Why no speedqueen front loaders?

angies66July 10, 2013

I have read all the talk on here about speed queen top loading washing machines. Why does no one want the front loaders by speed queen. I have been trying to find reviews about the front loaders, but there have only been a few of them.

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I just like top loaders better so that's why I got one. I like being able to fill up the machine and let things soak, open it up whenever I feel like it to remove or add something, etc. I don't see any benefit to the front loader, for me anyway.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 5:02PM
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Many folks buy Speed Queen because they ARE top loaders. For various reasons these buyers are often anti-front loader and anti-technology. The top-load SQ's use a lot of water, too, which some people are convinced is necessary for clean clothes.

The people on this forum who are more open to new technology tend to buy the latest and (maybe) greatest, which these days is mostly front loaders with lots of bells and whistles.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 7:22PM
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Front load technology is hardly new in the U.S. The first automatic washer was a front loader that came out in 1936 or 37 by Bendix and later Westinghouse. Many makers also made combo units in the 50s and 60s. So it isn't "new technology" by any stretch. I have always top loaders and just prefer them.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 8:00PM
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I love technology where appropriate but am not convinced based on reviews and research that front loaders are the best choice for us. While some love them, there are also some that end up not liking them and returning to a top loader. I am looking for well made and made in the US. Front loaders do not have as long of a life span. So while they might use a bit more water, if the machine outlasts others then a broken machine won't be in the landfill.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 8:33PM
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My opinion on Speed Queen front loaders is

+ sturdy
+ easy to use
+ fast
+ Made in U.S.A.

~ not the largest of washers out there
~ not that energy efficient

- overpriced
- underfeatured (seriously)
- no heater
- no "anti-vibration" technology at all
- spin burst don't do well at removing soapy water during the rinses (so I've heard)

The lack of features would steer me away from a SQ front loader. A longer or shorter wash is only possible by manually re-starting or stopping the washer. Some people, who want a hot wash, run the machine empty on hot to preheat the tub, then run a drain cycle, then quickly load laundry (without letting too much steam escape) and then run the actual wash. How's that for automatic? Spin speed is also fixed with each cycle. The lack of a heater also means that you either pre-wash stained items (of course, there's no pre-wash cycle) of pre-treat stains before the washer shoots water as hot as your heater provides on the load. This, naturally, is also true for any top loader... but would annoy me as my washer fills with cold and then starts to heat.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 8:52PM
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"For various reasons these buyers are often anti-front loader and anti-technology."

"The people on this forum who are more open to new technology tend to buy the latest and (maybe) greatest, which these days is mostly front loaders with lots of bells and whistles."

We have been working in cutting edge technology areas for our entire careers, but we purchased plain, simple Speed Queen top loader.

oregpsnow, you are so cute!

FYI, no one uses the "latest and greatest" technology in a wash machine.

This post was edited by azmom on Wed, Jul 10, 13 at 21:11

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 9:07PM
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So it's not because the speed queen front loaders are horrible? I get that some people had such a disastrous experience with a front loader that they wanted the old time top loaders back. I also understand that some people are scared to buy a front loader after hearing all the horror stories associated with them ( I fall under this category). Some of the reasons that are stated for a buying a speed queen top loader could be said about their front loaders. Made in USA, simple controls, built like tanks, great warranty...I did see that the front loader has a warm wash/warm rinse that was not on the top loader.

Personally, I don't mind all the bells and whistles, as long as the machine works like its suppose to. I have never had a front loader either, so I have not formed an opinion of them. I have read lots of horror stories, but also read lots of glowing reviews too.

I have narrowed down my washer selection to the Miele Little Giant, or a Speed queen. The speed queen has not been narrowed down to front or top loader yet.

Thanks for your opinions.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 9:14PM
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We've had a Speed Queen front loader since May 2012. I forget which model but it stacks with the SQ electric dryer. I bought it for it's simplicity, reliability and durability. I did a lot of research before I purchased the two units.

So now it's July 2013. I can report nothing but excellent laundry outcomes with the SQ stackable front loaders. Usage is split between regular load and bulky/delicate load (lower spin cycles, I think 700 rpm rather than regular 1100 rpm). I get to choose the water temperature, there is no internal heater, true. If I have heavily soiled whites, I choose hot with cold rinse, on rare occasion hot with hot rinse if truly concerned with getting them as white as possible. I use HE TIDE, to line 2, and on bulky add the extra rinse feature. I've gotten amazingly white clothes on DH heavily dirtied out door yard clothes-grass, mud, some light oils all have come clean with this approach (an occasional pre-stain spray. If I add the second rinse, I will on occasion if a big load do a second spin by moving the dial to "spin" (no rinse).

