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  • Don't Get Tricked into Using Too Much Detergent

    In a move to reducing packaging and pack more loads into every bottle, detergent manufactures are offering increasing concentrations such as 2X, 3X and sometimes even 8X.  But all of this multiplying can have the same effect on how much you pay to wash a single load of clothes.  It may seem silly but take a look at this simple math.  First, consider that consumers normally assume that because detergent bottles give you a measuring cap, one cap equals one load.  However, the truth is that with new concentrations of laundry detergent like Era 2x Ultra, All 3X Ultra and Purex 2X Ultra, only 1/2 of a cap or less may be necessary.  Second, the average washing machine uses about 40 gallons of water per load of clothes.  However, using too much laundry detergent means that it takes longer to rinse clothes.  Some new washing machines will run additional rinse cycles until the water is clear and free of suds.

    Now for some numbers

    Cost of washing one load with All 3X Ultra: $0.13 (Consumer Reports)

    Average cost of 40 gallons of water: $0.32

    Total cost for one load of laundry (not factoring in electricity for water heating): $0.45

    Now lets run the numbers for what the average consumer actually pays

    Cost of using too much detergent (full cap - twice as much): $0.26

    Average cost of 40 gallons of water: $0.32

    Additional 20 gallons for extra rinse cycles: $0.16

    Total cost for one load of laundry (not factoring in electricity for water heating): $0.74 (39% more)

    This is just one example and All 3X Ultra is actually one of the less expensive brands.

    Kenmore Detergent Tray

    Detergent trays like this Kenmore unit aren't designed for modern concentrated detergents

    Other brands can cost as much as $0.35 per load (or $0.70 if you use a full cap).  It may not seem like much money, but now consider that the average American household washers nearly 400 loads of laundry per year.  400 x $0.29 = $116.00 down the drain.  What could you do with an additional $116 each year?

    One last item to consider.  Most new front loading washing machines like the Kenmore 4000 series in our test lab have detergent trays with measurement lines.  These may seem like a great convience, but there is no gold standard for detergent concentrations or amounts.  So simply filling the tray to Normal or Max could be way too much detergent.  Do yourself a favor and try measuring the exact amount of laundry detergent necessary using the fill lines on the detergent bottle's measured cap.  It doesn't matter what brand you choose, Tide, All, Era, Woolite, Kirkland Signature, Method, Wisk, Purex or Cheer, this simple step might just save you some serious money this year.

  • Consumer Reports Tests Silent Feet Anti-Vibration Pads

    A posting on the Consumer Reports website has officially confirmed that Silent Feet as well as other anti-vibration pads

    for washing machines are in the labs for testing. This marks the first official independent comparison of vibration isolation pads. The washing machine anti-vibration pad industry is only a few years old. The Vibration Solution was one of the first companies to really begin putting significant funding towards research and design on washing machine noise and vibration reduction. Prior to 2007, most R&D was done internally at major appliance manufactures like Maytag, Whirlpool, Samsung, LG and General Electric. However, as the front-loading washing machine market expanded, it became clear that the major manufactures were falling behind on providing noise and vibration protection products.

    The Vibration Solution began product development in 2005 when the company discovered a loud consumer outcry for a real anti-vibration product that worked for washing machines.  Prior to the release of Silent Feet, consumers were forced to resort to a wide range of cleaver but not always effective alternatives.  Some examples included tennis balls cut in half, rolled up gym socks, cow and horse mats, anti-fatigue mats, rolled up towels and our favorite, sitting on the washing machine.  None of these really solved the problem of washing machine noise and vibration.  Our company, realizing that no regular rubber would provide enough vibration dampening, contacted Sorbothane. Sorbothane had already developed cutting-edge solutions for NASA, the U.S. Military and NASCAR.  Together our engineers developed Silent Feet Anti-Vibration Pads.  After 2 years of exhaustive testing to ensure that every Silent Feet pad would withstand years of use and abuse without degrading, Silent Feet were officially released.

    Now, just a few years later and with a market now filling with knock off imitations, Silent Feet have officially been recognized by Consumer Reports as one of the leaders in the industry.  Check out the August issue of Consumer Reports Magazine and Consumer Reports Online for full details of the tests.

