Anyone who had both types of washer and dryer!
Please share your opinion with me.
I want to know how big different either HE or non HE.
HE toploaders on the market now do not have a center agitator, instead using a flat or low-profile oscillating disc to agitate the load. They use considerably less water than non-HE machines. They do not fill to fully submerge the load. Only enough water is used to provide enough buoyancy to lift the load slightly off the agitation disc so the clothes can circulate at a slow rate. Wash cycles are longer than non-HE machines, but less water and energy is involved. Some of them run a spin-shower rinse sequence to flush the detergent away with minimal water usage, but may have an option for an agitated rinse when using fabric softener. Spin speed is also faster to extract more water so less energy is used when drying the load.
Some (most) have a specific cycle for bulky items (blankets, comforters) that fills higher and has a specific agitation pattern to accommodate those items.
The mix of hot and cold incoming water is controlled by a sensor to specific target temperatures. Warm, for example, is cooler than what a simple mix of 1/2 hot and 1/2 cold would otherwise be. Hot may also have some cold water mixed in to keep the temp no higher than 110Â°F, for example. The specific target temps depend on the individual machine. A few top-of-the-line models (Maytag's Bravos, for example) may have a heating element under the tub to boost the hot temperature for a stain-treat, heavy soil, or sanitary cycle.
There are a few toploaders available that are EnergyStar rated, but are not considered true HE machines. They have a regular agitator and fill to normal water levels for wash, but get the rating by running cooler water temperatures and shower rinses. Fisher & Paykel's EcoSmart model runs a unique low-water shower wash function at start of the cycle at a warmer temp, then fills at a cooler temp for an agitated wash, followed by shower rinsing and 1000 RPM spin.
momo, so did you go HE or non-HE? And what do you think of whatever you got?
I am at that crossroads now. I'm not considering a front-loader, were you? I am considering top-loader HE vs. LE (low efficiency, old fashioned). Right now, I'm leaning towards LE. I have a feeling these new-fangled features just won't clean as well or as quickly.
Good specific information from dadoes, but it doesn't really tell me which one is "better" for me and my clothes. I need a advantages/disadvantages list. the eco part is just one factor in the overall big decision tree. And in my small household, its not even a big factor.
Only you can decide what's best for your clothes and laundry needs. There are large variations in individual sorting and usage habits, detergent choices, typical soil levels the machine must handle, and performance expectations. What someone else thinks is best, an advantage or disadvantage in a particular machine, won't assuredly match your definition of it. Gather all the available information and make your personal decision. There are videos on YouTube of how different machines operate, although keep in mind that an entire cycle from start to finish is usually not shown. What you may perceive as an excessively-short wash period or a lack of wash "action" isn't necessarily the case. :-)
there just isn't enough info around to really know how it will work *BEFORE* the purchase.
Reminds me when I was shopping for a HDTV but I would still be viewing SDTV for awhile. No one could tell me or show me what the picture would be like. I just had to jump in and hope for the best.
I am coming to the conclusion that some amount of wrinkles, odors, less clean clothes, long cycles are a definite disadvantages (high potential) with HE's. I've yet to read about any any advantages (oh yeah...eco). I can't know for sure unless I get one if it passes muster and then its too late if it s*cks.
Same with my energy efficient dishwasher that takes forever to run a cycle and I don't think they are super clean unless I run on the least energy efficient mode.
Its like when 100W incandescents go away soon. I'll just use two 60's or 75s to get the result I want.
Now my quest is to find a "traditional" washer that lets me select the water level. There are not too many! But at least it should save me money! which will help me pay for the increased energy bills!!!
I can say that the HE toploader I've been using for the past 2.5 years cleans and rinses VERY well ... but it's no longer available other than on the used market (Whirlpool Calypso, which is a completely different unit than the Cabrio, although the two are sometimes confused as being equivalent).
I thought of another HE advantage, I think. quieter? Although that's not going to be enough to sway me.
