Whirlpool Duet Washer Care Guide

You’ve found your perfect washing machine – the Whirlpool Duet front-load automatic washer – you’ve installed it at home, and every time you use it, you’re stunned by its efficiency. But have you thought about the steps you need to take to care of it?

If the answer is no, there’s no need to worry; you’re not alone. Many of us are guilty of pushing washing machine maintenance way down our priority lists. However, there are a surprising number of benefits to caring for your machine properly, and this Whirlpool Duet washer care guide is here to help you do just that.

Whether it’s identifying the right detergent for your machine or cleaning both the inside and outside every so often, there are plenty of things you can do to extend the life of your washer.

Following the advice in this guide will ensure that your clothes come out of the washer cleaner and fresher than ever before, with great results every time. Instead of taking your washing machine’s performance as a given, be proactive, and you’ll definitely notice the results.

Are you on the hunt for a Whirlpool washer but don’t know which one is best? Find out which model is the most economical in our guide.

Whirlpool Duet Washer: an Overview

Whirlpool Duet Washer

Before you start using your new Whirlpool washer, you should take some time to get to know its unique specifications. Doing so will allow you to get the best out of your machine without causing any damage through incorrect use.

It’s important to familiarize yourself with specifications such as the drum capacity, temperature settings and electrical requirements if you haven’t done so already.

In case your memory needs refreshing, here are the most important features of the Whirlpool Duet washer:

  • A high-efficiency wash system
  • Frontloading
  • Automatic smart dispensers
  • Auto water level
  • Accuwash automatic temperature control
  • Dynamic off-balance detection
  • Efficient detergent system
  • Flexible electronic controls
  • Capacity of 4.2 cu. Ft.
  • Four spin speeds
  • Low estimated energy use

How to Use the Whirlpool Duet Washer

The Whirlpool Duet is a high-efficiency front-load washer. This means that, unlike traditional top-load washers, the Duet does not feature a center agitator with paddles to move clothes from top to bottom. Instead, it has a stainless steel drum with molded vanes that spins very quickly, moving the laundry around inside the machine.

There are many pros to choosing a front- rather than the top-load washer, including:

  • Wash motion is more efficient
  • Less energy and water used
  • Usually quieter
  • Minimal lint

However, there are some downsides you should also be aware of, which influence how you should care for and use your machine. One of these downsides is that front-load machines are more susceptible to mold and mildew problems.

Here’s how to use your Whirlpool Duet to get the best results.


Whirlpool Duet

Before you put any clothes in your washer, take some time to sort through them. Make sure all zippers are fastened up, remove any pins or belts, empty pockets and turn them inside out, and tie any strings, so they don’t tangle.

Dark colors should always be washed separately from light colors to avoid discoloration. Likewise, it’s good to wash heavily soiled items separately from lightly soiled items.

For guidance, check out these loading suggestions:

  • Heavy work clothes: 4 jeans, 4 work pants, 4 work shirts, 2 sweatpants, 2 sweatshirts
  • Mixed load: 3 sheets, 4 pillowcases, 3 shirts, 3 blouses, 9 t-shirts, 9 shorts, 10 handkerchiefs

Your Whirlpool Duet can handle an impressive load, but make sure you never overload the machine as this can not only be extremely damaging but will also prevent your clothes from being cleaned properly. It’s also worthwhile finding a good quality washer pan if you want to prevent any water damage from occurring.

Adding Detergent

The Whirlpool Duet is a powerful, high-efficiency machine, so you can’t just use any old detergent and expect good results. For the Duet to perform at its best, HE (high-efficiency) detergent is required.

HE detergent produces less suds than its regular counterpart, which is extremely important for high-efficiency machines. Why? Too many suds can lengthen the wash cycle, affecting the cleaning performance of the machine and potentially causing long-term problems with the pump, which may overheat and break down.

To fill the dispenser compartments of your Whirlpool Duet, follow these instructions:

  1. Pull out the dispenser drawer, which is located, like the door, at the front of the machine
  2. Add the desired product to the proper compartment
  3. Push the dispenser drawer back in completely

Detergent goes in the front left compartment, bleach goes in the back right compartment, and fabric softener goes in the front right compartment.

Selecting a Cycle

There are eight different cycles that are designed for different types of fabrics and soil levels:

  • Whitest whites
  • Heavy duty
  • Normal/casual
  • Delicate
  • Hand washable
  • Drain/spin
  • Rinse/spin
  • Soak

Cycles, options, and modifiers can all be changed any time before HOLD TO START is selected.

