Our ancient Whirlpool washer is on its last legs, and we have made the decision to get a new washing machine rather than fix the old one. We bought this one from a landlord 10 or 11 years ago, and it was old and rusted then.
My wife wants a front-loader. I’ve looked through several websites as well as old threads here, and am sorta on the fence about these: some who have them love them while others hate them. Mold and mildew plus poor cleaning are common complaints. No point in buying a machine that suffers from either. Long wash times (as long as it doesn’t take hours) and noise I can handle.
So I’m looking for reccomendations. We will probably be getting a new dryer (electric) as well since the old one is just as old as the washer, makes a ton of noise and does a pretty poor job of drying.
So advice, stories and anecdotes welcome. For what it’s worth, we only have Lowe’s and Home Depot here, no Sears or Best Buy etc. I don’t want a lot of bells and whistles, but I do want a large capacity drum.
If you have a front-loader, do you like it? No? What make and models are good and which should be avoided? (And yes, I’ll be looking at CR, but as always I like Doper’ opinions.)
One small point: you can buy a High Efficiency washer that is a top-loader, rather than a front-loader. The main appeal of HE washers, I think, is that they save a lot of water. I don’t know if the top-loaders suffer from any or all of the same problems as the front loaders.
Our old washer is still ok, but I’ve also been thinking about a new washer at least. My main concern is that it should be as reliable as the old one. It is my impression with almost everything that has bells and whistles is that every single one of them is something additional that can go wrong. Mostly I don’t need those extras, what I need is something that lasts with an absolute minimum of fuss.
I wouldn’t mind having a dryer with a steam setting, though.
I’ve had a front loader and I currently have a HE top loader. I much prefer the top loader. It has a larger capacity and doesn’t get the mildewed smell that plagued my front loader. It uses very little water and cleans well.
I’ve had my front loader for about 12 years now. Works great, takes huge loads. My husband had to put a switch in for the outlet, though, as there was no way to turn the thing off and leave the door open. Don’t know what sort of brainiac designed that.
I prefer the top loaders too. Front loaders are trendy but they smell bad and are an awkward height. We use the top of the washer and dryer to fold the laundry. If you set the front loader on the floor, the height is right for folding but not very convenient for dragging out the wet laundry for the dryer. If you put it on the pedestal, you’ve lost the top surface completely.
That being said, we just purchased a top loader a few months ago. Our salesman told us that the average life expectancy is about 7 years now no matter if you purchase the $1200 bells and whistles model or a $400 basic one. We opted for a low end one because we actually use only one or two settings anyway. It just makes more financial sense.
I’ve got the top loader and wouldn’t change to a front loader. I like being able to throw in that extra sock after the load has already started.
I can’t remember the brand but the latest one I got has a drum but no agitator in the middle, all electronic working just chuck stuff in, add soap powder and pres “Start”. It supposedly figures out how full the machine is and adjusts the amount of water and cycle time accordingly.
Very handy with young adult kids, the refresher training for the son on how to use it so he could wash his own clothes took 10 seconds.
I’ve got a top loader HE Whirlpool Cabrio. The inside is massive and doesn’t have the typical center agitator but rather a small stump of one on the bottom of the tub. Stainless steel drum. Probably close to 10 years old now. I think I’ve only ran it’s cleaning cycle once since owning it (dump bleach in and set to clean).
The only drawback is that it’s really deep and might be hard to remove all the clothes if you’re short.
If it died tomorrow I’d get the same thing.
We got a Speed Queen top loader a couple of months ago. Three year warranty and made in the USA. It’s low tech & that’s exactly what I was looking for. You’ll see a lot of Speed Queens in laundry mats & other commercial operations. Now I just need to remember to keep plenty of quarters on hand.
Forgot to add: Not sold by Big Box Stores. Is there a local appliance store in your town? That’s who sells them.
Check with your state and electric company. Some Ohio program right now will give you either $25 or $50 ea for replacing with EnergyStar appliances. In Ohio it is through the electric company. (Google EnergyStar appliances rebate and your state.)
