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"Best Practices" for extending spider arm life

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Having read so much about spider arm failures and corrosion on FL washers, and having had this happen on my

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Old 02-15-2018, 11:03 AM
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Default "Best Practices" for extending spider arm life
Model Number: WM3670HWA (LG)   Brand: -other-   Age: Less than 1 year   

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Having read so much about spider arm failures and corrosion on FL washers, and having had this happen on my prior GE, I am interested in doing whatever I can to ensure a long life for the spider arm in my new FL washer (an LG).

So I'd like to tap into the collective wisdom of this forum, for "best practices", aimed at extending the lifetime of aluminum spider arms, and minimizing long-term failures due to corrosion. (I realize that there are also multiple schools of thought on the root cause of corrosion, including the use of dissimilar metals (aluminum mated to stainless steel), as well as the effects of alkalinity.... Basically, what are you all doing, or not doing?

So here's what I've gleaned so far:

1. Use as little HE detergent as possible - 1 or 2 tablespoons, tops.

I've seen some recommendations to use powdered HE detergent, and not liquid, due to the use of animal fats in the liquids. Does this really matter?

2. Don't use liquid fabric softener at all (mostly for the same animal fats reasoning, but also related to the fact that it is dispensed later in the cycle, and therefore isn't rinsed away as much).

3. Avoid use of bleaches that raise the alkalinity, which might contribute to corrosion of the aluminum spider arm.

4. Use the washer's "clean cycle" frequently, say once a month.

Ah, but with what? It seems that most washer makers recommend a commercial "washer cleaner" product, or chlorine bleach, for their clean cycle. But those are fairly highly alkaline, so do they cause more harm than good?

I've also seen multiple recommendations (internet sites, not from manufacturers) to use white vinegar in the clean cycle, and even to use white vinegar as a fabric softener. Seems like a potentially good idea - any reason NOT to do this?

As a side comment, I notice that Samsung's current model owner's manuals call for running their clean cycle with nothing added to the dispenser - just a very hot water cycle. Is this an acknowledgement that the usual bleach and washer cleaner products are NOT good?

Of course, bleach and washer cleaner products are presumably more effective at preventing mold, versus using vinegar or just hot water, so there's that trade-off to consider...

All of the above may well be a case of "over-thinking" things - maybe the real best practice is just to not worry about it, and hope for the best!

As another side comment, our local tap water is fairly alkaline, at least at the water treatment plant - it's above 9.0. So maybe my worrying about using a little bleach is foolish....


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Last edited by rschleicher : 02-15-2018 at 01:19 PM.
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