, or blankets have a silicon coating on the fabric fiber. Silicon holds a certain amount of moisture and keeps your clothes silky and smooth.
Silicon coating is almost like your hair conditioner. Using only shampoo or base solutions makes hair harsh, and you apply conditioner to eliminate that.
Your towels and other clothes require the same treatment when it gets hard. However, the important part is by using any washing machine, you can treat the clothes to regain their fluffy and smooth vibe.
But the front load washer will give you an extra advantage.
How to make clothes Soft and Fluffy using a front load washer?
Initially, it would be best to put only one type of clothing, such as towels, blankets, or a comforter, inside the front load washer. You should avoid mixing multiple colored clothes for this procedure.
Then choose the “cotton” or similar function of the washer and set the water temperature to around 104°F.
Additionally, set the spin speed below or equal to 1000 RPM.
Now follow the steps below.
Add baking soda with detergent
You need to put one tablespoon of baking soda in the detergent drawer along with powder detergent. If you use liquid detergent, you should put the baking soda inside the washer instead of the detergent drawer.
You might ask me, Why Baking Soda?
Firstly, baking soda or Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate is a fantastic natural cleaning agent. Secondly, it’s a base-type organic component with a higher pH level.
When it gets in touch with lower pH components, it starts producing Carbon Dioxide. As a result, your clothes start getting puffy like a baked cake.
After this cleaning cycle, fabric fibers of towels and similar clothing become slightly bloated and again be able to hold moist & air to remain soft like a new one.
Replacing Softener with White Vinegar
Note: This step isn’t necessary for new clothes. Only applying baking soda is enough for those.
You should follow this step for old towels and clothes that already have become hard, scratchy, and crusty.
For your front loader washer, you need to put one cup of white vinegar in the softener chamber of the detergent drawer, or you may directly put that inside the drum.
Of course, do this just before the final rinse cycle. It’s not any prewash or main wash procedure. After the entire washing cycle, apply the vinegar and rinse with water.
Here’s an explanation of how vinegar works to soften your clothes.
As you applied baking soda or NaHCO3 in the first step, you rinsed your clothes with vinegar or HC2H3O2. So the chemical reaction is
NaHCO3 + HC2H3O2 = NaC2H3O2 + CO2 + H2O
As you can see here, baking soda and vinegar produce a lot of carbon dioxide and water molecules as a byproduct. These molecules get absorbed by the fabric fibers, and the scratchy/crusty clothes become puffy and soft again.
Avoid Over Drying
Firstly, you should not set the spin level above 1000 RPM during this following treatment. Cause higher RPM will squeeze out 90% of water and make it dry faster.
Despite putting your clothes in a dryer or spreading them in sunlight, you should make them air-dry by simply keeping them on a hanger in your room.
If you like to use a dryer, then use air-only mode and let the clothes dry slowly.
Fabric Softener creates a silky texture on clothing by adding a mild chemical coating on the fabric surface and helps keep it smooth and moisturized for a long time.
Though using a softener doesn’t solve the hard towels problem.
But when you apply baking soda and vinegar, adding a softener will make your clothes silkier and more refreshed.
Applying Warm Water
Warm water helps the acid (vinegar) and base (baking soda) reaction and boosts the foaming procedure to produce more CO2. Additionally, warm water softens the fabric and enhances its moist absorbing capacity.
Fortunately, the entire front load washer has a water temperature-controlling feature to provide an extra advantage.
Set Lower Spin Level
During this softening treatment, I recommend you lower the RPM of the spin cycle. I recommend 800 to 1000 RPM for hard towels, comforters, blankets, or bed covers.
Cause due to the lower RPM spin, the washer won’t be able to squeeze a maximum amount of water from the clothes.
Then you may naturally dry it with a longer duration to make it more soft and puffed.
Add Steam Wash
Advanced front loader washers like Samsung, LG, GE, etc. offer the steam wash feature. If you steam wash a stiff cloth, that will instantly soften.
Though, after thoroughly drying, the crusty vibe might return. But if you do the baking soda and vinegar treatment and then steam wash the clothes, you will get ultra-smooth puffy clothes, which will be softer than new.
What type of fabrics shows a hard-on issue?
Cotton and linen clothes show a hard-on issues after multiple years of use, especially towels.
But if you wash them with baking soda and apply vinegar on the final rinse cycle, they will remain soft for months.
Don’t get misunderstood thinking that a front load washer hards on clothes. No washer makes clothes hard, but the absence of silicon coatings makes them hard.
Rather than a front load washer and following my described procedure, you can easily make clothes soften like new again.
Azmain Ahnaf is an Engineer and a passionate blogger who likes sharing tips and tricks and home appliances-related topics in handytalker blog. He believes that sharing knowledge with each other can create the world much easier!