How to wash clothes in a fancy, expensive Samsung top-loading washer? Don’t.
The Samsung top-loader is not up to the job of laundering garments. If an item has a sleeve, a pants leg, or a strap, it will end up literally braided into anything else you put in the machine. Packing every stitch of clothing into mesh bags does not help and often ends with a tangle, too. These wads can take a good ten minutes to pull apart, and the extricated clothing will often be damaged and always be wadded into intractable wrinkles.
The machine does a decent job on sheets, comforters, and blankets, which do not seem to tangle inside the Samsung. But it simply is not designed to wash clothing.
Well, owning one of these pieces of junk and finding myself unable to afford to buy another washer that probably won’t work any better, I realized I had to find another way to wash my jeans, underwear, and shirts.
Luckily, my house came equipped with an indispensable tool that makes this project possible: a utility sink, conveniently located next to the washer/dryer hookups.
Here’s what you’ll need to do your laundry-day chore:
• Samsung top-loading washer
• Good-sized household utility bucket, plastic
• A utility sink, preferably adjacent to the washer, preferably with running hot as well as cold water
• A functioning dryer or clothes line
• Dirty clothes, separated into whites and coloreds
• HE detergent, or a small amount of clear, unperfumed dish detergent
• Oxygen bleach (optional)
• Spot remover such as Spray ’n’ Wash (optional)
Place your bucket in the sink. Place a load of clothing into the bucket. If you have a lot of dirty clothes, you may have to divide the whites and the coloreds into several small loads each, by way of discouraging the Samsung from twisting them into braids.
Pretreat stains and extra dirt: spray or squirt on some spot remover; if desired, spot-treat stains with oxygen bleach. In some cases, such as stains from blood and other bodily excretions, O2 bleach will foam up and “eat” the offending substance — that’s because it contains hydrogen peroxide, the same stuff that foams up if you pour it on a cut, imagining H2O2 will disinfect. It won’t, but it looks impressive. And it does bleach blood and wine out of fabric, more or less.
For whites: Add a small amount of HE detergent — no more than enough to fill the cap to the line, but really much less is needed; about half that amount will do, especially if you have a small load. Add a capful of oxygen bleach, if desired.
If you are using oxygen bleach, fill the bucket with enough HOT water to cover the clothes. Oxygen bleach is activated by hot water, so if you choose to include it, wash in water that is as warm as you can stand it without being hot enough to burn your hands. It also sometimes contains the equivalent of old-fashioned bluing (that’s why it’s blue…get it? heh heh heh!), which causes white fabric to come out looking DayGlo white. So if you like your whites extravagantly white, use plenty oxygen (not chlorine!!!) bleach.
Unless you like your clothing decorated with holes and white spots, do not use chlorine bleach with this method.
If you’re not using O2 bleach, don’t waste your money on heating the water. Fill the bucket with cold water.
Now go away for 20 minutes or more. Come back whenever you feel so inclined. Roll up your sleeves and slosh the clothing around in the bucket for a few minutes. Scrub any known spots, either by rubbing the fabric together vigorously or by scrubbing each spot with an old toothbrush, a nailbrush, or a scrub brush.
Pour out the water. Wring the clothes gently (no need to get rough with this) to squeeze out most of the soapy water. Place them in the utility sink. Put the plug in the drain and fill the tub with enough cold water to cover the wet clothes generously. Hot water is not needed for the rinse process.
Again slosh the clothes around, to rinse out as much of the soap as you can, easily. This does not have to be perfect, because you’re about to make the Samsung rinse them for you. In fact, if you haven’t overdone the soap and you have used HE detergent instead of dish soap, you can probably skip this step.
Wring the clothes gently again, squeezing out the (now soapy) rinse water. Toss each item into the washer tub after wringing it. Drain the utility sink tub and set the plug where it can’t accidentally float into position to stop the drain again.
Set the Samsung cycle on Rinse/Spin, with cold water. Close the lid and turn the thing on.
Twenty minutes later, come back and retrieve your clothes. Place them in the dryer or hang them to dry, as desired.
For colored clothing: Follow the same instructions, with these two exceptions:
• Do not add oxygen (or any other) bleach.
• Use cold, not hot, water for washing.
Here’s how a pair of jeans came out of the Samsung this morning:
Apparently the braiding process occurs during the Samsung’s wash cycle, not during the rinse cycle. This load of colored clothes had two pair of jeans, two long-sleeved shirts, several kitchen towels, three or four pairs of socks, and a cami with spaghetti straps. Not one item tangled. They all came out of the wash almost wrinkle free, with the exception of a knit shirt, which will shake out nicely in the dryer.
Notice the amazing number of advantages to this strategy:
In the first place, the accursed Samsung takes an hour and ten minutes to run an ordinary load that my old Kenmore agitator washer would do in twenty minutes. To wash one piddling load of laundry!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Presumably it takes some time to work 15 pounds of wet clothing into braids, eh?
Even if you let a bucket of clothing soak for 20 minutes — it’s really not necessary unless the stuff is very dirty, indeed — it only takes about five or ten minutes to slosh the stuff around in the sink and transfer it into the washer tub. The Samsung’s Rinse/Spin cycle runs through in just 21 minutes. So let’s say 20 minutes to soak + 10 minutes to wash (very generous) + 21 minutes to rinse and spin out the water: that’s 51 minutes: twenty minutes less than it takes the Samsung to wash a load of clothes on the only cycle that uses enough water to actually get them clean. If you don’t presoak a load, you’re done with the job in 31 minutes.
Second: You control the amount of water that’s used. You can use as much or as little water as necessary to get your clothes clean. Most of the time, that’s not much.
But when you do need plenty of water to deal with a large load or with something that’s stained or unusually dirty, you don’t have to do battle with an infuriating machine to get it.
Third: You use a very minimal amount of energy: the washer runs less than 1/5 of the amount of time the damn thing would take to run through a functional wash cycle.
Fourth: You can use as much or as little detergent as you please.
Fifth: You’re not chained to using ultra-expensive HE detergent. If you’re willing to stand there and rinse thoroughly by hand, you can use dish detergent or clothes detergent that actually works (assuming any of that is still on the market).
Sixth: Your clothes are going to last much, much longer. Machine washing is hard on clothing. Even if a machine doesn’t wrap everything into wads and braids, the action inside any machine abrades, stretches, twists, and wads fabrics, adding hugely to wear and tear. Hand washing, being gentler, extends a garment’s lifetime, saving you on your wardrobe budget.
Seventh: You will never be worked into a high rage by your wash machine, thereby reducing the wear and tear on you and extending your own functional lifetime.