Electrolux, what were they thinking with those doors?!

grumpydaveJune 17, 2011

After reading the glowing reports here about how well they worked, I decided that surely the Electrolux wavetouch W/D were for me. The feature set seemed perfect. Then I went to Lowe's to see them in person. What's with those push to open doors? The dryers weren't so bad but the washers were more like push...wait...wait...doubt...wait to open. You could never tell whether you successfully activated the door or if your were just waiting like a fool for something that will never happen. Then just as you lose patience and reach to push it again it slowly pops open. Likewise closing it was hit or miss. Sometimes it latched and sometimes I had to push it again and again. There just isn't any significant tactile feedback from the mechanism to know whether you've activated it or not.

Clearly it's just another bad marketing gimmick as it looks good to have the pretty girl bump the door with her hip as she walks past with a full basket in her hands. But with a front loader you need to set the basket down anyway just to load the machine so is it really a bother to then pull the handle?

Seriously, I think this is a deal breaker for me. Within two minutes I was annoyed by it so I'm not sure I want to risk it for the next 10 years.

So now I'm looking for an alternative. I know about the Mieles, but what other (cheaper) FL W/D's are worth considering now?

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I'm a true owner of the washer and my door still opens from time of birth. What's on the floor in the Dept. store are abused by hundred of people a day who do not have a clue to be gentle! Take care of it and it will take care of you! Now don't get me wrong, people will be people and they will twist and shake the door, lean, slam the door, bump and kick as if they were playing ghetto football or slap the steetwalker who did not bring my money.

Anyway this machine is one fine piece of appliance that cleans well and get the job done, what more do you want?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 5:00AM
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The doors were probably the #1 reason I hated and returned my Electrolux wave touch set to Sears! The dryer door would stick so bad, I had to push to open & then wedge my fingers around the edge to manually pull it open. Once we rerversed the dryer door, the sticking got better.

BUT, with the spring loaded push to open/close doors....you CANNOT keep the washer door slightly ajar to let the drum air out, when not it use (probably the #1 most important thing to prevent mold and mildew in a front loader)!! I either had to keep the door all the way open, closed or make some "mickey mouse" door holder with a bungee cord. Also, the outside of the doors are plastic, where Miele is glass. The plastics and shiny, plastic silver buttons on the Electrolux are painfully cheap and flimsy feeling. HATE the Wave touch!!! Sorry :(

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 11:11AM
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When I was researching my purchase (ended up with Miele W4842/T9822) I ruled out the Electrolux for that exact reason. HATED those push to open doors. I also felt the finishes seemed cheap but those doors ... I just knew I'd end up kicking them :)

FWIW, I researched for about a year and ended up deciding between the Miele W4842 and the LGWM3885.

I'm super happy with the Miele but I really did like the LG pair.

@Larsi knows someone who got the LG that seemed super happy with them. Perhaps he can post an update now that some time has passed.

I opted for the Miele hoping that it would be a superior wash and long lasting purchase. While I can't say if it is better than the LG (although I suspect it is), I can say that it is superior to the Frigidaire set I had for 10 years prior.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 4:53PM
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I am with you! My 8 year old Fridgemore FL was dying and starting to stink (unless I used Smelly Washer and then Techno Fresh)

I thought I would try Electrolux (they made my last W&D) I hated the push door and the detergent drawer and the controls. Awful cheap design with poor components.

Got a Samsung set 520,great sale with free pedestals. I am happy with it. I have Miele on my first floor and they are great, built like tanks. The vibration reduction technology was the big draw for Samsung. They are great and quiet.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 1:25PM
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I'll report back on mine once I'm in the new place and using them. I bought the Wave-Touch based on washing and drying features, the door mechanism was neither a positive or negative feature for me in the decision as I had higher priority requirements than how the door closed (not saying that the door can't be a high priority for others, just wasn't for me).

The features it has that are important to me are the ability add more water to a load (great for cloth diapers which often have stink issues in front loaders due to not being so thick and not enough water to clean that many layers), the multiple custom cycles so I can save cycles for the teens and my husband to make laundry easier for them and thus easier for me, the stain pretreat option which is a short cycle that starts out cool to remove certain stains and then the water heater kicks in to remove protein staines, and that it has a handwash AND gentle cycle. Some of the brands now combine these 2 cycles so they are the same and if you want to handwash, you need to manually change the spin speed and then change it again for gentles. We have lots of handwash dancewear that needs a super low spin speed and then lots of gentles that need a spin speed one step up, but not as high as normal/medium. That's another thing I liked about the Electrolux is that there are 5 spin speeds plus "no spin". My current machine has this amount and I use them all. Some of the brands have only 4 speeds which means you can't have a different speed setting for handwash and gentle that is below "normal" speed.