I notice that most (all?) of the new HE models have an extra rinse option. I guess that is needed because of the low-water usage leaving suds residue behind in the clothes. So people may be using the extra rinse cycle and not saving the water in the long run. But the mfr can claim low-water use because the "normal" cycle uses less water. win-lose.
I have also discovered in the detailed specs of some places, that they separate out Water Efficiency and High Efficiency. I presume the latter is the high spin speeds leading to quicker drying times leading to saving real energy.
I found this graphic while shopping that I think says it all!!!
I pick Dependable Clean!
An HE machine running an extra rinse still uses less water than a non-HE machine running its normal cycle and rinses.
Time is relative - yes, the load may take longer, but the capacity is much larger than my old agitator so I actually save time by doing fewer loads...
A HE washer will rinse a load twice Vs once for a tradtional top loader and still save on water and get the clothes rinsed better, even if u add a 3rd or forth extra rinse, it still saves water. The clean better due to the higher detergent concentration in the water, much quieter and use less electricity than a TL machine, even with the longer cycle times. Ive had a Front loader for over 9 yrs..LOVED IT, now I just got a LG HE toploader and it is winning me over too.
badgergrrl, that is an interesting spin on it (no pun intended).
Being a small household, my loads tend to be small too. By the time I sort whites, colors, towels, there just isn't that large a load to take advantage of your very valid point.
I was trying to find out the capacity of my existing washer for comparison purposes, but I can't. Just by eyeballing though, I would guess what I had is probably in the 2.5cf ballpark and it suits me fine (except for sheets and blankets).
Also, luckily my water bills are really cheap where I am, so the water bill is not really an issue (yet?). And I think the electricity savings are not that noteworthy (except for the indirect savings on less dry time).
This is really tricky decision. I just came back from shopping and the pickings are slim for non energy star.
wendy...check out speed queen washers, they still make a tradtional toploader in all the aspects of one. It appears to me that you need to stick to a TL machine. It has to be your choice ultmately
I love that the SQ's have variable water level selection. I have that now and I really like it. No one else offers that anymore.
However, the SQ's are all 28" deep. I have tight space requirements and need to be under 26".
Thanks for the tip.
I have identified a couple of traditional Whirlpool models that are possibilities. My dealer is checking availability.
Maybe by the next go around of washing machine purchase, HE will also be HF (high-functioning) with all their issues worked out. I don't feel like taking a chance just yet.
Wow, I can Identify with this! I started looking today for
a washer. My Amana is from the 1980's and still working. Replaced the belt once.
I do not want HE. Do not want a front loader either. I want
to be able to control the water level. I need to wash really
dirty muddy clothes ( construction). I want just dials, no
computers. I am thinking of having my old washer rebuilt if
possible after reading the horror stories about the new ones!!
I just ordered my whirlpool WTW4800 today. It is a new model and the dealer said he was surprised that there was one like that for 2011. He didn't think they would be making them too much longer.
My main search criteria was water level selector and agitator. They mostly go hand in hand in the non-EnergyStar world.
During my search I did run into stripped down builder special models that were high energy, so that target market machine might persist longer. Even Whirlpool makes other lines for other markets under funky names. But they were pretty bad. One didn't even have a fabric softener dispenser!!
Oh and today's high energy model still will be a huge improvment over 1985. My 1985 Energy sticker says $83/yr at 7.63 average kwh cost. My new non-EnergyStar washer claims $41/yr at average 10.65 avg kwh cost.
So extrapolating the 1985 energy usage to todays rates, my new ("high" energy!) machine will still be a huge improvement over the clunker. Probably 300% better.
Go for it!
oh darn... as I am thinking about that last posting, now I am wondering if the new machine's performance will decrease (in comparison to the clunker) to the extent of the 25yr energy improvements, even with the same basic type of machine.
Well, hopefully not as much as it could with even more drastic energy savings (HE).
