Asked on Feb 21, 2017

Help! I don't think my HE Kenmore washing machine is really washing!

Bernice H
by Bernice H
I have read the manual, yet when I put a load in,they end up in a bundle ...especially sheets..everything is bundled inside,how can clothes get clean like this,with no room to move?

  37 answers
  • Linda Linda on Feb 21, 2017
    Don't worry, the machine is washing your clothes. The HE washers do not have the old agitator in the center, and it will first rinse your clothes several times, then wash. The agitation on the HE machines is performed by the barrel by agitating the clothes back and for, shaking them loose. Of course, you will have to watch the entire washing cycle to see it. At the end, it rinses again several times and clothes end up in bundle around the tub as in the beginning. I have had several of these machines, they save water and they do clean. The HE dryers really save on electricity or gas. Check your bills! Happy washing!!
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    • Andrea Wendt Kolton Andrea Wendt Kolton on Jul 16, 2019

      I had the same problem with dark clothes. The dirt is trapped in the folds. When i pull them out to put in the dryer, there are dirt streaks throughout. If engineers are so concerned about reducing water usage, WHY did they get rid of the water saver feature that allowed you to reuse wash water from white load for s second washing.

  • Kathy Lassiter Dowlen Kathy Lassiter Dowlen on Feb 21, 2017
    I had an HE, I got rid of it! Our clothes were way too dirty for the amount of water it used to clean them. I would have to wash my husbands clothes 3 or 4 times to get the grease and dirt out of them. I went back to a washer with an agitator and that adds enough water to clean them.
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    • Andrea Wendt Kolton Andrea Wendt Kolton on Jul 16, 2019

      I agree. I should have never gotten rid of my 30-year old washer with center agitator! So dissatisfied with this one!

  • Barbara C Barbara C on Feb 22, 2017

    Sounds like you are overloading the machine.Leave room for them to swish around.Crowded will roll up.

  • Jane Jane on Feb 23, 2017

    I agree, I don't think they get clean enough. There is not enough water, I feel like filling up a bucket and pouring in more water!

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    • Cinnamon Dillon Cinnamon Dillon on Apr 02, 2021

      It must have been a man or perhaps a woman who doesn't wash laundry belonging to a man or kids. Either way they must not understand what it's like to wash laundry for a regular family.

  • Tammy harris Tammy harris on Feb 23, 2017

    I love my HE washer. It saves sooo much water and my clothes always get clean. And we live on a farm. Love it!

  • Lisa Lisa on Feb 23, 2017

    I have a HE and love it! Mine has a setting for deeper water that I use with my whites or when I need to soak something.

  • Paulette Harris Paulette Harris on Feb 23, 2017

    I also love my HE washer. It saves tons of water and electricity and is so much easier on the clothes...less lint, fading and wear. I found that I had great results using the cold water setting, as the machine sensed the soil level and added detergent as needed and washed until everything was very clean. Be sure to use the recommended amount of a good quality detergent and don't use packets. Liquid is best and I have very hard water, so I use a couple of tablespoons of Raindrops Water Softening powder directly to the tub before loading clothes. Follow the manual recommendations to the tee and forget about what you thought you knew about doing laundry in a top loader. They are a different breed of machine but do a great job if you don't overdo the loading and adding detergent.

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    • Andrea Wendt Kolton Andrea Wendt Kolton on Jul 16, 2019

      I’m with you, Maureen!

  • Lagree Wyndham Lagree Wyndham on Feb 24, 2017

    After buying two HE in less than 14 years and needing a new washer, I Discovered SPEED QUEEN, they build washer the old fashioned way, agitator, stainless steel tub and NO computer boards. Also you can go on Youtube and see how to adjust your water level to fill the tub. I finally have clean clothes again and it takes half the time to do it. I have had it about a year and have no complaints!

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    • Loretta Loretta on Feb 26, 2017

      I agree will never get one like this again. I have to double rinse

  • Francesca Francesca on Feb 25, 2017

    I sympathishe with you. I bought an LG front load H.E. washing machine and it's terrible. We're just about to junk it. I never got 100% clean load.

