tuesday, june 8

so, i need your help.  we will be buying a new washer and dryer in the coming weeks and the few times i have tried to dissect what makes a good washer/dryer from a nightmare of one i quickly stop because i feel so overstimulated i can't take it.  gone are the simple days of choosing one based on the name brand.  now you have a gazillion options…front loaders, top loaders, agitator, non-agitator, steam something or other, cubic feet, pedestals, energy efficient…many have more options than a car and more buttons than my laptop.  it's insane!  and seeing as my mom recently bought a brand new dryer that was supposedly a quiet one and it seems to make more noise than a herd of 4th graders on the last day of school, i am not trusting the marketing write-ups on any of them.  

some may not understand my obsessing over making this decision, but in some ways it might be a more important decision than the actual house.  have you ever done laundry in a piece of crap washer?  or had to dry your clothes in a dryer that was just as efficient as blowing on the clothes yourself?  if you haven't then you won't get my asking for help but my guess is that most of you have.  and husbands, if you have ever had to deal with a wife that had a piece of crap washer and dryer, you feel the pain as well.  it's not pretty.  let's face it, having a happy washer and dryer makes for a happy wife and we all know a happy wife makes for a happy home.  (please don't comment telling me i'm sexist for assuming that women are the only ones that do laundry because "this isn't a man's world anymore"…i'm smarter than that…i simply think that women do the laundry because there is no way in heck that they want a man anywhere near their delicates. 

so to those of you who have kicked or cursed a "piece of junk" or found the machine that makes your days brighter and a household chore that much easier, please, for the love of god tell me about it so i can make a decision already and be done with it.  give me the good, the bad and the stain fighting ugly.   

notes – i'm not sold on the brilliance that has been overly advertised as the front loader…i hear that the wash times are nearly an hour which to me is way too long as i like to do all laundry in the same day.  if you have a front loader and this isn't the case…tell me about it.  also, do you really see a savings in your water bill on some of them or is this simply another marketing ploy?

much love,

mama a

10 Comments ( Reply )

  1. Jenny says:

    Jamie,
    I so feel your pain on this one! If it were physically possible for me, my dryer would crash through my laundry room window and land on my front lawn most days. I have Frigidaire Gallery Series front loading washer and dryer. I will never buy any appliance with the Frigidaire name attached to it again. I know that they make appliances for other companies with their brand name such as Kenmore for Sears. The difference is that they build to Sears’ standards instead of their own. I do think that the front loaders use less water and my washer on the normal setting takes 44 min to cycle. It does, however, have several different settings for delicates, rinse & drain, quick, etc. The quick setting takes only 32 min. My biggest complaint with the washer is that I think it stinks (yes, smells bad). I have come to learn that this is a common problem with front loaders because moisture gets trapped in the rubber seal on the door, and from what I understand, causes mildew(GROSS!). This is a fact that many salesmen will understandably fail to mention. I do occasionally run an empty load with bleach and I try to keep the door open when I am not using it to let it dry out, but frankly that is annoying to me because it looks tacky. I hate, hate, hate my dryer. I have replaced the drum seal twice, and some other part whose name escapes me but is a piece of plastic that the drum turns on, in the 2 years I have owned them. It loves to grab the ties on warm-ups and gym shorts and wind them round and round until it is nearly impossible to return the string to its normal state, that is if you catch it before it breaks the tie completely. It is also fond of zippers, and generally rips it from the garment immediately. I have outsmarted it on this one by zipping and turning inside-out all articles of clothing with zippers. This is highly annoying also because laundry for 6 takes long enough without adding extra steps. I am quite certain that the Avocado Green washer and dryer that graced my mother’s laundry room lasted for nearly 20 years with few repairs. I guess what I am saying is that if by some stroke of luck my 2 year old front load washer and dryer suffer an untimely death, I won’t spend much time in mourning and can’t say for certain I will replace them with another brand of front loaders. I do think they are more aesthetically pleasing, but hey, if you have friends who like to hang in your laundry room send them my way! There’s never a shortage of washing, drying, or folding at my house. Good Luck!

  2. first, i enjoyed jenny’s review and your post so much, because i have been stressing about my washer/dryer for YEARS until moving to this house and getting a new one! i don’t know how many times i posted on FB and my blog about how much i hated my old washer.

    so, when ours leaked all over the basement the day before we moved, i wasn’t sad.

    we bought a top loader without an agitator, and i love it. i got the whirlpool cabrio. pros: it’s huge. i can’t believe how much stuff i can fit in there. muy importante with this many people in the family.

    it’s never once been off balance, which was the main problem with the old one.

    unlike a front loader, you don’t have to spend a bunch of money on the pedestals, which feels like such a waste to me.

    cons: you do have to run a “cleaning” wash once a month or more, if you notice an odor. there are these tablets that you put in the wash (or you can use huge quantities of bleach) to run this cycle. no big deal, but you do have to do it.

    to me, it was pretty pricey (around $1000)

    it’s not exceptionally quiet.

    some loads, depending on the selection, take 80 minutes (whitest whites, for example). that doesn’t bother me, though. most loads take about 50 minutes.

    we didn’t buy the totally upgraded cabrio steam dryer; we just went with a more traditional, but still cabrio so it matched, dryer. it’s fine. it’s a dryer. nothing special.

    we got ours at lowes and had them delivered in 2 days.

