Overwhelmed! Out of time! Tell me what to buy!

PeaGSeptember 20, 2012

I have to order a washer and dryer for our new place. We're moving next Saturday and really want to have them delivered on or around our move-in date. With two little kids, I'm just not finding the time to do proper research and get overwhelmed with information when I try.

I was initially leaning toward a front loader, but the reports of smells and the like have turned me off. So I think a top-loader would be best. Our units will be in a closet in our downstairs bathroom, abutting the living space, so sounds and vibration are a factor to consider.

I went and saw the LG Wave top-loader, and it was sleek and seductive, but I couldn't help but think that a lot of the bells and whistles seem frivolous and unnecessary. I also read that these take forever to wash, and don't necessarily do all that great of a job cleaning.

It seems like there's a decent cult following for Speed Queens. Tell me more. I like the idea of basic and dependable and a good warranty. But I have nightmares about agitators destroying all of my bras and delicates when I used to go to the laundromat and these have a center agitator.

Gah! What would you recommend for a family of four, two little kids, who do a wash probably 3x a week + one delicate cycle every week or so? I'm willing to pay (within reason) for quality. Oh, and the dryer we'll need is electric.


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Editing to add: a family member is urging me to get one with an internal heater. Is this really important? We have a gas hot water heater in our place. I couldn't tell you how hot it gets, since we don't live there yet, but I imagine we'll keep a cap on how hot it can get to avoid our daughters getting burned. So maybe the internal heater is necessary? Do clothes really need to get that hot to be properly washed?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 10:36AM
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The need for onboard water heating is indicated by the EnergyStar program restricting water temps. A warm setting may be between 75F and 85F. Hot may be 95F to 110F, which is what warm was in the past. HE machines pull so little water that (depending on the distance of the machine from the household water heater), the fill may be largely done by the time the supply line is purge of standing cold water, thus even a "hot" 95F to 110F fill won't reach that temp. Even with water heating, typically only the highest soil level for a given cycle and a designated Sanitary and/or Heavy cycle will make use of the water heater ... but it's a large advantage to have that choice.

Speed Queen does not have water heating. Only HE toploaders and frontloaders, and upper-end models of those, have water heating. Being that a SQ toploader is not an HE machine, the water temps aren't restricted (although warm may be a mix of 40% hot and 60% cold instead of 50/50).

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 11:19AM
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The Speed Queen's Delicate cycle seems pretty gentle. Only a certain washer by a certain person on ths forum seems more gentle:



Here is a link that might be useful: Speed Queen Washer - Delicate Cycle

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 7:41PM
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Please don't write off all the great options you have with FL washers -- you just need to recognize that minimal maintenance is required after you use it. A FL washer requires air-tight seals, so making sure you remove as much of the little bit of residual water as possible when you're done makes a big difference with the issues you describe.

After using mine, I wipe the gasket's top side and inner fold with a microfiber cloth. I pull out the dispenser drawer, empty it into a sink, then wipe it out as well. Lastly, I run the same cloth into the area where the dispenser drawer fits. Total time expended = three minutes, tops.

I leave the washer door open an inch or two and the dispenser likewise. Because I have only one wash day every 5 to 7 days, I'm very cautious. I'd bet with two kids you're running your laundry much more often, so a quick swipe and air circulation alone will prevent problems because your washer isn't sitting idle and allowing mold/mildew time to grow.

Enjoy your new home!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 11:16PM
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One word (o.k., a couple more): Do not worry about matching your washer and dryer.

You can pay hundreds and hundreds of unnecessary dollars for a dryer that has nothing to recommend it other than that it "matches" with the "styling" of your washer. Do you take guests in your home on a tour of your laundry room to impress them with how well your laundry pair "match"? If so, and if the washer-dryer style match is vitally important to your guests, then maybe you need a new set of guests more than you need a new washer and dryer.

The second best feature in a dryer is a "hamper" drop-down door with a hinge at the bottom rather than at the side. (The first best feature is a moisture sensor.) The dryers that have the second best feature are mostly made by Whirlpool and are sold under various brand names, most prominently, Sears Kenmore; they are the least expensive models in their brands' lines. They also are functionally the best, better than the more expensive models bearing the respective brands. Ignore the man behind the curtain ("Wizard of Oz" reference); do not be seduced by matching "styling."

