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Old 30.07.2012, 16:22
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Using bleach in a front-load washer

Our front-load washing machine has developed a recurring mold problem, and I'd like to run some bleach/javel wasser in it, because I think that might help (since bleach helps keep mold from spreading), but I can't figure out exactly where or how to add the bleach.

It's a Zug Adora L machine, and it has three compartments -- one for fabric softener, one for detergent and one for "pre-wash." I read the user manual, but it makes no mention of where or how to add the bleach. Maybe it should go in the pre-wash compartment (?), but I don't want to do that and risk harming the machine. I even emailed Zug directly and they said that it is not good to use bleach more than once ever two months (!!!) because it could harm the plastic or rubber parts inside the machine. I find this strange because, in the States, most people use bleach to wash their whites, and most machines have a bleach-dispensing compartment.

Does anyone have any ideas or experience to share?

I'm really frustrated with this mold problem. I keep the door to the machine open when not using the machine, but I still end up having to clean out the mold (from under the seal) every month or so. I also found quite a bit of mold behind the dispenser tray. When the mold develops, the smell is awful. But thankfully, I did find a product from the States that really helps with that (Tide Washing Machine Cleaner).

Now if I could just figure out how to use some bleach.
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Old 30.07.2012, 16:24
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Re: Using bleach in a front-load washer

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Old 30.07.2012, 16:27
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Re: Using bleach in a front-load washer

The operator manuel for our Zug in the basement says to add the bleach to the first compartment (ours has 3 compartments... 1 is usually for softner/bleach... second for soap... I never used the 3rd)
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Old 30.07.2012, 16:29
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Re: Using bleach in a front-load washer

Thanks, I know about those bleach tablets, but I still don't know where exactly to put them.
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Old 30.07.2012, 16:33
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Re: Using bleach in a front-load washer

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The operator manuel for our Zug in the basement says to add the bleach to the first compartment (ours has 3 compartments... 1 is usually for softner/bleach... second for soap... I never used the 3rd)
Thanks.
But that surprises me that they would want you to add the bleach where the fabric softener goes, because:
1) That would mean that you would either have to add the bleach to the softener or not use the softener at all, and
2) The bleach would be added only to the rinse cycle instead of being added to the actual washing water.

Honestly, I hate my washer. Apart from the mold issue, it's a ridiculously complex machine, with a million different digital settings. I miss the simple, old school top loader ones with dials.
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Old 30.07.2012, 16:34
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Re: Using bleach in a front-load washer

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Thanks, I know about those bleach tablets, but I still don't know where exactly to put them.
if washing clothes I put one or two in with the soap powder,
if just rinsing the machine throw a handful in the door, shut the door ( duhh ! ) and start the wash cycle.
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Old 30.07.2012, 16:37
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Re: Using bleach in a front-load washer

Put a tablet in each and run an empty wash.
Job done.
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Old 30.07.2012, 16:39
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Re: Using bleach in a front-load washer

Where do you find those bleach tablets?
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Old 30.07.2012, 16:41
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Re: Using bleach in a front-load washer

Normally, it goes in the pre-wash compartment.

Tom
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Old 30.07.2012, 16:43
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Re: Using bleach in a front-load washer

Ah, okay. Thanks so much. I'll just throw a couple bleach tablets in with the soap then.

I had forgotten about those bleach tablets when I posted this thread. (The tablets aren't commonly used in the U.S. -- most people use liquid bleach).

But in response to the above comment, I've seen the tablets sold at Migros and Coop, usually near the laundry soaps I think.
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Old 30.07.2012, 16:47
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Re: Using bleach in a front-load washer

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Ah, okay. Thanks so much. I'll just throw a couple bleach tablets in with the soap then.

I had forgotten about those bleach tablets when I posted this thread. (The tablets aren't commonly used in the U.S. -- most people use liquid bleach).

But in response to the above comment, I've seen the tablets sold at Migros and Coop, usually near the laundry soaps I think.
if you've got fine stuff ( unmentionables ) in the laundry you might want to break up the bleach tabs a bit as they can take a min. or two to fully dissolve from whole.
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Old 30.07.2012, 17:29
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Re: Using bleach in a front-load washer

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Ah, okay. Thanks so much. I'll just throw a couple bleach tablets in with the soap then.