  3. Jennifer Teegarden MD says:

    Jamie,

    Good luck with this one! I do know that front loaders take more time and you cannot wash a really small load of clothing, which is really annoying! We will be looking to purchase at least one new washer and dryer soon as well. I am campaigning for two washers and two dryers, for the obvious benefit of getting more laundry done in a shorter amount of time. It makes since to me at least! I would at least recommend you purchase the risers if you buy front loaders. Good luck!

  4. Jennifer Teegarden MD says:

    Jamie,

    Good luck with this one! I do know that front loaders take more time and you cannot wash a really small load of clothing, which is really annoying! We will be looking to purchase at least one new washer and dryer soon as well. I am campaigning for two washers and two dryers, for the obvious benefit of getting more laundry done in a shorter amount of time. It makes since to me at least! I would at least recommend you purchase the risers if you buy front loaders. Good luck!

  5. oh, i also love that the cabrio sets the water level on its own, so you can do whatever size load you need and not waste water.

  6. We have the LG front loader washer and dryer (I don’t know the exact model, but we’ve had them for 6+ years, they are not the newer models that have the steam feature). We LOVE them. We have consistently lower water bills than our neighbors and we can only attribute it to our washer (we have similar family size, similar dishwashers, etc the only thing we could discern was that we had a front loader and they had a top loader). They are quiet. We don’t need to use the “high” spin speed on the washer (we typically use the medium spin and the clothes still come out well spun and don’t need a long time in the dryer). Same goes for the dryer, we can run the normal cycle on the “less dry” option and the clothes get dry without having to re-run it over and over. Also (although my husband doesn’t know this), I love that I can pack the washer to its limit and it still gets things really clean. When Maggie was a baby, I could put her spit up/baby food crusted clothes in a regular wash cycle and they would (for the most part) come out clean/unstained. I can’t say enough for the washer and dryer. We moved last year and took them with us, we were that attached to them. Also, ours has a quick cycle, that takes ~20 minutes and works really well if you have a smaller load. Typical loads on the “regular” cycle (like those loads that I cram with towels, jeans, etc) take 40-50 minutes, so I don’t think its an exorbitant amount longer than a top loader washer. Our washer/dryer are not on a pedestal, but they are still easy to get things in/out of. Also, I like that I can remove the plastic tray that you pour the detergent/bleach in the washer and get it clean. I periodically clean it– its not mildew-ridden mind you, but it probably could get gross if you didn’t rinse it every now and then. Our dryer is very consistent. I can throw the large load that I put in the washer and it generally takes about 50 minutes to get dry. The only caveat is if I have lots of jeans or thick towels, in those cases I tend to put those in by themselves and do 2 loads in about the same amount of time.

    Hope this helps! Good luck!

  7. Michelle says:

    if you get a “quiet” set but get the stands, that voids the “quiet” aspect of the machines. We have Samsung front loaders and love them. They are supposed to be quiet vibrate, so we called them to say “hey these are vibrating across the room” the first thing they asked was “did you buy the pedestal drawers?” voids the quiet vibrate balance.

  8. Mary W says:

    Jamie,

    I feel your pain. I’m currently on the hunt for a new washer and dryer. We are leaving the old ones with the house (part of the deal). And honestly I am just as confused as you are. I do a lot of my research by other people’s reviews, and everything (and I mean everything frontloaders, toploaders, etc.) has such a mix some people love them some people hate them this goes for every brand, and every price point as well. I just hate to spend all that money for something that might break in 6 months, which seems to be the running theme. Good luck, I hope you find a good set.

  9. Erin says:

    Love this post because I have THE crappiest washer in existence, accompanied by a dryer that has one level and doesn’t shut off by itselt (Maytags really DO last forever.) I’m totally going to be using this blog as research :-)

    Okay, I seriously need to pack. 5 days girl, and I’m done :-)

  10. Tina says:

    I have a simple Kenmore. It is quiet, efficient, and reliable. I bought my washer and dryer new three years ago. I havent had any problems. WHen I say SIMPLE, I mean simple. I have three options for loads (small, large, and Super) and water temp (hot, warm, cold). It works for me. My clothes are clean. My dryer is basic as well. Air Dry, Timed Dry and Warm Air. I am not sure I would enjoy or even use for that matter, a washer that does more than wash my clothes.

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