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Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

Posted by cbusmomof3 (My Page) on
Thu, May 10, 12 at 14:04

So, on top of buying all new kitchen appliances for our new build, we now have to buy a new washer and dryer. Our 16yr old ones are dying slow deaths. Anyway, my husband and I are in a back and forth about whether to get a top loader or front loader. We've researched to death.

He has decided he wants a top loader because of the smell issues. He does the laundry and doesn't want to deal with cleaning the washer every time. I get it.

I want a front loader because I want a counter on top of it to put my three large paper baskets that I use to separate and organize the crap, I mean important paper work, that comes home with each kid every day from school. If I don't have that counter in the mudroom, then I'll have to keep these baskets in the office, which is at the front of the house. Not ideal or convenient.

Are the front loaders so bad that if I strong arm him into getting them, he could potentially resent me for the rest of our days? Like I said, he does the laundry, so I don't want to push too hard if I'm making a big mistake :-)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

I have owned front loaders for the last 8 years. I have no idea what you mean by "smell issue." I am incredibly sensitive to smells, and there aren't any. (First set was LG in a previous home. Current set is Electrolux.)

The negative to the front loaders is I have to bend over to pull the items out of the washer and load the dryer. That's it.

Otherwise, I love the countertop space above. The bending over is worth all that space.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

Hmm I never clean mine, but I do leave the door cracked so it dries out after use. I've had front loaders for most of my life, except for a 10 year period when first moving to the US.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

I never clean my front loader either. I have a gadget on the door to keep it open about 6", it's a plastic locking device from the baby lock section at Target and I installed it so that it locks the door open. No smells or any problems with my washer. We bought the raised platforms from a used appliance dealer to fit under our washer and dryer so we don't have to bend down too far to get the clothes in and out. Love 'em but would never buy them new for $175-200 each. Another thought -- are you on a septic system? Then the front-load washer might be better since it uses a lot less water....if you're doing several loads in one day it'll make a difference to your septic system.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

I have cleaned mine once - not because it smells but because it was 8 years old and I thought I should. I try to leave the door open now after I take out a load but never did before and it didn't smell. It is a duet.

I agree the countertop is important! How is your husband with bending down? I didn't get the platforms and the countertop is still fairly high in our new build. If I had platforms it would be too high to use conveniently I would think.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

Get your husband to build a countertop that can be removed from over the new washer and dryer, then you can have the countertop and he can have his topload. Store the removable countertop beside one of the units.

I find that front load washers are not as easily filled as a top load washer, and I do have mine on pedestals. I have to manage both the clothes hamper and loading the washer.
When removing the clean clothes, I have to stoop down to get anything from the back of the fl washer. The same goes for the dryer, but I don't mind as much for this unit, maybe the opening is larger, and that may help.

I would guess with fl washers, the countertop would be quite high for some.

LG does have a magnet that can keep the door open a few inches for some air circulation for the washer.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

I have a FL and no problems with odors...but I also leave the door cracked open when not in use b/c I'd read that if you don't you could get mold growing in a FL washer. Bet your husband has dealt with a FL that had mold growth issues and that is what he smelled.

MY FL sits on a platform so it isn't too difficult to get stuff out of. I like it fine. BUT, all things considered, if I had it to do over, I would probably purchase a high efficiency toploader for two reasons.

First, even with the washer up on a pedestal I sometimes drop things onto the floor when unloading it. Oftentimes towels or jeans or something like that will get tangled around a washcloth or a sock and when you pull the larger item out, the smaller one comes out with it and then drops to the floor as it untangles. When I had my old toploader, when things got tangled like that, the smaller item would always drop back into the tub when it came loose.

Second, with the front load washer and dryer up on the pedestals, the tops of the machines are really too high to be of much use. I set laundry detergent and dryer sheets on top but, even tho I'm fairly tall, the tops aren't much use for folding laundry. With a front load, you at least have the top of the dryer to use as folding space.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

My front loader does not smell.

Did you have one that did?


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

Two years ago, I replaced my 26 year old Maytag set, which worked fine but were old, with Samsung front loaders. It took me a LONG time to get used to the front loaders. It uses hardly any water, and I never felt anything was clean, and it takes a LONG time to do a load compared to a top loader. If I set it to hot for whites, with extra rinse, extra spin, and pre-wash, it's nearly 3 hours. A little longer if I set it to steam. However, most loads, except for really heavy items (jeans, thick towels, etc) dry in about 15 minutes. I'm used to the front loaders now, and the one thing I really do like is the ease loading and unloading.