The Samsungs were beautiful but they were one of the brands that combined handwash/gentle (and thus had only 4 spin speeds) and also didn't have the ability to add more water.

The dryer has some specific features I like as well but I've gone on long enough already. :)

My long winded point is that, check the actual washing and drying features as well in case the Electrolux offers you something you need, that other brands don't. I can learn to live with push to open doors but I can't live with stinky cloth diapers. :)

Now, if the doors don't actually *work*, then that's for sure an issue! But, it seems on this thread that there is only owner who has posted and their doors work the same as when new. Hopefully other owners will chime in. I'd sure like to know if these are an actual problem before my machine gets delivered! ;)

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 4:37PM
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Thanks for the feedback! I'll be looking at the Samsungs that were mentioned and comparing to the LGs which I also looked at earlier based on livebetter's response. I do like the feature set of the Electrolux but I don't want something that's going to really annoy me every time I use it. I'm picky about my ergonomics! I wonder if Elux knows how many sales they're losing on that one feature alone?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 9:20PM
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@grumpydave, perhaps they are gaining more than they are losing? Our appliance guy said people buy them just for the doors. :) He was asking me what I chose them (had all my appliances selected before going in and I just placed the order with him) and when I listed the features I wanted and didn't mention the doors he was surprised and happy that I'd researched before choosing them willy nilly.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 11:24PM
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Interesting. My sales guy (who sells more Miele in Canada than anyone) said he wouldn't even sell me the Electrolux.

Miele is his #1 choice as he claims, "no one builds them like Miele". He's been to Germany to see manufacturing first hand. He told me if they opened up a Miele washing machine in the store and another brand - people would buy the Miele hands down.

Miele uses far more superior finishes than anyone else. For one example; they use a cast iron cradle while everyone else uses concrete.

Back to point, his second choice to Miele currently (it changes as manufacturers change things) is Samsung. Samsung didn't make a gas dryer for Canada, which I needed, so LG was third for him.

After my year long search (I read everything and inspected everything many times over), I concluded nothing compared to Miele either so went with that. Of all the brands/machines available currently, LG would have been my second choice. When you look at the machines in person, pay close attention to details like; how the detergent drawer slides out, how the controls feel when you use them, how the doors open and close. If you pay attention to these things you'll start to notice how some just feel "cheap".

This is how I ruled out some brands like Whirlpool/Maytag/Electrolux.

Someone else wrote how they felt about the Electrolux doors and I had a good laugh. That was me exactly at the store. Push the door ... wait ... wait ... wait ... wonder if I need to push again ... argh!

One more thought, I was told by someone on the "inside" that appliance sales people have a strategy. They sell you what you want to buy. Most of them will size you up and listen to you intently - if you are leaning in a direction they will simply push you in that direction and make you feel good about your decision. They are not our friends (usually) - they are making money.

Take their advice/opinions with a grain of salt. Do your due diligence.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 9:30AM
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My sales guy had no opinion the Electrolux, I didn't ask for one. He just said he was surprised I had researched and that I wasn't buying them just for the doors like many other folks. Mine had no need to listen to me or sell me anything, I just went in with my list, sat down and said, "order me these". He started to speak about showing me other things, but I wasn't in the mood for sales talk as I needed the appliance package to my builder asap and had no time for changing minds. :)

I did look at the Miele's there months ago (a different sales person helped me at the time) and I am one who saw the Miele's and did not buy them based on look. The first thing is, the washer was 2x the price of the Electrolux (and every other brand) and for that price I got white, and ugly. I wanted to like them, but for the price I wanted something that looked current as well as did the job. I also don't like the look of their dishwashers though and I've been told that I am a rarity in that regard. I think Miele is one of the brands that I would have to have the opportunity to use for a period time so I'd be sold on their functionality and quality. I normally don't like to exclude based on look but since it was already out of my budget, I figured it was fine for me to not like the look. :)

The sales lady at the place I bought was interrupting us saying, "what about the Samsung" since apparently that's what she loves. Samsung was out for me for many reasons, one being it was missing some main features I need for the machine, the lack of gas dryer, and that my current washing machine/dryer is made by Samsung and I've had a repair guy in more times than I can count for the washer and once for the dryer in a 4 year period. The machine also had a recall with a pathetic fix. Makes me wary of buying another Samsung!

