Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hunting for The Perfect Washing Machine & Dryer

I started changing up our laundry room back in November just before Thanksgiving. It all started with that yellow dresser there. We had to make some modifications to it and well I just ran with it and decided I wanted to freshen up the entire space.
When I was suppose to be packing to go to Ga I was in the laundry room painting the cabinets. Note I am still not done yet. We had our trip and then getting ready for Christmas and then something unexpected happened.  
I was doing laundry one evening and oops! The water level knob broke completely off the washer. The entire compartment fell off into the the washer machine. I was not to pleased but then figured it was a sign. Our Maytag set was 8 years old. When we purchased it they told us that appliances are not made like they use to be and to only expect 7-8 years out of it. Well two years ago the washer started giving me fits. So many fits that we almost broke down and purchased a new set then but we didn't. We could not figure out what we wanted so I just dealt. It would constantly go off balance and was not washing as well as it should have been. After the knob broke off I washed clothes on the small water level for almost two weeks and then the machine just went bonkers so we HAD to break down and purchase a new one.
After much debate and lots of research we decided on this LG Top Load HE set. The reviews were fabulous and it is top on Consumers Reports. It did have a handful of complaints though like several other sets we were considering. Really it just seemed like a crap shoot on any of them but we were reassured by the 30 day money back guarantee that HomeDepot has. 
I was super excited when they arrived.
They were all shiny and new and a little too fancy but that is what ya get these days. 
We liked the fact that it has a stainless steel non rust drum. Right away we did a load of towels. We wanted to see just how much water actually went into the drum because we had read complaints that there was not enough and that clothes were not washed thoroughly. It took an hour and ten minutes. Hmmmm. Was not a fan of that but I was able to wash ALL of our towels in one load instead of two so I figured I could deal with the longer wash time. The towels flip and flopped and were fully emerged in the water so for us no issues there. When the load was done it does not buzz but sings a little tune. Call me silly but I really liked that.
A red flag did go up though when I lifted the washing machine lid and I found this sticker. This sticker was not on the display set at the store. To me this could pose a huge problem especially if we had smaller kids.
Loved the dryer on its first run as well. The towels came out fabulous and I was ready to wash EVERYTHING in the entire house. After the next load not so much. 
 
Major issue for me is how wrinkled the clothes came out of the washing machine. We tried everything from smaller loads, note you can not wash small loads with this set, to using liquid fabric softener and different settings on the machine to no avail. And yes I shake out all of our clothes before they go into the washer and after before they go into the dryer. We had hoped that the new dryer would get the wrinkles out but nope. It didn't not even dry jeans all the way. I washed some sheets and a blanket and the dryer said the load was dry. The sheets were but the blanket was still soaked. It took me three tries to get it to dry the blanket and only after I went from the bedding cycle to the normal cycle did it finally get dried.
Out of the 12 loads I did in a week I literally had to stand there and babysit the washing  machine for 7 of them. It constantly went off balance even though I loaded it as the directions said. If you do not put enough clothes in there it goes off balance and you have to add more. If you put too many they come out even more wrinkled. To try and balance itself out the washer drains all the water out and then fills the drum up with water again. Not sure how that is energy efficient. Only once did that fix the unbalanced issue. It will attempt to fix itself twice before it dings for you to come and move everything around.
I had had enough! We paid way too much money for this set for it just to be pretty so we went to Home Depot to see what our options were. Don who had helped us before was fabulous. We had no issues with the return and were told if the new set we ordered was not satisfactory to come back and they would take care of us. It was a nice surprise.
Source
So even though I was hell bent against a front load from the beginning we ended up ordering a LG front load. Several reviews had stated that they started out with the top load and had the same issues we had and went to front load and loved it so we figured why not. Again this set is top in Consumer Reports. We did not purchase the pedestals. I didn't want them to be too tall. They are actually the same height as a normal washing machine so I figure if I can bend to put things in a dryer than I can bend to put things in the washer too. speaking of which I a 5'7 and have normal length arms. Getting all the clothes out of the top load is a challenge. I have toe hand on my tippy toes to get to things in the very bottom. That and they have a funny smell to them. Not sure what it is and was hoping it would go away but so far it has not. I hope the new front load is smell free.