WendyB, WTW4800XQ is a new mechanical design that Whirlpool introduced late last year to replace the venerable direct-drive mechanism that they were making since 1983. Both HE and deep-fill machines can be produced on this new design.
What did they replace it with?
Being my cynical and pessimistic self, can I assume that's not going to be a good thing (on my scale of good/bad).
Like a car, I would not want to buy the new redesigned model the first year. shoot.
I had identified the WTW5200 but it was no longer available. I just missed it. They said the WTW4800 replaced it and was "virtually identical".
There was also a WTW5590 available that was close to the 5200 and 4800, but there was something about it I didn't like. I forget now... I was on comparison overload!
Now that I think of it, I noticed on the WTW4800 brochure that it had the "progress bar" on the bottom of the control panel, just like the HE's did. My first thought was "cute, but something else to break".
-ever the cynic...
The new mechanical design is a version (some parts have been beefed-up) of the belt-drive mechanism they've used for some years on the "compact" World Washer models. I think it's called World Washer because it's sold in many countries around the world. Spin speed is faster than the previous direct-drive design. The agitation stroke is longer and slower, akin to the older belt-drive Whirlpool and Kenmore machines of the 1950s to early 1980s. Some service techs I know are expecting the new design to be a good thing. The direct-drive design itself was quite reliable having been produced for more than 25 years ... but it wasn't adaptable to HE machines.
Thanks for the info. I noticed that the max spin speed was higher at 700 compared to 640 on the other contenders. Hopefully thats not a big enough difference to cause all the wrinkles that the HE's do at 1000 or so RPM's.
I have a Fisher & Paykel that spins at 1010 RPM (on the regular cycle), and have not had any trouble with objectionable wrinkling. Your new machine should have delicate and casuals/perm press cycles that spin slower than the max speed, use them when appropriate.
wendyb wrote: "... the new HE models have an extra rinse option. I guess that is needed because of the low-water usage leaving suds residue behind in the clothes."
A person who uses an HE washer should be using an HE detergent. HE detergents do not make suds. There would be no suds residue.
On the contrary, HE detergents do produce suds under some conditions, such as if overdosed on a small and/or lightly-soiled load.
herring_maven - it is a common fallacy to think that HE detergents do not make suds. They do. In fact, if you have softened water you can produce suds simply by agitating the water hard enough. Anything that reduces the surface tension of water, which is what conditioners and surfactants do, will produce suds. HE detergents usually contain a suds inhibiting ingredient to help with this.
I have consistently found liquid HE detergents to be sudsier than powder.
My mom's ancient Maytag toploader has an extra rinse option too - and ain't no way that's low-water.....
My Mom is just making the leap to new front loaders after all her years with top loading. She has witnessed mine work and is pretty confident she'll be happy with them. I'm so excited for her ... her current machines are over 23 years old.
When she was comparison shopping, she was told that the front loaders actually rinse better with less water. It's all in how they do it. They rinse and spin and rinse again. You'd be surprised how much detergent may still be in loads done in a traditional machine (especially with one rinse).
I helped her research her chosen brand/make and there were many more thrilled reviews and only a few bad. Some of the bad reviews were clearly written by people unable to read. One guy thought he had to pull the machine out from the wall to check the filter?! Seriously?? Ya, that makes sense ... duh ... He gave it one star for his inability to read a manual - no comment on how it actually worked.
I switched from top loader to front loader about 10 years ago. My machine is a heavy duty (albeit very basic) Frigidaire with no heater. I have never had a problem. People ask me how I keep tea towels, white towels and socks so clean.
As sshrivastava has stated before. If you take the time to rethink how you do laundry - it's really not rocket science. But many folks are not doing laundry well to begin with so when you give them front loaders they're in trouble. I'm amazed at how people just stuff laundry in washers and then grab from washer and stuff in dryer - really??
