OT - recommendations for washer/dryer

ArapahoFebruary 13, 2014

I know this is Home Decorating and not the Appliances forum, but as others have commented, I value your opinions!

Looks like I'm in the market for a new washer/dryer and am baffled on what to choose. I've been told most appliances today last 3-7 years tops.

I'd appreciate knowing what you have and how satisfied you are with the performance and quality. TIA.

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The more basic, the better. The reason they don't last is because they're made to appeal to egos rather than smarts, so lots of shiny objects and bells and whistles, totally unnecessary, while taking away from the quality of the actual motor, the parts that matter. Of course, it's also true that, if they only last 3 - 4 years, then you have to go out and buy more and more throughout your life, rather than two or three, as used to be the case.

Cannot urge you strongly enough to stay away from the front loaders. They are a nightmare, for a lot of reasons. I don't think they're going to be on the market very long because people are going to wake up to what nightmares they are.

Get a basic top-loader washer. You can soak clothes in you want to in them; they stay cleaner than the front loaders; you can open them throughout a load if you wantâ¦

You want water levels; hot, warm, cold; extra rinse option; quick wash option (or ,better yet the old knob where you turn it to the time of wash you want!); mini, small, medium, large, extra-large load size.

That is all you need.

I even recommend getting both washers and dryers on CL from someone who is renovating and wants the hoopla fancy shmancy front loaders. The older stuff really was made better and work better and last longer.

same with the dryer: get the old-fashioned kind with the drum with the "wings" in there.

You can use regular detergent in the top load washer, none of this HE nonsense. Don't need to buy special machine cleaning stuff (and front loaders do get gross smelling). Dump the detergent right into the bin with the load. A client of mine uses Dawn to get stains out of her kids' clothes. What a complete mess that stuff made of her front load washer. I took the little drawer where it goes out and had to take a knife to pull the globs of Dawn out of there.

Also a basic machine is easy to repair is needed. KISS rule when it comes to appliances!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 11:44AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

We've had front loaders for 4 years now and they work fine. We got Kenmore made by LG...I got them from Sears as they will service the appliances...at least at the time, my understanding was, if you got appliances from, say HD they would send you to LG directly for service which was lousy in our area. Don't know if it's improved.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 12:07PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I understand the frustration as I am in the same camp. I have an 18 year old Maytag that runs beautifully with multiple loads daily and has never been serviced, or needed it. For years I wanted a new washer, with bells, whistles and style and then I started researching and decided what I have isn't bad. Most likely I will get a Speed Queen next and preferably one without electronic controls, those always need fixing, at least with all our newer appliances they have.
I would never buy from Lowes, Sears, yes.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 12:18PM
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Holly- Kay

I have had front loaders since they first came out. Our first was a Kenmore and it is still going strong after more than 14 years. When we purchased a secondary home 5 years ago we also purchased a front load model. It is a Frigidaire and it is fantastic. I highly recommend the Frigidaire as the owner of the appliance shop that we use for most of our appliances for our rentals said that Frigidaire is the brand that they get the least service calls for. The owner has been in the business for probably 50 yrs and I value his opinion.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 12:19PM
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I have a Bosch frontloader washer and dryer that I've been using several times a day for 9 years now. I haven't had any trouble what so ever. My clothes get cleaner than my older top loader set that I have in a second laundry room. The front loaders spin the clothes so fast that drying time is reduced. I also haven't had the odor problems that many people do mention, and I don't use any special washing machine cleaners.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 12:19PM
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High-fives Bumblebeez.

Although, all I've heard are horror stories about Sears customer/tech service. Maybe it's improved as a result? I'd buy from a local mom&pop appliance store.