The new set does not arrive till Jan 3 so while we are waiting I am working on new shelving for in here!:) Crossing our fingers that the new set will be perfect for us.

Please feel free to let me know your thoughts on either of these sets! I am all ears even if you have something different just in case we have to start from scratch all over again.


13 comments:

  1. How disappointing. My daughter did not have very good luck with the LG front loaders either. She sometimes ends up taking stuff to the laundromat because things take so long to dry and she has lots of clothes with three kids. My friend just purchased a Whirlpool and she loves it...it was also a top rated consumer report...It is too danged bad it has to be a trial and error situation when it comes to a big thing like appliances. It's not like taking back a mixer! Good luck- xo Diana

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  2. Hopefully the new set will be better. I totally agree that they don't last like they used to. Our first set 20 years ago was Kenmore and they lasted for 11 years with heavy usage (most often two families.) We bought the exact same model, just newer and they lasted less than 4.5 years. The dryer never worked properly. Our third set is a Maytag Epic front load, had to have the washer motor fixed already and we have only had it 3 years. I really like the front load though. My tips: always keep the washer door slightly ajar when empty to avoid the musty smell and 3 repairmen have told us to always use way way less than the recommended on the bottle HE detergent /softeners-they don't need a lot and it can actually harm the machine.

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  3. I don't know about LG but I have a GE front load and I don't like it cuz the water doesn't dissipate all the way out and it eventually starts getting moldy and having a smell. I've only had mine for a couple of years and I'm ready to be done with them. Of course, at age 65, I don't like the bending over to get the clothes out and I thought $200 a piece for the pedestal was ridiculous. This washer also rocks and rolls when one puts it on high spin. Can't wait to hear the outcome. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. I'm on my second set of front loaders. The one thing they never tell you is that you have to wrestle the clothes out of the washer when they are wet. So..you have to squat down there and pull. You can do it though. :) Also, front loading washers are notorious for developing mildew around the rubber gaskets. If you Google it you'll find lots of complaints about that and ideas for keeping it under control. I do like that the washer uses less water and is very efficient. Overall, I do like it...hope you do too.

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  5. Sorry the first one didn't work out. I have a front loader and it's not perfect either but overall I am pretty happy. Just make sure you leave the door slightly open when you are not using it - otherwise you will end up with that awful mildew smell. Best wishes for a happy new year!
    Cheers! - Shelley

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  6. I hope you are happy with your front loader machine.And I pray I am not hunting for a new set anytime soon.Because I don't think I will ever by a front loader again.If you don't leave the door open and the tray( the drawer that you add the soap too) it will start to get moldy.Yep we had mold in ours and I have talked to friends that have front loader machines and this happened to them as well.We can't afford a new set so we just deal with it and I add vinegar or bleach to it every so often to clean it.Hope being that yours is a newer model that they have improved.
    xx
    Anne

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  7. I didn't do any research, but found a great washing machine on sale at Boscov's. The Maytag Centennial. I wanted an efficient top loader that could fill completely, because there are times i want to soak or dye things. This one has a choice of high efficiency water conservation or full emersion. It also has a clothes level sensor. I'm in love with it mainly because it doesn't need a babysitter. My old machine recently lost it's balance capability, and if could wobble itself across the basement if you didn't open and rebalance the load:) My high capacity dryer is still kickin' butt! My sister and sister-n-law both bought front loading sets and found the to get smelly. Both said they will not purchase again!!! Best of luck in your search.

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  8. I bought a Maytag set a few years ago and LOVE them! I did buy the pedestal as I didn't want to be squatting down to load and unload clothes. I agree - leave your washer door open just a bit. I have never had the issue with the mildew smell because I do that. Enjoy!