The LG's were neck and neck with the Electrolux for me so I agree that the original poster should take a look at those (can't actually recall why I ruled them out at the moment). I also though the top of the line Whirlpool Duet sounded good based on the manual, but I did not take a look at them in real, so perhaps that would rule them out. And not everybody will get Samsung duds like I did so if the feature set works for the original poster, many people do like their Samsungs.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 10:06AM
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How can you say:

"The first thing is, the washer was 2x the price of the Electrolux (and every other brand)"???

I am not a Math genius :) but the Electrolux Wave Touch washer retails for $1599 and the Miele W4842 retails for $1949. How is the Miele 2x the cost of the Electrolux??

And the Samnsung 4.3 VRT retails for $1499.

The LG 6 Motion washer retails for $1699.

So...the Miele is NOT 2x the cost of every other brand. Sorry.

And TRUST ME...I swayed from Miele 2x, to try the top of the line Electrolux and Samnsung, and all their "modern" looking and "cool" machines are cheap, flimsy and gimicky. There is a reason why Miele washers last 20+ years...they are designed to last that way. Miele is not white and ugly, yet classic, simple and efficient. Think of it as a 1986-1995 Mercedes E-Class!! They looked the same for all those years, yet remain the best selling and longest lasting Mercedes in the history of the company.

With LG, Samsung, Electrolux....Do you really need (or even want) a digital graphic display that has dancing bubbles that sing Jingle Bells?? :) Seriously, how is this going to give you great laundry? Gimick, Gimick!!!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 10:34AM
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@larsi, the Miele is $2549 in Canada http://www.miele.ca/miele/canada/lndry_tt_w4842.asp and with Miele here, the pricing is fixed. Not sure if it was always fixed but apparently a few years ago Miele changed the way they do pricing and servicing in Canada. For the Electrolux Wave-Touch, I paid $1200 (retail price here is also $1599). So the Miele machine is actually more than 2x the cost of the Electrolux. You did say you weren't a math genius. ;) (just kidding around with you!)

The LG retails at Home Depot here for $1648, at my local appliance store I could get it for around $1250. So again, the Miele is 2x the price. I didn't check what I could get the Samsung for as I had ruled them out due to my prior bad experience with them.

I did not say there was anything wrong with Mieles. I have heard they are great machines. You may not think they are white and ugly, I do. :) It's okay for us to have a differing opinion on aesthetics. If it was a comparable price to the other machines, I would have taken it into consideration, but I was not thrilled with the pricing here so I was rather happy that I think they are ugly. :) I love me a Mercedes, but even those came in different colours. LOL

Currently, I haven't had a washing machine longer than 4.5 years because we've moved to new houses and the appliances got sold with the house. I appreciate quality, long lasting machines, but realistically, I am likely to move to a new place or upgrade just because I want to; well prior to 20 years. My mom on the other hand, would be an excellent candidate for a machine that she never had to replace. I believe she's only on her 2nd set of washer/dryer in the past 25 years and the first only went because they got sold with the house.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 11:54AM
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Different strokes for different folks. I look at things rather simply when it comes to appliance purchases. I evaluated Bosch, Maytag, Electrolux, LG, Samsung and Miele. All but the Miele felt cheap - even the Bosch. Flimsy knobs, fake metal plastic buttons, gimmicks. In fact, I broke the coin trap door on two different Samsungs at Home Depot just trying to get them open. The little tab broke off. Nice!

Having all the technology, bells and whistles is great - but not at the expense of the machine's underlying build quality. I can't find a single complaint about the build quality on my Miele. In fact, it exceeds all of my expectations and I challenge anyone to find a better built machine on the US or Canadian markets today. The real indicator of build quality is seen when you disassemble the machine. Look at all the attention to details and the higher quality components that are used.

I am the type of person who would rather have one appliance for 20 years than 4 appliances that last 5 years each. I don't like the throw-away society that we live in so I make choices based on how well products are engineered and built, and the likely longevity of that product. Anything less is a compromise of my core values.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 1:56PM
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If we assume the top of the line models in the lines like Samsung, LG, Maytag, Electrolux, etc. are there some that really only last 5 years? I don't personally know anyone who has had to replace a machine after 5 years because it quit working. Mine only get replaced because I move and the appliances end up being a negotiating tool in the sale. The people with our first house are still using our TOL Maytag FL that we bought 9 years ago and never had an issue. (we see them occasionally)

If I live in the U.S. I would have considered a Miele because the pricing is inline with others. Here, it is simply ridiculous. I am sure that's why Miele won't honour warranty if someone buys one in the U.S. and bring it to Canada, else all those living near the border would be hopping over and buying there instead of paying the crazy prices here.

