So you’re looking for a new clothes washer.
This can be a confusing and overwhelming experience as there are endless models and so many opinions. I know, I just went through this!
Here is our old washer, installed circa 1993 by the previous owner. Do you realize that is 22 years? And, as far as we know, never a repair or service call. No, they don’t make them like that anymore… However, it had begun to make very strange noises and then, when our most wonderful friend and plumber came and took a look, all he could say was
“Libby, you’re pushing your luck each and every day you keep this washer in your house.” It turns out that not only was the washer about to go, but the hoses attaching it had blisters on them and could burst any minute.
Here are a few considerations that emerged from my experience:
Configuration: Top Loader vs. Front Loader
1. Overall View: This seems to leads everyone’s list and yes, there are many pros and cons for each type of machine. The cons of a front loader seem to be the issue of mold and sitting water. So many reviews of these machines, either on the manufacturer’s sites or Houzz or Hometalk warn about this issue. And, the water/mold problem far outweighs the style and design of these contemporary machines.
• My personal takeaway : I don’t want to deal with ANY mold or sitting water…no, I just don’t want to ever have to think about it and the myriad solutions proposed by many.
2. Machine height. The drum of these machines reaches low…and that is where your clothes will rest at the end of the cycle. You will have to bend d-o-w-n to fetch your clothes.
• My takeaway: I don’t want to have to bend down to get my wet clothes out of the washer. Every sock, every tea towel, every pillow case will require this. One solution is to buy a base. Well, for me, that is just one more gimmick. I also have a shelf over my machine and am not sure if that added height would be possible.
1. A front loader will use less water, but a top loader will cost less up front. There was, I found, a huge difference in price.
• My takeaway: I don’t want to pay the price for a not very reliable front loader.
Details of the Machine (Having Decided on a Top Loader)
1. Center agitator vs. no agitator:
• My takeaway: I wanted a center agitator. There are not many left out there! But they do a better job, I think, and are more reliable than a huge empty space in that machine. I found three models when I went looking.
2. There is also the issue of size. Machines come in various load capability sizes.
My takeaway: For me, I didn’t want a huge washer. There are two of us here. We don’t wash heavy, bulky items such as comforters or rugs (other than a small 2×3′).
3. Then there is the question of just how many actual wash choices you really need. Do you really NEED to have fifteen or twenty variables when putting clothes into the washer? Really???
4. How about water temperature choices? I need a warm wash and a cold wash. Period. I would like to have the option of a warm rinse, but now ALL washers have only cold rinse,no matter the wash temp.
5. Lock during wash cycle. This is an important one! My plumber warned me in advance about this…thank goodness. Many machines go into a lock mode as soon as the cycle starts/water begins to flow. This is a safety measure, I understand. But I want to be able to check the water temp or water level, or perhaps add another item, or see if I added too much/too little soap.
- My takeaway: I found a machine that has a “pause” button, allowing you to open the lid and check inside, then push button again to resume cycle.
It’s a lot to consider. Every family’s needs are different; each budget is different; and each person has a particular wish list for such an appliance. For me, I wanted simple. I don’t need the latest and newest : I want reliability. I also wanted white, so that made it simple.
And, best of all, it cost less than $500.00. It is also very energy efficient, with an estimated yearly operating cost of $22.00. This is mainly due to the fact that it has an “auto adjust” level: it senses your load and adjusts the water accordingly.
My recommendation is to take your time, do your research, and think about what you need/want in a machine. Don’t be swayed by the fancy hype!
What’s your story? Do you have any recommendations for us? Any particular story of good or bad products/service?