  • A Hole-in-One for the New Whirlpool Duet Steam Washer - Review

    Despite a troubled past and rumors of mold and mildew issues in older Whirlpool washers, the company has blown away the competition this

    Whirlpool Duet in Cranberry Red

    The perfect accent to your stylish laundry alcove

    year with one of the best new front-loading washing machines on the market.  There really isn't anything you can complain about with this year's Whirlpool Duet Steam Washer.  I guess maybe if you wanted one in a blue color then maybe it wouldn't be the perfect addition to your laundry room.  But for those looking for a white, Lunar Silver or Cranberry Red addition to their laundry alcove, you will be pleased with the color selection.

    But on to the serious side of this review.  In terms of overall performance for getting dirt and grime out of clothes, the Duet Steam Washer does it's job very well.  It's 90 minute cycle time right about in the middle of the pack, but it sure gets the work done.  Unlike other washer's in this category, it'll keep your clothes looking new for years to come thanks to it outstanding gentleness.  But it's gentle on more than just your clothes.  This washer is one of the most quiet and vibration free in the industry.  When installed properly, following all of Whirlpool's guidelines it will operate without upsetting your sleeping babies or evening dinner party.  Just make sure that this beast has a well supported and level subfloor to rest on.  Whirlpool recommends no more than 1" of slope under the washer.  If your laundry room floor doesn't quiet live up to Whirlpool's requirements, they recommend that you add a sheet of 1/2" plywood for bracing or install an anti-vibration pad like Silent Feet from The Vibration Solution.

    The Whirlpool Duet Steam is also gentle on your wallet.  Besides earning the Energy Star rating, it's also already priced only $700 to $850 in most markets.  And the savings will keep on coming as you'll qualify for excellent government Cash for Appliances tax credits.  Not to mention that you'll quickly notice a drop in your water and electrical bills.  The Duet Steam has earned CEE Tier III validation and uses 74% less water than before.  Compare it to your old top loading washer and this baby is thrifty as they come using a whopping 80% less electricity.

    Lunar Silver Whirlpool Duet Steam Washer Dryer Pair

    The perfect couple: Whirlpool Duet Washer and Dryer

    The Whirlpool Duet Steam will keep you happy for years to come.  Beyond the 1 year warranty, Whirlpool has consistently ranked as one of the most reliable manufacturers of front-loading washing machines according to Consumer Reports.   And don't worry about getting left behind the technology curve.  Whirpool's steam cleaning technology is forging to the front of the pack and looks to be one of the must have's in the coming decade.  So rest easy, wash quietly and add the Whirlpool Duet Steam Washer to your home today.

  • The Complete Guide to Front Loading Washing Machine Vibration for 2010

    A recent surge of government tax rebates and retail appliance sales has sparked a surge in new energy efficient washing machine and dryer purchases.  But before you take advantage of these great deals on new appliances, check out the noise and vibration ratings for the latest washers.  The first step is to analyze your laundry room.  Is it located on the second floor?  Is your current washer installed on a concrete slab?  Do you currently have issues with noise and vibration?  What other laundry problems would you like to avoid in the future?

    It is very important to recognize what your expectations for your laundry room are, because it is likely that your next washer and dryer will last for a decade or more before needing to be replaced again.  Picking a noisy or high-vibration washer could mean many years of aggravating noise every time you do laundry.  There is good news though about solving vibration problems in washers and dryers.  By installing Silent Feet under the appliance, even on a 2nd installation your home can remain a quiet and peaceful place.  It is strongly recommended that you install Silent Feet or Anti-Walk Silent Feet vibration isolation pads if you currently have or are planning to purchase any of these models of washing machines.

    Front Loading with Major Vibration Noise

    LG WM0642H

    LG Allergiene WM2688HA

    Bosch Nexxt 300 Series WFMC220UC

    Miele Touchtronic W484

    Maytag 5000 Series MHWE500V

    Bosch Vision 800 Series WFVC8440UC

    Bosch Vision 300 Series WFVC3300UC

    Amana NFW7200T

    Speed Queen AFB50R

    LG WM2010C

    Asko Ultracare WL6511

     