You learn to work the simplicity of this machine, not to fight it. I use Linen Wash on delicates and delicate whites for example, which requires cold/cold washing. It's an amazing old product and delicates come out lovely. The delicate cycle spin is maxed at 700 rpm, so no holes in them in over a year plus.

Regarding the lack of anti-vibration damper, yes that's true it has none. My stackable is on a wood floor and the unit doesn't "walk" at all. Does it vibrate some on regular wash when it moves up to 1100 rpm? Yes, mainly at the beginning but it mitigates subsequent vibration by sensing any unbalanced load and adjusting for the next spin. I've watched and have seen how the machine does this. So you end up ultimately with an amazing fast spin which means less wet clothes while a near turbine engine smoothly effects such.

Well, I'm not hear to sell any one a Speed Queen. I'm hear to report that our heavy use family has had an excellent year of laundry performance by our unit, and no higher water bills. The dryer performs top notch: take your time to learn the temperatures. The clothes do not end up in a tight bundle by and large, which was a problem with my old Neptune Maytag dryer.

Good luck with your decision. I still smile when I open my laundry area and look at the SQ I'm about to use.

This post was edited by SparklingWater on Wed, Jul 10, 13 at 22:00

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 9:55PM
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The Queens are fine front loaders - more about simple, simple, simple vs. sophisticated, sophisticated, sophisticated (Miele).

Both are well-made.

I'd go for the Miele because I want a washer to handle all my laundry - from from heavily soild jeans to cashmere. I also want have control over the cycle. But if you're just looking for a machine to wash your regular towels, sheets and everyday wear, the Speed Queen will fit the bill just fine.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 9:55PM
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... on rare occasion hot with hot rinse if truly concerned with getting them as white as possible. Hot rinse? Is that possible? I'm not aware that *any* washer nowadays provides a hot rinse. Even those that have warm rinse choice may only do brief warm spray at beginning of the final spin.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 10:31PM
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Sparkling water - Thank you for the review. Glad to hear that you like your machine! It is so hard to find reviews for the SQ front loaders!

whirlpool trainee - it is the "boil" wash that has me so interested in the Miele. I do regular everyday laundry like everyone else, but I also wash some pretty disgusting work clothes for my husband, and lots of gross pet laundry.
Actually, I was all set to buy a speed queen, but then I read about people getting their clothes sanitized with no chemicals. I was intrigued, and found out about "boil wash". The American made washers that have internal heaters have way too much plastic for me and their sanitize temperatures do not get that hot or stay hot long enough to actually compare to the "boil wash". Oh, and as far as I know, none of them are 220v. Sadly, the speed queen does not have an internal heater.

The only thing stopping me from buying the Miele is the fact that it is not American made, I feel super guilty about that. The price makes me want to gag, but I can kinda stomach it with 12 month no interest financing. Plus, I can't see one in person. No one stocks them in Tulsa Ok. I am not even sure if there is an authorized, licensed repair service available. Only 2 stores sell them, and both stores are special order only. I asked about repairmen at one store and they said they would have to get "permission" from miele to work on it. I have not asked yet at the other store.

I'm torn. I want the "boil wash" for hubbys work clothes, pet laundry, and sheets and towels. But I want American made and lower price too, lol. Don't want much do I, lol.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 10:45PM
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dadoes - maybe when she bought her model they had a hot rinse available. You are right though, they do not offer a hot rinse now, and the warm rinse on the SQ front loader is only if you also do a warm wash. Its hot/cold, warm/warm, warm/cold, or cold/cold. That is all that is available on the SQ front loader. The one I am looking at anyways, model AFN50F.

I do not need a dryer at all, mine is great. Laundry is in a basement with a concrete slab, so noise and vibration stuff is not even a concern to me. Hubby is even going to pour a concrete "pedestal" for me if I decide to go with a front loader.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 10:59PM
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You could "sanitize" in the Speed Oueen by cranking up your water heater to max (140 F?) and then run two consecutive hot main washes: the first one to get the load really warm and the second one to get the load hot. This is what I did when using their commercial front loaders. Hot prewash followed by a hot main wash.

GE has a NSF-certified Sani cycle that goes up to (only) 140 F so that should be enough to sanitize. I have used the 205 F cycle on my washer twice in two years.

A hot dryer can help sanitize as well, by the way.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 12:48AM
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SparklingWater, I have owned Maytag dryers for decades and never got a tightly bundled load of clothes after they were dry. Maybe you were overloading it?

Hot wash and Hot rinse would be interesting, never have seen that on any washer though there were times I thought I could use it. My old Maytag 712 top loader had 5 temp selections, Hot Warm, Hot Cold, Warm Warm, Warm Cold, and Cold Cold... I thought that was the greatest selection I ever had on a machine.

