Fashion Starts with Clean Clothes



Twelve days ago my high efficiency front-load clothes washer started to thump, bump and generally sound like a jet crash landing in a swamp. Even though it sounded horrible in its death throes, I was happy it died because — over time — that washing machine made my clothes (and towels) stink. Yes, the washer was super high efficiency, but it is “known” for the singular problem of … stench … mold, mildew, whatever you call it; read reviews of the front loaders and buried somewhere toward the end of the predominantly rave reviews are words like “mold,” stinky” and more; I am not alone in my disgust for the smelliness this style of washing machine produces in my clothing. And I have a super sensitive sniffer so, to me, my clothes had begun to smell like rancid BO (and BO alone is bad enough, thank you very much). I ran “cleaners” through the washer once every two weeks, left the door to the machine open, dismantled the soap dispenser after every wash day and wiped off the rubber sealers too. But my clothes still stank.

The stinky washer is on the left, part of a matched set of appliances.

The stinky washer is on the left, part of a matched set of appliances.

When my husband Mike and I returned from San Diego, CA, last Wednesday we immediately raced out to get a new washing machine. A high efficiency machine. But NOT a front loader. My laundry chute is full of 12 days of stinky clothes. I am out of clean underwear. My son is out of clean socks. And my husband is out of clean everything. Thank goodness my daughter is at college.

water droplets on concreteDue to the recent Nor’easter along the East Coast I couldn’t take delivery of my new top-load washing machine until this morning…at 7:30 am. Three guys came for the delivery. Two guys wrestled my old front loader out the basement door; I waved good-bye, smiling the whole time. A third fellow hooked up my new washer.  I don’t like to be stared at while I work so I thought I’d give the install fellow a break and go upstairs while he hooked the new machine up. Well, he got a break all right. When I can back downstairs, my new washer was half full of water, but my basement floor was running with water. The house valve that controls water flow to the washer was leaking fast enough to fill a bucket in double-quick time. Every time the fellow turned the water supply on, water poured out of the valve and onto my basement floor.

He shrugged, said the valve was old and asked me to sign the delivery form, indicating all was well with the install. I refused. He called his office. I told the fellow on the other end of the phone what happened. He apologized and offered my a $50 gift card for the damage and inconvenience. After four more phone calls and a couple more back and forths, I talked with someone who spoke perfect English, understood what I said and assured me that the company would pay for the repair. After 32 minutes on the phone with that young woman I learned the company couldn’t get in touch with its plumber; she asked if I had one and said that her company would reimburse me for the repair if my plumber did it. I told her yes and she asked me to call back once the repair was completed and I had the bill.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m a pretty cynical person when it comes to people promising me things like 100% reimbursement. But I decided to believe this young woman. The plumber, my new plumber, handed me a bill for almost $200, and  I called that 800 number with the repair bill in hand. The (different) person on the other end of the phone had me go through my entire story again; she apologized for the breakage. She took minimal information from me and was ready to hang up. I asked for particulars about how she could process the reimbursement when she didn’t have a fax machine, access to a computer or anything else that would allow me to get her a copy of the repair bill. She spoke, but I didn’t understand anything she said; it was double speak. Finally, I asked her how she could process the repayment in 5-7 business days if she didn’t even have proof that I was telling her the truth. She paused. Apologized again. Gave me a damage claim tracking number. And told me that someone from “the delivery team” would be contacting me with the particulars. Within 24-48 hours. I asked for the delivery team’s contact information. She said that she wasn’t allowed to give that phone number to customers.

Now I will  wait to see if/when the delivery team person calls and gives me my instructions on how to get him/her a copy of the repair bill. Do you think that will happen? As I said, I’m pretty cynical. And my husband is even more so; he put a hold on the credit card payment for the washing machine.

No longer a matching set, but I'll sacrifice that for sweet smelling clothes.

No longer a matching set, but I’ll sacrifice looks for sweet smelling clothes.

Right now I’m on laundry load number 3 of what could easily be 12 loads. The new machine hums like a busy bee as it runs through its cycles. It’s a perfect cadence to match my tapping fingers; you see, I’ve already started my countdown to hearing from the delivery team person about my 100% repair refund. Will they call me back within the allotted time? Only time will tell.

Did I ever mention that my husband and I are prone to water disasters?

Did I tell you that my new plumber noticed significant corrosion on my hot water heater?


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6 Responses to Fashion Starts with Clean Clothes

  1. kim says:

    I am curious to see the outcome of this. Good Luck!!

  2. Lynn says:

    You will love your HE top load. I bought one about a year ago and it saved me over $75 per month in water and detergent. Plus, I really feel it is easier to pull wet laundry out the top of the washer then bending over and reaching in to pull them out, and from what I have read, they never stink! I guess I am a lucky woman, I married a industrial mechanic. I never pay for installation, just delivery, if he isn’t around to pick it up for me. The hubby always replaces my emergency shut offs when I get a new appliance, because they are notorious for going bad. I sure hope they reimburse you, but from the sounds of things, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

  3. Lisa Tognola says:

    Just went though something similar. I share your pain. And your (former) mildew problem!

  4. Are you kidding me? Un-believeable. Update us, ok?

  5. Maryl says:

    Sorry to hear about your repair problems. I had a similar experience trying to get my cooktop fixed….took 6 months. But thanks for the tip on the problems with front loaders. They look so cool but apparently not worth it. Your clothes are suppose to come out smelling great not stink. Good luck.

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