Front load washer tips: 10 great years with Whirlpool Duet & Kirkland HE liquid detergent

I’ve been following your washing machine articles with interest. We’ve got a front load washer that’s been working great for almost 10 years and wanted to share the info with you.

We’ve got a Whirlpool Duet Sport HT front load washer, model WFW8400TW purchased brand new in April 2008. It’s a smallish 3.7 cubic foot washer that was intended to fit in the same footprint as top load washers of that era. It’s my understanding that this Duet Sport model is no longer available.

This unit has never needed a single service call and does a great job for us. It’s just me and my wife, so we do a moderate amount of laundry and don’t do extremely soiled loads. Almost every load is washed using cold water. On average we do 2 loads per month of whites with hot water and bleach and an extended wash cycle.

We initially used Tide HE unscented liquid detergent, and after a couple of bottles of that we switched to Kirkland HE unscented liquid detergent and have been using that for at least 8 years.

We leave the door and soap dispenser tray wide open or at least cracked open when the machine is not in use.

Another important factor is that we run the Cleaning Cycle every month as specified in the Owners Manual. This consists of placing 3/4 cup of standard bleach (changed to 1/2 cup when Clorox switched to concentrated bleach) in the bleach dispenser, turning the dial to the cleaning setting, and starting the machine. It just sloshes a very large amount of chlorinated water around inside the drum. After each cycle, if I remember, I take a clean dry towel and wipe out the lower half of the gasket channel where bits of lint, hair, and detergent tend to collect, maybe 30 seconds of work. That’s it. Never any mold, mildew, odor, etc.

-C.A., San Jose, CA

Many purchasers of front load washing machines experience problems with reliability and durability, as well as issues with mold and bad smells.  Front load washer tips ( is my effort to help consumers have positive experiences with their front load washing machines.

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