This post was edited by fordtech on Thu, Jul 11, 13 at 7:55

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 7:49AM
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FordTech, there were a few machines in the past that had truly separate selections for wash and rinse ... thus one could run a cold wash with a warm rinse. But I've never seen one providing a hot rinse.

Well, correct that ... GE's combo machine years ago ran a hot final rinse (but maybe not if the wash was warm) to prewarm the load for drying. It had a *very* slow spin and needed the preheat for drying performance.

Of course, one can effectively get a hot rinse via dial-tweaking, by resetting to run a hot wash as a rinse, then resetting again for spin. In the case AngieM cites above of a machine with hot/cold and warm/warm, a warm rinse could perhaps be had with a hot wash by resetting the control to warm/warm after the hot wash fill is finished.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 10:24AM
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"The people on this forum who are more open to new technology tend to buy the latest and (maybe) greatest, which these days is mostly front loaders with lots of bells and whistles."

Not being "open to new technology" has nothing to do with why I chose a Speed Queen Top Loader. I'm open to new technology, but I don't want it running my life or telling me how I can do my laundry. I don't need my washing machine to tell me how much water I need. I don't need it to decide for me how hot or cold I want the water to be. I don't need it to "sense" for me how much clothing I have placed in the machine. I have enough sense of my own to make those decisions all by myself. All I need is for my washing machine to do what I tell it to do, and the Speed Queen top loader is an obedient little servant.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 11:31AM
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So, I found out today that the other miele dealer in Tulsa has an authorized miele service tech. That is a relief.
I admit that I am leaning towards the miele. I like the variety of temperatures they offer. From what I understand their build is just as good as the speed queen.
I guess I will just see if I can handle spending that much money on a washing machine. The "dave ramsey" side of me is just cringing over it, lol. Not that the SQ was cheap by any means, especially for how few features they offer.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 5:56PM
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We wash all type of articles in SQ top load, such as bathroom rugs, mops, blankets, towels, sheets, clothing pillows, shoes, purses...etc. From heavy blue jeans to down/ feather to leather to wool to synthetic material to cotton to silk to cashmere.

We don't special handle our laundry, only with common sense approches. All things comes out of washer wonderful, fresh and clean. We never have even one article gets damaged, discolored, or distorted.

In term of wash/spin cycles, temperatures, water levels, what SQ offered are sufficient and adequate for us.

If we want to have more water, we hold reset to add more. Want to rinse with hot water, we run a hot water wash cycle, every application is simple, flexible, and super user friendly.

SQ is speedy, this feature alone is well worthwhile. It cuts laundry time tremdously. We have more time for other activities.

Instead of a pair of high maintenance, expensive science projects constantly require time, energy, money and extra effort, SQ Washer and Dryer are dependable, efforless, easy care superb household appliances that deliver high quality results as household appliances are supposed to be.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 3:06AM
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azmom - Why are you so defensive? I do not think anyone said the SQ washers were bad machines. Quite the contrary. It was just stated that they are simple machines, which they are. Built like tanks, but still simple.

Everything you have listed that you wash in your TL SQ could be washed in a front loader too. I have also washed all of that same stuff (minus leather. who puts leather in a washing machine???) in the top loader that I have now. I was just wondering why no one seemed to get the SQ FL. I have been very impressed with SQ, which is why they are one of my final picks.

As for your last sentence, the one stating that everything other than a SQ TL is an expensive science project and a waste of time, energy and money? That is quite a bold statement to make. I think you should take that attitude elsewhere.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 11:00AM
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angie m - I'm glad you got a few comments about the SQ front loaders. I know in my research for washers I didn't see that many SQ front loader comments but just the general issues and differences steered me away from the front loaders.

I haven't purchased my SQ top loader yet but I know that is the way that I am going. I think it comes down to figuring out what style and brand work best for your situation and budget. I came here for comments because I know that you can get real opinions from users rather than on an appliance site where you can't be sure how authentic the feedback is.

There were a few comments here though that I found to be a bit negative about anyone that buys a SQ top loader (old fashioned, anti-technology water hogs) or that the Miele is a better choice because if would clean ALL their laundry and not just your regular towels, sheets and everyday wear. I can understand defensiveness based on those. I did a lot of research and I don't want unnecessary bells and whistles that can result in more things that could go wrong and higher repair costs if they do. I am just looking for a reliable machine because for me, a washer is a practical functional purchase and not a status one. I value hearing how someone came to a decision and their experience with a product but some of the comments did not appear appropriate to me.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 12:26PM
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FWIW, I didn't see azmom's post as being defensive at all, but then, I have a Speed Queen so I can understand her enthusiasm. I've been guilty myself of thinking that the Speed Queen is a superior product, but then again, I can't help it because I own one and I really do think that it IS superior to a lot of what is available out there in the washer/dryer world. I guess it all depends on what you're looking for ... if you want lots of bells and whistles, the Speed Queen is likely to disappoint. But if you want old-school-cool, you'll dig it.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 1:53PM
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LOL! Defensive? Why do I want to be defensive? I have no stake in SQ products, and I am indifferent over other people's purchases. I only shared our experience as regular owners of SQ so others could use it for a reference.

