Need a New Washer: What Do You Have and Like?

Updated on January 29, 2013
S.H. asks from Kailua, HI
17 answers

We have to get it from Sear's. Our old washer of many years, is breaking down. After numerous repairs, (we have the Sear's Protection program/guarantee and it has been great), they are going to replace our washer for us, paying for it, an amount that is comparable to our current washer/features. Don't know how much they are going to give us yet, but a model that is $800 or under I imagine.
We currently have a Maytag. Model A412. Top loader.
It has served us well. But is old.

So, what washer or brand/model do you have, that you like?
I've heard front loaders, get a mildew smell etc. and you always have to leave the door open...

I know this question has been asked before.
But appreciate any feedback/opinions.
I don't need fancy computerized features and all the bells and whistles.
Just a washer that cleans well and is reliable etc.


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answers from Minneapolis on

I agree with the others who don't recommend a front loader.

Mine is newish (I've had it 3 years). In hindsight I wouldn't buy another one, I'd get a top loader.

It does get smelly. I have to clean gross residue out of it that I never had to in my old front loader. It doesn't get things as clean either - I use a lot more spray and wash products now than I ever did before.

It does use a lot less water, which is good - since we are a family of 5 and I do a lot of laundry....

It's reliable, washes a ton at a time, and generally doesn't have problems performing as long as I spray treat any stain...

But I wouldn't buy another one.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New London on

A front loader can get a build-up and musty smell if you do not keep up w/ the cleaning of it.

My front loader is not new. It saves on the electricity bill. Yet, I have to clean it often ! And I never get it perfectly clean.

If I do NOT leave the door OPEN, it gets worse !!!

I would not rec one.

It does not clean as well as my top loader did. This 1 uses sooo much less water. I don't feel that the clothes are as clean.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Washington DC on

I've had two front loaders over the last 15 years - both whirlpools. To keep away the smell (I've never had a problem) you only have to keep the door open - closed, it locks tight so the water doesn't leak out when it runs - which also means it can get moldy. It is SO worth the little inconvenience. You will not believe how much cleaner your clothes are - using less detergent and water. Front loaders measure the weight of the clothes then add just enough water to clean - saving both soap and water and getting clothes cleaner (the soap is more concentrated and the motion gets clothes cleaner). The spinning action gets more water out of you clothes so it takes less time and energy to dry them. It's also more gentle on your clothes. I find the "hand wash" setting is even better for my hand knits (I'm a knitter) than actual hand washing. Plus, they hold a lot more - comforters, rugs, big loads. Finally, if it does get smelly (and mine never have) they almost all have a "sanitize" or "whites" or "allergy" mode where they heat up the water hotter than your hot water heater does and it clears everything out. You couldn't pay me enough to go back to a top loader!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I have a Samsung steam washer, front loader. I've had it for about 3 years now, and it has never had a musty smell at all. It is a GREAT washer. My previous washer was a Kenmore, and I can't believe the difference - my laundry is about 10 times cleaner with the Samsung. My husband works in construction, he plays rugby, so we have some DIRTY laundry. And then, my daughters are in ballet, so we have all of their delicate ballet tights, leotards, etc, so I also needed a washer that could really replicate hand-washing those delicate items as well. Another thing I thought about was that I don't really love the idea of having to bleach or use color-safe bleach. It's expensive, and just puts more chemicals into the waste water. I love that the Samsung sanitizes using steam, rather than chemicals. (Maybe because I use the sanitize cycle several times per week, that may be why the washer has never had a musty smell, I don't know.) My towels do not have that weird musty smell, even after using them for several days, because they are sanitized when they come out of the washer.

