No doubt you have wondered about the strange actions of the HE machines. It rotates in one direction for a few turns and then stops. It starts up again after a while and turns in the other direction. Then it stops again. This continues for the entire wash and rinse cycles.
What’s up with that!
As an engineer / chemist with 30+ years of experience in cleaning things, I must say that this method is absolutely the best way to clean fabrics using the smallest amount of water, detergents and electricity. I know from both science and experience that cleaning is the result of the detergent dissolving the oils and greases that hold the dirt particles to the fibers of the laundry. It has very little to do with the agitation method used in older washers.
The soak period while the drum is not moving provides time to dissolve the oils. But, no electricity is used. Brilliant!!!
Some agitation is required to keep the detergent distributed in the load of clothes so the drum rolls back and forth a little. As the detergent is used up in one part of the load as it dissolves the oils, the drum rolls a little and gets fresh detergent to the area to be cleaned.