Everyone should make his/her own choice based on personal needs and preference. When making purchase decision on wash machine, cost had never been a concern or priority to us. The decision of purchasing SQ was based on our own cost benefit analysis, the conclusion was "SQ set is great bargain".

I said SQ set are not "a pair of high maintenance, expensive science projects constantly require time, energy, money and extra effort", because these are our washer dryer selection criteria. We are happy that SQ washer dryer have been meeting our expectation.

I never criticise other machines; what you said was you own interpretation.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 4:27PM
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I just read your posting. Oh, yes, I washed my purses (Gucci, Coach, to be precise) and leather shoes ( do not wear low priced ones) in washers. Have never ruined one. May be because they are well made to begin with, so I could not take credit for it.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 4:37PM
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Don't come to laundry often as no need. I do wish to correct my comment on "hot-hot" as indeed it is "hot-cold" and "warm-warm" SQ water temp. Just checked. Sorry.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 9:16AM
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angie m - I'm a relatively new Miele owner and also swallowed very hard before the purchase. I've been thrilled with the performance and the results.

The sanitary cycle -- with 1/2 tb of oxyclean in the prewash cut and 1/2 tb of Persil in the main wash cup -- removed stains from DH's pants when he knocked a filter cone of espresso over and onto himself. (Fortunately the pants were loose and he wasn't burned). The spill included super fine wet Turkish grind coffee solids and liquid and was so bad he had to undress in the laundry room. I threw the pants onto the hamper to dry and forgot about them for a few days.

When I realized that I'd forgotten to wash them immediately, I figured I might have to throw them out. But after the cycle, no one could tell the pants were ever dirty, let alone stained with a dried-on substance that can be used as a fabric dye.

The Miele requires a learning curve to figure out which cycle to use for what. I've had to greatly reduce the amount of detergent I use in each load. Our water is soft but this machine produces suds my Asko never did. So I'm also saving on detergent, though that's been a happy surprise.

On the other side of things, my ancient wool sweaters have come out looking like new and smell wonderful. Ditto for a 10 y.o. bathrobe I washed last night.

The spin extracts so much water that clothes don't need very long in the dryer.

I do credit the premium detergents I'm using but I was using those with the other machines and never got such consistently good results.

This post was edited by rococogurl on Tue, Jul 16, 13 at 10:22

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 4:45PM
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azmom - Yes, I interpreted your last sentence as an insult to everyone but SQ TL owners. I may be wrong, but that is how I read it.
I carry expensive handbags also. I don't own a lot of them, but I do own them. I can't see ever needing to put one in the wash. Mine have never been that dirty. That is cool that you can do so if you need to. As for shoes, I wear cheap shoes and I wear expensive shoes. Again, have never washed a pair of shoes in the washer. I clean shoes, like handbags, by spot cleaning. Wait! I have washed my running shoes, but they are vibram five finger shoes, lol.
That is neat that you can wash all your bags and shoes like that but I am way to chicken to do so, lol.

rococogurl - Thank you for your opinion of your miele washer. Like the SQ, I have read almost all good reviews on them. I, unlike some people, do have to consider cost when I purchase anything. At this point I want quality. I am prepared to pay for it, I just do not want to get the wrong thing.. I read over and over about "my last washer was a miele and it lasted 20 years" but I also read "my last washer was a maytag (or whirlpool, Kenmore, whatever) and it lasted 20 years". Everything made 20 years ago is better than what is made today. I think the SQ sound like tough washers. I think the Miele sounds like a tough washer. I am just concerned that Mieles won't have as long as a life span as they use too since they now have a "computer" on board. I sure do love the temperature selections of the miele little giant though. THAT is why I am wanting to go ahead and buy it.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 10:55PM
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Thank you all for your responses. I can see why so many like the SQ's. They are very well built. I realize now that, as one poster stated, most people are buying the SQ's because they ARE top loaders. That was the answer.

Thank you all ;)

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 11:02PM
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I have a Maytag front loader, my daugher, cousin, cousin's daughter all have Kenmore front loaders, all different models, purchased in different years. We all have mold problems. The gasket gets moldy even with drying the drum and gasket after doing laundry.