Anyway, I would highly suggest a front-loader - the clothes get MUCH cleaner, with less damage to them, using less water. I've been so pleased with the Samsung, and would happily recommend it. Even though it's a little more than you are looking to spend (unless you buy the floor model, which we did! ;), in my opinion it is worth the extra to buy a really great washer. Think how often you use it!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

We love out Maytag.
It's a commercial grade with a stainless tub.
No complaints here.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I love my old fashioned top loader with an agitator.
When it eventually dies, I will get the same thing as long as anyone continues to make them.
I've heard too many complaints about front loaders that stink.
And the agitator-less top loaders get complaints about wrinkled clothes.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

My dad got his from Sears and loves it. Although it's a pretty fancy model. It's like a front load (no agitator), but it loads from the top. It's very large and can comfortably fit a queen sized comforter. I think it's a Kenmore. Must be one of the Kenmore efficiency top loaders.

I think I've heard questionable things about Maytag these days, but so many of the companies are actually the same manufacturer with different names for the same basic model and I can't remember who owns or manufactures the Maytags. Something to ask about or look into.

I have a Miele front loader. I love it, but you can't get it at Sears, and my one regret is that it is too small. I have had no problems with mildew or smells. I do leave the door open in between loads, but I don't consider that an issue. I like that they use less soap and water, are easier on the clothes and spin everything so well that you need less dryer time.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I have a LG washer and dryer set - front loaders, the ones that do all the steam cleaning and can steam dry the clothes. It's my second set, the first set wasn't as fancy. I had the first set for years, then my sister-in-law's old Kenmore washer and dryer broke down and she couldn't afford to get a new set. So I gave her my old ones and got the new washer and dryer. Before we went thru 3 sets of Kenmore washers and they broke down two in one day and the 3rd one a few months later. Thank goodness they were under warranty. I love my new set, the clothes are practically dry when I take them out of the washer it spins out the water so well. The old set was just a good. My first set of LG washer and dryer I got from Sears, with the extended warranty (that I never had to use)... had to get it from Sears because I had to charge it. :-( I was so happy I was able to get the new set from Pacific Sales because you can talk them down on the pricing, delivery and hook up is free and the extended warranties are pretty cheap. If you get the front loaders aren't going to stack them, I would recommend getting the drawers that go underneath... that way you don't have to bend down so low to get the clothes out. Happy Shopping, I hope you find something you like. The front loaders can get a mildew smell if you don't them dry out, on my new washer the door doesn't close all the way when it's not in use... so it can dry out. I've never had to use the drum cleaning stuff to keep the smell down because it doesn't have the smell. The old set did get that smell every now and then, but if I used the Affresh washing machine cleaner it took the smell away. The Tide washing machine cleaner (not the laundry soap) doesn't work so well. They sell the Affresh stuff at Home Depot and Lowe's.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

My MIL LOVES her LG washer. It is a top-loader, but it doesn't have an agitator in the middle so it can hold more, plus it's more gentle on delicates.

She is very picky about how clean clothes get (FIL was a coal miner), and she says it cleans everything really well and uses less water to do it.

When my current washer gives out (probably soon, it's 11 years old), that's what I plan to get.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Love LOVE L O V E!!! my Whirlpool front loader. About 6 - 8 years ago when I was researching washers I really wanted another top loader. Unfortunately, the more reading I did, the more I realized I needed to change (I hate it when I'm wrong! ;) ). I'm so very happy with my washer, I can't wait for my dryer to go so I can get the one that matches!

Yes, you need to have patience while you learn how to use a new appliance. Still, that's a really short learning curve. Yes, the inside gets musty if you leave the door closed -- but, honestly, our basement, where my washer is, is so far under the discharge pipe that my old top loader also would get musty. Just crack the door a little & there's no problem!

