Agitator or Agitatorless Washers??

brooksandivyAugust 29, 2009

Would love input on those who have the front load agitatorless washers. I am in the market to replace my top loader and I cannot decide which way to go - with agitator or without. Will the agitatorless machine really knot and tangle clothes badly? I certainly don't need extra work! Do you really have to rinse once a month with bleach to keep the tub clean and prevent odors? I know I want a stainless drum, handwashabe and delicate cycles and cycle for extra small loads. I would also like warm/warm, cold/cold, warm/warm, hot/cold water choices. Leaning toward Whirlpool or Maytag. Have a Maytag Dependable Care, about 12 years old and it is on its last leg. The brake bearing needs replacing and will cost just over 400!

Comments and opinions are appreciated. Thanks.

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Well the new washers are not gonna give you anything more than cold rinses. With that said I have been using frontloaders for more than a decade, and would never go back to one with an agitator.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2009 at 4:16PM
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My HE TL washer (Maytag Bravos) does have a warm/warm cycle. It has been superseded by newer models and I don't know if they have that option.

It does not have an agitator and uses much less water and energy than a conventional washer -- yet it holds much more laundry than my previous washers. Whereas I used to wash 7-10+ loads per week, now I wash 3-5 loads at most in an average week.

My laundry is not knotted or tangled. I read the manual thoroughly to see how I should load the washer. I also shake out each item of laundry before putting it in the dryer -- I've always done that to reduce wrinkling.

My washer has a stainless drum, Hand Wash, and Delicate cycles. It also has cycles for sheets (to prevent tangling) and a Bulky cycle for big items like comforters, blankets, pillows, and sleeping bags. I can wash my 'poufy' queen- and king-size comforters (separately, of course) with ease.

It spins laundry out so well on HI spin speed, it's barely damp when I put it in the dryer. This is a real plus when drying towels, jeans, and other thick, heavy items -- they dry much more quickly than in my former dryers.

I can choose HI, MED, or LO spin speed. The Wrinkle Control cycle (for permanent press), Hand Wash, and Delicate cycles automatically use LO spin speed, though you can change it if you wish.

I can choose Stain Cycle (a 15-minute prewash which then goes automatically into the wash cycle) or Extra Rinse if I wish.

Other cycles are Whites (only cycle which uses the liquid bleach dispenser), Super Wash (for very dirty/soiled laundry), Normal, Rapid Wash (small, quick loads), Soak, Rinse and Spin, and Spin Only. And there is a Clean Washer cycle.

My washer has detergent, liquid bleach, and fabric softener dispensers. Newer models have an Oxy (for OxyClean) dispenser.

The only drawback I have found is that liquid bleach is dispensed during a Rinse cycle, not in the wash. But this is true of all HE (non-agitator) washers. When it's needed, I mix bleach with 2 quarts of water and add that to the wash 5 minutes after the laundry has begun washing.

Overall, I love my washer and would never go back to a conventional frontloader. I love the dryer too, but that's OT.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 12:14AM
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Oops -- I meant to say I would never go back to a conventional toploader (with agitator).

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 12:16AM
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mara, are you saying the bleach is released into your rinse water? If so, you have a malfunction because that shouldn't be happening.

I have been using a front loader for about 4 years and intend on using one till I die. They are so much better than a top loader on so many levels. The savings in energy, water and washing supplies, pays for the machine ten times over.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 12:28AM
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Yes, bleach is released into a rinse cycle. I've been told here that this is true of all current HE washers.

There is a huge difference between a conventional and HE toploader. My HE toploader washer is 4.6 cu ft capacity, yet uses far less energy, water, and washing supplies than did my former conventional toploaders.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 12:43AM
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It is, in fact, quite a good idea to dispense liquid chlorine bleach during the last few mins of the wash period, or into the first rinse after the main wash period is finished. LCB generates the majority of its effect within 3 to 4 mins, and longer exposure can weaken fabrics. It also deactivates enzymes so shouldn't be mixed with detergents containing such until the detergent has had a good opportunity to work.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 3:04AM
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One thing I really do like about my Bosch Nexxt 500 is that the bleach is released from its separate dispenser compartment as dadoes describes -- in the last few minutes of the wash cycle and before rinsing, IIRC.