A repairman at my daughter's (not from Sear's) said he could guarantee that the entire back of the drum was full of mold.

We all have to run a cup or two of bleach through the washer every once in awhile to keep our houses from smelling moldy. My daughter buys special front load cleaners and their clothes still smell.

I absolutely HATE my washer, ditto for my daughter.

I'm in a dinner group and two women, who live about 25 miles apart and both had recent washer repairs and both the repairmen, from different companies, recommended Speed Queen. It's the only washing maching made in the USA, and had top loaders that are not HE.
I would never advise anyone to buy a front loader. They look great, they use less water but don't clean clothes and have mold problems.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 9:14PM
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There is one member here whose family has been using front loaders since 1937 with no problems.

I have been using them since 1997 with no problems either with reliability or cleaning ability, but that pales in comparison to the first example :) Oh and by the way I've never used a washing machine cleaner either.

Europeans don't even have top loaders. Do you seriously think they all own smelly washers and walk around with dirty clothes all day? Wow.

"recommended Speed Queen. It's the only washing maching made in the USA, and had top loaders that are not HE"

Nonsense. Almost all Whirlpool and GE washers are made in the USA.

I like traditional top loaders also, and I agree that Speed Queen is by far the best one on the market. Front loaders require some changes in laundry habits for you to get good performance, good smells, and reliability. If you do not want to develop those habits, fine, stick with a traditional top loader. They work well too. But you do not have to go around spreading misinformation and lies. There are a lot of us who are quite happy getting superior cleaning results and gentler wash action while using 15 gallons per load instead of 50.

This post was edited by hvtech42 on Fri, Aug 1, 14 at 0:40

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:09PM
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Hvtech, I think she was repeating what someone had said. She's not spreading lies. Almost all washers today have dumped down temps to make them more energy efficient.
I had a Bosch Nexxt washer and hated it. Got rid of it after 5 years of trouble free use. The only good was the lower water use and the on board heater in all cycles..But for the life of me I could not see all the hype of it cleaning better, removing stains better than the pos top loaders all you people dismiss. And drying in the Bosch dryer took longer than any dryer I have ever used in all my 65 years. FWIW, I used Tide Total Care he(before I found out that they do animal testing).

I have had my set of Speed Queen TL washer and dryer for a year now and finally I get cleaner clothes; without having to add a lot of other additives,as I did with the FL. It's all a matter of what works best for each individual. But I chose to go back to old school cool while I could before the next round of government prying into my laundry room.

I am tickled pink with your superior cleaning results and gentler wash action. But do not, I repeat, do not degrade those of us who have not found (your) way to be the ONLY WAY to do our laundry.

One very, very satisfied Speed Queen awn542 user!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 6:36AM
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"Almost all washers today have dumped down temps to make them more energy efficient"

Yes. That is true and I hate it! The problem can be alleviated by buying an HE washer that has an internal water heater, or buying a Speed Queen TL or FL that will give you true tap hot water.

"I could not see all the hype of it cleaning better, removing stains better than the pos top loaders all you people dismiss"

I said that "I like traditional top loaders also." They do an excellent job of cleaning. I never said they are POS.

"I repeat, do not degrade those of us who have not found (your) way to be the ONLY WAY to do our laundry"

I am not "degrading" anyone who prefers a traditional top loader. You seem to be imagining that I wrote things I actually didn't. I don't think my way is the only way to do laundry. But there are people who think that a traditional top loader is the ONLY way to do laundry, and that is what I'm speaking out against.

"It's all a matter of what works best for each individual"

Agreed 100%

"She's not spreading lies"

Kathy3719 said that front loaders "don't clean clothes and have mold problems" and Speed Queen "the only washing maching made in the USA." Both of those statements are just not true. I would not have objected if she said "I had mold and washability issues with my front loader" and "Speed Queen is one of the few left still being made in the USA." She also said it was the only non HE toploader on the market which is false, but I'll give her a pass on that one because in my opinion all the non HE toploaders on the market now besides Speed Queen are poor quality.

This post was edited by hvtech42 on Fri, Aug 1, 14 at 11:34

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 10:03AM
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Just to keep things stirred up...I think Staber makes its machine in the US.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 10:57AM
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^Yup. Forgot about them. I'm sure there are others that I'm not thinking of... Bosch made their Vision FL's in the US until recently when they were discontinued. Frigidaire/Electrolux made all their laundry in the US until they moved the factory to Mexico a few years ago.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 11:33AM
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I thought this thread was dead.
Just for the record, I ended up buying the Speed Queen top loader. I wanted the miele little giant, but I could not bring myself to buy it, no matter how bad I wanted it. I would have bought a SQ front loader if it had an onboard heater, that got to boil temperatures. I could have justified the expense then.
I like the SQ top loader more than I thought I would. I love it that the hot wash has no cold added to it and its as hot as my water heater allows (I have the water heater cranked up as hot as it will go, but I have always done that since I love hot showers.) The size of the basket if fine for my small family, although I see how it could be too small for a big family. It washes our king size sheets, blankets and bedspreads just fine. I also love the short cycles, and everything really does get clean, even though the cycle is short. I really do not have anything bad to say about it, and I even recommend it to people if the subject comes up.