This is from an article from 2008:
- Performance: I thought top-loads would get clothes cleaner because they used more water, and I didn't want to sacrifice cleanliness for efficiency. But Consumer Reports compared 20 front-loads with 22 top-loads, and the top 10 front-loads cleaned better on average than the top 10 top-loads.
- Gentleness: Since front-loaders don't have that centre agitating piece, they're easier on clothes. Some of today's top-loaders don't have centre agitators either, but these models cost as much as front-loaders.
Here is a link that might be useful: Choosing a new washer and dryer takes research
Thanks for the other side, LB. Although this discussion is primarily about HE and non-HE in top-loaders. Fwiw, I recognize the publisher of that article as the same producer as many of my favorite HGTV shows.
I used to believe Consumer Reports had a lot of credibility, but in the past few years, I have found their articles and ratings very skewed. I actually just dropped my subscription for 2011 after having it for over 20 years.
They constantly leave out top sellers and major factors and just skim over the salient facts. Like when they did countertop comparisons, they left out quartz! They did something on mid-sized SUV's recently and omitted Toyotas!!!
Anyhow, I did read their most recent article on washers and was unimpressed. They definitely skewed to make the point they wanted to make. It was energy, energy, energy. THey cited an Estate washer as an example of a "conventional top-loader" getting a poor rating. Hardly typical. Who's ever heard of it besides dadoes and me? They also cited the Whirlpool Duet FL for not being gentle, so there are no sweeping claims for FL there either. They also basically said don't put allergens in the wash and vaccum more frequently to reduce dustmites (I guess because you won't get water hot enough to do the job). Did they hold back on saying bedbugs???
The take away for me from their article is still mostly about energy, which is not my concern in a small household, but I can see that with a certain household it may be more important than I can visualize. For me, $25-35/yr difference is a total non-issue (plus given that my current clunker is probably $150/yr, I still save big time on a non-HE).
The side issues that are more important to me (mold, odor, wrinkles, dustmites, fabric softener gunk, time, stains, etc.) they didn't give nearly as much weight to as they did for energy and costs. That may not be the most important factor to most of us actually doing the laundry, as seems really evident in this forum.
Also they break down all the ratings between FL and TL so it is hard to compare performance between the two types. THey also only had tiny footnotes on TL HE and TL non-HE in the TL ratings so it was hard to see a big picture of that breakdown too.
Well, its probably a moot point in short order. I'm sure LE is going away in a few years. Let's just hope the manufacturers can improve the technology so it is foolproof to get the laundry done quickly and effectively.
sshrivastava wrote: "... it is a common fallacy to think that HE detergents do not make suds. They do. In fact, if you have softened water you can produce suds simply by agitating the water hard enough."
We do not need softened water, because our water right from the tap is VERY soft. If you were to sit in our bathtub with a bar of real soap, you could swish the bar back and forth and get enough suds to overflow the side of the tub.
The water is agitated very hard in our washer, but we get no suds in our washing machine using an HE detergent (Biokleen All Temperature). You and I both are reporting what we have observed, but your experience (which I do not doubt) with suds must come from observations of a detergent very different from every HE detergent I have seen.
"Anything that reduces the surface tension of water, which is what conditioners and surfactants do, will produce suds."
Suds comprise bubbles; a bubble could not be formed without surface tension.
WTW4800XQ is a new mechanical design that Whirlpool introduced late last year to replace the venerable direct-drive mechanism... The new mechanical design is a version (some parts have been beefed-up) of the belt-drive mechanism t
are you sure? I just asked my dealer about this and he said no. He said the Cabrio's have gone belt design (and some troubles are surfacing), but he assures me my WTW4800 is still "venerable" direct-drive and will likely last as long as my current 25yr "clunker".
"Suds comprise bubbles; a bubble could not be formed without surface tension."
According to Wikipedia...
