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Not Using Enough Water?

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We bought the Bosch Maxx Classic a couple of years ago and for a long time I have suspected that it is TOO WATER EFFICIENT.

I say this because it appears that the clothes are never swishing in water. The small amount of water it does use gets soaked up into all the clothes.

I have also noticed with some clothes that they don't smell completely clean. If you have sweated in a top, then that sweat smell comes back when you wear it again after washing. I wonder if this is because of the lack of water it uses when washing?

I have actually taken to adding water into the machine after about 10 minutes, so that it sits at the bottom of the door. I know the manual says that you won't be able to see the water, but surely there has to be some excess that doesn't get soaked up into the clothes to ensure a proper clean ?

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  • Root Admin

I think the main prerequisite is that the laundry is completely wet through, and is agitated well with good detergent. It needs to be well rinsed too. The laundry doesn't need to be submerged in water in order to be completely wet through, which is the principle washing machine manufacturers have been using for the last 15 years or more as they've slowly reduced the amount of water their machines use.

One of the problems with the eco label wash efficiency rating is that they only test one program, and that's whites - 60 degree wash. Yet it's well known that most people only wash using the 40 or even 30 degree washes! It's quite possible for a washing machine to wash perfectly well on 60 degree wash but be poor on 40.

The principle of not submerging laundry in water that manufacturers describe is the same as the difference between having a shower and a bath. In the bath most of the body is submerged but you can have just as good a wash under a shower where you get wet through but are never submerged. However, if the water you were being showered with is simply the same water you were stood in it might not be so good.

Washing machines now scoop up water with the drum paddles and sprinkle it constantly over the laundry. Some also have what they call circulation pumps, which pump water from the sump hose back up through the top of the drum to constantly shower laundry. This is the reason manufacturers say they don't need to use as much water. I'm not sure if this has affected wash results or not, most washing machines get tested and rated for wash results as part of the eco labels information but some people do think they don't wash as well as they used to.

Having said that I think the same principle of using less water does not apply to good rinsing, and I think modern washing machines probably do not use enough water to rinse with. As a result a lot of people are dissatisfied with their results, particularly those with skin allergies or sensitive to detergent. My blog article on the subject has currently over 500 comments - Why can't modern washing machines rinse properly?

There's also a previous forum topic regarding poor wash results, you might find it worthwhile just double checking the links I posted there just in case something could explain it other than the low water usage - Clothes Not Coming Out Clean And Tried Everything Poor wash results

Other than that it could just be your washing machine doesn't wash very well. Some are quite poor at washing and many aren't very good at rinsing either. Which? do lots of tests which point out the best and worst for anyone interested I've posted my affiliate links to them below -


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello Amy,

I'm in just the same position as you. I bought a Bosch Classixx nearly 2 years ago, and I've come to the same conclusion as you - it just cannot get things clean, and the reason is lack of water. I've done countless experiments with all the different cycles, different detergents, under/over/proper dosing of detergents, prewash, etc etc. The only thing that makes a real difference is to add more water to the wash phase.

I have to handwash my tops every now and then to remove the sweat smell you talk about. The machine doesn't remove it, it just builds up from wash to wash, so eventually they have to be handwashed.

I have the same problem with duvet covers and dressing gowns. These are too big to handwash, so I have been putting them in as single items, on the delicates cycle which uses the most water, with prewash to get them effectively washed twice, and bio detergent which is necessary at the low delicates cycle temperature of 30 degrees. I don't like washing bedding and so on at these low temperatures because it is unhygienic. OTOH it's also unhygienic to have things coming out of the washing machine still dirty.

In my opinion this washing machine is not fit for the purpose it was sold for. It has not once managed to properly clean a normal load of washing, in the 2 years I have owned it.

In about 2 months the warranty will expire, and at that time I will ask an engineer to adjust its pressure valve so that it will use more water. If that turns out not to be possible, then I will get an old secondhand machine I bought fixed up and use that instead. I am sooooo tired of having dirty laundry, and I just need to remove this constant source of stress from my life.


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