Skip to comments.The Attack on the Washing Machine(energy-efficiency standards again)
Posted on 05/04/2011 7:55:10 PM PDT by sickoflibs
You can chart the course of human progress in terms of how clean our clothing is. In early times people used animal skins, had no change of clothing, and had no soap. By Adam Smith's day soap had improved in quality, was produced industrially, and was becoming available to the common man.
In fact, the Industrial Revolution, which is usually discussed in terms of iron, steam, and factories, was actually all about bringing products like soap and underwear previously only available to the rich to the common peasants.
Only after WWII did electric automatic clothes washers displace hand-cranked machines. Then detergent replaced soap in the washing process, and competition resulted in much more effective products.
In 1956 the product Wisk was launched as the first liquid laundry detergent. And in 1968 its famous "Ring around the Collar" ads came along.
Other companies followed with products that were even better. Between the 1920s and the 1970s, washing clothes went from a grueling full-time job to a weekly activity that could be accomplished by young children.
Demographic researcher Hans Rosling has called the washing machine the greatest invention in the history of the Industrial Revolution. It liberated homemakers from boiling water and washing clothes. For women around the world, it makes the difference between poverty and prosperity.
Only two generations ago, nearly every mother in the world slaved at washing clothes. Today, no one in the developed world does this. Instead, they can read, do professional work, teach children, hold parties, and generally apply their time to building civilization. As Rosling says, "even the hard core of the green movement use the washing machine."
But government is working on systematically reversing these advances attacking the washing machine's workings at the most fundamental level.
In 1996, Consumer Reports tested 18 models of washing machines. It rated 13 models as excellent and 5 models as very good. They found that with enough hot water and any decent laundry detergent, any machine would get your clothes clean.
The invisible fist of government is the source of social problems.In 2007, Consumer Reports tested 21 models and rated none of them as excellent and 7 models as poor; the rest of the models were rated mediocre. The old top-loading machines were mediocre or worse.
Consumer Reports found that in most cases your clothes were nearly as dirty as they were before washing. The newer front-loading machines worked better, but they were much more expensive and had mold problems, and you cannot add a dropped sock once the machine is started. None of the top-loading machines performed as well as a mediocre model from 1996.
This would seem to be a case of a broken invisible hand. The truth is that government's meddlesome hand is at fault. Between 1996 and 2007 the government's energy-efficiency standards were dramatically increased. In order to meet those standards, manufacturers had to switch to the inferior front-loading washers, which are more "energy efficient," and to design models that used less water. Less water in the machine means the machine uses less energy to rotate the clothes with the water and detergent. It also means less rinsing, which is a vital component to getting clothes clean.
The result is that clothes come out of the washer still dirty. The easy stuff like sweat is mostly removed, but all the tough stuff like grease and body oils largely remains. Most people are unaware of this problem either because they have an older model, they don't do their own laundry, or they are just oblivious to this type of thing.
Among those who face this problem, the answers are few. Some do multiple smaller loads with larger water levels, but of course this results in higher not lower energy and water usage. Others have tried to solve the problem by using more detergent, but this usually does not help it can make the situation worse and it reduces the durability of the machine yet another inefficiency.
So there you have it. Politicians, environmentalists, and meddlesome bureaucrats have teamed up to dream up another attempt to serve the public interest. Left to its own the invisible hand of entrepreneurial competition would have naturally made doing laundry easier, better, cheaper, and more efficient. Instead we have more expensive, more inefficient, and truly ineffective clothes-washing machines.
Then there have been changes to laundry detergent, which have in combination with the "energy efficient machines" led to a return of "Ring around the Collar."
The invisible hand of the marketplace is the foundation of a free society and the source of prosperity. The invisible fist of government is the foundation of plunder and the source of social problems.
If we chart social progress by clean clothing, it is clear that we are headed backward in time. But the trend is easily reversed with a small change toward laissez-faire.
If you realize both parties in Washington think that our money is theirs and you trust them to do the wrong thing, this list is for you.
If you think there is a Santa Claus that has some magic easy cure for the economy; someone who is going to get elected in Washington and fix everything just by cutting your taxes, investing (more government spending) a few trillion more we don't have and will never have, and who will just command some countries to lower their prices and others to raise their prices all to suit your best interests, then this list is not for you.
You can read past posts by clicking on : schifflist , I try to tag all relevant threads with the keyword : schifflist.
Ping list pinged by sickoflibs.
To join the ping list: FReepmail sickoflibs with the subject line 'add Schifflist'.
(Stop getting pings by sending the subject line 'drop Schifflist'.)
The Austrian Economics Schools Commandments plus :From : link
1) You cannot spend your way out of a recession
2) You cannot regulate the economy into oblivion and expect it to function
3) You cannot tax people and businesses to the point of near slavery and expect them to keep producing
4) You cannot create an abundance of money out of thin air without making all that paper worthless
5) The government cannot make up for rising unemployment by just hiring all the out of work people to be bureaucrats or send them unemployment checks forever
6) You cannot live beyond your means indefinitely
7) The economy must actually produce something others are willing to buy
8) Every government bureaucrat should keep the following motto in mind when attempting to influence the economy: First, do no harm!
9) Central bank-supported fractional reserve banking is an economically distorting, ethically questionable activity. In particular, no government should ever do anything to save any bank from the full consequences of a bank run, no matter what the short-term consequences.
10) Gold is Gods money.
1) Businesses don't hire workers just because of demand for products or services, they hire because it makes them money. Sorry to have to state the obvious.
2) Government spending without taxing is still redistribution
3) Taking one man's money and giving it to another is not a job.
4) Paul Krugman and Bernake have been wrong about everything, as well as the other best and brightest Keynesian's who have been fixing our economy for over a decade.