    Front Loading with Moderate Vibration Noise

    Electrolux WaveTouch EWFLW65

    GE WCVH68000J

    LG Allergiene SteamWasher WM3001HA

    Whirlpool Duet Steam WFW97000V

    Whirlpool Duet Steam WFW9550W

    Frigidaire Gallery GLTF2940F

    Kenmore Elite HE5t Steam 4770

    Bosch Vision 500 Series WFVC5440UC

    Frigidaire Affinity ATF8000F

    GE WBVH5300K

    LG WM2016C

    Bosch Nexxt 800 Series WFMC840UC

    Whirlpool Duet HT WFW94000S

    Frigidaire Affinity FAFW3577K

    Samsung WF218AN

    Bosch Nexxt 500 Plus Series WFMC544UC

    Frigidaire Affinity ATF6000F

    Kenmore HE2t 4756

    Kenmore HE2 Plus 4751

    Whirlpool Duet Sport WFW8300S

    Recommended Front Loading Washing Machines

    Electrolux IQ Steam EIFLS55

    GE Profile WPDH8800J

    GE Profile Steamwasher WPDH8900J

    Kenmore Elite 405

    Kenmore Elite Steam 4219

    LG WM2701HV

    Maytag Performance Series MHWE950W

    Samsung WF448AA

    Whirlpool Duet Steam WFW9750W

    Even if your front loading washing machine isn't listed here as having vibration issues it still needs vibration isolation pads if it is installed on a 2nd floor or joist constructed floor.  This is because over time, vibrations caused by repetitive use of a clothes washer's spin cycle will cause the joints of wooden floor supports to separate and wear.  Washing machine manufacturers know this and all of them recommend the use of a vibration isolator pad like Silent Feet for these installations.  Don't risk long term damage and costly repairs to your home, make the investment in Silent Feet vibration pads for your laundry room today and rest easier knowing you're protected.

    For complete reviews, buying recommendations and more information about washer and dryer noise and vibration check out consumer review sites like Consumer ReportsConsumer Search and CNET Reviews.

    The Complete Guide to Top Loading Washing Machine Vibration 2010

    The Complete Guide to Clothes Dryer Noise 2010

  • Consumer Reports - The Noisy Truth About 2009 Washers and Dryers

    The latest Consumer Reports reviews are now available for washers and dryers on sale in 2009 at www.consumerreports.org.  These reviews provide a wealth of great information about purchasing a new washer or dryer.  Some of the information available includes test results for washing performance, energy efficiency, water efficiency, capacity, gentleness, cycle time and most importantly for Silent Feet customers, noise and vibration.  All the test results were grouped by type of washing machine so that front and top loading machines could be compared accurately.

    Even expensive washing machines for 2009 could leave your ears ringing and your dishes rattling

    Even expensive washing machines for 2009 could leave your ears ringing and your dishes rattling

    The two washing machines that had the worst vibration and noise were an LG and an Asko Ultracare which according to Consumer Reports, "shook so vigorously in our tests that they would be poor choises for laundry rooms on framed floors." Anyone considering installing a washing machine on a framed floor or any floor other than a concrete slab should strongly consider the use of a vibration pad like Silent Feet.  Without such a pad under the washer and dryer the vibrations caused by the machines can degrade and destroy the structural integrity of the floor.  Other major concerns raised by the reports were anti-allergen features, longer cycle wash cycles and their negative effects on fabrics and finally problems with mold growth in washing machines.

    For customers considering purchasing a new washing machine in the coming year, we strongly recommend installing Silent Feet products under any of the following models.  Each of these models earned the lowest scores in their category for noise and vibration.

    Front-Loading Washing Machines

    Frigidaire Affinity ATF8000F[S]

    Kenmore HE2t 4756[I]

    LG WM2277H[W]

    Speed Queen CTSAOA[W]N

    Kenmore HE2 Plus 4751[2]

    Whirlpool Duet Sport WFW8300S[W]

    Top-Loading Washing Machines

    GE WJRE5500G[WW]

    Kenmore 2884[2]

    GE Profile WPRE6150H[WT]

    Maytag MTW5800T[W]

    Whirlpool WTW5800S[W]

    Amana NRW5700T[Q]

    Kenmore 2872[2]

    Staber HXW2304

    Estate ETW4400T[Q]

    GE WHDRR418G[WW]

    GE WWSE5240G [WW]

    Hotpoint VWSR4160G[WW]

    Haier Genesis GWT900A[W]

    Whirlpool WTW5300S[Q]

    Kenmore 2742[2]

    Frigidaire FWS1233F[S]

    Dryers

    GE Profile DPSE810EG[WT]

    Maytag MED5900T[W]

    Miele Touchtronic T9800

    Kenmore 6683[2]

    Amana NED5800T[Q]

    Whirlpool WED5800S[W]

    GE DTSR495EF[GG]

    Fisher & Paykel DEGX2

    GE DRSR483EG[WW]

    Whirlpool WED5500S[Q]

    Staber HXD2304E

    For complete reviews, buying recommendations and more information about washer and dryer noise and vibration check out consumer review sites like Consumer Reports, Consumer Search and CNET Reviews.

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