Okay, that's a lie. I got my LG dryer from Home Depot. It's okay. My washer is a Whirlpool a client of mine gave me about 15 years ago, which she had had for a number of years, and it still runs beautifully and has never needed a repair. I love it.

but in the future, if I have to buy a new machine, I'll either go to CL or a mom & pop.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 12:22PM
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Well, I have the opposite recommendation from Tibbrix. :) I have a Bosch front loader and a Bosch condenser dryer (no vent needed). They have been workhorses since 2007 with at least 7-12 loads per week. I have never needed even a minor repair-not even a belt-in all that time. They have stainless steel drums, the washer uses very little water (environmentally better), and even though it is a front loader, you can pause it to add clothes if necessary. I rarely need to do that, though. The washer is absolutely clean, I leave the door ajar after a load and have had no issues with any odors or mustiness in seven years. I don't know why people say they get "gross smelling." I suspect that could happen if you kept it closed, but I never kept my top loader closed either right after a load for the same reason. You are welcome to come stick your head inside my washer to check if you want! :)

I have never used "special machine-cleaning stuff" and never used special soap. I use All with no dyes or perfumes.I use liquid soap even though powder is recommended.Also, drying time is less since they spin so efficiently and there are lots of things I don't even bother to dry because they are practically dry when I remove them from the washer, so I just lay them out for a bit.

I am not sure why some folks get so irritated by the very thought of front loaders. If they were as awful as some say, no one would buy a second one or maybe not even a first one. Manufacturers would quit making them! This is my second set of front loading washer with condenser dryer. I had an Asko first,. It was good, but not as good as this Bosch. I doubt I will ever buy a top loader again. Actually, I may never need to buy another washing machine the way these are working! Knock on wood. I swear by my Axxis+ set. They are far from fancy schmancy-just basic, solidly built machines. My son has front loading, too. Not sure what kind, but his are larger than mine and steam clean as well, which he loves.
The one thing I would change is that I would have had them stacked when they were installed rather than side by side. I could use extra shelves!

This post was edited by cyn427 on Thu, Feb 13, 14 at 18:40

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 12:35PM
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Agree with Tibbrix. We bought a Speed Queen W & D last June from a local appliance store because of SQ's quality and reputation. Basic top loader that didn't require us to get out the manual before we used it the first time. The leveling switch failed on our Kenmore washer, resulting in two levels of our home being flooded. It only overflowed for 20 minutes, but it took 7 weeks and $20,000 to get us back to normal.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 12:54PM
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I wish I was close enough to sell you mine!! I purchased a Maytag Bravos top load washer and dryer last year and I absolutely hate the washer! It is an energy efficient (uses less water and special soap) and has no agitator in the middle. That was the main reason I purchased it. I thought I would be able to wash things like quilts etc. However, there is no way because you must leave the center uncovered! How dumb is that! Also, there is no soaking cycle and when I do want to soak something, I must manually fill it with enough water to soak in. I so wish my old Kenamore was still alive!! Used it for 20 years and never had a problem!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 12:58PM
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Sorry, meant to say Kenmore not "Kenamore"!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 1:00PM
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Those washers are a top-loading version of the front-load technology. I've got two clients who have them, but the topic of how they like them has never come up.

agree with Cyn about leaving doors and tops open on washers when they're not in use.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 1:01PM
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I have had front loaders in three different locations (my previous home, rental apartment and condo that we live in now) and think they're great - simply put, they get the clothes cleaner than top loaders with much less detergent, and they don't cause all those tiny holes in t-shirts. Nor do they smell, at all, and I have had no mold issues. None. I have no idea what "special machine cleaning stuff" is. I clean the rubber thing where the door clothes once in a blue moon with a paper towel and maybe some PineSol. The three sets I had were Kenmore (same as Whirlpool Duet Sport), GE (full size, but stacked) and Frigidaire (apartment size stacked). My only problem with the Frigidaire is that it's too small for a comforter. I don't use "bells & whistles", just set it on "normal" or "delicate", set the temperature and turn it on.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 1:02PM
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You're going to get so confused from the differing opinions you'll wish you hadn't asked!

I half agree with Tibbrix and half with cyn. I have a front loading Maytag set, about 5 years old I believe. We had the dryer drum replaced immediately because it was defective but have had no issues since. I also leave my washer door open and have had no issues with smell, use the same scent/dye free soap as cyn but I NEVER use the soap dispenser and instead put the plastic cup with the soap in the washer on top of the clothes, same with any other additives, like Oxyclean. That way there has never been a product in the dispenser drawer or going down the unseen and unreachable/uncleanable inner workings. It works fine, clothes are clean, I don't love it but have adjusted to the quirks. Regular cycles take FOREVER so I never use anything but the quick wash. The dryer is less than ok, tangles sheets and doesn't tumble a small load well - things end up plastered against the drum and come out wrinkled so either need to be ironed or hung when still damp. PITA