5) Republicans in the minority (esp out of the White House) act like Republicans, in the majority they act like Democrats .
Equity bubble rules:
1)If something goes up too fast, it is going down faster,
2) By the time it looks like everybody is getting rich, its too late, stay out!
3) To get rich you have to get in early start of recovery and get out at the first really 'bad' news, and ignore the experts that claim that they will stop the next crash(our buddy Bernake.).
4) Don't invest money you will probably need, or worse money you don't really have.
Remember, this is the last year you can buy safe-cheap 100W light bulbs. I stocked up at Walmarts. In 2013 the others are banned too.
I guess it's too late for washing machines.
What a crock of horse****.
The front loaders are great, clean great, are easier on your clothes and you can add that dropped sock, and I have never had an issue with mildew in mine during it’s many years of use.
My front loader is the best machine that I have ever used.
My wife will SHOOT anyone who tries to take away her beloved washing machine!
Diesel engines are another casualty. First the small displacement engines for cars are NOT marketed in the U.S. due to particulate emmissions. In Europe you get the 50 mpg full size sedan. Here, you must go hybrid.
Truck diesel engines. The emission requirements are so out of whack that the engines are computer controlled, and have exhaust filters and fluid. The damn things are very expensive and unreliable. It sucks because diesel is the most efficient way to move a vehicle. But these engines are disastrously complex.
It is all government at work.
“In 2013 the others are banned too. “
The immediate repeal of this would be a MAGNIFICENT opening shot for the new Republican President.
I guess things have changed since 2007.
maybe you dont have a modern front loader
I had one 20 years ago- best machine ever
I have a new one- it sux hard
and no, you cannot put anything in it once it starts
I oftwen find myself standing there for 3 minutes trying to add water to it so it will come out clean
Under normal operation you canot see the water level. it is like they are damp, rubbing against each other to get clean- they SUCK~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If I want to wash my clothes with a machine or beating them against a rock, how is that the business of the government to regulate?
Any one know how to hack the software on these things so it will add enough water? (seriously, thats all it takes- try adding water to yours if you have a new one)
Apparently the government thinks you only need 3 gallons of water. There was a recent review in a magazine of all new machines and they ALL FAILED
Oh, come on. I was not born in the dark ages. Way back in the 30s my mother had an electric clothes washer that had an agitator and an electric wringer. We had to heat the water for it, and we had to hang the clothes up, but she wasn’t using a washboard, although I noticed she had one. And we had electricity, central heat, a radio and a phonograph and a telephone, and a garage for our car!
My front loader is probably from 2001 or so, it is fantastic, and I can add clothes at any time, I just have to stop it first, you can’t do that?. You can’t see the water level through the front door?
I have never had a customer express anything but great approval for their front loaders, and I inquire on them often.
I have to disagree.
I wouldn’t trade my Bosch front-loader for the Maytag it replaced.
That darn Maytag had too many dates with its repairman and when it began dancing across the floor at a young age I just waited for it to die so I could replace it.
My first Bosch did have a problem at 2 years, but they bought it back for what I had paid or it AND the what I’d paid for the extended warranty! Beat that!
Yes, I CAN add a dropped sock.
The old Maytag used so much water that I had my husband devise a shunt for the washwater to go to a barrel which I used to water my flowers. The Bosh uses so little water that it isn’t worth the bother.
It uses so little soap and rinses so well that I seldom use fabric softner which was needed to cancel the stiffness resulting from soap which hadn’t rinsed out with the Maytag.
Also, it spins out so much more water that my drying time is bout half what it was with the Maytag.
Yes, they DO cost a bit more but I’m more that happy with mine.
What mold problem? Ain’t ya ever heard of a shot of Lysol spray when you’re done?
Besides, it’s made right here in America. Not sure where Maytag is made now.
I don’t know what brand the author tried or if he just bought Rush Limbaugh’s rant but I wouldn’t switch.
Man, that is way before my time. What did your father do for a living in the 1930s?
My 20 year old Kenmore finally betrayed me and died last week. I bought the new Samsung front loading HE washer and dryer. So far, I’m not impressed.....actually rather disappointed in the performance. Even though I completely wipe the washer out after each load (I never had to do that before), I’m still having a musty odor problem. Yes, I leave the washer door open to help dry it out....which is another gripe. I use the proper HE detergent and have carefully followed all the instructions. Just not pleased with them.
I use hot water and a small amount of bleach for my whites, I never noticed mildew or odors. After owning it about 9 years I read that some people have mentioned mildew, and I started leaving the door ajar also.
Walmarts was about $1.70 for a package of four, a little more.
Here’a thought, You think that there will be a market for selling them on ebay 5 years from now when people realize that the new ones are dangerous?
I suspect a most of the problem is with the detergents - just like with dishwashers.
Wondering why your dishes are no longer clean, and are covered with a chalky film? Last year, the federal government mandated the complete removal of phosphorus from dishwasher detergent, and now dishes don’t come clean, even after multiple washings.
The solution it to add your own phosphates (in the form of TSP, or trisodium phosphate) back into the detergents. You can check it out on the web.
It takes about 3 or 4 washings to remove the deposits from the dishes and from the inside of the dishwasher. The process of “recovery” can be sped up with the use of citric acid.
No more filmy, dirty dishes.
And yes - I’ve stocked up on TSP. Enough for the rest of my life and for my kids to inherit some. A four pound box ordered on line or purchased locally at a paint or home improvement store will do a lot of dishes, and I’ve got plenty of boxes. I’m sure there is an ecological cost for the phosphate use, but I’ve determined the cost is less than the extra energy and wear and tear on my dishwasher that comes from multiple washing of the same load. I’ll make my own decisions - not some jerk in Washington DC.
Here’s one from Milton Friedman: If there ain’t any, no one gets any.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.