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  1. #1
    HIU8 is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Default Front loading vs. top loading washing machines

    What are the pros and cons of each? I've only had a top loader with agitator. The top loader minus the agitator looks intriguing to me. I like that the front loaders use less water though. I've also never had a digital console. I assume that costs more to fix. I'm trying to at least prepare myself in the event my washer will cost a small fortune to fix. I have not looked at washers for 8 years. I have no idea what is new/good/reliable out there now.
    Heather

    DS 2004
    SK Monterey
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    DD 2007
    Harnessed in a Frontier and Safeguard GO

  2. #2
    codex57 is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    LG or Samsung

    Front loaders are more efficient, can hold more, and are gentler on clothes.

    Top loaders tend to be cheaper. There are top loaders that try and do away with the agitator and clean in a manner similar to front loaders. My parents have one. Heaps of trouble, and online reviews show it's common for that model (Calypso).

    I have a digital console. I do worry about it breaking, but it hasn't broken yet. Mine's only about 5 yrs old though (I have an LG, altho right now, the Samsungs interest me more).

  3. #3
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    Well, I went with a top-loading GE recently to replace my 8 (9?) year old Kenmore.

    The reasons I wanted top-loading:
    - I sometimes felt knitted items and need to be able to stop mid-cycle to check on it or add more time. (This, admittedly, is probably an unusual reason.)
    - I always walk back up from the basement and find 5 random little girl socks and a couple of used cloth napkins that should have gone in with the load I *just* put in, so I need to run down and toss them in. This is also why I had to search for a non-locking lid. Probably other families are less disorganized with laundry than mine, but I seriously have to go back and add stuff to almost every single load I run.
    - I don't trust washers that use less water. If my clothes aren't covered in soapy water and then rinsed with more water, how can they come clean?
    - I often don't leave the lid to my top-loader open, and I didn't want to deal with the possible mold/mildew issues with the front-loader door being left closed.

    So, we've had this one for 3 months, and despite the fact that I doesn't have a mechanical dial for the load selection (grumble) I do love it. I'm glad it's in the basement, though, because when it spins out it sounds a bit like an airplane engine revving up. (It's not really loud, just...an out-of-place sound when it spins out. The wash part of the cycle is dead silent.) I have to say, we originally wanted the model down that didn't have the clear lid, but were limited to what was in stock and I *adore* the clear lid. But our problem wit the old washer was that it wasn't always spinning out, so it's a relief to see what's going on in there.

    Sarah
    Mommy to:
    Carolyn, 10/04
    Anna, 7/08
    Matthew, 8/13

  4. #4
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    FYI, you can add things to a front loader after it starts. It does add time back onto the cycle but it's not a problem. I do it all the time. I like our Bosch front loader okay, but I would research all over again before deciding now. The laundry forum at gardenweb is a source of tons of information, though they are a bit obsessive over there.

    Catherine

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by crl View Post
    The laundry forum at gardenweb is a source of tons of information, though they are a bit obsessive over there.

    Catherine
    I was going to suggest the laundry forum on gardenweb as well. That is where I did most of my research and how I ended up with my Miele (which I adore). Good luck!

  6. #6
    halos is offline Bronze level (10+ posts)
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    I have a bosch front loader and I'm very happy with it. The front loaders save space- We put the dryer on top. That said, I dont know if this is true of all front loaders but the cycles are MUCH longer than top loaders- most of my cycles are an hour or more.

  7. #7
    teo is offline Silver level (200+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by crl View Post
    FYI, you can add things to a front loader after it starts. It does add time back onto the cycle but it's not a problem. I do it all the time. I like our Bosch front loader okay, but I would research all over again before deciding now. The laundry forum at gardenweb is a source of tons of information, though they are a bit obsessive over there.

    Catherine
    +1 to all of this. The Bosch Nexxt, which we have, gets very mixed reviews these days, but I will say that the only problem we've had in four years is a broken valve that was $15 to fix...and the only issue with it is that baby socks get stuck in the gasket. Some people get mildew in the gasket but we leave the door ajar or open and it's not been an issue.

    Also, we wash cloth diapers in ours (with other baby clothes in the same load!) so I can vouch for the fact that at least some high efficiency machines get clothes nicely clean!

  8. #8
    JBaxter's Avatar
    JBaxter is online now Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    I have the top loader LG. Love it. I heard to many things about musty smells from the front loaders.
    Jeana, Momma to 4 fantastic sons

    Everything happens for a reason, sometimes the reason is you're stupid and make bad decisions.
    {My favorite postcard that was posted on facebook}
    On Facebook? We chat there too.

  9. #9
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    We have an old top loader right now that came with the house and I HATE it! At our last house we had an LG front loader that used barely any water but our clothes were always clean. I also cloth diapered full time and never had any stink smells and the "sanitary" wash cycle that it had was perfect for cloth diapers. They cycles are longer in general, but ours had a "quick wash" feature that would wash a load in 25 minutes. The new "steam" front loaders are supposed to be excellent at getting out stains. I was also able to go back and add in items after starting the load so that was never a problem. When we moved and started using a top loader, I noticed that my clothes started fading right away and I've been getting little holes in clothes. I think the agitator is just too harsh. I also had stink issues with cloth diapers in my top loader. I've also been getting mysterious grease-like stains on several items per load that we never had with a front loader. I like that you save a ton of money on water with a front loader and use less detergent as well. I loved that I could wash my queen size comforter in our front loader with no problem and that's not a possibility with the top loader w/ agitator. Our front loader was super quiet, while our top loader is loud and lately when it spins it's constantly off balance and is so loud I can't hear the tv! We'll be replacing it with an extra large capacity LG front loader in the next few months! We always left the door to the washer cracked open for an hour or so after washing and never had any must or mold smells or issues. Oh, and I only wanted a front loader since I plan to put a table top on top of my washer and dryer so I can use the entire length for folding clothes.
    Last edited by essnce629; 06-01-2012 at 02:37 AM.
    Latia (Birth & Postpartum Doula and Infant Nanny)
    Conner 8/19/03 (My 1st home birthed water baby!)
    Parker 5/23/09 (My 2nd home birthed water baby!)

  10. #10
    citymama is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    We have a HE top loader without agitator and I love it. It's a Maytag Bravos and we have the dryer too. Bought it last year from the Sears Outlet online. I chose it for child safety, convenience, price, capacity, cycle time and ruggedness. My ILs have a front loader and the capacity is sooo much smaller and it's much more of a pain to load and unload.
    for Sandy Hook

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