I found very helpful in my research. Good luck finding what works for you!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I currently own 3 different washers, 2 in our house in Denver which we rent out (yeah, I had TWO laundry rooms, can you imagine?! I miss living in that house...) and one in the house I currently live in. I have a Kenmore Elite HE3T (I think) front loader, which has worked great for YEARS. I also have an LG front loader with the steam function, which I loved. Our tenants have had no complaints about the washers at all and love them. But my fav is the one I use everyday now: the LG top loader with no agitator. It's enormous and with our family of 5 (2 adults and 3 adult sized children) I can throw in massive loads at a time. It cleans perfectly. Really love this machine.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

We have a front loading machine. I like it. It holds more. It does seem to take a lot longer to wash for some reason that the top load. We bought a Samsung.

I always check Consumer Reports. And read reviews online. Appliances change all the time.

The LG WM3070H[W]A is a Consumer Reports "Best Buy". And so is the LG WM2650H[W]A, the LG WM2250C[W], the LG WM2655H[V]A and the Electrolux IQ Touch EIFLW50L[IW] . So based on that, I'd probably go with an LG.

For top loading, Consumer Reports "Best Buy" are: Samsung WA422PRHD[WR] , LG WT4801C[W] , Samsung WA5451AN[W] , Maytag Bravos XL MVWB750Y[W] , Samsung WA400PJHD[WR] , Samsung WA456DRHD[WR] , Kenmore 2600[ ] , Whirlpool Cabrio WTW5600X[W] , and the Whirlpool Cabrio WTW5700X[W] .

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I have an LG front loader, and I really like it. I've had it for a few years now, and I just started using those little PODS of detergent, and I have noticed a huge improvement in the cleansing of our clothes when I use them. I guess you just have to play around with the products that work well for you. And as for the funny smell of front loaders, yes I have had that in the past too, just leave the door open when not in use and it should air it out and not smell. They also make washer cleaners for that too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Eugene on

Maytag top loader, largest capacity with stainless steel tub.

My former top loader had a porcelain tub and started rusting.

I chose the top loader because it uses more water and has a 2nd rinse cycle. My kids used to play in the dirt and I needed a washer that used plenty of water to get it all out of their clothes. Same thing later when my boys were doing construction and landscaping.

When my last kid moves out and it's just me and my girl clothes, I'd like a front loader. I hear they are gentler on clothing and get linens cleaner too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I agree with Kristen and don't like mine at all. Really, who wants to save water when washing clothes. I tend to do smaller loads than before because I want a lot of water to run through my clothes. Also, I often do a pre-wash and extra rinse and that takes 2 hours to wash 1 load of laundry. I hate it!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Eau Claire on

I have a Kenmore Elite frontloader...and I have to say I LOVE it. First of all it holds a TON of clothes, so I don't have to do laundry as often. Also it's energy efficient so it saves money that way (although you have to buy HE detergent so you spend a bit more there).

As far as the smell...after a load is done washing, if you just open the door within 2 hours or seems to be fine. Also I just put vinegar on a rag and run it around the rim opening every now and then, and I don't notice any smell.

I did also get platforms to put it on so I wouldn't have to bend over all the time. (I run a daycare so I do LOTS of laundry...altho most moms do too!)

I've had it for a year and a half now and haven't had any problems with it. We also get the Sears protection for all our appliances and haven't even had to use it yet.

ETA: Also mine doesn't have a beater in the middle and it cleans GREAT. Between daycare kids and a greasy mechanic husband, our clothes are always MUCH more than just mildly dirty.

Should also note that when I went shopping at Sears...there were about 3 toploaders (what I originally wanted) and EVERYTHING else was frontload (what I am glad I was talked into!) :)



answers from Portland on

I, my mom, and my sisters, all have the Kenmore series 60 or 80. We have different ones, but they are all wonderful, and I wouldn't want to buy anything else! It is a top loader and I LOVE that because I am always finding extras to put in after I already started the load. My dad was nice and bought my mom the fancy front loader that was the best from Consumer Reports and my mom hated it so much she gave it to my sister who hated it so much she gave it away and bought another. I was looking at them during Christmas and I was really interested in the ones that don't have a beater thing in the middle, but I don't know how well they clean or work. Good luck!! Its such a hard decision to make.

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