Again, not dissing Miele. I do believe they make excellent quality appliances. I may not like the aesthetics of their laundry machines or dishwashers, but I'd consider them if they had pricing similar to the U.S.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 2:10PM
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I've heard of people having to replace LGs due to bearing failure in 5 years or less. Mine is around 6 years old and still ok, but I only do about 2 loads a week.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 6:48PM
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@weedmeister, there is so much I could write in response to your comment.

I won't go into the details but some of the machine failures are most likely user fault. So many people do not know how to use a FL machine properly.

I owned Frigidaire FL machines for 10 years prior to purchasing new Mieles in February of this year. Those machines were basic as they come. They were also notorious for bearing failure around the 10 year mark - that's exactly what happened to me.

If you consider LG is the market leader in FL machines and you assume a 5% failure rate for any make, it stands to reason (and math) there would be more LG stories around. They sell more machines than any body else.

*LG is the market share leader in front load laundry in the U.S. for four years (16 quarters) running (2010 Stevenson TraQline data).
**LG is the most reliable brand in front load laundry in the U.S., according to a leading consumer magazine.

I learned during my extensive research that you can't put any weight in these comments. If people are in the unlucky 5% they trash the company and make them out to be crooks.

The reality is NO manufacturer (not even Miele) can guarantee you won't have an issue. What matters is how they handle it (I suppose). Although I totally get the "once burned" philosophy.

Since Miele handles all their own service here in Canada, my limited dealing with them so far has been excellent. Installation was great and I had to call them once about a small issue. They promptly came and fixed it.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 7:42PM
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Yes, all brands have issues. Mercedes, BMW, Rolls Royce - they still break down and need to be repaired. But the funny thing is, every Mercedes and BMW that my family ever owned was with us for at least 20 years. I can't say that for our Toyotas or Hondas.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 8:58PM
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@sshrivastava, and with us all of our Hondas and Acuras stay around. :) (kept a 2 seater CR-X for 15 years) I personally think Hondas are stellar for quality. Our latest vehicle we chose an Acura over the BMW and MB offerings and we love it as well.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 10:03PM
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That's interesting that people are buying the Elux's for the doors. I'm sure there are some people who see the gimmick and fall in love with it. I know there are people for whom the doors are completely secondary to the function, such as yourself. But for me, I'm struggling to thing of any positive benefit at all for those doors. It's not like the door handles on all the other brands stick out and are ugly.

In fact, I was in Lowe's today so I looked at them again. Last time I was focusing on the way they opened but this time I paid attention to how the spring pushes them half-way open as larsi pointed out. That would be another problem for my layout. Right now I leave my door wide open all the time as my current machine opens up almost 180 degrees and gets out of the way, but in fairness to the Electrolux I noticed that none of the new machines I looked at today opened up as wide as my current Bosch does. They would all need to be left just barely open instead of wide open and that's where the Electrolux fails again.

It's a shame, too, because I really do like all the advanced features that you pointed out in your first message.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 10:54PM
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@grumpydave, my parents have new LGs and the washer has a magnet "thing" on the door. It allows the door to stay open slightly without closing or opening all the way. Neat feature.

I leave my Miele door wide open too (because I have plenty of space) but it's only necessary to crack it open. You just don't want it sealed tight.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 11:25PM
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@grumpydave, so if the doors are open are they perpendicular to the washer and sticking out straight? Honestly, I didn't check into that as the ways the doors opened wasn't a "cool" factor for me, so I kind of just went, "oh ya, push to open, whatever". So, I'm in a bit of a panic that they may be in my way when open.

If they open all the way, and stick out to the left of the machine (assuming hinge on left) then they will be in front of my sink cabinet which might be annoying if I have to keep something useful under the sink. Not sure yet since I'm not in the house until this weekend! But I do have a ton of cabinet space so it may not be a worry.

If they open perpendicular and stick out in front, then that would be in the way of walking to the dryer. But, it would be easily resolvable as I'd just keep the door closed during washing/drying, and when I was done for that session, then pop the door open.

@livebetter, yes that was one feature I read in the LG manual that I thought was very cool! I'm going to have to go read that LG manual again to remind myself why I crossed that set off my list. ;) (or maybe I shouldn't as I can't go back now!)

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 11:52PM
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The opening mechanism on the Electrolux W/D does push the doors open to about perpendicular. You can't partially close them further because they'll just push back out. You can open them further though.

