Need new washer...HE or traditional?

For an idea on show much a front loader can handle in a single load, I just bought 2 sets of queen size sheets: 2 fitted sheets, 2 flat sheets, 4 pillow cases. I tossed them all in a single load, and still could have fit probably 15% more stuff, if I wasn’t worried about dye leaking off the sheets.

There is a product called “affresh”. It is a small puck that you run through one wash cycle when the machine starts to get an off-smell. Also wipe around the seal.

And yes, if you can leave the door open when not in use it helps.

I just got a new HE and I want my 20 year old washer back. The shortest cycle is around 45 minutes and I hate it. It takes me all day to do laundry now. I would go with the olde fashioned kind if I were you.

ETA: My water’s free - I have a well.

I’ve noticed far less pilling in front loaders. YMMV of course, if you don’t have finer fabrics or clothing that’s not prone to pilling of course. But the agitator in the middle of it well…rubs things together instead of sloshing it all together and moreso “turning” the clothes onto each other like a front loader does.

Older front-loaders also took much longer. Newer ones on the “extra dirty” cycle take only an hour. The upside of a longer cycle is you can shove WAY more clothes into one load. At least double.

Another bonus of front loaders: many of them have 3 settings for how “dirty” your clothes are. I really like this; some clothes are dirtier than others. So for a load of gym clothes and yard work clothes, I’m revving it up to the highest of the 3 dirty settings while for going-to-work clothes I’m putting it on the lowest.

I have a front loading HE and would never go back. I find my clothing is much cleaner and pills much less than with an old school top loader.

Mine has a hand wash setting so I can wash my bras and panties in it without them getting spun all to shit.

I’ve also felted with it with no problem - it does a very nice job.

I’ve had my front loading HE washer for about a year and a half now; I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it. It’s definitely a change.


  • You really can fit a lot of clothes in there.
  • Uses less water. I haven’t really measured. We do one or two loads a week; that’s not a lot.
  • HE detergent uses so little that the bottle last forever - like, a year, for me.


  • My towels have had their pile screwed down. I have to dry them in the dryer instead of letting them air dry as I used to to try to fluff them up again. Not much of an energy saving now.
  • Clothes really don’t get as clean.
  • Cycles are loooooong. For my two loads a week, it isn’t a big deal, but if I was washing many loads, it would drive me nuts.

You can’t add things to my washer, and I’m sure it would smell if I didn’t air it out (I’ve done this since Day One, and there is no musty smell at all). As I said, I’m lukewarm on them, but I believe that fresh water is going to become our Number One concern soon, and we just have to get used to using less.

I have about a 10-minute window during which I can add items to my front-loader. I figured that was a standard feature and am surprised to hear it’s not.

Front-loading HE washer here. No odor, no problems with clothes coming out not clean, and I’m overall very happy with it. I love the size of the load you can fit into that thing, and I like how dry the spin cycle gets the clothes, so I save on drying. I’m never going back to a top-loader.

If you know what already works for you, then why change?

If energy cost is an issue for you, then take a survey of everything else in your house, and follow the basic Pareto rule. I’d be surprised if your washing machine were significant enough to worry about.

Did you consider fixing your Washer?

May be a very minor repair. Those old Maytags were some of the best ever made. They literally don’t have that same quality any more.

Just FYI, I have a high-capacity top-loader that takes just as much as any front loader. It has no agitator, so is much gentler on clothes than a traditional top-loader.

Fixing it was my first instinct, but Grandma said no. I bought a top-loading traditional Maytag today. Oh, and btw, my math skills are crap…the old washer was 30 years old. The new one won’t be delivered until Tuesday, so of course my cats threw up on my sheets today. Thanks for all the input and information!
And yes, our water rates here are that low…but shooting up soon according to the paper the other day.

Unless you water your lawn or have no included water units, then you probably never surpass your included water units. In most places that I’ve been to (which is certainly not universal), you always get some reasonable amount of water included in the minimum bill.