Sunday, August 10, 2008

Appliance Question #5 Lint on clothing

I received an email from Joy:
I can't find the answer to something that I am having a big problem with, and I'm hoping that you can help me and my family out.

We bought a Maytag Atlantis Washer and Dryer about 2 years ago. Generally both machines run fine and we are happy with them.

But the washer has a big problem with lint. Dark clothes come out covered in lint, even though I am careful to separate our clothes. I wash only dark clothes by themselves and white clothes by themselves. Yet the dark clothes are covered with white lint.

What am I doing wrong? I don't overload the machine - quite the opposite.

Should I run the washer with no clothes every so often to clean out the lint filter?

Is there some way I can access this self cleaning filter myself and clean it?

I answered via email, but I wanted to share my response with you:

Lint is cotton fiber that has broken away from the cotton garment. Lint likes to attach itself to
synthetic fabrics. When this happens, the user often thinks that the washer is not performing
properly. Therefore, to solve the problem of lint on synthetic fabrics, the user must sort the
items before washing the clothes.
For example:
• The user must separate cottons from permanent press and knits.
• The user must separate light colors from dark colors.
Another cause of lint on clothes is overwashing. This causes the clothes to wear out
faster. To correct the overwashing problem, use only one minute of wash time per pound of
dry laundry with normal soil. Any more time than this is a waste, and it usually does not
get the laundry cleaner.
If the drain cycle is excessive, this, too, will cause lint to remain on the garments.
Check for improper drain hose connections. For example:
• Drain hose is too long (over 10 feet)
• Drain hose is too high (over 5 feet)
• Drain hose is kinked
If excessive drain times still exist, check the following:
• Check the filter, located under the wash basket on most newer models.
• Check to be sure that the pump is operating properly.
• Check for any obstructions in the drain system.
• Check for any obstructions within the water circulatory system of the washer.
Also, check the outer tub for buildup of soap scum which contains a buildup of lint, etc.
Once the inner basket is removed from the washer it will be easier to clean off this substance.
Last of all you must follow the use and care instructions that came with your washer.

Joy, let me know if that worked for you. Remember to send your appliance questions to

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