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    • Bernice H Bernice H on Mar 02, 2017

      Thank you for the heads up.

      my opinion on the dw..refrigerator and stove is how lightweight the doors are, the stovetop rattles and flexes,the dishwasher top pullout...I know it S going to break with one strong pull. 😖Grrrrr. But I am grateful to have them at present,we've got a long way to go in updating this small house. Not that I am into keeping up with the joneses, I just want things to work,and function and look good,and be a workable space.

  • It seems that people either love or hate the HE washers. My friends who all bought them hated them and have dumped them or are planning to. My girlfriend and her hubby had a high end expensive one. Two adults, 2 dogs. She did 3 times the laundry that I did (just me, 3 dogs, 6 cats, bird and dragon), and we live in So. Ca in a drought. Plus you need to use a special laundry detergent AND buy more products to keep clean. No thanks, not for me. So explain to us how this "saves water, gas and electricity?" It didn't, so they eventually ditched it for an old fashioned top loader. My thoughts - if it works for you, wonderful, if it doesn't, it was an expensive lesson, but at least you tried to do something good. The idea for these machines is great, just looks like it is not perfected yet.

  • Bernice H Bernice H on Feb 26, 2017

    How long have these been on the market? Seems like several years to me,because I remember the controversy about the smell..and having to leave the door open? And buying washing machine CLEANER for these new ones? Give me a break! SO I really appreciate Lagrees info on speed queen. Or I would just buy a used older one and maintain it. 🙃

    • See 1 previous
    • Chris Jones Chris Jones on Oct 08, 2018

      Hi Bernice, what type of vinegar do you use?


  • Wsc19618317 Wsc19618317 on Feb 26, 2017

    i also have a kenmore, my question is there a way you can stop the locking lid?i have tried to stop the washer if i forget to put something in,when i do it starts the cycle all over including draining and i have to add detergent all over again..they said it a safety feature! I not going to wash my clothes while wearing them! This is very annoying.

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    • Maureen Brady Maureen Brady on Mar 06, 2019

      I hate the locking lid too. I can understand about it being for the safety of children but it is just me, no kids.

  • Louise Louise on Feb 26, 2017

    I also have a Kenmore like yours, and while I do feel it is getting things clean, I find the "sheet wrapped around everything" feature very annoying! I presume it's just the natural result of they way things are agitated or stirred or whatever they do in there, but it makes an unholy mess to detangle at the end of the cycle. I do my sheets one by one now to prevent the bundling.

    • See 1 previous
    • Maureen Brady Maureen Brady on Mar 06, 2019

      See and that kind of defeats the purpose of water saving when you have to watch everything individually.

  • Wsc19618317 Wsc19618317 on Feb 27, 2017

    mine is also a top loader,I too am short on the height.I am checking to see if anyone knowes how to stop the locking system on the lid.It has a pause button,but if you use it it starts the cycle all over.I have never seen the suds level,how it works during cycle.I like to see the inside whats happening.I haave never seen the water level.If you have any suggestions,pass them on to me...Thank You....Fran

  • Bernice H Bernice H on Feb 27, 2017

    hmmm When i pause and open i see where the water level is, usually it is not higher than the clothes sitting in it. hubs took our clothes to the laundro- mat today, company sheets..the owner was there helping nathan and said yes, these machines are so full of problems, he recommended an agitator style from Speed Queen, as did the poster above! So we are going t check into it. I am not aware of the cycle starting over again. Mine is a Kenmore..the lights dont change, indicating the cycle it is on--- is still on . But i wash everything on the whites and bulky; according to the has the highest water level. but who knows really.

  • Claude Claude on Feb 27, 2017

    I have an older maytag he...I love it. I make my own laundry soap for pennies and I do use a second rinse for my whites. If your items are are overloading your machine. Sometimes if I wash something other than a set of queen sized sheets..they become a bit tangled. I am very careful NOT to overload because clothes don't get clean and they get tangled. Another thing, the weight of the items you are washing contribute to tangling if there are heavy items like slacks in with lightweight shirts...try washing all pants together, light weight items together and heavy towels together...that way you can wash more like items than a mixed load. We have a well and the savings with the water are worth it.