I would far prefer to have a top loader again for all the reasons Tibbrix said but the water use would weigh on my eco-conscience.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 1:04PM
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Well, I can tell which ones I wouldn't recommend: my Samsung VRT Steam Washer and Samsung Steam Dryer. Why?
(1) The washer is a front loader, my first, and I don't like them I've discovered. I'm always dropping my wet clothes onto the floor as I transfer them to the dryer. And I have to lean way over at an awkward angle to do that. It's a minor bother, but it is a bother.
(2) The washer retains some water in the drain hose (not out the back into the main drain, but in the bottom of the machine), which starts to smell after a while. In all my years, I have never had that problem before. Two different repair companies have both told me this is normal for my washer. Yes it can be drained by hand, but it smells to high heavens and why in the world should the buyer have to do that in the first place?!?
(3) Both washer and dryer play a very annoying, much too long tune when the cycles are finished. Yes, you can silence them, but I do like knowing when they are done most of the time.
(4) The controls on both are on the front instead of the top of them, and are very sensitive to touch. We are forever accidentally turning them off or on as we pass by them, or as I stand to fold clothes on them. This may not be a problem with your own laundry room configuration, but it is a big one with mine.
(5) The vent hose on the dryer is very stiff and configured in a way that both machines must be set several more inches away from the wall than previous dryers.

The biggest problem with many of these new washers and dryers is that they aren't simple anymore. They have computer boards and cost a small fortune to get fixed when they break. About 7 years ago we bought a GE Harmony set. They were made to "talk to one another". You set the specifics on how you want to wash a particular load of clothes and the washer then programs the dryer to dry it the proper way. When they worked, they washed and dried clothes wonderfully. But, when they broke, replacing the computer board cost $700 PLUS the service call! You were forced to buy their long-term warranty.
I'm looking forward to hear everyone's recommendations here. I honestly believe washers, dryers, dishwashers, etc. are deliberately made cheaply these days to force consumers to replace them more often. Contrary to advertisements, most are NOT made to last.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 1:07PM
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We just went through this when deciding on washer/dryer for our second home. We went with the a basic pair from Sears (top loaders). They are simple and so far we think we made the right decision. They won't get the use that our units here get.

Here we have a Maytag set that is almost 20 years old and have been such workhorses. The last time I needed a small repair on the dryer the service tech told me to keep them until they die. He said the newer machines do have more problems and are expensive to repair.

I woud really like to renovate the laundry room this year. As part of that reno, I'd like to have the Bosch stack units. Cyn, I had no idea there is such a thing as ventless. Hmmm....that sure does allow more flexibility in placement

Arapaho, I'm sorry I'm not much help, but I'm glad you posed the question because it's intesting to see the vaious responses and opinions.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 1:14PM
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I have the Maytag Bravos top loader, and I do wash king size comforters in it with no problem.The capacity is HUGE. I have had unbalanced loads, infrequently, and that can be a pain to fix, but all in all, I'm happy with the machine. Can't recommend a dryer, though, because the one I have is ancient and still works like a dream.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 1:16PM
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I had the odor problem with my front loader too -- the water would never completely drain from underneath the door gasket and mold/mildew started to grow, as there was no air circulation under the gasket. The only way to prevent this would have been to lift up the gasket and wipe down the area after every load and then leave the door open. I returned it and got a top loader. They accepted the return after six months use too, without any arguments, when I told them about the mold/mildew issue, so I suspect it was a problem that others were having with it too. I also didn't like that the clothes got spun so fast in the front loader, that they were much more wrinkled than they were coming from a top loader. I know there are a lot of people who love front loaders, but I will stick to top loaders from now on.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 1:30PM
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Bonnieann, haha. We were forced into a ventless because my DH was fussing with the exterior vent and it disconnected the vent from the dryer at some point in the wall. We ended up with the dryer venting into the kitchen cabinets (not sure how that happened)-warm in winter, but not exactly the ideal situation. Rather than have the walls, cabinets, basement ceiling and walls opened up to reconnect the vent sections, I opted to get a condenser dryer. You do have to clean the lint off one of the parts. I do it monthly since we have two large, long-haired, double-coated dogs and it seems their hair is in everything, so the hair goes into the washer and dryer as well when we do laundry, even if we shake things first. Sigh.