Also, you can buy from just about everyone because they ship to your home. Some ship for free, others don’t. BUT, when I was looking, I’d find what I wanted online, then go to the local Home Depot, etc and there they had next to nothing. SO, make sure you do check online because my local stores carried about 6 models (mostly the expensive ones and none of the ones I’d wanted to see) and the online store had like 30 models.
Personally, I like top load because I keep adding stuff in as the machine is filling up.
We just got back from Lowe’s and HD, the cheapest machine - a tiny old-fashioned top loader with a proper agitator - was $500. My wife has her heart set on a 3.6cu.ft. LG machine. Amazon reviews are mixed. I want to go back when we don’t have the kids underfoot, make notes, and do some more research.
We have one independent appliance store in town, but they’ve started expanding into the mattress biz, and from what I hear their appliance inventory has taken a dive, and they mostly sell parts now. I will be checking it out though. [side rant: this is like the 7th or 8th mattress store in a town of 20, 000 people. How can such a small town support that many mattress stores? How can there be that much demand?? We actually have fewer used car lots!]
For those of you that don’t like front-loaders, why? What bad experience turned you off of owning them?
My wife and I bought an LG 4.0 cubic foot front-loader 3 years ago. The exact model is WM2016CW. Bought it for about $700, IIRC.
Haven’t had any problems with it whatsoever; clothes get very clean, although the cycle does tend to run a bit longer than I’m used to (90 mins or so). No problems with mildew; could be due in part to the climate here in Northern California, and partly because we keep the door open which is supposed to help with that particular problem.
I have a relatively basic GE toploader, model WWSE5240G1WW, but I don’t think they make them anymore. Something like four sizes, four water temperatures, and four types of washing with further subdivision in each type. Generally happy with it while doing two or three loads a week.
Consumer Reports’ Best Buys in the front-loading design are LG WM2650H[W]A, LG WM2655H[V]A, LG WM2250C[W], and Electrolux-IQ Touch EIFLW50L[IW]. The top-loaders are Samsung WA422PRHD[WR], LG WT4801C[W], Samsung WA5451AN[W], Maytag Bravos XL MVWB750Y[W], Samsung WA400PJHD[WR], Samsung WA456DRHD[WR], Kenmore 2600, Kenmore 2800, Whirlpool Cabrio WTW5600X[W], Whirlpool Cabrio WTW5640X (Lowe’s), and Whirlpool Cabrio WTW5700X[W]. These are all quite expensive, with the cheapest models being $700.
I have a front loader - I wish we had a top loader Among the issues:
[ul][li]After you’ve started the wash, if you have One More Thing (a common occurrence with three boys), you either have to wait until you have another load, or end up with water on the floor.[/li][li]Mildew on the seal. We leave the door open and remove the detergent tray after each use, but there is still a mildew problem on the seal. That thing is a major pain to clean.[/li][li]The spin cycle. We have a second floor laundry room, and each spin cycle shakes the house like you would not believe. I have made sure the machine is balanced, and put a mat under is, yet the shaking the machine causes is unbelievable.[/li][li]Wash times. I’ve never before had a washing machine that finishes after the dryer.[/ul][/li]
In all, the additional folding area is not worth it.
I have a front loader and I love it. I live in Mississippi (humid as shit, mold central), and I’ve never had any smell or mildew problems, but I was aware it was an issue and have always taken preventative care. I clean the seal with disinfecting wipes about once a week or so, and I wash my machine with Tide washing machine cleaner once a month.
Putting in one more thing isn’t an issue for me either. I have a Pause button on my machine, and it halts the cycle and drains the water so I can put another item in if needs be. It takes a few seconds, but I’ve used it and it’s not a hassle.
Anyway, my washer is GE Profile (I also have the matching dryer and I’m very happy with it as well) and I love it. My clothes are cleaner and don’t get worn out as fast. I think it’s lovely.