Talkback: Tip - Clean Your Machine

Jon One of the best bits of advice posted in a long while; doing a service wash (with or without detergent) will also lengthen the life of ...

17 messages
05/01/2012 at 15:29

One of the best bits of advice posted in a long while; doing a service wash (with or without detergent) will also lengthen the life of your machine (thus making the carbon footprint increase of doing a boil wash be much lesser than the footprint of re-manufacture)

The proof of doing a service wash without adding a soap is amazing. Also pour just-boiled water down the detergent drawer to clean that delivery route

In a basic description a detergent leaves a water-loving layer on the garment (thus why there is not a need to perform the double rinses of pre-modern detergent days: think old twins tubs). Anyone who wants to have their waterproof jacket left with a water-attracting residue on its surface should know better (you are encouraging wet-out)

People should also consider washing too much of their outdoor-sport load at 30 degrees. If you have been sweating, then bacteria will be now in your garments (recognised by the smell). A 30 deg wash will just move this bacteria around & encourage more growth; a 40 deg wash will do a better job of killing it off (as that is above your body temperature), but more will be killed by a 70 deg wash

In might seem un-carbon-friendly, but the other result is to have further problems (plus the wash will not be as effective in getting rid of the dirt)

Keep up the good work!
05/01/2012 at 19:29
You also need to descale the machine too. Citric acid works very well and is very cheap - don't bother with descalers they want to sell you as it's the same stuff.

Use a low temperature wash if you wish but add some oxy clean to kill the nasties. I've also found stuff like dettol to be very effective.

Take the detergent draw out to clean it- an old toothbrush is perfect.
05/01/2012 at 19:35

Just googled oxy clean - any particular type, parky?

05/01/2012 at 19:49
I just order some off amazon - two big tubs for £6 (free postage too - called oxo brite. As they all have the same active ingredient in the the same ratio i don't think it matters too much. Buying it as a "named compound" like above is much cheaper than buying the active ingredient - sodium percarbonate.
I use it to at least try to control the smelly bacteria - it breaks down into hydrogen peroxide which is what oxidises the bacteria.

Edit: hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent as well as killing bacteria. I use a dilute solution (liquid from a bottle) as a very cheap mouthwash.
Edited: 05/01/2012 at 19:54
05/01/2012 at 19:51

I hope that works
05/01/2012 at 19:54
05/01/2012 at 21:11

Hello Parky,

Getting very domesticated here but how much Citric Acid do you need to put in the washer to descale it.

 Thank you.

06/01/2012 at 09:35
Charles - washing your shell jackets on 70 degrees, will that not damage the fabirc?
06/01/2012 at 13:41

yep gof. at about 1% max solution (e.g. 6% vol solution diluted 6 times). as recommended by a dentist. the neat stuff is also good for disinfecting and controlling gunk on toothbrushes - electric and manual.

by accident i discovered it's also great for small cuts and grazes as it kills the dead cells (if you get what i mean, or not as i don't know to explain it) round the edges and makes it heal faster. stings like hell too for added frission.

citric i just put "some" in from the jar i have - probably around 4 - 6 tbs. i've no idea if this is the correct amount. mm. thinks - find out how much is in a packet of retail descaler. being an inveterate label reader and what's in that then (gawd bless product hazard sheets) i discovered that that this [particular brand was 50/50 citric/acetic acids with a little bit of detergent for added measure. (citric acid = lemon juice; acetic acid = vinegar).  a teaspoon of it boiled up in the kettle from time to time gets rids of limescale in that.

i bought a lot of citric acid (it wasn't worth buying small qauntities by mail due to postage) from ebay. it's used to make bath bombs (with sodium bicarbonate - and HOW much do they charge you for a bath bomb!). it also comes in handy jam making, pickles and curries.

you can use white vinegar for the job too if you like - note white vinegar only.