I had forgotten about those bleach tablets when I posted this thread. (The tablets aren't commonly used in the U.S. -- most people use liquid bleach).

But in response to the above comment, I've seen the tablets sold at Migros and Coop, usually near the laundry soaps I think.
Get in touch with the manufacturer again - they may have a special cleaning product for the machine. Not quite the same thing but the dishwasher engineer we had here gave me special stuff for the dishwasher which you are supposed to use just 2 or 3 times per year but, boy, did it shift the grime.

Perhaps there is a similar product for washing machines?
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Old 30.07.2012, 17:33
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Re: Using bleach in a front-load washer

There is something to adjust your washing machine for the type of water it's going to take IIRC. We had to "tell" our machine what type of water we had locally before using it.

I'd expect the mould is related to the type of water, washing powder or liquid and maybe it's not draining correctly too....
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Old 30.07.2012, 20:56
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Re: Using bleach in a front-load washer

I would stick a tablet in the pre-wash and main-wash containers, plus throw one in the drum. However, I wouldn't stick one in the softener container, as this is the last rinse that's run through the machine. I would prefer to have clean water run through the machine as the final rinse so that there was no risk of bleach being left behind.

In terms of preventing future mould, have you considered using a cloth to dry the seal after each wash?
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Old 30.07.2012, 21:10
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Re: Using bleach in a front-load washer

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I even emailed Zug directly and they said that it is not good to use bleach more than once ever two months (!!!) because it could harm the plastic or rubber parts inside the machine. I find this strange because, in the States, most people use bleach to wash their whites, and most machines have a bleach-dispensing compartment.
And a heads-up: apparently stain remover spray will damage plastic parts as well. The experior top panel on my machine - the bit housing the controls - developed shatter cracks within a few months of use. Repair guy said the type of plastic used is not designed to come into contact with cleaning products (erm, it's a washing machine... ) hence the cracks.

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Honestly, I hate my washer. Apart from the mold issue, it's a ridiculously complex machine, with a million different digital settings. I miss the simple, old school top loader ones with dials.
Amen.
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Old 30.07.2012, 21:36
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Re: Using bleach in a front-load washer

>>>I wouldn't stick one in the softener container, as this is the last rinse that's run through the machine.

VI is right. I added liquid bleach to the softener container and my clothes came out smelling strongly of bleach.

I then tried adding liquid bleach to the pre-wash container and it didn't do anything.

So, finally, I settled for adding liquid bleach in with the detergent (in the detergent compartment).

Will that ruin the washing machine?
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Old 30.07.2012, 21:49
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Re: Using bleach in a front-load washer

Thanks for all the advice here.

I just used one of those bleach tabs by putting it directly into the tub (where the clothes go) to wash a white bed sheet, and it seemed to work pretty well and dissolve entirely. I guess I'll just use those tabs since I'm still reluctant to use liquid bleach.

I've been emailing back and forth with someone at Zug, and he told me that machines here aren't designed to be used with bleach because, instead, people wash in much warmer water here (which, according to him, eliminates the need for bleach). But that makes no sense to me because, the last I knew, hot water alone doesn't really whiten whites or get stains out of my baby's white clothes. Also, I don't like washing in really hot water because 1) It uses more electricity and 2) I don't want our clothes to shrink. I normally wash in 30 or 40 degrees.

A Zug repairman will be coming here on Thursday and hopefully replacing the rubber seal where the mold has been developing. But as someone mentioned above, yes, I did just read that it's a good idea to dry the rubber seal after using the machine.
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Old 30.07.2012, 21:59
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Re: Using bleach in a front-load washer

Also, I usually wash my towels in the machine last and add a bit of household vinegar in the softener compartment. The acidity in the vinegar seems to keep the mould at bay, plus it cuts through any soap scum that might be left.

Use about half a cupful and it doesn't make your towels smell of vinegar.
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Old 31.07.2012, 02:23
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Re: Using bleach in a front-load washer

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Also, I usually wash my towels in the machine last and add a bit of household vinegar in the softener compartment. The acidity in the vinegar seems to keep the mould at bay, plus it cuts through any soap scum that might be left.

Use about half a cupful and it doesn't make your towels smell of vinegar.

I'd be careful with the vinegar as well though, my landlady gave me a rough time for using vinegar for washing the windows, saying that it damages the (rubber / silicone / whatever) seals on the windows.
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