My MayTag Legacy washing machine, bought years ago, seemed to be falling apart. Should we replace, or repair?

Information about washing machines
etter ways to wash clothes

Having my washing machine repaired yielded considerable information about washing machines and how to better wash the clothes.

I thought I was using half the amount of soap needed. I learned I was using AT LEAST TWICE the amount of soap needed to clean the clothes.

My washer repeatedly spun off balance, making a horrible clunking sound that could be heard all over the house as it walked out around the floor. It spun the clothing to remove the water, but when the machine finished, the clothes were still wet.

B. James, who fixed our stove, told us our washing machine, if repaired, should give us 15-20 more years of service.
We decide to fix the machine

We asked Mr. Apppliance to send someone to tell us if the machine could be fixed, and if so, to give an estimate of how much it would cost to fix the machine. We were very happy with this company as their technician, James, previously fixed our stove when its oven no longer heated to the proper degree (Pic B).

The cost to fix the machine would be $800+. But James said the machine was high quality, and that a machine as good would cost more. He told us we wouldn’t find new machines with the quality that was available in the past.

I had previously learned that the trade wars and tariffs are causing a considerable rise in the price of washing machines at the seminar, Trade Wars, Tariffs and Strategic Sourcing:  referenced in the previous post, 92: Texworld Trade Show Visit. It proved true when we shopped for a new machine. We could have bought a machine for less than the quoted price for fixing our machine, but we would have had to settle for a machine of lower quality.

We called Mr. Apppliance to have our old washing machine fixed. The company also approved my interviewing their techs for this post.

Fixing the machine
C. Richard is the first to arrive.

Richard, James assistant, was the first to arrive. Richard’s background is fixing washing machines (Pic C).

James soon joined him.

The transmission was the problem. The machine was agitating too slowly, plus the machine had other problems. It needed a new belt, etc.

D. Richard opens up the machine.

Richard went right to work taking my machine apart (pic D).



To my horror, the internal parts of the machine were full of filthy gunk 
E. This and the other internal parts of the machine were full of gunk, which I was told was old soap. Most of the gunk has been removed from this part. It was a big job.

While the two men worked on the machine, I cleaned its internal parts. Richard told me the gunk was old soap. I was using too much, which was causing the problem (Pic E).

I had always thought I was using half the amount of soap required. James and Richard told me that I was using at least TWICE the amount of soap needed to clean the clothes.

While they worked I asked them how to wash clothes.

These two men know how to do wash clothes, as they need to be able test the machines after the machines are fixed.

James and Richard’s washing information
F. he stands for high efficiency. It’s designed for use in high efficiency washing machines that use only 4 gallons of water, as it produces low suds.
  1. Make sure to use the correct detergent (Pic F).
  2. Most people are using too much soap, the reason internal parts of washing machine build up with scum. The men said that when the soap scum builds up inside the machine one doesn’t need to add any soap to the wash, as the soap is already in the machine.
  3. The amount of dirt in clothing determines the amount of soap one uses, not the load size.
  4. G. One Tide cap holds 3/4 cup of soap. A full load of slightly soiled clothing needs only 2 tablespoons of soap to wash clean.

    One Tide cap holds 3/4 cup of soap.
    One-fourth of a cup equals 4 tablespoons. That means one Tide cap (3/4 of a cup) holds 12 tablespoons (Pic G).

    If the clothes are filthy– the amount of dirt that would be in a mechanic’s clothing, if using Tide, fill the cap 1/2 full (6 tablespoons).

    If the clothes are dirty – the amount of dirt a little boy’s clothes might have if the little boy had played in a mud puddle, use 1/4 of a cap (3 tablespoons). One half of a Tide cap holds 6 tablespoons. That divided in half is 3 tablespoons.

    If the clothes are slightly soiled, use 1/6 of a cap (2 tablespoons). One third of a half of a Tide cap is 2 tablespoons.

  5. Separating according to color doesn’t matter. Separate according to the  (fabric type) weight of the fabrics. Wash heavy-weight fabrics with heavy-weight fabrics; light-weight fabrics with light-weight fabrics, etc. Mixing heavy-weight fabrics with light-weight fabrics will cause fading and lint production. heavy-weight fabrics will damage the light-weight fabrics during the washing.
  6. Washing in cold water prevents fading, but does not sanitize. Detergents to use with cold water include Cold Water Tide, Woolite, Seventh Generation, and Persil.
Prevent flooding
Rubber hoses should be replaced every 5 years. Stainless steel hoses, every 8 to 10 years.

One more important tip:

To prevent flooding, rubber hoses should be replaced every 5 years, stainless steel hoses, every 8 to 10 years.

No one wants to return from vacation to find their basement flooded.

A plumber does this job.

That’s next on our list.

A little history about washing and ironing
The Mulberry Bush Song

Sung by little girls back in the forties, this song was an easy way for them to learn their future weekly schedule:

Here we go ‘round the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush,
here we go ‘round the mulberry bush, so early on Monday morning.
This is the way we wash the clothes, wash the clothes, this is the way we wash the clothes so early on Monday morning.

Here we go ‘round the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush,
here we go ‘round the mulberry bush, so early on Tuesday morning.
This is the way we iron the clothes… so early on Tuesday morning…

…mend the clothes…Wednesday…
…sew the clothes…Thursday
…bake the bread…Friday
…clean the house…Saturday
…go to church…Sunday

More history:
Before automatic washing machines, driers, other time-saving appliances, and improved fabrics, washing and ironing were each an all-day weekly chore. There was often a race among neighbors as to who could get her wash out on the line first. There’s a saying, It all hangs out on the line, as a lot could be learned about others from seeing what was hung on the line on wash day.

As late as in the early forties, farm women kept flat irons on the back of their cast iron stoves. Electric irons changed all that, but electricity was slow in coming on the farms. Too many irons in the fire, refers to being involved in too many activities at once. Ironing was an acquired skill, especially if using flat irons, as scorching was easy, especially with cotton dresses.  The irons, right off the stove, were very hot, but they cooled rapidly.
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© Laurel Hoffmann, 2019.

6 Comments. Leave new

  • Contemporary Fashion Education
    February 2, 2019 7:55 pm

    Once when I asked, my grandmother told me “The good old days weren’t all that good.” Hanging clothes out on the line to dry in the winter was an experience. They would come in frozen. Canning on a wood stove in 104 degrees in the summer was another experience one can do without. Modern conveniences have made a tremendous difference in women’s lives. We now have the time to go out to jobs so as to pay for all of this.

  • Ironically I was opening my computer to ask a question about washing a particular type of fabric and when it opened, it actually opened to this page. I read all of it and it was helpful. Not only did it answer my question, it answered the solution to problems, I hadn’t even thought about. So thank you. Laurel for your investigative reporting. I will put it to good use.

  • Karen Kappe Nugent
    February 12, 2019 12:46 pm

    Hi Laurel! Thanks for this informative post.


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