Washer Not Getting Clothes Clean
Clothes that aren’t getting clean add unnecessary steps to your laundry routine. The troubleshooting guide below outlines the most common causes of clothes that aren’t getting clean during a wash cycle. It Is Fixed Appliance Repair has technicians trained in washer repair. We offer night and weekend appointments, so contact us today if you need assistance.
Possible Cause: Clogged Lint Trap
Some washing machine models have a lint trap. The lint trap “captures” lint as the clothes wash. When the lint trap is clogged, or otherwise defective, it can leave a thick residue of damp lint on clothing. This is often a light gray or off-white color, and it is hard to remove even after you rewash the clothes. The lint trap will need to be cleaned to resolve the issue.
Refer to your owner’s manual to locate your unit’s lint trap to determine if your unit has a lint trap and its location. If you no longer have your washing machine owner’s manual, you may be able to find a digital copy on Manuals Online or Manual Owl.
If you have a top-loading washing machine with the center agitator, the lint trap may be located inside the agitator. Remove the cover and look inside. The lint trap sits at the bottom of the agitator tube. You may also find the lint trap under the top rim of the washer drum. Some machines have a lint screen covering the drain pump, but if this lint trap is clogged, it will also cause problems with draining. Refer to our guide for a washing machine that won’t drain for more information on how to resolve a clogged pump filter.
Once you locate the lint trap, remove it from the machine and wash it with warm soapy water. Allow the lint trap to dry completely before reinserting it into the machine. Make sure that the door of the trap closes, and that there are no signs of damage to the trap. Once the trap is clean and secure, rewash your clothing. Follow these suggestions to remove stubborn lint from your clothing.
Possible Cause: Difficult Stains
Washing machines are great for removing dirt, sweat, and smells from clothing, but stains some stains require pretreatment with special cleaning solutions. Your washing machine may offer a guide on how to treat certain types of common stains such as blood or grass. Particularly tough stains, like grease, wine, may be more difficult to remove. The Cleaning Institute provides a comprehensive guide for removing stains based on stain type. In general, for difficult stains wash your clothes with the hottest setting allowable for the fabric type, increase the agitation time, and make sure the stain is removed before drying the clothing. Once a stain has been dried, it is much harder to remove.
Possible Cause: Laundry Detergent Issues
Be sure to use laundry products that are compatible with your washer model. The owner’s manual will outline what type of detergent and soap is safe to use with your unit.
If you use regular detergent with a high-efficiency (HE) washers, the detergent will overproduce suds. Rather than helping get your clothes clean, the extra suds cushion the clothes preventing them from rubbing against each other. The clothes scrubbing against each other is a key component of getting your clothes clean. Over-sudsing can also cause leaks. Only use a detergent that has been formulated for an HE washer in an HE machine.
Other issues may arise from when the detergent is added to your wash. Powdered soap takes longer to dissolve, and should be added to the empty washer drum before turning on your washing machine, so that has time to dissolve properly.
If you use too much laundry soap, it can also leave a residue. Refer to our washer maintenance guide for detailed information.
Possible Cause: Oversized Load
Your washing machine has a water level limit detector that prevents the washing machine from overflowing. If there are too many clothes in the machine, there won’t be enough water in the machine to clean the clothes. To get clean, the clothes need to move freely as the machine agitates. An overloaded cycle can also cause clothes to tangle, bunch, or sit idle in the bottom of the drum. Consult your user manual for guidance on load size.
A general rule of thumb for load size is as follows:
Medium Load: The washer drum is half full or six pounds.
Large Load: The washer drum is ¾ full or 11 pounds.
Possible Cause: Incorrect Washing Settings
Using the wrong wash settings can cause your clothes not to get clean. Consult your user manual for specific details on the settings available for your unit, and how to correctly set the cycle patterns on your control panel. Be sure to check the instructions on the tag of your clothing for the correct temperature and washing cycle setting – some clothes require cold water, whereas linens and towels require hot water to get clean. You might want to check your laundry detergent instructions as well, because some function properly in cold water, while others are at peak performance in hot.
Possible Cause: Dirty Washer Tub/Interior
To get clothes clean, the washing machine itself must be clean. Over time grime, oil, lint, and dirt can build up in the machine. This may deposit on your clothes as they’re being washed. Grab a flashlight to look inside the washing machine tub. Sniff the tub. If you smell mildew or any unpleasant odors, the machine needs to be cleaned. Also, rub a white cloth or paper towel over the walls of the tub. If the towel gets dirty, the washer needs to be cleaned. Refer to our washing machine maintenance guide for detailed instructions on how to clean your washer.
Possible Cause: Heater Failure
Some models of washing machine rely entirely on the heat of water as it comes out of the water heater for a hot wash. Other models have a separate heater to ensure the water reaches a specific temperature. If the heater fails, clothing that requires warm or hot water might not get clean or as clean as usual. Make sure that you set your washer to the proper temperature goal in the control panel. Then, after the water has started to fill in the tub, carefully check the temperature of the water using a thermometer.
Warning: Do not test the temperature of the water with your hand, as you may get burned.
If you have a front-loading washing machine, it is difficult to test the temperature of the water. However, if you touch the front of the door and it is not warm, you may have an issue with the washer heater.
It Is Fixed Appliance Repair can test your washer heater to determine if it is working, and if necessary, replace the part. Our technicians trained in washer repair are available seven days a week. Contact us today for an appointment.
Possible Cause: Washer Not Spinning or Agitating
It takes more than soap and water for clothes to get clean. They must also be scrubbed vigorously, either by hand or by the agitation of a washing machine. If your washing machine is not spinning or agitating, your clothes will not get clean. Please refer to our guide for a washer that won’t spin for troubleshooting tips.
It Is Fixed Appliance Repair offers washer repair services everywhere in the Atlanta and Metro Atlanta area. We have night and weekend appointments seven days a week, and can often come out the same day* you call us. Contact us or book online for an appointment.