Surface tension and shape
A soap bubble can exist because the surface layer of a liquid (usually water) has a certain surface tension, which causes the layer to behave somewhat like an elastic sheet. Soap film is extremely flexible and can produce waves based on the force exerted. However, a bubble made with a pure liquid alone is not stable and a dissolved surfactant such as soap is needed to stabilize a bubble. A common misconception is that soap increases the water's surface tension, soap actually does the opposite, decreasing it to approximately one third the surface tension of pure water. Soap does not strengthen bubbles, it stabilizes them, via an action known as the Marangoni effect.
Wow ... like I've said before ... laundry is a lesson in chemistry :)
It's not nearly as simple as some people wish it were (especially in a HE machine).
WendyB, if your WTW4800XQ has 700 RPM spin, a lid lock, and cycle sequence lights beneath the timer dial (electronic timer, even though the controls are rotary knobs)... then yes, it's the new design.
arrgggghhhhh. thanks for the info.
Wendy, I have an HE toploader (Maytag Bravos). I wash for a large family, so the huge capacity has saved me much time. I now wash 3-5 loads per week vs. the 7-10+ loads I washed per week in my non-HE washer. I also wanted to be able to wash king-size comforters, which Bravos washes beautifully.
Another big consideration for me is water temperature: I don't know if any non-HE washers give true hot water (at least 140 F) anymore, with perhaps the sole exception of Speed Queen. None of SQ's washers had the capacity I needed, they are expensive, not always available locally, and I have seen complaints about them. My washer has an internal water heater; when I use it, it gives very hot water. If you don't want true hot water, don't wash any laundry in hot water, I realize this is not an issue for you.
One unexpected benefit is that my washer has such high spin speed (when I choose it, which is almost all the time), the clothes dry MUCH quicker, thus saving even more energy. I've seen a noticeable difference in our electric bills since we got the Maytag Bravos set.
I've had non-HE washers which offered extra rinses, so that was never an issue for me. My HE washer uses MUCH less water than my former non-HE washers. Our water rates have gone up, but our water bills have not increased at all. This is another big help.
I do hope the washer you chose gives you great service. When I was shopping for a washer a couple of years ago, I saw what you mentioned: many of the very basic washers (even some supposedly-better models) did not have bleach or fabric softener dispensers, or cycles for delicates, etc. Some of them also seemed to be very light, 'tinny', not well-made.
My Maytag Bravos washer cleans my laundry very well. There is no decrease in cleaning power at all as compared to my former non-HE washers.
Well, I finally got my non-HE installed and did my first wash. A few observations:
1. I have a suspicion that the water-level selection (which I really wanted and which highly controlled my selection) may be non-functional or less-functional than it appears. When the load starts, it goes thru a lot of gyrations before starting the fill. Reading the manual indicates that this phase is determining the load balance (read: load "size"). So much for *ME* having control of specifying the load size.
2. Towels were not as soft as usual. I used my same detergent and fabric softener. I did specify the extra rinse option.
3. clothes came out of the dryer with static. I have never had to use dryer sheets before. (probably not washer related, but throwing this in fwiw).
4. Don't like the lid-lock. I am used to adding detergent AFTER the fill has commenced. And observing the fill too. I will have to experiment in future and unlock it to see if I can see what the fill actually is. and check temp too. I hope it doesn't drain if I unlock/cancel.
5. Love all the plastic (sarcasm..)
6. a "Regular" normal cycle took about twice as long as prior.
7. Similarly noisy as previous. Maybe slightly less so. The spin didn't shake the stuff on the shelf on the adjacent room wall.
8. One top I washed seem to have more pilling than before. But I can't be sure. I will be on the lookout for pilling/snagging on pill-free things going in.
I didn't really have anything very dirty to actually test cleaning power. That will have to wait for gardening season!
Bottom line: too early to judge completely, but I think this machine is more HE than non-HE.
And it also looks very cabrio-like. And now with the new cabrio belt-drive design, I think it is a low-end cabrio with an agitator. (is that redundant?)