If I use an oxygen bleach product I usually put it in with the detergent for the main wash cycle since it isn't nearly as damaging to fabrics.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 11:35AM
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It may be that my washer dispenses bleach in the last few minutes of the wash cycle, just before rinsing. I do know it does not dispense bleach after 5 minutes into the wash cycle as my former washers did.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 4:44PM
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dadoes, I had meant to add -- my main concern about bleach being dispensed in the rinse cycle instead of the wash cycle is that it performs much better in hot water. Which is why I've been putting it in the wash water.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 10:54PM
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Thanks, Mara, for your detailed information. Sorry, posters, meant to ask about TOP LOADER without the agitators. Though I am now thinking about the front load washers. I have read about the top loader agitatorless machines knotting clothes and wringing the clothes so well that they are wrinkled. A question about FRONT LOADERS - do they shake terribly? This washer will go in my first-floor laundry room with a plywood floor and no-wax floor on top. I understand they are extremely heavy and can shake. Anyone have a problemn with this. Should I stick to a top-loader for this reason???

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 1:04PM
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I went through this purchasing dilemma a few months ago. I settled on a energy star Fisher Paykel machine with an agitator. It can be used in energy efficient mode or in traditional top load mode (which you might want if you were washing sandy beach clothes or other types of things with high debris content).

I almost went with a glass lid, agitator free, whoopdee doo machine, but... I didn't.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2009 at 4:04PM
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I am in tears that I bought a HE top loading washer 3 months ago, worst mistake I ever made in laundry decisions. I just washed a white blouse of mine, the neck is still dirty. My clothes are so tangled I have to iron everything except the towels, I can't even hardly untangle them. The He detergent will not rinse out completely so I have to rinse about 3 more times. What is energy efficient about this and then I have to iron, that is the worse part! I hate this washing concept with a passion, dumb, dumb design. It is going to the best bidder and I am going to find me an old fashioned agitator washer. AND my water bill is not less either, this is a joke and damages my clothes also in all that tangleing. WHAT a joke!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 1:24PM
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It would be helpful if you shared the brand and model of your washer. Just because that model doesn't work well it doesn't necessarily follow that all HE top loaders without agitators are not good.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 2:55PM
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I would go with a front loader - Miele if it is in your budget - or a traditional top loader. I have had two different HE top loaders (Kenmore Oasis & Maytag Bravos) and did not feel that the clothes were getting at all clean and yes, they were more twisted. Despite the high spin speeds, I did not notice a decrease in drying time. Our electric bill remained the same.

We went back to a traditional top loader (Speed Queen) and our clothes are clean again. The only drawback is the smaller capacity - but the cycles have a much shorter time, so the one extra load a week is not a problem.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 4:43PM
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I have no cleaning issues with my HE TL even with it dumped down temperatures. It uses more water than the Whirlpool/Maytag models. I even did a load of whites on the coldwash cycle and was surprised by the results. I came from a Front loader, so this machine has a tough wall to over come with cleaning performance and such and so far it has

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 9:45AM
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I would love to go back to my old fashioned top loader with agitator. It broke and they don't make them as well anymore.
I have the Oasis matching set with the agitator. Are you aware that you have to manually every time you turn on the machine set the choices you want? Hot water, size, etc. I was using the autosense cycle and found my clothes were not getting clean. (Just try that on an intimate load and smell your undies after wards to convince you). I am not impressed at all by this washer. You can restart but only from the beginning of the cycle. It does at times twist my sheets, makes me crazy despite me loading them correctly. I do find I can do bigger loads with the machine. I just always use the highest amount of water I can. I loved to see a washer work in action andyou can not with this one. It stops once you unlock the lid to view. I think most TL are like this. Lately to my horror I have smelled the smell of mold coming from somewhere inside the drum. I leave the lid open.