  • Brenda Brenda on Mar 02, 2017

    I had same problem. Just call them and tell them to come get it. Thats what I did.

    • Bernice H Bernice H on Mar 02, 2017

      Ha! Well,they came with the house..but down the road..we will Sell and buy old. We had company recently which meant a lot of sheets for 4 beds...hubs took laundry to laundromat...we would have been doing laundry for hours and hours!

  • Francesca Francesca on Mar 02, 2017

    Actually I have to correct my comment on the washing machine, the washing machine is not L.G. Its a Samsung. Sorry!

    However, I won't be buying either L.G. or Samsung anything again.

  • Cheryl Cheryl on Mar 03, 2017

    I have a Kenmore elite frontloading washer and dryer. Clothes are very clean, not tangled and I wipe out the rubber gasket when I am done with my laundry. Have not had any problem with smells. I have had it for a year and a half.

  • Rae Rae on Mar 05, 2017

    Oh I feel your pain Bernice! I remember screaming at my husband it is going to ruin all my clothes when I first saw the water level. One thing on my machine I might mention is to load everything around the outside of the agitator( agitator my hiney) and it does seem to help. I am going to hang in there with my HE machine until it dies but you can bet it will be my first and last. Btw mine is a top loader. Wouldn't have a front loader when you think of all that weight hanging on a couple bearings no wonder they don't last as long. Now you just watch my washer will probably outlast me since I talked bad about it!

    • Bernice H Bernice H on Mar 05, 2017

      Yup...Murphy's law...well,be sure to give it a run for its money.!😏

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Mar 05, 2017

    I have had Whirlpool HE Washers for years and have had no trouble with the top loaders. Everyone washes their own clothes in our house. Hubby has soap allergies and doesn't use same soap, son has too much dog hair on his, so all is done separately. I have not had any trouble with not getting clothes clean. Just replaced both washer and dryer about a year ago when dryer started making noises and not drying the way it should. My first matching set in over 30 years. Have no complaints with Whirlpool washer, have been using the brand since HE came out years ago, just won't use frontload. And yes it is the one you can run by your phone, but I still haven't use that function on washer and dryer.

  • Dlw7601127 Dlw7601127 on Mar 19, 2017

    I have a two-year-old Samsung Toploader. I hate everything about it. I've started adding distilled white vinegar to every load, even a small load tangles up in a ball, I'd give anything to have my cheap Roper agitator back.

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    • Bernice H Bernice H on Mar 20, 2017

      Isn't that the truth? Yes ..70 and over we know a thing or two! 🌷

  • Ljr10627467 Ljr10627467 on May 06, 2017

    I use the second rinse cycle on my older front loader. When it dies I will get another, the technology has improved so much, I will never go back to a toploader.

  • Linda Donovan Linda Donovan on May 06, 2017

    My LG HE, is computerized and I can download different wash settings. I don't know about yours.

  • Dian Dian on May 11, 2017

    When I redesigned our 1st floor bathroom, I needed to fit in a stacking 2 piece washer & dryer. It's a Frigidaire brand, demo floor model, so we got it for about $400 off the regular price. Previously I had only had top loader washers. I honestly expected to hate it Boy, was I wrong! I fit more clothes per washer load without crowding. It uses about half of the water as the top loaders - GREAT for my 16 foot deep well! Everything I wash comes out perfect, with less detergent, less bleach, less water, less time & less noise. No more going up & down the cellar stairs 3 times for each laundry load. I leave the door open for 24 hrs to let it dry, & have never had any bad smell. The separate dryer it attached to the top of the washer. No more bending over to remove & fold dry laundry. I am extremely happy with my Frigidaire pair, after almost 10 years!

  • Danielle Odin Danielle Odin on May 27, 2017

    I believe in real washing., with water and detergent and if you don't use enough water the detergent is going to iritate my skin. I may be old fashioned , but water is the only way to wash. We could go back to the wringer type washers to save water. You start with the whites and then the colors in the same water. You rinse in a couple of tub of water. You only use the one washer load and the 2 rinses and your laundry is done and clean. Of course that means you have to tend to it and not go watch TV or whatever.