Yes, I did purchase the pedestals, and will say they were a waste of money. Large box of laundry soap does not fit, nor does the bottles of bleach and softener. So pretty much a waste of space. I do like that the W/D sit a little higher so I don't have to stand on my head to load and unload. But I've seen some really nice site-built pedestals that raise the W/D up a bit, but lower than the pedestals you buy that match the W/D. As far as the height of the counter above the W/D on the pedestals, it is a tad high for me (I'm barely 5'), but I still use the top as a folding place. Check out this link to see some custom made pedestals.

Odor? None. When I first got them, I used to wipe around the rim after every load. Now I just leave the door ajar. Been 2 years, no odor issues.

Here is a link that might be useful: Laundry pedestals


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

We currently have a top loader, but have had FL machines for 6 years previously and hope to replace our current Kenmore Elite Oasis with a frontloader as soon as we can. We never had any problems with odors (kept the door ajar when not in use) and had MUCH less tangling and twisting of the clothing than we do with our current machine.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

You must leave the door cracked open; but you should do that with a top loader too.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

Alrighty then, I think I might be able to win this one!

Neither of us have ever had a FL (been married for 15 year, so he inherited the one I bought 16 years ago after graduation). Research, friends, and sales people have all mentioned the musty smell if you don't wipe the rubber seal after each use. But, I'm going to go with the GWers!

Now, for all of you who have had them for awhile, can you please recommend your brands? Again, thanks!!


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

Our Whirlpool FL's worked fine.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

I much prefer having a top loader. I found it aggravating to have to bend down and take everything out of the washer, and I never felt like things were as clean as they could be for some reason. When we purchase a new washer it will definitely be an efficient top loader.

Sometimes I felt like I had to crawl into the thing to get all the socks and underwear out, etc. Just not my thing. It's a personal preference.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

We got a front loader about 5 years ago, works great, no smells.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

My experience is just like that of bevangels. I hate how my clothes are always dropping on the floor while I'm transferring from washer to dryer. We had to replace ours when our middle child was just a week old, so DH did all the shopping. He bought the pedastols. Eh, I'm not completely sold on them because I can't reach anything on top of the washer besides detergent and dryer sheets that we keep in front. (and those things still fall off at least once a week- something to consider if you're planning on storing paperwork up there.) I can't really keep much inside the drawers because I can't childproof them, and my kids get into everything. I've never used a FL without pedastols so maybe I'd hate bending over if we didn't have the pedastols. Did you see the local 2011 parade of homes? A couple of them had really cool built in pedastols.

We are taking our FLs with us to our new house. They're only 19 months old so we really can't justify not taking them. They do a great job washing clothes and all, so I guess that's what is most important. I'm just not so impressed with the front load "features". I'm going back and forth about putting a counter above the washer/dryer. The only reason to do this is because when stuff falls behind those babies, it's really hard to get it out. Those pedastols make the washer/dryer HUGE!

Any consideration for stacking them and putting a desk/drop zone in the extra space?


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

Currently have a FL. It has never had a smell- A little bleach in with the whites cures that in any washer.
HOWEVER
In the new house it will go in the upstairs laundry and I will find a non HE top load for the mud room laundry. We have a horse farm and that means DIRTY clothes. the front loaders just dont do dirt well. I've had/used more than one brand. If you do half loads or rewash then where is the savings in that?
Reconsider FL if you have a lifestyle where you get actual dirt on your clothes


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

About the clean items falling on the floor when unloading a front load washer, I have a laundry basket there because I don't put everything into the dryer, I hang dry several items. Anything that falls out falls into the laundry basket.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

We've had our front loader for about 5 years now. We don't have smell issues because we always read the user's manual for things before using them, and our manual says to leave the washer door cracked when not in use. I recently heard about new models with a fan built in for people who can't remember or don't like to leave the door open.

I have been washing dirty diapers in my machine for 7 months---if that doesn't stink up the washer NOTHING WILL. :)


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

minneapolisite-Good point!


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

My FL's are 3 years old and I've never cleaned the washer. I did have a smell issue one time when I tried an HE powdered detergent. I went back to liquid and have never had another problem.

