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top load washer vs front load washer

Posted by bbstx (My Page) on
Sat, Nov 16, 13 at 17:47

I am in the market for a new washing machine. I sold my old one with the house. It was a 15 year old Maytag Neptune front load. In the condo we are renting while we wait for our new house to be finished, there is a bottom of the line, Whirlpool top load. It appears to be relatively new.

We have been in the condo 4 months now (I think ... feels like 4 years!). I've noticed that some of my towels and washcloths are beginning to fray. Granted, they are not new, but the fraying has just started since we moved in. Also the hems are falling out of lots of the dish towels.

I've not noticed fraying in my clothing, but it does come out of the washer a lot more wrinkled, compared to my old Maytag.

Are top loaders inherently harder on the things they wash than front loaders? I was considering a top loader for the new house, but now I'm wondering what I ought to do.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: top load washer vs front load washer

bbstx,

I think a lot depends on the design of the particular washer. For the past 15 years I've had a Miele front loader. Never found that it lived up to all the hype. When outfitting a new house, I went back to a top loader, but got one of the new agitator-less units. (Electrolux). And i love it! So far, it seems gentle on fabrics, it's relatively quiet, but best of all, I can toss in that sock that fell out of the bundle on the way to the laundry room .

So bottom line, I guess - I wouldn't give up on a top loader if that's what you think you'd like, on the basis of your experience with a bottom of the line unit.

HTH.


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RE: top load washer vs front load washer

Bf, what is your opinion of the cleaning done by the Elux agitator-less? I have a friend who got one (may have been a different brand), kept it a month, and sent it back. She said it didn't get her sons' play clothes clean. I don't have cleaning problems of the same magnitude, nevertheless, I want my clothes clean. I would prefer a top load, for that stray sock, if nothing else.


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RE: top load washer vs front load washer

Just some random thoughts:

We went from a top loader to a front loader; although the front loaders are supposed to clean clothes better (and do take longer to wash), I never knew my top loader to clean insufficiently.

I very much prefer the loading of the top loader,
no stooping over to load the top loader, I would just put the laundery basket on top of the dryer and drag in the dirty clothes.

The front loader sure wrings out the water during the spin cycle and now they only spend about 20 minutes in the dryer.


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RE: top load washer vs front load washer

Just some random thoughts:

We went from a top loader to a front loader; although the front loaders are supposed to clean clothes better (and do take longer to wash), I never knew my top loader to clean insufficiently.

I very much prefer the loading of the top loader,
no stooping over to load the top loader, I would just put the laundery basket on top of the dryer and drag in the dirty clothes.

The front loader sure wrings out the water during the spin cycle and now they only spend about 20 minutes in the dryer.


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RE: top load washer vs front load washer

We love front loader. Just got compact LG for daughter's condo. I've had full size LG -front loading for years Very happy It is a pain to stoop and load in condo. But it was a nuisance dropping clothes from dryer into washer on top loading. Prefer front loading


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RE: top load washer vs front load washer

Just bought a washing machine this year after eight year old front loader needed new transmission. I found Consumer Reports pretty helpful. Got a front loader for myself, but the agitator-less top loaders looked to be a good alternative. I understood the trade off was better the front loaders cleaned better while the top loaders had better ergonomics.

Appliance sales persons figured that they sell twice as much washers as dryers & so estimated that washers last about 8-10 years vs. 15-20 for a dryer. That seems to line up with my own experience.

P.S. The agitators get clothes clean but if you put so much in in a single load that the clothes don't float freely, the agitator will beat up your clothes. So maybe the cheaper option is to make loads smaller so clothes can float more freely.


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RE: top load washer vs front load washer

Agitator-type top loaders are inherently rougher on clothes than front loaders, especially if you fill them to the top. The newer non-agitator top loaders are somewhat better, but still tend to be rougher on clothes than front loaders.


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RE: top load washer vs front load washer

Some of the Whirlpool (& Whirlpool-family brand) toploaders a couple years ago did not run a full-fill rinse. Regardless of the water level selection for wash, the rinse was fixed at about 5 to 6 inches of water. The affected models usually had an advisory to that effect on the lid instructions.


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RE: top load washer vs front load washer

By "fill" I was referring to filling with clothes - a traditional agitator-type top loader is rougher on clothes when the water level is set for a partial fill. The vanes usually are usually largest at the bottom and will just violently shred your clothes, especially at the faster agitation speed. The worst in my experience were late-'80s and '90s Whirlpool (and related brands) that had an agitator that couldn't twist very far in either direction, and tried to make up for it by agitating very fast (most of them would automatically slow down to the "gentle" speed partway through the cycle, even if the regular or heavy-duty cycle was selected, but by then the damage was done). It was particularly bad in their apartment-size 24" wide washers, which had a small tub that didn't leave much room for the clothes to tumble; large items like pants or bed linens were particularly at risk. Other manufacturers of that era, like Maytag and Speed Queen, had a 180 to 210 degree arc to the agitation that allowed it to twist back and forth more slowly and still move water through the clothes.

Actually, the only top-load washer with an impeller plate (not sure if that's the right term) I've used, an 8 year old Haier, is substantially rougher on clothes when washed or rinsed with anything but a full water fill; but the plate spins faster than most recent HE top loaders and it doesn't have a recycling waterfall or a spinning drum to help with washing so the rotating plate is the only mechanism for moving water. I'm guessing the new large-tub top loaders are more gentle.


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RE: top load washer vs front load washer

It sounds like some folks think that you can't pause a front loader to add an item. I'm not sure about other brands, but I can pause my Electrolux to add items during most of the cycle. Not being able to add that stray sock would have been a deal breaker. :-)

I went from a 20 year old Maytag top loader to the new Electrolux front loader, and have no regrets about making the switch. I thought my top loader cleaned just fine, but things get much, much cleaner in the FL, and it uses much less water and soap, too. I have some settings on my set that help alleviate wrinkles--and they work! I rarely have a problem with wrinkled clothing anymore, and that makes me just as happy as the cleaner clothing. I'm happy and wouldn't go back to a top loader. If you were happy with your front loader before, why switch?

Cj

This post was edited by cj47 on Mon, Nov 18, 13 at 0:15


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RE: top load washer vs front load washer

I am so glad I posted this. Thanks for all of the feedback.


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RE: top load washer vs front load washer

We own 10 Speed Queen residential top load washing machines in our business. They go all day during the week and on weekends occasionally. They are the only old school top loaders left. They use a full amount of water. This allows excellent cleaning and rinsing. Rinsing is key so that there are no detergents left to cause allergies or any residues that would change the properties of what we are washing. The cycles take 20-30 minutes and the wear on our items we are cleaning has never been an issue. This is important to us because the items we are washing are expensive to have to replace. We've never had any service calls on any of them and the oldest one is at least 5 years old. They are deigned to last at least 25 years. As the washers have gone out in the family, everyone has switched to SQ. At home I wash antique linens and fabrics, stuffed animals and knitted wools on "hand wash" with no problems. I think you have to get the top of the line to get all the cycles.

Here is a link that might be useful: Speed Queen question about integrity of clothing


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