  • Kim Kim on Aug 08, 2017

    I love love my Whirlpool duet! I have 5 REAL boys and their clothes are always clean. We have a lawn business and they get really dirty.

    I just leave the door cracked to keep it fresh inside.

  • Donnawatts Donnawatts on Sep 06, 2017

    I hated that Kenmore washer. $400 and my clothes were never clean. After 6 months I put it at the curb with a 'free to a good home' sign. My husband had a fit. I bought a machine (not Kenmore) with adjustable water level and an agitator. Ta da! Clean stuff without all the lint.

    • Bernice H Bernice H on Sep 06, 2017

      Yup me too! Speed queen-agitator...water level...we think alike! 😳🤗

  • Pat Pat on Jul 08, 2019

    Like Kim said..I love my whirlpool front loader also C!othes always get clean.

  • Daniel walington Daniel walington on Jul 30, 2019

    The problem which you are facing on your washing machine, similar issue also is happening on my washing machine as well. I have to call the washing machine repair service to fix the issues.

  • Pam E Pam E on May 14, 2020

    I have had a Sears Elite HE Top Load Washer for three years. The water doesn't fill enough to clean the clothes, anything 100% cotton comes out with spots all over them and thus destroyed, and now there is powder dust on anything dark. We have tried all different detergents, water temps, etc. It is getting soon to be moved to the dump and a Speed Queen will be welcomed.

  • I think an HE washer is terrible. I put 3 lingerie bags that I used for claim boil and 6 washes later I threw them out because they did not come clean. I have been telling my husband for weeks things are not getting cleaned. He put in the washer 2 pairs of jeans 2 tee Shirts and the dirt which was just a dry dirt did not even come off his pants. I am all done going out this week end to get a new one with an agitator in the middle.

  • Niki Niki on Aug 23, 2020

    I have the exact same kenmore he top loader pictured above and i miss my old one! this one has never felt like the clothes get cleaned properly and have had multiple clothing items get ruined because they come out of the washer with what looks like oil stains! i can’t wait for this one to die out to purchase a different washer.

  • Jason Jason on May 18, 2022

    Start a cycle and tell your hubby to bend you over the top of it to feel if it's running. If not you can atleast use it to get acquainted away from the kids. It's perfect height & durable...You can get stuffed pretty decent... while they think it's the dryericon

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Aug 27, 2023

    It does clean the items but your machine has the old style paddle. next time buy one with a non tangle paddle.

  • I have a new one and I've read a lot of reviews about top loading washers with the same issue. I was nervous, but ours seems to work great and clean way better than our old front loading HE washer. I don't stuff it, I load it evenly and I make sure that I never fill it higher than the fill line. It does use a ton of water though.

  • Kat Kat on Jan 10, 2024

    I can’t answer this because I too have the Kenmore series 600 HE and I am so disgusted with it!

    As others have mentioned, the clothes have creases full of Lint or dirt, even though I use deep fill and two rinses, (how does that save water?) and I’ve done everything possible to figure it out.

    I’ve had these for four years! In my 73 years this is the worst set!

    I can’t add a picture unfortunately, but my sheets, and anything that has legs or arms are continually tied in long knots, and they are so wrinkled that the dryer will not take it out!

    I have to stop and unwind everything and I’m not kidding that the sheets look like they’re in a long rope! I do not overload, and I set accordingly using heavy duty or bulky bedding type settings.

    I’ve never been so disgusted in my life and I use the correct detergent and do everything possible to change the problem.

    I honestly believe the lack of a central agitator is part of the problem. Mine is a top loader as I would never have a front loading washer again due to the smell and other issues and the fact that you have to leave it open. I think it is not a very good safety feature. plus it costs double to Haul in and take it out because of the cement block in the base of it and being located in the basement.

    I just thought I’d put in my two cents worth because it’s not women designing these washers and obviously these companies are not listening!

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