I miss my old Kenmore!! If I had to do over, I would buy the nicest least priced but highest capacity washer from Sears. These newer models are crappy.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 9:20AM
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I bought a new HE top loader GE model last fall. I am so disappointed. Doesn't clean the easiest things. Always use full water with small loads otherwise the clothes dont' get wet and come out with detergent stuck on them. Also so twisted you have to iron. Have to pretreat everything and sometimes wash twice. Need to take bed sheets to laundry mat. Never buy these they are horrible.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 6:31PM
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I just bought a Kenmore top loading HE no agitator. I washed 3 loads and am returning it. My clothes are a tangled heap. Everything needs ironed...things that have never needed ironing in the past. I have white film on my clothes to a point I have to re-wash the clothes. It took almost 3 hours to wash a just wouldn't stop. I finally put it to the rinse cycle. The comforter looked worse than it did going in. I bought the washer on a Saturday, they delivered it on a Tuesday and I returning it on a Sunday. My previous washing machine was a front loader. It lasted 9 years and didn't wash worth a darn either. I am going back to an old fashioned top loader with an agitator and with full water levels. The joke about the HE washers is that it uses less water, but I had to do a double rinse on all loads, the cycles lasted an hour and things were never clean. God forbid you have pet hair to deal with, that is just another huge issue. Go Basic!...Tried and True...old fashioned washing machine.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 12:37AM
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Lisa, I'm sorry you've had a rough go of it.

But I must post a reply telling you I've been using a front load washer for over 10 years (Frigidaire and a new Miele this year). NEVER an issue. I have two small boys and my laundry is very clean and well rinsed.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 1:01AM
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We have a Samsung HE front loader and I would trade it in a minute for a Speed Queen top loader with an agitator. The government regs forced them to reduce the quantity of water used in the fill cycle, but I am told that it is an easy do-it-yourself to get a full tub. I hate the computer that figures out how much water to ration in my FL. I have to do wierd things just to get the clothes agitated enough to unfold them. (Never have gotten handkerchiefs unfolded). I normally use heavy duty cycle for most washes and Sanitary (hot wash) with chlorine bleach added for whites. The bleach still doesn't work as well as my old top loaders---can't even get blue stains to bleach fully. I suspect the computer has figured out how to prevent adding bleach until the last minute even there. Yes my t-shirt collars frayed faster with the old machines, but everything got WHITE. So I am out of step with most folks posting here.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 1:38AM
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Well, I am going to be the one who does not go "with the crowd's" washer choice. After much thought, as to what new washer dryer to buy, (just like nerdy shopper) I decided on a new Speed Queen.

However, I am buying the front load Speed Queen washer, matching dryer + 10" pedestals. I am moving from a standard sized, water consuming, GE top load washer (which came with my new house). I left my 7 year old, front load, Kenmore HE3-T in my old house behind.

What convinced me a Speed Queen front loader was for me was:

A) True Horizontal axis. Benefit: Reduced clothes twisting and knotting. All
clothes wash in a level "patch" of water, unlike most front load washers,
whereby the clothes trapped at the door hardly get wet or clean.

B) Commercial quality. I expect to get over 10 years without a repair, and at
least 15 years out of the washer. In my way of thinking, one $500 - $600
washer repair bill can pay for a h*ll of a lot of water and laundry detergent.

C) Made in USA. 'nuff said.

D) I got a great deal on the price.