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  9. Sorry to hear you had problems, but so glad you shared the experience with all of us! We are reviewing new options now. We have a Whirlpool Washer and Dryer that are 7 years old. They have had a few repairs but still run like a charm. Plans are still in the works to get new front load units when we move into the house. I think I might keep the old ones as a backup though. Hope you tell us how the newest ones perform! -Tonya

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  10. Hi there, I am new here. I could have written this exact post! I felt like the princess and the pea with washing machines instead of mattresses. And overall I'm not really picky, just wanted clean, non wrinkled clothes!! I had the top loader (with no agitator) like you, same problems! Wrinkled clothes and I just couldn't get used to the loonnnggg wash times. What normally would take me a few hours took me a few days. Then went to the Whirlpool front loader, my clothes always had a "smell" I'm not sure what it was. I tried less detergent, more detergent, an extra rinse and taking them out immediately, NOTHING worked! I was so discouraged! And I am one of those crazy people who actually like to do laundry (putting it away is not my favorite, lol). I ended up with a Fisher Paykel Ecosmart washer (top load) and top load dryer. I am THRILLED with it. Yes it's not as big as those huge HE top loaders, but it is done quickly, the clothes are clean and it's also an HE washer even though it still has an agitator. You can control the water level or leave it on auto. I always leave on auto unless I am washing something where I need it filled to the top.
    Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that your not alone! I hope this new one is what your looking for, but if not, check out the Fisher paykel Ecosmart (the aquasmart has no agitator, I wanted the agitator, can't teach an old dog new tricks!) and Smartload dryer. http://www.fisherpaykel.com/product/laundry/washing-machines/?productuid=1ED195A6-9D9A-5130-4E8120BE64AB6985
    Good luck! And can't wait to look around your blog more. :)
    Kristi

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  11. Ok so apparently I'm NOT new here! I got here from someone elses side bar, but then realized you are in my blog roll, lol! But I have taken a long blog break, got busy with life! Anyway, didn't want you to think I was crazy! Apparently I need to dye my hair blond again. :) I thought the title looked familiar..... ;)

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  12. The all-too-common complaint of front load washers developing mold, mildew and funky smells is what made me drag my feet for close to 2 years before I finally broke down and bought a FL washer. I did a ton of research before buying one and came upon some interesting websites regarding this problem. My research armed me with some of the information I needed to know about the things to do(and not do) as a FL washer owner.

    One interesting theory I read over and over during my research is fabric softeners and liquid laundry
    soaps (even HE formulas) cause, or at least contribute to the mold and mildew problem. Apparently, the oils these products contain are not adequately washed away because of the energy-saving low water levels. The oily film left behind on the washer's internal parts is thought to be enough to trap moisture and in turn, cause mold and mildew. If you are using fabric softener or liquid soap,
    you may want to change to just white vinegar as a softener, and powdered laundry soap as soon as you get your new FL washer. There are lots of "recipes" on the internet for very cost-effective homemade powdered laundry soaps. And it only takes a tablespoon or two per load.

    I never leave wet clothes in the washer. After I finish doing laundry, I don't bother to wipe the door seal/gasket dry but I do always leave the washer door wide open (not just cracked)and open the detergent dispenser so they can dry out. Whenever I think about it, I check the folds of the gasket for hair, threads, lint or anything that can possibly trap moisture.

    Rather than leaving the washer door open, you might want to consider purchasing a little washer fan that dries out the interior of the washer. (I have no affiliation with this company--I've just read good reviews about the product so I'm considering getting one myself.) Here's the link:

    http://housewares.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=housewares&cdn=homegarden&tm=9&f=00&su=p284.13.342.ip_p504.6.342.ip_&tt=6&bt=0&bts=0&zu=http%3A//washerfan.com/

    In summary, I'm a consumer who is very pleased with my front load washer and (so far) I have zero mold problems. If you are willing to take a few preventative measures (and maybe change some of your laundry habits) to guard against mold, you will probably be really happy with your new front loader too.

    (Sorry I wrote a book here. :o )

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  13. I just wanted to pop back by and say there was one thing I don't feel I stressed enough: NEVER use liquid laundry soap or fabric softener in your new FL washer.

    This blogger ( http://giraffe-legs.blogspot.com/2012/09/homemade-laundry-soap-with-surprising.html )
    wrote an eye-opening post on how her smelly washer problem went away after she switched from liquid soap to a homemade powdered version.

    From everything I have read, IMHO, liquid laundry products are the major contributing factor to the smelly FL washer problems.

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