Week-to-Week Continuous Control:
Only TechnoFresh provides continuous control
Monthly Shock Treatment Methods:
These are some of the directions for the periodic shock treatments suggested by the machine manufacturers or service people:
Chlorine Bleach Treatment Directions:
Add 1 to 2 cups of liquid bleach to directly to the tub without any laundry in the tub. Run the longest, hottest cycle available on your machine.
Chlorine acts by burning the cell walls of the bacteria, mold or mildew. The cells rupture and they die. This method only affects the very top surface of the mold or mildew buildup. It must be repeated as needed. It requires an extra, large, hot and empty load. A waste of time and money.
While this method can be effective in killing the organisms it also attacks the seals and gaskets of the machine. The amount needed to control the growth is much more than the amount needed to brighten laundry. So, the machines are not designed to handle too much of this type of shock. See the Shocking Spiders Page for details. Chlorine causes some of this type of damage when using this type of shock treatment
This is similar to the chlorine shock treatment used on swimming pools. Sometimes the water clears up but the walls can still be slippery. The machine seems clean but the smell comes back fast.
Chlorine will not help remove the residue on the plumbing. It only kills the nasties on the surface. The food (residue) is still there for the next time. The effect only lasts a few days. It could work if you if you do a lot of laundry and only have a minimal problem. However, we advise against using chlorine shocks to minimize damage to the machine. It just doesn't work well enough to justify the damage.
Baking soda and vinegar treatment directions:
No, you don’t add them at the same time or you will get the foaming volcano effect seen in so many chemistry classes. But it could be entertaining!!!
Add 1 to 2 cups of baking soda directly to the empty tub. Add the vinegar to the final rinse or softener dispenser without any laundry in the tub. Run the longest, hottest cycle available on your machine. Baking soda will increase the pH (slightly caustic) and vinegar will decrease the pH (slightly acidic). This may affect the growth of mold and mildew. Once again, this method only affects the very top layers of the mold or mildew buildup. It must be repeated as needed. It requires an extra, large, hot and empty load.
Maybe the baking soda penetrates a little under the surface of the build up and then the vinegar causes it to bubble up and release the gunk. Interesting scenario but I have no idea if it is actually happening. Maybe the manufacturers that suggested this know something. But I really don’t know what it would be...
When you think about it, it seems that the baking soda would not do much. It is the vinegar that does the cleaning. Some service people say that it will take at least 1 or 2 quarts (or more) of vinegar to be effective. This actually makes more sense than the baking soda combination and will actually work. However, you really need to try our SuperShock treatment
The TechnoFresh SuperShock page will give you our version of a super vinegar shock treatment that, in my opinion, is more effective than any other shock including the commercial ones. And, it only uses basic household chemicals to do the job.
Some people have complained that two gallons of vinegar for one of our SuperShock treatments is expensive. And, we suggest that up to three shocks may be necessary for a really contaminated smelly machine. Well, there are two things to consider. 1. You will have a clean machine and it may not take three SuperShocks to get it clean. 2. A service call will cost a lot more and might not be as effective.
In, addition, you will not believe how bad of a problem some people have. The overkill is intended to meet the needs of these situations.
Remember: The SuperShock cleans the machine and TechnoFresh keeps it clean.
Also, there are other products that are said to work. Two I have tried are: Affresh, which contains an oxidizer, an acid and an awful lot of fragrance and is made by Whirlpool, and Pure Washer which contains citric acid and possibly salt and other materials (they won't say) from smellywasher.com with a 60 day guarantee. Tide and Clorox have cleaner that is similar to Affresh in the way they work.
All of these products create a strong chemical solution that is meant to remove the soap film build up that provides the food source for the nasties. They all will remove the build up to some extent, depending on the amount of build up in your machine. Any of them could be effective in your situation. Fragrance is used in case the removal is not effective.
See:”Shocking Spiders” for more info about shock damage to machines. TechnoFresh contains a very small amount of citric acid. This dilutes quickly and will not affect the aluminum of the spider. The buffering and builders in the chemistry of the detergent itself take control of the wash solution a few minutes into the wash cycle.
The Recontamination Problem:
The problem with any of the shock treatments is that the mold, mildew, and bacterial slime continue to grow in the machine between treatments. So, even if the monthly shock treatment is effective, you are still slowly contaminating your laundry as the build up of the nasties continues through the month again. In fact, because of the physics involved in “wetting” a surface, I do not believe that you can ever remove all of the residue. So there are nasty spots here and there ready to spread to the new residue deposited in future loads.
Why in the world am I giving you the shock treatment information if it could cut into the sales of TechnoFresh®?
Well, I am an environmentalist. These HE machines really do conserve water and electricity, and I want them to be successful.
Besides, I think you will come around to TechnoFresh® eventually, after you have to rewash a few loads of clothes because the smells have come back before you got around to the next shock treatment.
By the way, TechnoFresh® will get mold and mildew odors out of clothing or any other washable materials if the other methods have let you down.