I have thought how it would be easy to move them up to the main floor. Of course, if we do that, we could also easily add a vent to the outside and the regular dryers are less expensive.

When this happened, the only machines with condensers were Asko and Bosch.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 1:39PM
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I just bought an LG washer and dryer. They were just delivered yesterday so I've only done one load. They are the high efficiency units so I need the special soap and I suspect that I will use the short wash cycle on the washing machine.

I checked consumer reports and both the LG and the Samsung were highly rated but I didn't want the steam dryer and so went with the LG (top loader) I got the top loader because I generally only run full loads and so if I am running a load and discover it isn't full after I loaded it and started running it, I run around the house looking for stuff (cat towels always need cleaning!) to throw in. Our local appliance dealer was having a promo sale on them as well and got a really good price. I did buy the extended warranty because of the computer board.

People seem to love their Speed Queens but I'm in Canada and they're not sold here - or at least not that I could fine but maybe under another name?

I do reconcile myself to the fact the I will be replacing them in less than 10 years.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 1:46PM
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Another satisfied Bosch front loader washer / dryer user. The clothes are definitely much cleaner and need very little drying --- usually only ten minutes or so, even towels. We leave the door open, no odor problems, and during the wash cycle you can stop the machine and add something if you want. I wouldn't want go back to those top loaders with agitators that make a twisted mess of sheets wrapped around the agitator and catch bra straps underneath the paddles. The last top loading set I owned was Maytag, top of the line, purchased in 2002 and leaking washer / dead dryer by 2006. I was very happy to switch to new technology!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 1:51PM
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I have a Fisher and Paykel top loader and matching dryer, and absolutely love them. The internet is full of negative reviews about F&P, but no complaints here. I wanted a front loader but was scared away by the vibration issue since they were going on a second floor.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 1:56PM
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I have had an LG top load for two years and like it. I don't use all the bells and whistles but it was a closeout so it was a good deal. It has the Wave Force technology which got good reviews...at least two years ago.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 1:57PM
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I have the large Miele front load washer and dryer. They were the top of the line model 3 years ago. No problems, except last year we had a unusual failure in the rubber gasket at the door. It developed a rip/gash that might have been caused by something in the wash ... maybe DS2's rocks in the pockets! Called local Miele service and they came out right away and fixed it quickly.

No smells. Don't use fancy soaps. Do leave the door open between washes.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 3:10PM
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Like blfenton and joaniepoanie, we have the LG top loader high efficiency washer (and its matching dryer). We've only had them a few months and I love them. The washer drum is HUGE and I have no problem washing (and drying) quilts. My sister in law has the LG front loader set and says she doesn't think it gets their clothes as clean as her old top loader. Our water bill has decreased with the purchase of low flush commodes and the high efficiency washer has decreased it further. Win/Win.

I wish you good luck with your search and hope you'll be happy with your final choice. It's not a small investment.

This post was edited by evenshade on Thu, Feb 13, 14 at 15:39

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 3:37PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

We haven't had smell from our front loader, but we do leave the door open for 24 hrs after use so the gasket dries.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 3:56PM
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My oldest Miele is 14yrs old. I am ashamed to say that I found two more mieles on Craigslist and now have a total of 3 in operation. They live in closets. I have never left the door open. I have never had mold. I think it depends on what kind of laundry person you are. I use kitchen towels instead of paper towels so I needed a machine that could do a boil wash several times a week.

I have the 24" Mieles and two are 240v and the other is 120v. I am not bothered by the long washes because I never have to rewash anything. I use Persil and Perwoll detergents with great results.

When I bought my original set, I had a space requirement which is what led me to the Miele. I grew up in a household with Mieles so I wanted one of these big top loader washers instead. Glad I did not get one. I am satisfied with my choice and disappointed that Miele no longer makes 240v machines in the US.

The Mieles also allow you to soak but I rarely use that function. Many will say these machines are small but I wash four large king sized sheets (oversized 120x120) in one load at a time with space to spare. I could do more but I don't have more than 4 white sheets. I do sort my laundry so whites, colored, undies, linens, kitchen towels and bath towels are all washed separately. These machines have been work horses for me.

