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washing machines that use very little water in the drum

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so a lot of new machines in the last 5 years or so , use a tiny amount of water , not even coming up to the height of the top of the paddles/lifters and I get it for economy reasons and that you can heat up a little amount of water quicker than if it half filled the glass door like the ancient washing machines did, and understand that todays washing powders / liquid are more efficient and need hardly any water to do their job these days. 

However what I cannot get used to is the fact that if the drum is revolving with this little amount of water now, and the clothes dont get nice and saturated/soaked in water like they used to years ago when the water came up to half the drum / glass door is the motor not working more against friction of clothes, that are nearly dry, rubbing again the glass door and door gasket that if they were suspended in water? 

I mean a happy medium surely would be if the manufacturers made the water come up to just underneath the door gasket at least no? - this friction is very evident when washing something like a Duvet especially. My 8kg machine has a duvet programme on it. I dont overload it with a king size (dont even think physically a king size duvet would even fit in the drum) so i put in a double duvet, and the amout of water that goes in the drum is miniscule witth this big duvet in so obviously the amount of time its washing its trying to wash this duvet in very little water and its near on bone dry as its going around in the drum and its catching on rubber door gasket and door glass and you can almost see that the motor is having a tough old time trying to turn this drum with this near on dry duvet . I just think it the drum filled up with more water before it even revolves for the first time , and absolutely soaked the duvet the water would 'lubricate' the fabric so there was no friction between the door gasket and door bowl and would help the motor revolve the drum more easily if the duvet was suspended in water. This is evident that it would be better because when it comes to rinsing in duvet programme the rinse water is subsequently much more water goes into the drum , as much as over the bottom of the door gasket lip , and then saturates the duvet in rinse cycle and the motor has a much better time of revolving the drum with the duvet saturated in water like this. 

Also without water level coming up over the bottom of the lip of the door gasket , you know the bit where you have the 3 drain holes in the gasket, well that gets clogged with soap/powder and hairs and all kinds of things - I reckon it suffer like this much more than the old type washing machines where they used to fill up with water halfway up the drum whilst washing. - And if you were doing a 60c wash and the water was going over the bottom of the lip of the door gasket would not only keep those drain holes in the door gasket clean by dissolving any undissolved powder/liquid in the lip of the gasket  the hot 60c water  would also kill the germs and bacteria there as well also - with these washing machines these days not even coming anywhere near up to the level of the bottom of the door, then no wonder you have to clean them regularly and keep cleaning the drainage holes all the time otherwise it starts stinking.  - talking of stinking washing machines I bet you will find that these washing machines that use very little water in the drums these days smell more that the older washing machines that used to fill up halfway up the door bowl when washing. In fact I myself have noticed that the 'older' washing machine drums smell of nice washing powder smells and the newer ones after a while just smell of stale water even if you do regularly do a maintenance wash and keep the door gasket clean by wiping it down after every wash. Talking of which , the machines use little water mainly for economy , but once a month you are required to do a maintenance wash with nothing in the drum at 90c temp (again a tiny amount of water going into drum not even getting up to the top of the bottom paddle/lifter - so again you would think even the maintenance wash programme they give you would fill right up to the bottom of the glass door bowl so it can soak that part of the door gasket where those drain holes are and where the water gets lodged and doesnt drain away ... but they dont. 

I suppose the way I look at it is that they have gone modern with the way they use less water, less time to heat up (because of less water) and more efficient soap powder/liquid .. but the its gone a step back in the case that now I think it doesnt keep the drum/gasket/door as clean and cushion the clothes as they revolve (and soaks them) , and possibly puts less wear on motor and belt?  as when they used to have a good amount of water filling up to the bottom or halfway up the door) and at the end of the day the consumer is to perform a 90c maintenance was anyway once a month so that would push the electricity up annually anyway and take away the advantage of the savings of heating up less water to use less electricity! 


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Hello Andy. Modern washing machines use far less water. I personally don't think it's a good thing but they all became obsessed with using as little water as possible. The way they get round using less water does make sense although they have probably gone too far. A good analogy is having a shower instead of a bath which uses a lot less water. With a bath you are soaking in water but need a lot of water for the job. With a shower you are showered with water which gets you just as wet but using far less water.

Manufacturers use one of 2 methods or maybe even both. They design the drum paddles (or lifters) so that as they revolve through the water they scoop water up and sprinkle it over the laundry. The other method is using a recirculation pump. Many modern washing machines have a water pump that pumps water from the sump hose back through the top of the drum. Again this showers the laundry with water. Using these methods they can use less water but still saturate the laundry. It doesn't sound like it's working so well with your duvet but that's how it is supposed to work and they've been using this method for well over 10 years.

The door seals in most washing machines are very poorly designed regarding retaining water. The 3 drain holes can be next to useless with some designs. My own washing machine is a Miele, it has the 3 drain holes in the bottom of the door seal. But there is a mug full of water retained in the bottom of the door seal after every wash. The only door seal design I've ever seen that are totally free from this problem were Asko and the Dyson washing machine. Both these washing machines did not have the large bellowed type door seal. They were designed in such a way where the door seal was similar to that on a tumble dryer. It's complicated to explain but it appeared to work extremely well. Never caught on the for some reason.

If the door seal is getting clogged up with limescale and gunge I would put that down more to type and/or quantity of detergent being used and potentially which type of wash cycles rather than a reduced amount of water. I have a comprehensive article about this sort of issue here Get rid of washing machine smells and causes of grease & slime inside washing machines



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I miss the old days when you used to have the water come a quarter a way up the glass porthole door because if it was something you was washing you could see all the dirty water at the bottom of the glass door bowl and see how dirty it was ! - sad I know, but it was kinda satisfying in one way to see the dirty water :D  and then watching the clean water as it rinsed - I know as a kid (ok and as I got older too) my mum would buy a new washing machine (or a new second-hand one rather) me and my brother would look at the washing machine in action, it was almost like a ritual whenever we got another washing machine .. until the fascination wore off after a while lol 

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