I do not think people are making up the horror stories they tell about front loaders. There are just too many of the horror stories for me to believe that. Nor do I believe that none of them can do laundry correctly. I think that the quality of the machines (and everything else) is what has gone down hill. What use to be a few lemons in the bunch are now plentiful. And I don't blame someone who had a horrible time with a nasty front loader for wanting to go back to the style of machine that they use to use with no problems. It doesn't seem to be front loader versus top loader anymore. It seems to be the SQ top loader versus everything else. They ARE made well. NOT top of the line, but better than most everything out there. What people should really start complaining about is the QUALITY of the machines available from GE, Whirlpool, Maytag, LG, etc, instead of getting into debates over front load/top load.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 2:47PM
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Kathy3719: "I would never advise anyone to buy a front loader. They look great, they use less water but don't clean clothes and have mold problems."

That generalization also happens to be untrue.

Every commercial washing machine loads from the front. You know how baseball teams who play on real grass and football teams get their uniforms really, really dirty? The next game the uniforms are sparkling white again . . . after having been laundered in a front-loading washing machine.

Mold problems in front-loading machines are 99 percent due to operator error. That estimate may be low: the real figure is probably closer to 99.99 percent. Here's one tip: the ratio of water to detergent inside the tub during the wash cycle should not be one to one. Soaps and detergents do not perform the cleaning; the water does. What a detergent does is make water wetter; that is, it breaks down the surface tension in the water so that it can penetrate the laundry more effectively and keep the dirt suspended when it drains. More detergent does not clean better; in fact, it hampers the water's action: more detergent becomes part of the stuff to be rinsed out of the laundry, and if all of it does not all get rinsed out of the washing machine, the residue can become a host for mold. Use less detergent, and the rinse cycle sends it all down the drain.

Fabric softener functions by coating individual fibers with wax. AFAIK, nobody yet has discovered a way to make a fabric softener that coats the laundry inside a washing machine with wax that does not also coat the inside of the washing machine with wax. And, as you will recall from the days when you waxed your Chevy at the levee (but the levee was dry), the whole purpose of waxing your car was to protect the paint from the environment; you proved that you had waxed the car by observing how water beaded on the surface. A few extra rinses is not going to clean the inside of your washing machine of the wax deposited by the excessive use of fabric softener.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 3:03PM
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I want to add that I don't think that users are the only ones at fault here. Herring_maven made some very good points, which manufacturers should think about including in their manuals. I should also add that I have never used fabric softener. Maybe that has something to do with my front load success. Same with detergent amounts. Detergent and washer manufacturers do not emphasize it nearly as much as they should. Then again, I can see why detergent companies would not be in a rush to tell people to use less detergent; they want to sell more!

angie_m: I also don't think the stories are being made up. But the fact is, looking at any given model of front loader, some people do have issues and others don't. It's not like some machines get no complaints, and others have all owners complaining about them. That points to user error. And what does "quality" have to do with moldy smells? If moldy smells were due to a design flaw with some machines but not others, you'd think the manufacturers of the stinky machines would be pretty quick to correct the error, no? I've also seen the spiders of 2 of the same machines after about 5 years in operation. The spider on one was almost completely rusted out, the spider on the other looked like it just came from the factory!

Speed Queen used to sell a front loader with heater, and it's a shame they discontinued it. But don't forget: just like the top loader, the front loader doesn't use dumbed down hot temps! So just like the top loader, HOT on a Speed Queen front loader means tap hot. It has less of a need for a heater than competitive models. Unlike almost all competitive front loaders, Speed Queen front loaders have a front access panel for service. This is a lifesaver if you have a dryer stacked on top. In my opinion, it is the best washing machine on the market.

Yet it is not the only good one. I had a lot of issues with an LG front loader but I attribute that to LG, not front loaders. Besides that and the Speed Queen I have also owned a Frigidaire Gallery, Maytag Neptune, and Whirlpool Duet. No issues with any of those.

This post was edited by hvtech42 on Fri, Aug 1, 14 at 17:07

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 5:01PM
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Insufficient detergent dosing in a frontloader (or any washer, for that matter) is just as much a problem as too much.