Know Your Washing Machine’s Noises

Whirlpool Duet

Washers are inherently noisy appliances, so there isn’t necessarily any need to worry if yours is being loud. Familiarizing yourself with common Whirlpool Duet noises is a good idea so you can identify whether your machine is performing as expected.


After a fast spin there is often a whirring noise as the drum slows down. This is to be expected since it has been moving so fast. You should only be concerned if the whirring noise is happening at a different point in the cycle where it hasn’t occurred previously.


When you first start a new cycle, the door of the washer will click, indicating it is locked in place. This is a good sign! However, if you hear regular clicking during a cycle, it might be the case that something hard, like a buckle, has found its way into your laundry and is hitting against the door or drum as it spins.

You should try to avoid washing things that could cause damage to your machine or other laundry items.


Sometimes your machine might be totally silent even though it’s turned on and a cycle has been selected. This happens when it is finding an appropriate water level or allowing clothes to soak; there’s no need to worry.

How to Clean Your Whirlpool Duet Washer

You may be wondering whether it’s really necessary to clean your washing machine – after all, doesn’t it clean itself each time you use it? You certainly wouldn’t be alone in thinking so. Unfortunately, like most washing machines out there, the Duet isn’t actually self-cleaning, and thanks to its front-load design, taking proper care of its hygiene is especially important.

As I mentioned briefly earlier, front-load washers are more susceptible to mold and mildew, so it’s crucial that you take good care of the inside as well as the outside. Here’s how to look after your Whirlpool Duet front-load washer (it takes less time than you might think!).

Clean the Drum

If you’re envisioning getting a sore back from bending down and scrubbing the inside of your washer drum, I’ve got some good news for you: cleaning the drum is actually one of the easiest parts of washing machine care. All you need to do is purchase some washing machine cleaner tablets that can be popped inside. Make sure that the machine is totally empty other than the cleaning tablet and put it on a wash cycle.

Chlorine bleach is another option if you can’t get hold of washing machine cleaner tablets. I’d recommend running an additional rinse and spin cycle afterward to eliminate any remaining product or residue.

Finally, leave the door open and allow the drum to dry.

Clean the Dispensers

Whirlpool Duet

Pull out the drawer and, using a damp cloth, wipe it down. Opt for an all-purpose cleaner if the dispensers are particularly dirty.

Clean the Door

Particularly with front-load washers like the Duet, dirt and mold can quickly build up around the door, getting trapped in hard-to-reach places like the rubber seal.

Use a damp cloth and some all-purpose cleaner to wipe down both the inside and the outside. Pay close attention to the seal, which may require more elbow grease.

Clean the Outside

Finally, wipe down the outside of the machine with a damp cloth.

Common Whirlpool Duet Problems & how to Solve them

When something goes wrong with your washer, it can certainly be a distressing experience, especially since repairs are often expensive. There are a number of troubleshooting tips you should follow first, which may solve the problem.

Washer Stops

  • Check the power cord is plugged in properly
  • Check the electrical source
  • Check whether a fuse has blown
  • Do not use an extension cord

Washer won’t Drain or Spin

  • Check the drain hose – is it clogged or more than 96 inches above the floor?
  • Check your voltage is correct.
  • Check whether the “SUD” routine is active; if it is, then wait until extra suds are removed

Washer Makes Unusual Noise/vibrates

  • Check the machine is level
  • Check your laundry load for zippers and buckles
  • Check the floor beneath is solid and sturdy

Washer Leaks

  • Check household plumbing

Dispensers Clogged or Leaking

Whirlpool Duet

  • Check laundry products are in the correct compartments
  • Check the detergent separator is in the correct position

Washer won’t Start

  • Check the door is properly shut
  • Check the machine is plugged in properly
  • Check HOLD TO START has been selected and held for one second

Washer won’t Fill, Wash or Rinse

  • Check the power cord is plugged in properly
  • Check the electrical source provides enough power
  • Check the hot and cold faucets are turned on
  • Check whether the water inlet hose has a kink in it
  • Check the water inlet valve screens for clogs

“HF” Display Code

This code indicates there is a water inlet problem. Select PAUSE/CANCEL twice to cancel the cycle, then unplug the washer.

  • Check the water faucets are turned on fully.
  • Check the screens at the inlet hose connection for clogs
  • Check the water inlet hoses for kinks

“F02” Display Code

This code indicates a drain problem. Cancel the cycle and unplug the washer.