I don't know that there is a right answer, so understand your laundry habits, review the different options and make a choice.

Best of luck!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 6:24PM
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Our Kenmore set lasted us 30 years. About 6 months ago we bought the Samsung top loader 5.7 cubic feet (WA50F9A8DSP) and matching 7.4 cubic feet steam dryer.
So far, we love them.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 6:44PM
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I have the Maytag Bravo washer and dryer from Lowes and absolutely love them! I wash King size comforters all the time, and they turn out great. I use the "Bulky" setting if I want to fill the washer with water. I was so hesitant to buy the new HE kind, because of all the horrible reviews online. Lowes told me I could try them for one week, and if I didn't like them I could return them for another set. I couldn't be happier.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 6:49PM
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Another Miele person! I can't tell you how much I love this machine. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get the dryer due to budgetary reasons, but the washing machine is AMAZING. I have two little one and I don't have to pretreat anything. The Miele gets it all out. Yes, the cycles are long, but it is totally worth it. I just have to plan accordingly.

Good luck with your search!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 6:55PM
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Don't have the washing machine, but I love, love, love my Miele vacuum cleaner, which is 20+ years old.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 7:02PM
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Wow, thanks everyone! Hopefully, this conversation has helped others who might be in the market for a new washer/dryer. It is confusing and a large enough investment to want to hear opinions as well as concerns so I appreciate your honesty. Unfortunately, I can't say that I've made a final decision yet!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 8:00PM
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We have two sets of machines, one in the basement, and one in a hallway between the pool (for towels) and our MBR (for convenience when I want to do wash). The basement ones are top loaders and large capacity. I think they are Kenmore. I personally don't use them - the cleaning people do.

For the set near my bedroom, I just chose anything that fit the closet area. They are side by side but still IIRC not all sets would fit in the area. I have Bosch w/d and I hate them. This is my fault, I did not properly research it.

One, they are sooooo noisy. It sounds like an airplane takeoff. That may not matter, depending on where you have them.

Second, I have the dreaded moldy gasket problem. It's on my to-do list to change it. I know all about opening the door, and had a front loader at the lake w/o the problem; I do think this is about gasket design. It is horrible.

I dislike the dryer because on my model, you can choose a dryness level but not a duration. The duration is only for wrinkle release. So if it thinks something is dry, there is no arguing with it!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 9:21PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

It would drive me nuts to have to leave the washer door open all the time.

Sorta like not making the bed, or leaving open a kitchen cabinet, all day.
So that would be a factor to me.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 10:07PM
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Bumble - It might depend on where the machine was, and on how far you needed to leave it open?

Front loaders do use less water and supposedly clean more gently, so I would just be mindful of the potential problem but not rule them out

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 11:22PM
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i have had a whirlpool duet frontloader and dryer since 2006--- like them alot- i have them up on pedestals and like the added ht especially!
i have not had any issues with a mildewy gasket, etc-i do keep the door ajar- doesnt bother me to leave it sl open at all--- i think i usually left my top loading machine open too to dry after doing laundry so it was pretty natural for me to do with the FL machine too. mine are pretty quiet too-- can't really even hear them at all when the laundry room door is closed.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 9:58AM
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Mtn, have you checked to make sure your machines are level? I cannot hear mine unless I am downstairs next to them (even then they are practically silent except for the whirr of the spin cycle) and our laundry area has no doors, so if they made noise we would hear them from the library and guest room which are also downstairs. Once, they got out of level, but easy to fix using a carpenter's level.

If you can't leave the door open, a quick swipe of the rubber gasket will take care of the moisture, too.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 11:02AM
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Another front load Bosch owner here - 10 years going strong, with no mold or smell issues. I leave the door on the washer open - not open all the way, just propped a crack and not closed tightly. I have had mine "repaired" a couple of times, but not for issues with the actual machine - once was a water issue (we have a well and sediment had clogged a filter I didn't know about), and once was for an errant bra underwire.

I'd buy these same machines in a second.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 11:10AM
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I wonder if the mold/mildew issue has anything to do with the quality of the local water? Could the hardness of softness of the water be a factor?

