I'm afraid that this is a proper "blog" post and full of personal comment so I will apologise in advance for the comments in this article and state upfront that they may not reflect the views of any appliance manufacturer or detergent manufacturer.
The simple fact is however that there are loads of problems that are thrown up by what is often labelled as being "customer misuse" or "customer education" due to higher efficiency in modern washing machines especially, creating a bad smell on laundry or from the machine.
Now, I'll also get another swipe out the way, it's good for us as we sell products to solve the problem. For over a year we've been selling Affresh to get rid of bad smells from washing machines and it's proved to be a very good product, it just does the job and is easy to use.
But we've also recently gotten a hold of another washing machine cleaner as well, Smelly Washer, which is also designed to get rid of bad smells from your washing machine.
But on researching this new product to add it to the store (we usually test and research stuff like this first ourselves as a lot of it is rubbish that we get sent) I was utterly gobsmacked by the scale of the problem in the good old US of A. It seems that it's a major, major problem. Of course we were aware of the lawsuits but, it's America, if it stands still or moves there's usually a lawsuit that it does something someone, somewhere doesn't like. But LG and Maytag taken to task on a class action for bad smelling washers? There has to be some substance to the claims surely.
Where there's blame, there's a claim! Sadly.
But that's not really the point of this article. The point was what struck me after a few hours of research:
The Washing Machine Manufacturers
Well they lay the blame on the users, as you might expect, as well as the detergent manufacturers for advising to use too much detergent.
Of course they say that their machines are mega efficient and don't need as much detergent to operate efficiently and that too much leads to residues and, the bad odours.
In the US (although not in Europe yet) they've even had to introduce cleaning cycles on the machines, probably more to say "hey, I need cleaned occasionally" than to actually do much more than a hot wash.
The Detergent Manufacturers
As you might expect, contradictory advice.
The detergent guys say that in larger load machines you need more detergent, which is true.
They say that the detergent dose should not be reduced for more efficient machines. Ehm, what? So it's more efficient but you need MORE of the thing that costs the most per cycle?
Okay, is sort of makes sense but people just don't realise that every machine is different and every user is also different. It depends what you wash, how often and a whole load of other factors.
But to get rid of the whole "misusue" or "education" issues you really need to read our help and advice section to get the lowdown on modern detergents in modern machines. But what I often find myself telling people is, if you've been using a washer for years, decades even, forget what you think you know about them as the new energy efficient machines are a whole new ball game. They do not just work the same way as they always did.
And, if you have a bad smell from your washing machine, you need one or the other cleaner.
Smelly Washer -V- Affresh
Some people reckon that this is better than Affresh for getting rid of a bad smell from your washing machine and others insist that Affresh is better. In any event both are good and clean the insides of your washing machine very well.
Smelly Washer does have one major advantage over Affresh though and that is that it is cheaper per application. It works out at a mere 84 pence per use!
However Smelly Washer can also be used to actually get rid of bad smells that are already in laundry, especially towels and sheets.
Smelly Washer starts shipping later this week.