  • Check the drain hose for kinks
  • Check whether the drain hose is frozen
  • Check the drain hose for clogs
  • Check whether the drain hose is more than 96 inches from the floor


This code indicates there are too many suds in the machine. You do not need to do anything; the washer will continue rinsing the clothes until the excess suds are gone.

“F” Variables

F4 to F16 codes indicate some kind of electrical problem. Cancel the cycle, and if there is excessive water in the washer, select DRAIN/SPIN. Re-select the same cycle and press HOLD TO START. If the problem persists, call for service.

Ten Whirlpool Duet Maintenance Tips

Below, I’ve compiled ten tips to help keep your Whirlpool Duet in pristine condition. Follow the advice for years of problem-free use!

Remove Damp Clothes Immediately

I can’t stress this enough: never leave wet clothes in a top-load washer like the Whirlpool Duet! As soon as the cycle finishes they should be removed, otherwise they will quickly start to smell.

This smell could linger in your machine, and the moisture will encourage mold and mildew to grow.

Leave the Door Open

Whirlpool Duet

This is another tip that’s vital for front-load machines in particular. After every use, you should leave the door of your Whirlpool Duet open for at least half an hour to allow the inside to dry. Remember, a damp machine will quickly become overrun by mold, and that will only mean you have to spend more time cleaning in the long run!

Choose the Right Cycle

One of the most common problems encountered by Whirlpool Duet owners is water not draining properly from the machine. To avoid this, you should pay careful attention to the type of clothes you are washing and which cycle is most appropriate.

Slow spin speeds can leave excess water in the tub, so only use cycles like “delicate” and “hand wash” if necessary.

Don’t Overload the Machine

Another common Whirlpool Duet issue is that the washer won’t spin. This is usually caused by an unbalanced load which includes either too many or too few items.

Make sure you wash the correct amount of items for your machine. Otherwise, you’re putting your washer under unnecessary strain which could lead to damaged components. Your clothes also won’t come out as clean if there are too many of them.

Use HE Detergent

As previously mentioned, the Whirlpool Duet is a high-efficiency washer, so it requires high-efficiency detergent. Using the correct cleaning products will extend the life of your machine.

Check the Hoses and Water Inlet Valve

It’s a good idea to carry out this maintenance job once a week. Make sure your hoses are able to provide a steady and constant flow of water without meeting resistance.

Likewise, the water inlet valve on Whirlpool Duet washers can often become faulty. The best way to prevent this is to check it regularly for debris.

Clean the Door Seal

Again, this is a maintenance tip that’s particularly important for front-load washers like the Duet because their doors are exposed to more water and dirt during the washing process.

The door seal is designed to soften sharp edges and prevent clothes from becoming damaged when they enter the machine, but it is also a great place for dirt to get lodged and for mold to grow. That’s why you should clean it thoroughly on a regular basis.

Deep Clean

Whirlpool Duet

In any appliance that requires water to function, limescale quickly builds up and begins to negatively impact the cleanliness of your clothes. To keep your just-washed clothes as clean and fresh as possible, perform a washing machine deep clean using bleach or a cleaning tablet once a month.

Unclog the Filter

It isn’t a particularly nice job, but unclogging the filter of your Whirlpool Duet is vital. The filter catches any lint and unwanted by-products of the washing process; eventually, they become full and can no longer do their job.

To avoid lint building up in your machine, unclog the filter every so often.

Take Care of the Exterior

It isn’t just the inside of a washer that needs maintenance. Make sure you regularly wipe down the outside of your machine to keep it looking brand new.

Whirlpool Duet Washer Care Guide: FAQs

Question: What are the Most Common Problems on a Whirlpool Washing Machine?

Answer: Here are four of the most common problems encountered by Whirlpool Duet users (see the above troubleshooting section for solutions):
Washer not draining
• Washer won’t start
• Washer won’t spin
• Washer won’t fill with water

Question: What Other Whirlpool Appliances are Available?

Answer: If you’re interested in finding out about other Whirlpool products, check out these guides:
• Whirlpool Washer Model Guide
• Whirlpool Microwave Model Guide
• Whirlpool Refrigerator Model Guide

Question: How Do I Reset My Whirlpool Duet Front-load Washer?

Answer: Firstly, unplug your washer for 30 seconds. If your hoses have a flood stop check valve, you’ll need to disconnect the hoses and run a little bit of water into a bucket. After this, reconnect the hoses and do a Duet Washer Quick Diagnostic Test.

Question: How Long Do Whirlpool Washers Last?

Answer: Typically, Whirlpool washers last between twelve and fourteen years, but this depends on how well you care for them.

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