There must be enough detergent concentration to hold the laundry soils in suspension in the water to be flushed away. Otherwise the greasy soils, body oils (sebum), and general dirt will collect on surface of the water and adhere to the machine's parts (exterior of the inner drum, interior of the outer tub, door boot, hoses, etc.).

Same as cooking and food greases collect around a sink of dirty dishwater when it gets cold and/or the dishwashing detergent dilutes and breaks down to ineffective.

And consider that there's a higher concentration of soil in the smaller volume of water in a frontloader than in a traditional deep-fill toploader.

This post was edited by dadoes on Fri, Aug 1, 14 at 17:22

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 5:18PM
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hvtech42: "[Speed Queen front loader] has less of a need for a heater than competitive models" isn't true. It doesn't help to take in only hot water, if the hot water hasn't run long enough to get hot. This can be a problem in houses where the laundry is far from the house water heater. It's more of a problem with HE than conventional machines, since they take in far less water. But the heater in the now-discontinued heater-equipped Speed Queen front loader was used only on the boosted hot setting, so it didn't help with other wash temperatures.

In fact, you can't assume that the heater in any front-loader of any brand will help with this problem. Back in 2008 I returned an LG after less than a week, when I found out that it only used the heater to "maintain" incoming water temperature, and wouldn't bring cold "hot water" input up to temperature. That's why I got a Miele. It will bring the input up to temperature, with the caveats that: 1) The heater is pretty slow at 1050 watts; 2) There's a limit on how much it'll lengthen the wash cycle to give the heater time to bring up the temperature. So wash a big load on Hot (nominally 140degF) with cold water coming in, and the water may not make it to 140. Unfortunately the big Miele consumer washers aren't made anymore. I don't know the current details on how other brands use the heater. If anyone has reliable info on any brand and model, please post it. If you want to get some idea how your washer is using its heater, plug it in through a Kill-A-Watt meter, and set it to the watts setting. You'll know the heater is on when the watts display goes from two or low three figures to over 1000.

herring_maven: Do professional sports teams wash their uniforms in consumer-grade front-loaders?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 7:09PM
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"It doesn't help to take in only hot water, if the hot water hasn't run long enough to get hot"

Yeah obviously it isn't the same as having a heater. But it sure is better than mixing cold water in even if I select the maximum temperature! Running the closest faucet until hot helps.

"But the heater in the now-discontinued heater-equipped Speed Queen front loader was used only on the boosted hot setting, so it didn't help with other wash temperatures"

So... do you really need it to? The only time I would ever care about engaging the heater is when I want hot water. Whatever the washer does on the normal cycle, while undoubtedly cooler than older washers due to energy savings, does a fine job on my clothes.

I understand that your needs may be different but my point is I consider myself an average user and most of the time, I could care less about what temperature the water gets to. I would presume other average users think similarly. I don't advocate going to the other extreme and doing cold washes all the time, but at the end of the day my concern is whether the clothes are clean or not.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 9:38PM
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Some thought on commercial side of laundry.

Most hotels, athletic facilities, hospitals, and others that do a lot of laundry use equipment that processes 35 lbs to 450 lbs or more wash at a time. There are versions called tunnel washers that do even more in huge continuous batches. Only a small fast food restaurants, small dry cleaners, or a hair salon might use household size equipment, everybody else has just too much laundry to do, and when you are paying the labor to do the laundry, it dwarfs utilities, chemicals, and equipment cost for total processing cost for most applications.

Lots of talk about heaters, etc. Pros and cons to heaters.

In the commercial business, most health officials seem to require 160 to 165F to kill the "bugs". That said, there are a few rare resistant ones that need 195F to kill them. For a nursing home with shared sheets and linens for many different individuals, this is a big deal to know that you have very good sanitation. Hotels the same. Some employ ozone as well in a cold water solution, but I am not certain of the CDC published position on this technology, at least the concentrations and hold time required to make it work. Lots depends on the thickness of the fabrics being washed and their permeability. A pillow is quite different when compared to a flat sheet.

Nonetheless, 165F is really hot, and everything about hot, hot water has a tendency to shorten machine life cycles, be it your water heater, the water lines in your house, bearings, water hoses, the water inlet valves, the tub seals, the drain valves, the drain hoses, your plumbing drain pipes, and electronics in general. Thermal cycling (cold to hot and back again) is just plain tough on everything, and those heating elements suspended in the washer to do the heating can get coated with hair, lint, and other things that are part of your laundry.

