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Door Seal Softening And Warping


recoveryboy

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post-2286-0-53713000-1373041503_thumb.jpHi there.

I am on my 3rd Bosch washing machine in 9 years.

I am a part-time massage therapist and wash 1 or 2 loads of oily (massage oil) towels in my Bosch washing machine.

I always use big brand detergents by Lever Brothers or Proctor & Gamble. I always wash at at least 60 degrees and a couple of times a year at 90 degrees.

Towels are white and still in spectacular condition after 3 years of use.

My problem is the washing machine door seal.

The massage oil seems to attack the rubber and within 4-6 months the door rubber has softened sufficiently that it droops down and rubs against the rotating inner drum. One of two things happens: either the rubber wears through where it rubs against the drum, or it sort of "ruffles" and spontaneously flips over (bottom bit that you're supposed to lift up and clean occasionally). Also, occasionally during the rubber rubbing the drum phase, then the drum stops, the door seal rubber "grips" the drum en prevents it turning. It takes a massive effort on the part of the machine to start it turning. This puts extra strain on the spider etc. Also during this phase, the rubber heats up during spin and when opening the door there is sometimes smoke/steam!

As I said, I'm on my 3rd machine and every 6 months Bosch needs to come out and replace the door seal. The machine is still under warrantee, but that won't last forever.

Am I best off changing to a different brand of washing machine? Keen on Miele, but afraid the oil will damage its rubber too....

I'm also considering getting a toploader (maybe a 16kg LG) and just use it for massage towels (on hot wash) and for occasional big washing like duvets and curtains.

Alternatively, would it help to just add soda crystals to the wash in order to cut through the oil? If so, how much? Do I still leave the wash at 60 degrees? Should I add the soda crystals to the main wash or do a pre wash with soda crystals and normal main wash? My Bosch machine only has a pre wash on a 40 degree main wash cycle. 60 Degrees is main wash only - no pre wash.

Please help!

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  • Root Admin

I used to see a lot of problems like this many years ago when people used to use a product called Napisan when cotton nappies were still very common. It used to do the same to door seals. The chances are that all door seals will be affected but some more than others. Also, the design of door seals differ across brands so some may stand the distortion much better than others and cause less problems. You definitely need to change from Bosch because you know what is going to keep happening.

A Miele door seal is much better quality, so in theory it should stand up to it better but it's possible it may not, and if it doesn't, the replacement costs will be considerably higher. I would recommend the ISE washing machine because it has a completely different door seal design. It's a high quality washing machine at the same price as some Miele's, but it has a 10 year guarantee (3 years if used semi commercially - which may apply to you). The main reason it will be better for you is that the door seal is totally different to any other door seal.

Instead of a big expanse of rubber spanning from the casing to the drum, there is just a small rubber gasket built into the door. If you watch the video you can see that it doesn't have a door seal at all to rot, there's just the small gasket around the door. As far as I can see that should totally solve your problem. The ISE is built to last about 20 years and is an excellent washing machine. It's very expensive compared to much of the rubbish being sold but I'm sure you'll agree you've already spent much more than that in 9 years. This should last considerably longer. If the door gasket does get affected it will never interfere with the drum and if it needs replacing it should be very simple.

NOTE: Unfortunately the ISE washing machine I mention is now no longer available (ISE washing machine info)

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Hi Andy.

Thanks so much for your reply. I forgot to say that I'm in South Africa. Sadly no ISE machines available here.. I will definitely investigate the Miele option. Over here they come with 5 year guarantee that can be extended to 10.

Any comments on my questions regarding the use of soda crystals?

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  • Root Admin

That's a shame because the ISE would be perfect for you. Soda crystal are for softening water and getting rid of grease. I wouldn't expect them to do much with this problem but you could try, they are very cheap.

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Warning:  Read this before attempting any diy repairsNo representations or warranties are made (express or implied) as to the reliability, accuracy or completeness of advice. I can't be held liable for any loss arising directly or indirectly from the use of, or any action taken in reliance on, any information on this website, which is given free of charge and in good faith.

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