Like dekeoboe, I put a laundry basket under the washer when emptying it and clothes fall into it.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

I will stick with top loaders, but that is because of two issues that apply to me based on my lifestyle.

1. Pets. In our current house, the laundry room is completely shut off from the rest of the house and we always check to make sure a cat or the dog has not run in with us. In the house we are moving to, the laundry area will not be closed off. Cats have a habit of seeking out places to hide or sleep or pee. I cannot chance that one could get into the washer without me knowing it get trapped. I know this is extremely far fetched and a specific series of events would have to occur before this would end in tragedy, but the possibility is there. Things like the story where the 4 year old crawled in the washer and the 15 month old closed the door and pushed the start button stick with me. Just something that I personally do not want to risk.

With front loaders you are supposed to leave the door ajar when not washing. With top loaders this is not really an issue as the doors are more splash guards and do not seal. You get enough air circulation with the door closed.

2. I routinely stick a load on to wash in the evening and the intentionally do not dry it until the next morning. Enough air circulation with a top loader that the clothes do not get musty smelling in 12 hours. I have heard with the tight seal of front loaders that you cannot do this.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

I stick a load in at night all the time, and wait until morning to dry. The only problem there is the noise. FL washers are fairly noisy with the spin cycle. Jet engine noisy.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

I've had both TL's and FL's. When I bought my new ones for this new house, I went with the red LG FL's with the steam option and the pedestals. LOVE LOVE LOVE them! No smell at all and they get my clothes really clean. I live on 8 acres in the country and our clothes can get really dirty from working in the garden and mowing. My husband's tshirts and underwear have never been this white. I can even wash a kingsize comforter and it gets really clean and rinses well.

My laundry room with the pop of red color from washer and dryer are one of the things people always comment on when they come to see our house.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

One thing I will say in favor of top-loaders...it's easier to get super dirty things (like diapers) clean in a top loader because it uses way more water.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

Not all top loaders use a lot of water. They do make HE top loaders, too.

We have front loaders in our main floor mudroom, and we stacked them due to space. I do have a smell problem with mine, which makes me crabby because they were expensive; they are by LG and one of the higher cost models. I have to drain the excess water using the little door and hose at the bottom of the washer to avoid a funky smell (I do this fairly regularly) and usually leave the door open.

For our basement laundry room we bought commercial sized HE Maytags. They are awesome. No agitator, so the washer is gentle like the front loaders; it uses less water and detergent than regular machines because it's HE; and because of the commercial size I can do huge loads with both the washer and dryer.

Even tho my LGs are prettier and fancier (like playing a little song when a load is done), I really like my top loaders, which hold bigger loads and cost half of what the front loaders did.

Someone mentioned a removable shelf; seems like you could set one up with hinges so that it folds up and secures with a latch and hook, then folds down when you need it. Just a thought.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

I have a Samsung washer and dryer (same parent company as LG). They also play a song when they are done. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Samsung washing machine that works for us


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

Have had front loaders for 40 years. Much prefer them, have never cleaned one, just leave the door slightly open. My favorite brand is Bosch.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

I have a Samsung front load washer and dryer. They are on pedestals which puts them at a convenient height for me but I've never used them for storage. I guess I just forgot the storage drawers were down there. The fl does a good job of cleaning my clothes and is a lot gentler on them than the top loader with the center agitator that I used to have. At first I had some issues with smell which were remedied when I started leaving the door unlatched between loads. I also was a little frustrated with items falling to floor when I switched clothes from the washer to the dryer but I bought one of those laundry butlers like you sometimes see at laundry mats. It sits at just the right height to catch all the clothes coming out of the washer and the dryer and makes transferring clothes from washer to dryer to folding area a breeze!


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

I still like the top loaders best. I have a bad back and it bothers me to bend over to take the wet clothes out and put them in the dryer....and I don't have any clothes dropped on the floor that I would also have to bend over to pick up. I'd also hate to keep the door open if there is a "smell problem"...none in my top loader~~

My DH has a front loader W/D and it takes forever to do the laundry!


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

Do a search on 'Neptune' for some of the issues Maytag has had with their front loader.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

We changed from our seven year old Kenmore front loading washing machine to a Samsung He top loader. I love love love the top loader so much more. It holds even more than the front loader and it's so much quieter. I also like the little Samsung tones.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

Oh no, now my husband is getting more support for his argument!