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 11:29AM
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Hmm, I don't know. We have a veritable water treatment facility in our basement (either that or someone has opened a dive shop down there) and they come monthly. who knew water could be so much trouble! I thought well water sounded quaint, ha!

Hi Cyn, Yes, it's level, so that isn't the reason for the noisiness. As for a "swipe of the gasket", the thing has as many folds as a Sharpei and is a PITA.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 11:54AM
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I think the reason mine had mold was poor design. There were three or four drainage holes under the gasket but they weren't placed properly so the water wouldn't completely drain. There would always be a small pool of water in there. I don't think leaving the door open would've helped with that much water. Our clothes started to smell from the washing machine! Plus, I agree with Bumblebeez. My laundry room was off the kitchen, past the pantry/mudroom, but you could see the open door and I didn't like that! I also didn't see any difference in the cleanliness of the clothes, so it seemed like a whole bunch of problems for nothing. Wipe the sitting water, leave the door open, run a hot load with bleach each week..... too much work!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 12:17PM
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I've had a Miele for 20+ years; the first one was a lemon, and Miele replaced it after 2-3 years. However, I have to say that I'm still not happy because it does not add enough water unless I stop and start it multiple times (I had it adjusted, but it's still not the way it should be --- and yes, I know it's supposed to use less water, and no, it doesn't do a good job with athletic clothes, and no, it doesn't add as much water as my parents' newer machine).
Another drawback of the newer machines is that you can't manually select cycles, e.g. just rinse and spin.

To the Miele owners: I can open my washing machine at any point during the cycle (except during rinse) because the water level never gets higher than about 1 inch. Is it the same with yours?

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 12:30PM
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Another drawback of the newer machines is that you can't manually select cycles, e.g. just rinse and spin.

Do you mean the newer Miele machines? Because I've been able to manually select the cycle on all three of the front-loaders I've had (Kenmore, GE, Frigidaire)

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 12:43PM
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Mtn, Try a different model. My gasket isn't like that!

Gail, I don't dry my gasket, so no added work there. I do leave the door ajar, but not wide open, so it looks fine to me.

With my Bosch, I can pause it except, I suppose, during rinse, but even then it seems it would stop filling the same way it does during the initial fill. Never tried. Maybe I will this weekend. I doubt I can stop during spin. Again, never tried.

Sorry to hijack. It is just that I do love my machines and feel sorry for anyone having issues. Back to your regularly scheduled program. :)

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 1:21PM
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I do not want to have to leave a door open either. I have read/heard much about the mildew smell but not sure what the cause is???

I have a fisher paykel washer and dryer and absolutely LOVE them. Seriously. I've said it on here before, if they asked me I would do a commercial without any hesitation. Jjam I'm surprised you saw negative comments about FP (although you will find negative about anything from someone), because a few years back, when we purchased ours, I did my homework before purchasing. I knew I did not want a front loader (not sure why just didn't). I read so many good reviews of the FP that is what I went in search of. Ours is one as mentioned above - top loaders that work like a front loader. Meaning the washer is extremely energy efficient. Uses less water, the clothes are CLEAN and they are much drier coming out of the washer, therefore spend less time in the dryer. Our washer has a few bells and whistles, but the dryer is pretty basic. Really love the set. The only problem I had with the washer is it would not do a hot wash, hot rinse. I finally googled and found out how to program the washer to do this. It was an energy efficiency feature. I couldn't figure this out from the owner's manual.

This is only our second washer and third dryer (married 32 years). The first set - Kenmore - lasted a long, long time. Well the washer did. For some reason we had to replace the dryer at some point. The washer was 20-25 years old. I can't remember what year we bought the FP.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 1:33PM
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Yes, i was referring to the newer Miele with respect to not being able to select just rinse and spin.