On my Bosch the door swings open about 180 degrees to the side but even then the thickness of the door sticks out into the walkway about 8". When the door is open like that it's in front of my chest freezer but the freezer is much wider and it's easy to swing the door out of the way when needed. It works for me.

What I noticed about the Elux, Samsung, Whirlpool, and one or two others today is that the door only swings open perhaps 3/4's of the way and therefore sticks out into the walkway much further than mine does. It wouldn't be a problem if you don't need to walk by it, but if you do then you need to think about keeping the doors nearly closed instead. As livebetter points out that's not an issue for the purpose of letting it dry out, but it is an issue with the Elux because the spring on the door won't let it stay barely open. The spring insists on opening the door about perpendicular to the unit.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 1:07AM
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Sounds like LG with the magnet closer might be perfect for you! My parents have a "galley" style laundry off their kitchen with a chest freezer in it. That's why she loved the magnet feature. It keeps the door just slightly ajar so no issues at all getting by.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 8:50AM
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Thanks grumpydave. So, it sounds like I have 2 options, perpendicular or open it further. Hopefully I can make one of those work, although I won't know which until I'm in the house.

Here's my laundry room:

As we speak, a sink is being added to the right side of the cabinet in the pic. And upper cabinets are being added above the lower cabinet and above the washer/dryer. The cabinet above the washer/dryer is high and has 38" of hanging space below it that spans the washer and dryer. The washer is to the right of the lower cabinet, then the dryer to the right of that between the washer and the wall.

So, I can see a door being in the way when I am heading back to grab dry hanging things. I'm thinking I'll keep it open as far as it goes so I can walk by if needed (the laundry room is narrow as you can see) and then put it perpendicular if it's in the way when I need to use the sink. Yup, ultimately it would be best if I could just leave it an inch ajar like I do with my current machine. I had tried the push to open feature in the store and I neither liked it disliked it, but I didn't actually test where the door sat when open. I should have. My current machine is a pain because it stays only ajar or open 180� and since I have a wall in the way it can't stay 180� so everytime I am doing laundry the door closes on my body and drives me insane. So I should have known to investigate where the door sat.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 9:46AM
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My washing machine came last Wednesday and I've had the chance to use it for 6 or 7 loads. I don't think the door is going to be an issue for me. I like several things about it: I can open it with an armful of clothing by pressing with my knee. if the door is open 90� I can just walk by and push it out of the way with my leg while walking (no effort, just walk into it basically) and then when I am past it, it opens up itself so if my hands are full I don't have to fiddle with the door.

The detergent dispenser will take some getting used to. It pops open nicely with the button, but closing takes a brisk push rather than a soft, gentle push which I am used to from regular detergent doors.

The wash times are shockingly short. A default normal load on high spin, medium soil with no extra options lists 30 minutes! In my previous front loader this was approx. a 1 hour cycle. I did a colours cycle with pre-wash, stain pre-treat and extra rinse options and it was 44 mins. This would have been close to an hour and a half on my old machine. And my "old" machine was only 4.5 years old. This freaks me out a little as I'm wondering how it can get clothing clean in such a short time! That being said, both my white and taupe hand towels have had dirty marks on them where the hands use the towel the most. I figured they were just stained since they are 7 years old. My previous machine had them always coming out smelling fresh so no reason to believe they weren't clean. Well, ONE of these 30 minute normal washes and the marks are gone from 2 of the hand towels! (I had only 2 in the load) Same detergent (Country Save). And my teenager got sprayed with mustard and stuck her shirt in the bathroom sink for a day (had no washing machine yet) and I threw it in the above mentioned colours load and the mustard came completely out. Mustard removal has always taken much more effort than that for me and this was a LOT of mustard, it covered the entire left side of her shirt which was light grey in colour.

Here's to hoping its cleaning power continues to be great!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 12:49PM
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Thanks so much for coming back with a first-hand report. I was hoping you would do that and it really adds tremendous value to the conversation. I'm also glad to hear the doors are going to work out okay for you, and that's very interesting about how well it cleans with such a short cycle. Keep us apprised if things change.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 4:02PM
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I'll do a short review at some point, once my dryer arrives so I can review the full experience. :) Right now I have to hang everything to dry. Ugh. Sucks for towels! I did just discover the "shrink guard" option which is superb for clothing you know you need to hang to dry. After the spin, it tumbles them around for awhile so when you take them out, there are NO wrinkles and you can just put them on a hanger; they aren't all pasted to the inside of the drum. I used to put my hang to dry items into the dryer for 5-10 mins. to get out the wrinkles and this "shrink guard" will save me that step!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 4:30PM
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