I'm so sorry you're having these issues. Based on what I hear about the majority of current non-HE washers, this sounds very typical.
My towels come out luxuriously soft, and I don't use any fabric softener (which can rob them of absorbency). I wash them in true hot water, Tide w/bleach HE, OxyClean if needed, and some white vinegar (other vinegars can cause discoloration) in the FS dispenser.
Wendyb, your washer sneses the load size in the beginning to determine how much water to use in it. thats what the gyrating is all about. if you pause it after it fills, open the lid, I bet then it will fill all the way up. clothes are more pillowed due the agatator and lower water usage. i hope this helps you out some
Wendyb, your washer sneses the load size in the beginning to determine how much water to use in it.
Yes, that's what I suspected. Then the dial that I turn to specify the load size is for what? decoration? fake out? marketing ploy?
1. I think you're being overly suspicious. :-) There is no load size sensing on this model. The "load balancing" routine is not related to that, I know someone who has this same machine and asked him about it. The water level switch is the same kind of four-position manual water level control that has been on previous machines. Perhaps try washing a single sock on the Super level, see if it fills full-up or to a lower level.
2. Per info I've found, selecting Softener = Yes / Extra Rinse has the machine spin after wash, run an agitated rinse with the softener released, presumably drains and spins again, then does a shower-spray rinse during which the basket spins at a slow speed while fresh water is sprayed over the load, finishing with the final spin. That likely is the explanation for your towels not being as soft ... the extra shower-spray rinse flushes some of the softener out of the clothes.
3. See above regarding the extra rinse. Also if the faster spin extracts more water, shorter drying time may be in order to avoid overdrying/static. Does your dryer have an auto-dry or moisture sensor cycle, or do you set it by time?
4. The lid lock is required for safety being as the machine does not have a spin brake. Pressing Pause/Unlock once should pause the cycle. Small text by the button says "Hold 3 secs to cancel." The machine will drain and cancel the cycle if left paused and open for 10 mins.
5. Plastic is not necessarily bad. I have two Fisher & Paykel washers (one 11 years old, one 6 years old) that have the entire top panel and lid plastic ... and plastic doesn't rust, so even the 11-year-old machine is in nice condition.
6. This machine is different than your previous washer, you'll need to learn the nuances of it. If the Normal/Regular wash time is too long, select Normal/Light.
7. I don't recall that you've stated what was your previous machine. Based on videos I've seen on Youtube, this new mechanism is somewhat quieter than direct-drive Whirlpool units, but Youtube videos tend to have variable sound quality.
8. Be sure sort properly and use an appropriate cycle for the item(s).
I did mention that this new design can be used for both agitator models and HE/Cabrio wash plate models. A couple belt-drive Cabrio models were released first, but the plan all along was to produce agitator machines as well. :-)
Grats on your purchase. I loved dadoes explanation of the differences you sought btwn HE and traditional washers. Based on posts in the laundry forum about this topic, there's definitely some psychology behind preferences. Personally, I tend to start with science over marketing or blind trial and error when deducing trouble.
Issues like static, pilling, stain removal and softness are most often caused by environmental/external factors rather than the machine. Fabrics, detergents and humidity are first culprits, to me. Given the fact washing machines made in the last couple years operate differently -- for a host of govt, green and cost reasons -- than before, it's reasonable to expect a learning curve and maybe behavior change. Nothing dramatic. Just different.
My mom still rinses dishes before putting them in the DW but the technician who installed mine said I should never do it. He's right but it's her habit.
Thought I would update on my "low-efficiency" new WTW4800 purchase now that it has been several months of using it.
It does the job fine. My biggest rush is still not seeing the old clunker - aesthetically!
My gardening socks still do not get 100% clean, but I don't think any machine could do better. I think that's the nature of dirt and socks. I even tried a load with STTP.
When I want WARM, I select HOT. I checked the temp after a HOT fill and confirmed it was not really HOT. Among sm/med/large/super, I lean to the right just to be sure I am not skimping on water.
