Is 3.5 cf Front-Load Washer Too Small?

Xena99July 28, 2011

I am planning on purchasing my first front-load washer, and price really increases with the size of the machine. My question is what size to buy for 2 adults?

Other that when I wash the king mattress pad or the king sheets and a bunch of towels together, I rarely wash a full load in my "Super Capacity" top-loader. I like to wash small loads more frequently to separate out lights, darks, delicates, etc.

I also have read in this forum that the front-load washers do not clean small loads well. This makes no sense to me, since the washer drum is vertical, but perhaps this is true. If anyone can explain this, I would appreciate it.

While it would be nice to wash the king comforter at home, that is something I wash only rarely.

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For two people, even a smaller 2 cuft European machine would be more than enough. I have a 4 cuft machine in a 2-person household, but my partner goes through a lot of laundry and business attire over the course of the week. However, we hardly ever fill the machine to full capacity except when washing sheets and duvets. I bought the larger capacity machines because of their ability to better wash blankets, king size sheet sets, duvets, etc. In my 4 cuft machine, I can wash a king size fitted sheet, pad, pillow cases and duvet with room to spare.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 11:49AM
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Is your washing machine in this list by any chance?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 12:00PM
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Not sure I would pay too much attention to the wize survey. There is a post on there from a user claiming her GE portable machine that rolls up to the kitchen sink handles her king sized comforter. LOL


    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 1:36PM
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I have a 2.5 front loader for a 2-person (plus one dog) household that accommodates a similar laundry routine. I separate a lot too, which results in smaller, more frequent loads. It's pretty dreamy.

I have a 4.0 at another home and it's somewhat luxurious comparatively when an entire set of bed linen can be washed in one go. For non-whites it's rarely 2/3 full after a week.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 10:17PM
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We upgraded from 3.7 cf to 4.2 cf last year. 2 adults and a teenager. The 3.7 was definitely adequate for normal laundry, we only upgraded because we wanted an internal heater and the 4.2 machine was on a great sale. The only significant difference is when I wash my thick king size mattress pad. It fit in the old machine but it definitely has more room to tumble in the new machine resulting in better washing performance. Most of my loads are half full so a smaller machine would be just fine.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 11:15AM
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We have a Samsung 382 i believe. In their ad they say it does 16 pair of jeans at the same time. They lie. We only wash about once a week and separate whites from lights from darks. Many times our machine is loaded a bit more than optimum. There are only two of us. We have washed our queen sized comforters. The big problem in front loaders is that current ones need to use very little water to be energy star complient. I get around that by doing all loads on "Heavy Duty" which extends the wash time until the clothes have time to get wet and I use a lot of detergent. Some machines/brand of detergent would have a suds problem, but what we use works. I also always do an extra rinse, and sometimes open and shut the door and do a short cycle just to rinse out all that soap. So much for water saving---but it works and our clothea are getting a lot less wear than they did from our old top loaders.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 11:25AM
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@ nerdyshopper

I hate to suggest that there is something wrong with your machine, but what you describe doesn't sound normal at all. You shouldn't have to use the Heavy Duty cycle to properly wet your clothes, the machine should sense and adjust as needed. Also, you shouldn't have to run extra rinse cycles. If you use "a lot of detergent", as you say, maybe you should use less so that your machine can rinse properly?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 11:59AM
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Hi all, thanks for the advice. I just bought a 3.7 cf Samsung Steam washer WF419AW on sale at Lowe's. I did not buy the matching dryer, but a more basic one (DV220AEW), also on clearance. These seem to be discontinued models.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 11:45AM
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