About two years ago, we bought a new high-tech Maytag "Commercial" high-efficiency washer, model #MVWC400XW4, and the matching dryer. As a former auto mechanic and now an engineer, I did all our appliance repair work in the past, but this unit was complex enough that for the first time ever we opted for an extended warranty.
When we bought it, my wife and I were both still working, and we did laundry sporadically. We started noticing that our clothes were not as clean as they used to get in our old washer, which we had given to our son, but they smelled OK and we were both too busy to do any real follow-up.
Once my wife retired she really noticed the lack of cleanliness. She went to the owner's book and looked online to see what we were doing wrong. We found that we were following instructions properly, and called the repairman. The washer seemed to be running through all the cycles, but it simply did not get the clothes clean.
The repairman, who worked for the extended warranty insurance company, not Maytag, said this is normal. Maytag engineers went for the efficiency number, and compromised on actual cleaning ability. He went on to say that there are things you can do, but we would never be happy.
He recommended starting the wash cycle with the machine empty, and then waiting until it is done its sensing thing (about five minutes). Once it starts washing, he told us, open the lid and add the clothes, soap, and a large bucket of water. Then, he said, close the lid and restart the wash cycle. I really need to be waiting for a bucket to fill while the washer completes a useless sensing operation before I can do other things and let the washer run on its own. What a pain! This process gets our clothes a lot cleaner, but not nearly as clean as the old machine did.
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