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

I leave the washer door very slightly open to prevent any possibility of smells. Never had them.

My Bosch front loader is extremely quiet and very economical. It detects the size of the load and uses only enough water to wash that load. The amount of water used is always very little yet my guests comment on how beautifully clean their clothes and my white towels are.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

I can't figure it out. I always bragged how our Kenmore FL didn't give smells either. It didn't start until like the sixth year. I always left the door opened and cleaned it regularly. Then the error codes started. But I really didn't realize how it was leaving such a strange smell on our clothing until we started using the new FL. I also like how it senses the load size and uses the correct amount of water. I feel like our clothes are cleaner than they have been in years. I like the delay feature as well.

Something funny...when we were shopping, we went to three different places. In all three we heard various couples (probably eight total) discussing their front loader woes with salesmen. Our plumber and the delivery people that delivered the Samsung said they used to see so many but there's been a resurgence of top loaders because people have had problems with FLs. The plumber was especially vocal about the rubber door gasket and how he hated that design and how water never really drains all the way out of the curves and nooks and crannies and the smell will gradually happen or because of the super spin things get loose or break faster than with a TL. He makes way more calls on FLs than TLs. I know many FL owners are happy. I was one of them for several years until a certain point. Now I'm happy with our decision.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

So, babs, did you get a new TL or FL? It sounds like you had a Kenmore FL, then got a Samsung FL? But, it also sounds like you are advocating FOR a TL...
? Just wondering if you meant "such a strange smell on our clothing until we started using the new..." Top Loader? Or are new generation Front Loaders better than the old generation?


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

We changed from a FL to a Samsung TL. I had posted that a couple of posts above. Sorry!


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

Got it. Thanks!


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

I would never get a FL again. Noticed very soon that the rubber gasket around the door was getting stained and no cleaner, even washer cleaner (who even heard of that before FL's?)would make it go completely away. Hate how stuff gets caught in the folds of the gasket. Don't let me tell about the toddler "accident" britches that DH threw into the washer--not enough water to wash it all away. Uses less water, apparently not enough to clean my shirts where I inevitably dribble stuff down my front. My DH built a custom pedestal for the W&D, so the bending down or being too high is not an issue even though I'm a shortie. You have to be careful now when you get a TL: some are HE and again, not enough water to really clean your clothes IMHO. Hate the Kenmore FL, wish it would break down so I could justify getting a TL. I know, I shouldn't hold back, I should tell it like it is. LOL


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

We purchased, I believe, the first generation of the Whirlpool Duet FL back in 2003. In almost 9 years, I've never had a problem with odors or clothes not cleaning properly. The door is always cracked just enough for air to get in but not enough that you can tell the door is open from a few feet away.

My clothes are super clean (I never use bleach) and I love the sanitary cycle which utilizes the internal heater to get the water super hot. The wash cycles are long but I usually use the highest spin cycle which gets so much water out of the clothes that the drying time is reduced significantly.

The only problem I had was when the gasket tore and had to be replaced a couple of years ago. I believe it cost right around $100.

Also love my counter top above the W/D. Really makes the room look pulled together.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

Although I'm perfectly happy with my FL, it does seem that manufacturers have gone a little overboard with the low-water, high-efficiency thing. Really, would using 2 gallons of water instead of 1 gallon be all that terrible?

I have the same feelings about my Asko dishwasher that sometimes require another cycle to get stuff all the way clean. I think it also uses around 1 gallon per run, and I would have no objections if it was using 2 gallons instead.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

I guess it depends where you live...here in Cleveland, OH water usage is definitely not at the top of my priority list but I'm guessing it may be in places like AZ or CA. Same with those super low-flush toilets.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

I will never get a FL. I will always buy TL because in my house I tend to add items after I start the load. There have been so many times that I start a load of whites and then find that pair of socks behind the hamper. With FL once you turn it on and the water starts you cant open it much less add to it.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

Not true about the front loader and adding to it - I do it all the time!


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

"With FL once you turn it on and the water starts you cant open it much less add to it."

So, so very wrong!
Have you even had a front loader?
I add to mine plenty!


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

I have heard you just have to wait a few seconds before adding to a FL cycle.