With respect to water level: My mother's Miele fills up to maybe 2 inches from the bottom of the window. My Miele(s), bought here in the US don't fill higher than about 1 inch, and the water is never visible in the window. I can coax it a bit higher by stopping and starting; this makes the wash settle and makes the senser add a bit more water. However, I never reach a water level that I couldn't open the door anymore (except during rinse). So basically, I can stop and open my washer at all times during the actual wash cycle.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 2:00PM
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Your issue with the miele sound really strange. Can you give a few more details? Which model do you have and where is it installed? The filling with water issue sounds really strange. I can take some pictures of my fill when I do laundry next. There are also a few YouTube videos out there. The water is always viable in the door. If you would like to get some help resolving your issue, the folks on the laundry forum are really knowledgeable about washers and dryers. Some are experts on the euro machines. If I stop my machine during the wash cycle, it first drains before the door can be opened. My machines have options for just rinse and spin. On the W3033, it is under the mastercare menu.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 8:12PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

We've always left our washer door ajar for at least 24 hrs to prevent a smell. But we have never tried keeping it closed so we don't actually know if it would smell or not. We've just never done it.

I also don't think I ever see visible water in the washer...but then again I don't stand there and watch it work. DH doesn't remember seeing water either. My Grandmother's old Bendix or the commercial laundry machines you did...see the sudsy water splashing up against the window in the door, but not on this one. The laundry does come out clean though and very dry vs. the top loaders.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 10:11AM
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It's a Miele Touchtronic W1113 water control system. (Haha, it sure is). Installed in the basement. Water pressure was tested and is fine. I even downloaded a menu and "programmed" it to increase the water level, but it still doesn't work.
I've resigned myself to the water issue with my Miele. I've called Miele multiple times, had the technician out here, and even called in Germany. Problem is that the laundry doesn't get clean and smells.

The first one was a total lemon. No window, but from the sound I could tell that the drum didn't turn Of course, whenever the technician came, it did. Only stopped turning when the machine warmed up. So, I recorded the sounds and played it to the district representative. Over three years, they kept on replacing motors, electronics, whatever. In the end, they sold me my new machine at a discount.

I think I did post on the appliance forum but never received a reply. Maybe try again.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 10:25AM
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We have had four different front loaders with matching dyers. We moved and left the first set behind in 2003, then we moved and left our second set behind in 2005, our third set the washer broke after just three and a half years, now on our fourth set. The first was a kenmore that is no longer made, the second was the small Bosch because we had a small space. The third was a regular size Bosch. And now we are back to the small Bosch because it fits the space.

Over all I have been very happy with front loaders and have no regrets about going with a front loader for the fourth time. I have always left the door ajar and never had a smell issue. The gasket on the current one does need to be wiped down every couple of weeks. I have never used any special cleaning anything on or in the machines. I do either use HE laundry detergent or use less of the regular stuff. Right now I am using Charlie's soap, but I have successfully used a pretty wide variety of detergents.

As a general matter front loaders have been common in Europe for a long time and have been the dominate technology in laundromats in the US for a very long time. So I find it to difficult to imagine that the general concept is fundamentally flawed.

I feel like the FLers get our clothes cleaner with less wear than the TLers I have used. I have never used one of the new TLers without agitator though. I particularly appreciate the water savings as I do a lot of laundry with two kids and dust mite allergies. Plus we have a drought at the moment so I am trying to keep our water use down. I also really like how the laundry gets spun out so well. Shortens dryer time or air drying time quite a bit.

As far as a specific recommendation, I have been very happy with the smaller Bosch set, but the bigger one broke down in a very expensive way after too short of a life span so I wouldn't be able to recommend it personally.

My main piece of advice would be to avoid doing business with Sears. I had terrible service from them on two different coasts and when I complained about their service reminder calls waking me up at 5am the supervisor told me they would not stop calling at that hour and that she didn't care that they were waking me and my baby up.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 4:47PM
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like bumblebeez, i had a 20 YO maytag set which i loved, but both washer and dryer started having issues (after nearly 20 years of NO SERVICE calls)....we decided to buy new instead of repair...

after MUCH research, we decided on a Speed Queen...first of all, I wanted a top loader because I don't have room for a sink to soak....secondly, the front loader at my vacation home is just awful...i have an LG model and my biggest complaint is (and you will hear this a LOT)....not enough water to clean clothes (even wit the 'extra water' option)....you cannot open a front loader if you should drop an item and do not notice until the wash cycle begins ( i must be a klutz because this happens frequently)....the cycles are FAR too long (this is because they use so little water, i supposed they think sloshing clothes in a gallon of water over and over for an hour makes up for it ...ugh!)

so i decided to find the most basic top loader (without 'water saver' and locking lids the minute you start the load)

we just had our Speed Queen pair installed and i give a review once i have had the chance to put it through the paces....

hope i manage to get 20 years out of this set like my old maytags!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 7:48PM
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Desert, I think you're smart. Things with moving parts are always better when simpler. It just makes sense.