The size is great for me. I don't utilize all the space most of the time, but it is nice to have the bigger space to fit a blanket in. Even queen size sheet sets fit easily now. Before, I had to separate top sheet and bottom sheet.
I've gotten used to the longer times.I just plan around it. I also recently learned that it is best for a septic system to not have laundry marathons and that washes should be spread out for proper septic treatment.
With those new "color catcher" sheets, I am able to combine lights and darks a little bit more to make larger loads. I only do that on everyday clothes, not nice stuff, but I probably could do more.
I have not observed any additional wrinkling from higher spin speeds. My clothes dry incredibly fast. I always used to use the dryer on timer. Now the energy-preferred cycle is my friend (although for towels, need to give it a little extra time.) Fast drying is where the big $ savings are.
I also found out through my town's water analysis report, that I do not have hard water. I forget the numbers, but it was good.
I do use more fabric softener for towels and also starting using fabric softener sheets. All's well there.
And yesterday I was at someone's house where the laundry room was in the powder room behind bi-fold doors. Well, the bi-fold doors were open and the HE front-loading washer door was being kept open. None of that for me!!! I can close the lid of the top loader when I take the clothes out of the dryer. (although I sometimes wait overnight just to be safe).
"I can close the lid of the top loader when I take the clothes out of the dryer."
@wendyb - you might want to rethink that, and keep the lid open at all times as a further measure to prevent mold growing in the tub of the washer.
Static in your dryer is evidence of over drying. You shouldn't need fabric softener to prevent static in a dryer if it is properly designed to leave residual moisture in your clothes. Try drying on a lower heat setting.
The fabric softener in the dryer was not about static. I have no static using Energy-Preferred dry. It was to make the towels softer.
Cavimum, I was told by my dealer that is not necessary with this machine. He is the one who said I could shut it in an hour. Where would water be hanging around?
I am coming to the conclusion that some amount of wrinkles, odors, less clean clothes, long cycles are a definite disadvantages (high potential) with HE's. I've yet to read about any any advantages (oh yeah...eco).
As a former ownder of several non-HE washers and a current owner of an HE toploader (Maytag Bravos), I can say unequivocally that I have not had to deal with wrinkles, odors, less-clean laundry, and the only cycles which are longer are the ones with which I use the internal water heater. This has never been a problem for me.
These are the advantages I've seen with my current washer:
~ much-bigger capacity; I can wash 2x or 3x more laundry in one load
~ this saves me LOTS of time, as I don't have to nearly as many loads of laundry each week
~ the washer is much quieter than my non-HE washers (it's in a laundry room off the kitchen and I very rarely hear any noise at all)
~ the huge savings in water have made a noticeable difference in my water bill
~ the very fast spin (on the highest spin speed, which I use for virtually everything) gets so much water out of the laundry, it dries much faster in the dryer, thus saving electricity
~ I can wash comforters, quilts, and sleeping bags -- don't have to take them to a laundromat
~ Being on a septic tank, the much-less water usage is a big plus
I too have seen all the advantages of owning a HE machine, as Mara state's plus no center agitator to rip my clothes apart or tear off buttons. Recently I house/pet sit for my brother while on vacation. I had to use his traditional TL Kenmore. Boy I forgot how miserable they are..loud, dont clean as well, twisted my jeans like a rag and left so much water in them compated to my high spinning Wave force washer. It took twice as long to dry my work clothes too.
gates1, I had a very similar experience when using a friend's traditional washer and dryer set not long ago. The washer was LOUD (I had forgotten how loud! Maytag Bravos has spoiled me), the items didn't get as clean (although the agitator beat them soundly), and the towels took FOREVER to dry. Really, I had to use at least three (maybe more) high-heat cycles to dry them! When I got home, I felt like hugging and kissing my Bravos set, lol.