165F is a risk to you as an operator or possibly to others in your household. Anything over 135F is considered a scalding risk. So let's say you start a heated wash cycle, get it real hot, and you or one of your significant others interrupts the cycle to get something out that they want access to. Wet clothes over 135F, not something you want to touch. Steel on the other hand can generally be touched up to 157 F without hazard to you, and glass higher yet because of its resistance to thermal conductivity.

Anyhow, think about what your real need is vs what the sales guy is trying to sell you. The world is full of everyday decisions like this. Do you need a big SUV or pick up if you are never going to tow a thing or use it haul big heavy things? Could you rent a trailer a pull it with a small wagon or car instead for the handful of times you need to move something, saving up front investment and a bunch of gas. Why would laundry be any different.

As a health care provider or spouse of a health care provider, it could make sense for the separate heat option, as your likelihood to encounter more nasty bugs exceeds the average homeowner.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 11:07PM
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165F is a risk to you as an operator or possibly to others in your household. Anything over 135F is considered a scalding risk. So let's say you start a heated wash cycle, get it real hot, and you or one of your significant others interrupts the cycle to get something out that they want access to. Wet clothes over 135F, not something you want to touch. Residential machines with onboard water heating (sanitary cycles, etc.) typically won't unlock the door after internal temps reach hazard levels. A Whirlpool Duet dating to 2006 that I used for a while when run on the Sanitary cycle added cold water at end of the wash period, before draining, to reduce the temp to below 120°F.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 6:07AM
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I became sold on the value of very hot washing the first time I washed dish towels on a 158F sanitary cycle. That was on the LG that I returned soon afterward. They came out so clean that our supply of clean dish towels, washed in hot with Tide in an agitator top-loader, suddenly seemed downright slimy and disgusting. Admittedly the high temperature does pucker the edges of the towels, but for me it's worth it to have really clean towels. That puckering illustrates the possibility of item damage at high temps, which I'm more concerned about than machine or plumbing wear at residential use rates. I try to wash at the highest temperature I can get away with, sometimes one step higher than stated on the fabric label. But nothing gets washed colder than Miele "cold" which is 85F. At the risk of arguing with a laundry professional, I'll say that if some items need hot (say 140F which was the boosted temp on the Speed Queen with heater), then it's reasonable to think that other items need some other minimum temperature, not just whatever's sitting in the hot water pipe in the winter. Yes, it can help to run water in a nearby faucet, to at least bring hot water closer to that end of the house. But not everyone in the house will take the time to do that. I'm talking about a temperature that gives a feel and smell that's clean enough for my tastes, at my level of olfactory acuity. Scented detergents can hide a lot, but we use only unscented.

By renting laundry equipment, I assume you mean a laundromat? There aren't any nearer than 10 miles from us. We used one a few weeks ago, when our machines were disconnected during installation of a new floor. It had very good reviews, was busy and clean and clearly well taken care of. But everything we washed came out smelling like "laundromat" even though we used unscented detergent. Maybe if we'd used scented detergent it would've hidden the overall laundromat smell.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 6:00PM
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I'm sure the model you describe works great....with power. Unplug machine in heat mode or flip the circuit breaker and report back on how long it takes to open the door. Yeah I know there is a lock on the unit, but how many people in frustration may just unplug it when they want "in" now. I'm not saying it is unsafe, just an extra risk above average laundering. Ask GM how turning off the power may effect the driving experience. Yeah, could have thought that through better.

I've had kids with the "runs" that have soiled a few pairs of undies badly through the years. If unwilling to bleach treat in a separate wash tub, you have to decide if introducing those nasties into your primary wash machine is really worth saving a few bucks of clothing. I vote trash can most of the time.

Cloth diapers? Bleach first separately, then the washing machine at a moderate temp.

Again, not here to debate it, hot wash works great, you just have to understand risks of really hot hot water. I'm sure manufacturers of ranges never intended their doors to be used as a step stool to the counter by children.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 7:29PM
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"Scented detergents can hide a lot"

I am not being fooled by detergent. I wash my clothes because I want them to feel, look, and smell clean. And that is what I get when I set my LG front loader to the Cotton/Normal cycle and leave the temperature at the default "warm" setting, dumbed down as it may be. As far as I'm concerned if something is clean enough to "fool" my senses into thinking it's clean, it's clean enough for me. For day to day loads I could care less about killing bacteria or any of that crap.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 8:30PM
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I completely agree. Modern detergents + warm wash = great laundered clothes for most soil situations at home.

Hotel linens? Nursing home? Definitely kill the bugs.
Construction worker? Health care professional? Maybe a hot wash does make a lot of sense. Again, likely depends on your situation and tastes. Really want your stuff to smell great - ozone is the ticket, its incredible, but I would not want ozone in my house for the risks it carries, let alone the cost of the equipment.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 8:55PM
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