dri-pak sell a variety of "old fashioned" cleaning products - "old fashioned" in that they call them what they are instead of inventing a anme and using it as the main ingredient. the dri-pak site is well worth a good mooch around.

i wash my paramo outerwear at 50C (do so at your own risk) when it's being subjected to a "Parky Proof" as i found that much better at actually getting all the muck out of it with less washes than at 40C. my logic was that the fabric gets that hot in the sun and certainly does when being dried.

i wouldn't risk anything hotter than that though. and of course paramo doesn't have any seam taping to worry about.

interim washes are at 40C.

i'll chuck all sorts of things into the machine to see if it works or not - trainers come up a treat - again with the logic that they exist in temperature much hotter than the wash in the real world unless manufacturers make different products for our temperate climate and that found in a desert or tropics.

06/01/2012 at 16:10

If you use washing powder, you might find that the powder drawer and the water path are encrusted with rather a lot of residue, and this really needs cleaning away.  Some sort of plastic scraper and toothbrush are the only way, and then keep it clean.

Or use liquid detergent in a dispenser ball...

06/01/2012 at 16:33

Our old washing machine used to have a removeable drawer, it made washing waterproof very easy.

Of course our new does not have a removeable one

06/01/2012 at 16:36
Maybe it's because we have soft water, but i never bother cleaning out the machine. The Grangers goes straight in, no problem.

06/01/2012 at 19:19
Mike fae Dundee wrote (see)
Maybe it's because we have soft water, but i never bother cleaning out the machine. The Grangers goes straight in, no problem.
You Dundeeians and your soft water! You want to try Brighton, our water is well hard!
06/01/2012 at 19:41
Sure your machine doesn't have a removeable drawer stephen? Ours needs to know just how it goes in and out as it looks non-removable
07/01/2012 at 11:38

At last, one of the most sensible articles I've seen on cleaning in the outdoors media, rather than blindly toeing the line of the tech wash brigade. I've been posting on the importance of removing all traces of detergent from DWR coated msterials after washing for donkeys of years. The D in DWR stands for Durable and it is NOT destroyed by a few washes (well at least the fluorocarbons used by most companies - Nikwax was anything but durable, but I see they now claim improved durability). However its action is totally nullified by leaving traces of detergent after washing - its all at the molecular level so you only need a trace of detergent to nullify a DWR.

If your washing machine is caked up, there's always going to be sufficient detergent in the rinse water to nullify a DWR. Getting rid of the deposits may be difficult, the cheap cleaners available in the supermarket are useless, but a few cleans with this stuff  may work. Cleaning the drawer doesn't do anything to clean the internals of the machine and you are still liable to get deposits even if you use liquid detergent. In soft water areas you may not get the difficult to shift lime/detergent crud, but detergent buildup is still possible.

Another tip, once you have a clean machine, is simply to repeat the rinse cycle if using detergent. The concentration of detergent in the rinse water reduces exponentially with the number of rinses.

07/01/2012 at 16:52
Removing all traces of greasy muck from a dwr works a lot better than fretting about abit of detergent. I find the actual facts about detergent all rather overblown - it'snot the end of the world. If you really want some washing fun use conditioner and see just how many serious washes it needs to get rid of it.
That said please do clean the tray properly. If nothing else it stops it beingsmelly and slimey.

As an afterthought - when you wash your jacket ensure you wash your rucksack straps. Why? Think about it. Every time you pick your sack up to put it on you wipe your nicely greasy and dirty palm all along it. The strap is quite happy to transfer this to your jacket and grind it in a bit for good measure.
Edited: 07/01/2012 at 16:55
07/01/2012 at 19:34
Yea, I'm with Parky on that last comment.

After much experimenting I tend to put my paramo jacket in the machine for a couple of cycles before adding the proofing. I think the residue from the detergent gets the muck out of it (I wear it nearly everyday this time of year) on the first wash, the second rinses it and the third with TX proofs it more effectively.

We use liquid detergent balls and do not use the tray.
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