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 11:47PM
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You stated these units are going into a closet. Check your measurements. You will need extra room for the hookups. Some of the new front loaders are so large they probably won't fit into your closet. The salesman should be able to tell you which machines will fit. That said, with two small kids your washer will be going all the time. I still believe FL are gentler on your clothes. I had one of the original FL Neptunes that I never had any issues. Two boys and lots of sports so it was constantly running. And unless we were leaving for vacation it got no special maintenance. No wiping, leaving the door open, or any special cleaners. The current on I do leave the door cracked and dump the tray, but it doesn't run every day.

I would also suggest on the dryer to get one with a drying rack. As the kids get older they come in great for drying sports padding, ski gloves, basically anything you don't want to hear thumping around inside the drum.

And buy the better braided hoses with the shut off valves (that detect leaks) for your washer.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 10:57AM
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Non-HE washers can have restricted water temperatures. In fact there's more reason for them to restrict temps, since they use more water than HE washers, so energy to heat the wash water is a bigger factor.

I recently bought a Whirlpool hamper-door dryer that was several hundred dollars more than the least expensive ones. I actually would've preferred the square styling of the cheapest models. But it's my understanding that the one I bought has better "cycle termination logic" i.e. it's better at knowing when to shut the dryer off. In addition to the moisture sensing strips, it measures both incoming and outgoing air temperatures to figure out how much moisture is evaporating.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 11:02AM
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I haven't been on this forum for a long while but if Speed Queen has gained a cult following I can understand why. A little over a year ago, after having a disastrous experience with a horribly-made HE machine I bought a Speed Queen and I haven't regretted the decision. However, I do have a husband in a very dirty job (think dirt and diesel here) and I don't know if there's an HE anywhere that could get his clothes clean and I wasn't willing to risk another $600 to $1000 to find out. Speed Queen is also U.S. made which is important to me.

I've used a washer with an agitator forever and have always thrown my bras in with a regular batch of clothes of like color in cold or warmish water. The real killer of bras is a dryer. I replaced those every two years until I figured that out and once I stopped putting them in the dryer they started lasting six or eight years. I actually have one that I wear infrequently that's over twenty-five years old.

A few things about the Speed Queen: It doesn't fill all the way up but if you need the extra water you can finish filling the tub by holding the water level knob all the way to the right and it finishes filling in short order. I do this on extremely dirty things or very large and bulky items but not normally soiled clothing. The only rinse temperature is cold but I never used anything but anyway. I love that there are no electronics to get botched up (just one of the problems I had with that lousy HE was before I had it for a year the computer in it broke).

Mine has a true two-speed motor so the delicate wash is VERY delicate. I use it for things like pillows and chair pad covers. It works by filling, gently agitating, resting, then repeatedly agitating and resting until it's finished. I have to wash my bed pillow frequently and a normal wash cycle ruins them so I use the delicate cycle for those. I put some extremely dirty cushion covers through it thinking they probably wouldn't come clean but they did.

One thing that drives me insane is waiting two hours on a batch of laundry to wash. I also have health problems and my energy runs out pretty quickly so I can't be taking all day to get a few batches of laundry done. My Speed Queen has a batch done in about forty minutes. It also wrings out well enough that it cuts down the dryer time by at least that much.

I like Herring Maven's tips on a dryer, although I don't think the bottom-hinge door is that big of a deal. I like to plop the clothes basket right under the dryer opening and pull the clothes straight into it. I think the bottom hinge door is easier, though, if you're pulling stuff out and hanging it right there. For the way I get clothes out of the dryer, the bottom door just gets in the way.

Good luck with your move! I remember moving a couple of times when the kids were little--it's a big enough job without their "help". :D

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 12:30AM
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We bought a front loader in July and love it. It has an internal heater and when I run hot loads, it gets HOT. This machine is fantastic. It sits in a closet that shares a wall with the kitchen and we have a crawlspace, so it's a floating floor. We chose the Samsung and it's just a solid machine all around. There was a learning curve with loading and spin speeds but it wasn't too difficult to get the hang of and everyone is impressed with how well it works.

Don't discount front loaders and not all frills are 'frills'. Internal heaters...would never buy a washer without one again.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 9:33PM
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Hey Regina!

I've seen videos of the Cabrio and no way I personally would own one. Others like them fine but I myself have a front load washer. I personally think (had you had) a front loader instead of the HE TL washer, you wouldn't have been nearly as disappointed as you were with the Cabrio.....You want to talk about dirt and see a good test, check out this link below. This is super dirty clothes done in a Modern Frigidaire FL washer and it uses very little water.

Here is a link that might be useful: Really hard TEST for front load washer

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 10:49PM
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