Unfortunately, this thread has made me even more confused. I really want that extra counter space but...


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

I also add to my FL after the wash cycle has started. I can open the door with no delay for several minutes after it has started and with a few seconds delay if it is much later. It really is a non issue for me.

Another factor that I think may not have been mentioned is that the washing action of a FL is gentler on the clothes than the paddle action of a top loader. Also using less water the FL uses less wash powder too.

As you really want the extra counter space what factors are causing you to hesitate? Perhaps we can address those specific issues.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

If they are in the same boat:
I am tall. I've visited stores, and I just can't see myself being fond of bending over to empty the washers completely. The doors seem small (even the "large" ones). A pedestal would solve that problem (the bending), but then, you pretty much have to say goodbye to your counter space since it moves it above a usable level (even if you are tall).

I have a friend who literally moved out of her house due to mold issues and left her FL there because it had a permanent odor regardless of her relentless cleaning of the gasket. She now owns an HE TL.

There are plenty of HE top loaders. (no paddles) So, the argument of gentler on clothes with a TL v FL doesn't fly for me; neither does the argument of less detergent with a FL than a TL.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

We are not tall :-)

I am most concerned about the potential odor. I really want to believe that simply leaving the door ajar will resolve any potential problem.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

To me the moving from a TL to a dryer got just as many things dropped on the floor as doing the FL to dryer does. Except no socks or small items fall between like they did with the TL.

I think it is possible some brands are worse on the smell/gasket thing. Could be the material they use for their gasket, so you might want read reviews.

As for the washer getting dirty - the non HE TL I had did get dirty. It had a ring around the drum kind of where the water line was that I had to wipe down on a regular basis. My old FL did get dirty in the gasket folds and I did wipe that every now and then just like I did the drum on the TL. My new LG washer doesn't have a gasket with folds and has a slightly tilted drum so never have any water or anything that gets sitting there.

I can add clothes whenever to mine too. Never an issue. Clothes get really nice and clean too.

Unfortuntatley I'm not seeing the benefit of the drying not taking as long time. I think there is something wrong with my dryer. Jeans even after the high spin cycle is still a long time to be completely dry. I don't want damp clothes coming out of the dryer.


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

"I am tall. I've visited stores, and I just can't see myself being fond of bending over to empty the washers completely. The doors seem small (even the "large" ones). "

Are you also not fond of bending over to empty the dryer completely??
The two openings are the same size and the same height (at least mine are!).


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

We had always had TL until three years ago. Here is my two cents worth...
TL PROs--Less expensive
TL CONs--not unlike FL the closes can't be left to sit w/o smelling musty; hard to get cloths out of the bottom; Uses more water $$$; top can't be used as counter when in use
FL PROs--Clothes come out dryer than TL washer and therefore take a lot less time drying, saving $$;uses less water; top can be used to hold baskets and detergent; takes less detergent
FL CONs--Door must be left cracked to dry between washing days
As you can see, I love my FL and have never cleaned it, don't wipe it out, and my clothes are just as clean as ever. BTW I have to High school soccer players to wash clothes daily for from December to May and again August to November!! Yes I use oxy clean :)
Best of luck! And way to go having a hubby who helps out!! I am blessed with one as well!!


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

My dryer door is much larger than any front loader washers I've seen. I've also seen smaller dryer openings than mine... But, I go for a large door. (And, yes, I am not a fan of removing dry clothes either, but at least they are lighter weight).

Again, a big difference in TL HE vs old TLers. My TL gets things spun quite dry.

Like you said, we aren't probably helping you any; and you should go with what works best IN YOUR SPACE. I am considering a stackable/FL set if I end up putting a laundry in upstairs, because I won't have room for folding space otherwise. If I keep the laundry downstairs, then I will keep my TL; but I will have enough room for counters. I think either can be "bad" depending on Brand, and either can be "good/no problem" depending on brand. Ask a friend you trust what they use (specifics).


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RE: Front Load W/D vs. Top Load

Thanks everyone.

I posed the same question to my facebook friends and the responses were overwhelmingly against FLs. The majority of people had purchased FLs in the last few years and either hate them but are living with them or sold them on Craigslist and bought TLs.

My husband called me and said, "The people have spoken". It looks like it's time for me to concede this one.

I do appreciate everyone taking the time to give me your thoughts and experiences.


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