Sunday, February 21, 2010

Front Loading Washer Negative Points

When we moved to the desert in 2007, we left our 20 year old Kenmore top loader washer and floor-model scratched paint electric dryer back in SC - the cheap octogenarians from Florida who bought the SC house insisted they get the appliances - good riddance, fools.

So at our local Home Depot before closing here in AZ, we picked up an energy efficient and low water usage front loading GE washer and electric dryer, under the assumption that "we live in a desert, we have an obligation to use as little water as possible." Well, they are energy efficient, and they do run well, but the lack of a wash machine full of wash & rinse water takes some getting used to. 2 and a 1/2 years later, I'm still not used to it.

For example, for decades previously whenever I did laundry, if you forgot something, you could always toss it in a few minutes late in the top loader. Not so with a front loader, as you have to wait for the door to unlock, and some water comes splashing out the door upon opening. When needing to do an extra rinse in a top loader, no problem, it filled up, it spun, it rinsed. On a front loader, the "extra rinse" comprises about 2 gallons of water. When using extra bleach or detergent, to get out persistent smells, it takes 3 or 4 extra rinses in a miserly front loader.

Drain clogging is an issue for front loaders. The door seal, which doubles as a drain screen, gets easily clogged with animal hair - which is pretty gross to clean out, digging under the lip of the seal with your finger. the detergent tray feeder tubes are supposed to be replaced every 2 years (I am 6 months over due) - that's a cheesy cop out material selection for a $1000 washer. the engineer who signed off on that material selection, and the marketing and business manager who approved it, should be fired. A durable good is supposed to be durable. It's a polymer tube that passes detergent... spend the extra $2 to make it out of something more resistant to chemical attack.

On the positive side, the front loaders do require less detergent, less fabric softener, less water, less energy, less of everything. there's just really no means of MASSIVE WASHING anymore - lots of little increments. Eventually, I might get used to it.


  1. Do they sell Miele in the US? We've got a Bosch, and it's been good. JJ repaired it the other day.

    I do miss, as you point out, the ability to add an errant sock after the cycle's started, and the ability to chuck in truly colossal amounts of stuff.

  2. I have not seen Miele sold here widespread. The Miele website does show they market them here. Lots of LG, Hitachi, Panasonic, GE, Samsung, Siemens in the US stores I have seen in SC and AZ. I've not been looking closely for a few years...

  3. Water? You mean like...out the toilet?


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