I am aware I am giving up some washer volume capacity compared to other brands, but being able to wash a load in about 40 minutes, offsets some of that. My new Speed Queen set gets here next week. Wish me luck.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 8:42PM
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Returning our new (month old) LG FL. Am very apprehensive about the HE GE TL that I "liked" at Sears. I have this gut feeling, that like most opinions above I'll wish I'd gotten an old-fashioned agitator TL.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 10:00PM
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A lot of these posts sound like not all people are using HE soap. It will make a difference. The clothes come out cleaner and the soap rinses out better than non HE soap. I also try to do the vast majority of my loads with all cold water. If you stick to cold all the way you will automatically reduce wrinkles. It's a scientific thing which I could not explain if I tried, but it is a known fact where laundered clothes are concerned. When I wash a load of shirts I use the lower speed spin just to make sure I don't get wrinkles. Which frankly if I take my clothes and hang them very close to the end of the dryer cycle I don't usually see wrinkles even with high speed spin. If the clothes are really stinky or heavily soiled, I just add a presoak to the washer cycle. That almost always takes care of the hard jobs. I always load evenly around the sides leaving the center open and it works best that way. When I toss in a pile in the middle like a mad woman it shows in the end results. The only loads I ever get somewhat tangled are the ones I wash all my garden aprons in. Then the ties can get pretty tangled. I just pull them apart and shake them out and they still don't look wrinkled at the end of the dry cycle. I have been agitator-less for 13 years and I won't go back. My clothes last longer due to less wear and tear I use a lot less water and soap and am very happy. My last washer was front load agitator-less. My newest one is top load HE agitator-less. I like it too, but I bought it cuz the difference in the price between the two types was so ridiculous because the fad now is front load. I was always a fighter so I went for the top load as my protest to the market squeezing more money out of the consumer all for the sake of current fads. Also I was sick of the smell issues with the front load ones. I hated washing my washer on a regular basis and I had to dry the door seal after use too. It was a pain and I didn't want to do it anymore.

I wanted to make note of something I noticed recently. I noticed that when my water softener was temporarily broken, I had more wrinkles in my clothes. Why soft water would help the clothes have less wrinkles I have no idea, but while it was broken my clothes were coming out wrinkled. When the water softener was fixed, the wrinkles went away. We have had a water softener for the last 20 years so I have no idea if that should help as I can't remember how my clothes came out that long ago.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 10:33PM
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When my old Whirlpool washer finally died, I bought a Samsung top of the line washer - without an agitator. I didn't give any thought to this fact at the time I bought it. Big mistake. If you wash any clothing with sleeves or legs (pants or jeans), when the wash cycle is done, what you find in the machine is a giant tangled mess of clothes. Not only does it take a long time to untangle them, there are deep wrinkles from them spinning all tangled. I HATE this machine - that is as strong a statement I can make without using obscenities! I will never again buy a washer without an agitator.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 12:58PM
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Also had an agitatorless washer. Though I didn't have a problem with tangling so much as with the faulty control board which started showing early signs of problems within the first month of use.

Only 2 years that top.load washer lasted before it got tossed. Ridiculous !

If you want a top load agitator washer , the only good choice left is Speed Queen. They have great warranties which no other make offers. Have my pair over a year now with no problems. Just good old fashioned reliable tried and true technology.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 11:20PM
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We have to buy a new washer since the one we got a year ago is falling apart--the agitator that is. We almost bought a top loading one without the agitator but it wasn't in stock at the moment. So glad we didn't get it.

I am not sure what to do. This makes the 3rd washer in 8 years.

We shop at Sears or Lowe's. I don't mind paying more money if it will last longer. I certainly do not want to use soap that you have to buy for the washer and I don't want wrinkled clothes or tangled. Does anyone have an idea for us? We have some time left on our old washer. Not even sure if it is worth repairing. We also use it for rugs and blankets. I even thought of checking out used washers in Muskogee. Please help.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2014 at 9:43AM
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I am going to get a Speed Queen.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2014 at 5:26PM
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We had a new one without an agitator and when I took the clothes out parts of them never got wet. We returned it and got one with an agitator. It still doesn't work as well as the old style washers. I'd buy an old one in a heartbeat if I could.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2014 at 5:32PM
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