Are steam washers and dryers a good pick?

asoveyJuly 4, 2013

I have looked over past posts on this subject but they have all been older. At the rate things change I thought it would be good to ask for some updated opinions.

As part of our remodeling project, we are moving our laundry to the first floor and we are planning a stackable washer and dryer. As I began looking for possible choices I noticed the "steam" option. It has been many years since we last purchased a washer and dryer and I didn't even know such a thing existed! LOL

We do not need a large capacity or lots of bells and whistles. What did catch my eye is the fact that they claim to use less water and energy than traditional ones. Being eco-friendly is very important to me and so I began to look into the steam option further. Depending on where you look, they are either the greatest thing in the world or a useless fad. Very confusing!

I did find a couple LG and a couple Samsung that looked good but I still am not convinced about the steam. I sure would appreciate any feedback from anyone with more information. Thanks!

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I am also looking for new stackable front load washer and dryer with the exact criteria that you have mentioned. Which LG and Samsung models are you interested in? The steam option also has me curious.

This post was edited by user47 on Fri, Jul 5, 13 at 8:58

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 8:32AM
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Some people swear by the "Steam" feature and others say it's not a deal breaker that they can take it or leave it.

Usually the "Steam" feature is a feature of the higher end machines. It adds yet another feature and a boost in price.
You also get with the top of the line machines, larger drums and faster spin speeds.

In the washer, some machines use a heating element and nozzle that shoots steam into the tub, others use the heating coil in the bottom of the machine to boil water which makes steam in the tub.
In the dryer, some use a heating element and nozzle to shoot steam into the drum and some just spray a fine mist of water and that with the heat of the dryer makes steam.

The "Steam" cycle can be like 2 hours long or longer in the washer.

I think the more important cycle is the "Sanitary" cycle.
Which pretty much all but the basic washers have.

The "Sanitary" cycle (depending on options) can start at warm and heat up to "Sanitary" temps. This also can take hours to complete.

If you're looking for the largest capacity washers and dryers, you may get the "Steam" feature as an added feature but don't let it be the deciding factor.

More importantly look for a "Sanitary" cycle over a "Steam" feature.

Maybe some people with the "Steam" feature can chime in.

This post was edited by georgect on Fri, Jul 5, 13 at 9:48

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 9:31AM
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The one I am looking at right now is the LG WM2655HVA. I have been told that LG and Samsung are the only "true" steam models. One thing that has me puzzled is trying to find the matching dryer for the above model. So far I have not been able to figure that one out!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 11:34AM
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My samsung washer has a steam setting and I never use it. I bought the model for the internal water heater (which I love). I didn't replace our dryer so have no input on a steam dryer. But I wouldn't buy a washer just for the steam cycle. I tried it out and didn't seem to do much more than just a plain old hot wash will do.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 4:09PM
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For the matching dryer of the LG WM2655HVA washer, look into LG DLEX2655V (Electric) or the DLGX2656V (Gas).

These are the matching dryers for that washer.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 6:27PM
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I have the Samsung with steam washer and dryer. I've used the steam cycle on the washer 2 or 3 times in about 4 years. We didn't even hook up the steam feature on the dryer. I use the sanitary cycle weekly.

Not really worth it in my opinion.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 7:25PM
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Steam usually prolongs the wash cycle, thus giving better results. Steam may also result in a gradual increase of the wash water's temp so stains are removed more effectively.

As for the actual steam: I have been looking at many different brands and none of the ones I looked at had an actual steam generator. Even the TOL models by Samsung and LG just use the heater under the drum the create steam - probably by heating the water, which, of course, produces steam. :-/

Steam dryers do well at removing odors but not so much wrinkles - according to Consumer Reports.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 6:32AM
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Wow! Thanks everyone for all the information. I was not aware that the steam created longer cycles, but I guess that does make sense. I am still looking at options. We have allergies in the family so the steam would be a plus there. Then again, kids are grown so I don't have to deal with lots of bad stains very often. I will keep all options on the table for now. Hmmmm......... decisions, decisions.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 2:42PM
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NSF has a list of Allergen Removal certified washers. These heat up to 130F (not quite as hot as Sanitary so more gentle on clothes) on the Allergen cycle and, depending on the washer, use more water to flush away residue. If the link below won't work, select "View a list of NSF certified clothes washers." from here:

Here is a link that might be useful: NSF Allergen Reduction Washer

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 9:17PM
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A little off-topic but I've got an E'Lux IQ Touch and use the Sanitary cycle for whites and only use detergent and a Tide Boost and I can't believe how clean and white my whites come out. The Sanitary cycle starts at 1hr52min but I've watched the time once and at the 57min mark, it starts counting down to the cool down part about every 15-20 seconds, then adds water for the cool down at about the 34min mark; so the Sanitary cycle is closer to about 1hr25min or a little less.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 11:07AM
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