I was picked…to live in a house with 7 strangers and have our lives taped…until we stopped being polite…
Oh wait. We weren’t being taped. And we were always polite. 🙂
And it was actually the Real Whirled House from Whirlpool, not a ridiculous tv show.
But we did live in a house together, and we had a blast while we learned all about Whirlpool and its products. I found out some really cool stuff and am going to share it all with you! Yay!
The Real Whirled House
The Real Whirled house is actually Whirlpool’s training program for new sales recruits. The lucky recruits chosen to live in the house get to spend about 3 months there, using the company’s kitchen and laundry products in their daily lives as they learn all aspects of the company and the products.
With 8 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, 4 kitchens, 4 laundry rooms and lots of gorgeous living space, the Real Whirled house was a nice treat for us bloggers. With each kitchen and laundry room outfitted with different brands (one kitchen Maytag, another Whirlpool, etc.), we were able to see and use quite a few of the current appliances made by Whirlpool.
Here are some photos of the beautiful Real Whirled house:
Real Whirled Bloggers
The eight Maytag Mom Bloggers chosen for this experience were all thrilled to be a part of this amazing trip and had such a great time getting to know each other!
I knew 2 of the bloggers already – Jeannette from The Adventures of J-Man and Millerbug (one of my very favorite blogger friends!) and Melissa from Mommy Living the Life of Riley (just as hilarious, fun and sweet as I remembered from BlogHer ’12!). I had a great time meeting and getting to know the other bloggers too and pretty soon we were all laughing and sharing blog stories, tips and advice.
We laughed, we cried, we made water cookies. I had a blast with these ladies and can’t wait to see them again in the future.
Did you know that Whirlpool is over 100 years old? I didn’t either. It’s 101, actually. Started in 1911 as Upton Machine and then growing and expanding until 1941 when the name was changed to Whirlpool. I also didn’t have any idea that Whirlpool employs more Americans in manufacturing work than all of its major competitors combined. That’s impressive!
Whirlpool appliances are marketed in almost every country around the world included the most recognized appliance brands like Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Amana and Jenn-Air. From cooking and refrigeration to fabric care and even garage storage and organization, Whirlpool manufactures appliances for many aspects of our daily lives.
The Cool Stuff
We were able to see the Whirlpool labs firsthand to learn about how they test their products in order to improve them. By running the various models of washers and dryers constantly for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year, the Whirlpool engineers are able to see what works well and what could be improved upon.
From the robotic arms opening and closing the washer lids and dryer doors to the robotic fingers pressing the settings and cycle buttons on the machines, the tests are meant to mimic the way we use washers and dryers in our homes. We were even able to look through the plastic-doors of the dishwasher to see exactly what happens during the cycles and how well each works.
Whirlpool runs the machines hard, day in and day out, actually trying to cause failure. Because if they can cause a failure in the labs, they can improve the machine and avoid failures in our homes. Although the industry standard for washer and dryer life is 10 years, Whirlpool aims for performance and use beyond that point, so the engineers are testing every possible component and aspect of the machines to make sure they are the best they can be.
After we saw how Whirlpool tests the parts of the machines, we saw how they test the results of those machines. In separate labs, washers, dryers and dishwashers are tested for performance. The technicians run load after load of laundry in all of the machines, checking to see which stains come out of cloth test strips. The techs wash the exact same items in Whirlpool machines and competitor machines, then note the condition of the clothing after numerous washes. Pilling, fading, color transfer, soil removal, soil redepositing and many more details are studied and monitored to determine what works and what could be improved.
You can see in this first picture the Whirlpool pajamas on the bottom and the competitor PJs with pilling on the top. The next pic shows the various soils that are washed to test for performance, including difficult stains like blood, clay, grease and others. The last photo shows the color fading test, with the Whirlpool blur shirt on the left and the faded shirt on the right that was washed in a competitor’s machine.
I really enjoyed see the different labs. I never even imagined that so many different tests could be run to test the performance and reliability of appliances. It was nice to see how hard Whirlpool works to make sure their appliances are the best.
Who knew? (Actually, if we all read the manuals that came with our appliances, we would know many of these.)
1. Laundry detergent does matter. The more expensive brands contain ingredients that separate the soil from the clothing. Cheap detergents don’t and you end up with the soil being redeposited back on (so whites get dingy with redeposited dirt and sweat – yuck!). You spend hundreds of dollars (or more) on your clothes – don’t skimp on the detergent you wash them in.
2. You should scrape large pieces of food off of dishes, but do not pre-rinse. Your dishwasher cycles are designed to be used on soiled dishes, not clean ones, so the power and force of the water is for soiled dishes.
3. Don’t wait until the dishwasher is full. It costs around $0.11 to run a complete dishwasher cycle, including heated dry, on the newest machines. Even if your dishwasher is a few years old, it doesn’t cost much at all to run. If you run the dishwasher as needed instead of waiting for a full load, you avoid having days-old completely dried on foods that often need to be run through a cycle again.
4. Some laundry detergents separate. Pour some of your liquid laundry detergent into a glass and watch it for a couple of days. If there is separation, you should shake the detergent container before using.
5. Now that phosphates are no longer allowed in dishwashing detergents, many powder and liquid dish detergents simply don’t work as well as they used to. Most of the manufacturers are focusing their research, testing and money on the detergent pods, so it’s probably a great time to make the switch to dish detergent pods.
6. Use a rinse agent in your dishwasher! Even if you use a pod that contains a rinse agent, use another rinse agent. Any rinse agent that is released during the cycles will be washed away, so you need a separate rinse agent to be released at the end of the cycles.
7. Use the cleaning products recommended by the experts. The manufacturers want your appliances to keep working well and to keep looking great so you stay happy. They create and test products to see what works on their appliances, so use that knowledge to clean your appliances with the products that they recommend. We were able to see that cleaning and testing in action and saw exactly why Affresh works best on the appliances. That’s what I’ll be using from now on!
Pretty interesting, huh?
I had an amazing time on my trip to the Real Whirled! I’ll be back to post again soon on some more of the fun we had in Chicago and in Benton Harbor, Michigan. It was a great learning experience and made me absolutely, 100% a MaytagMom for life!
Check back in a few days to see the rest of the fun we had around the Real Whirled house, out shopping and dining and seeing the sights!
I wrote this post participating in an Maytag Moms Ambassador program by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Maytag. I was provided with a trip to the Real Whirled house to facilitate my post.