Ok, i feel Incredibly cheated. Please be warned: i have only used a normal washer *( non-HE , top loader) my entire life when 6 months ago i purchased a new Whirlpool wtw8800yw. It is a top loader HE washer. First, the balance was off because i did a typical load like i always do. The washer sounded like it was in an earthquake. called the repair guy and he adjusted the washers feet and told me to wash less clothes. OK... little speed bump. no worries, i can wash less clothes each time. I put in HALF of what i normally do. 3 pairs of jeans, 6 t-shirts and 2 collared shirts. (i weigh 165 lbs so its not like my clothes are huge.) The second round, no loud banging noise. When finished, I pulled the clothes out and to my surprise they still had some dirt on them and still smelled dirty. Some parts of the clothes did not even get WET!! SO, much research later, i found that top loader HE washers basically "squirt" water and detergent mix onto the pile of clothes and spin them in order to force the water/soap mix through the load.... hmm.. Called the repair man back out because the clothes did not seem to get cleaned, just sprayed with soap and water mix and spun. Repair man said it was normal and that is how these washers work. My wife and i decided to give it a couple of months try to make sure we were not just being picky. Couple of months later, the only thing this washer does right is agitate the SH*t out of me. $1000 and it doesn't even clean your clothes! We have tried every combination of clothes to detergent ratio, different settings and tried washing only ONE pair of jeans that had dirt on them from lawn work and it still did not get all the dirt/smell out. DO NOT BUY a top-loader HE washer if you want your clothes clean. I am so disgusted i can't believe this washer made it to market.
P.S.: If anyone wants to buy a 6month old Whirlpool wtw8800yw washer ping me. :)
You apparently have a top-of-the-line Cabrio machine with onboard water heating. Are you using only the Normal and/or Casual cycles? There's a range of cycle choices for a reason, and you don't necessarily have to match the cycle exactly to the load.
Documentation indicates there's a Deep Water Soak cycle available as a pretreatment for heavy soils. Have you tried it?
Towels, Sheets, Bulky Items, and Allergens cycles may fill to a higher water level.
I think the HE machines have come a long way in the last few years, but i completely understand the frustration - my mom bought high end HE machines when they first came out and the odor issue was a huge problem, there were problems with the drains, and they did not clean well.
I did a lot of research before i bought mine because we had just moved, we needed several other appliances, and money was tight. I used reviews that tested multiple appliances, including consumer reports and a few others.
The Cabrio had the best reviews at our price point 3 years ago, and I'm happy with it. I guess we'll see in 10 more years! After a while i can tell it needs a clean cycle because my white aren't quite as bright, but I have hard water, so I guess I see that as a reasonable maintenance chore. After I run the washing machine cleaner I always rewash all of the whites and they look great. Compared to my old machine, I'd say the only difference is that I have to spend a little more time pre-treating stains before they go in the wash - in the 'olden days' my wasteful self would just throw in extra detergent and add an extra rinse cycle, but with this machine I do have to actually spray the stains with something since extra detergent builds up.
I noticed a significant difference in performance with powder detergent vs. liquid, but it became more and more difficult to find Tide HE powder. A couple of months ago I had to buy those Pods because they stopped carrying powder at the store nearest my house. I'll admit, I'm really cynical of any kind of convenience packaging because it always ends up being a huge waste of money, so I resented buying them, but I didn't have many options that day. They actually worked pretty well - better than the liquid I remember, and my husband is notorious for throwing in detergent without measuring so we really don't go through them as fast. So, maybe liquid detergent has improved and I just didn't notice. i think you have to weigh the manufacturer's recommendation with the type of water where you live, too. Even before my HE machine I converted to 'brand name' detergent. There are only two items on my shopping list I never buy generic or substitute: laundry detergent and diapers. Tide and Huggies . . . and I sound like a commercial.
I really don't think it is about HE vs. not HE at this point, it is more about research. When you go to buy, try to research each model individually, not just specific brands.