As for the water issue, electricity is more expensive than water, so I'd rather use more water and have a shorter wash cycle.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 7:53PM
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lov_mkitchenIOWA zone 6b

Long sad story but after trading in my bells and whistles washer for a on/off Hot Point, I would like a time machine so I could go back to the day before I traded in my OLD on/off broken washer on the bells and whistles which only filled with about 2 gal. of water to wash and less to rinse. I figured it wasn't spinning the clothes that dry, it was never getting them wet in the first place.

And now I have the Hot Point washer from Hell. I suspect it will not be working yet when the warranty runs out. The repair man calls and asks for me by my first name, identifies himself by his first name and tells me he's coming to replace some more parts. Will I be home or should he just do it. I have timed the wash cycle so that I can get to the machine before it drains because it won't spin, just goes right into filling. IF it stops draining by itself, that is. Then I have to manually move the dial as many times as it takes to get enough rinse water in it to rinse. Be standing beside it as it drains because it might or might not spin and it might or might not have unbalanced the load so badly I have to rearrange it. And then, after an hour, I'm ready to put the load in the dryer. I was hoping he'd bring more parts this week. He was a no show. Hot point won't replace it, they'll repair it on warranty.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 9:13PM
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I see your post on the appliance forum. There is also a separate laundry forum. I have a w1215. I will take some pictures when I do laundry next.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 10:46PM
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I've been reading this thread with interest because I have a 20 yo w/d that will eventually, fingers crossed far in the future, need to be replaced. The thing that strikes me as curious because it was mentioned more than once, but in 20 years I have never added anything to an existing wash cycle or soaked anything. What is everyone soaking in the washer? How often do you need to open the door when the cycle is in progress? What do you want to bet if I ever get a front loader, I'll want to toss something extra into a load?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 7:54AM
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Before I came to the US, I had never, ever seen a top loader other than my toy washer that had a crank on the side.

Cycles in FL are so long because at least in the old days, you would start with cold water that then gets heated by the heating element in the washer. The advantage is that stains don't set.

If a cycle goes on for 90 minutes, it comes in handy if you can open the door (but as I said, I can open mine all the time.)

FL are more gentle on the laundry, but then, I guess that isn't that big an issue because dryers are rough on clothes.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 10:06AM
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Haven't read all the posts on this obviously hot topic... but wanted to throw in my $.02.

In 2011 I did a bunch of research after my 25-yr old Maytag died. Despite new trends, I still believed in an agitator, water level control and temp level control. To me, High-Efficiency = Low-Functionality. I wanted to go from Low-Efficiency to Moderate. I don't want the "computer" to decide so much. I want the control!! I also had some space constraints. My laundry closet was a tad smaller than normal and a lot of the new W/D's would not fit.

There wasnt much to choose from that had all that, but I found the Whirlpool WTW4800 which did. It works just fine. The cycle was still longer than I was used to. but so much quieter and the spin was more effective so less dry time was needed. That's where the $ savings really comes in. Plus some of the newer HE machines have super-fast spins responsible for wrinkles. Mine was faster than my old clunker, but not crazy fast so no extra wrinkling. Not to mention that the price is about half of the bells and whistles prices.

If I had 3 kids and was doing laundry constantly, maybe I would have gone another route. But I think it is perfect. I sold my house last year to move to a new place and decided to leave that one behind because of the size issues. But I got the same model here at the new place. And I still like it.

This is the thread in the laundry forum from my original 2011 research. Lots of good tech info from the appliance gurus.


    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 10:35AM
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I love my Whirlpool front loader set. I've had it ten years now, and it's great. I've not had one service issue on it yet. I leave the door slightly ajar a couple days a week, and never have any odor issues. I can also tell that my sweaters and cardigans have lasted much longer than they normally would have. I have a black turtleneck that I've had for 8 years, and it still looks pretty darn good. When I get a new washer/dryer, I'll get another front loader with the steam option.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 10:55AM
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