front loading washer advice : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

The old washer and dryer are on their last legs, so we're looking at replacing them. Does anyone have any experience with the frigidaire or GE front loader? The imports sound great, but too expensive. One salesman told me the Frigidaire (also makes GE) only uses 5 gallons for an entire cycle - that seems incredible. Do they really clean your clothes as well as promised, and do they spin as dry as a top-loader? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks

-- glynnis in KY (, December 14, 2000


I know this doesn't exactly answer your question but I would recommend a wringer washer. I wash more than one load in a tub of water. I probably average a bit less than 5 gallons a load. The wringer gets out as much water as a spin cycle too. I picked up a used one pretty cheap. Even though I had to put a new electric motor in it I still spent less than a new washer.

-- Amanda in Mo (, December 14, 2000.

I too like wringer washer and own/use a 1936 model Maytag. However I have used front loaders in washaterias. I wasnt impressed. I'd suggest maybe checking or some other review on specific brands/models. Suspect any washer would do ok for those with only lightly soiled clothes. Heavily soiled clothes are another matter. Heck many washaterias have front loaders, try one for yourself. See if it meets your needs. Sorry, by "washateria" I am referring to laundrymats. Elderly friend uses other name and I picked it up.

-- Hermit John (, December 14, 2000.

If I were to ever buy a washing machine, and I doubt that day would ever come, I would ONLY buy a front-loader. I have used these with free coupons at the laundromat and just love them. They use very little water and when I use the double-loaders, I use only 1 cup total of powdered detergent for the equivalent of 6 loads. No additives or fabric softener, just very cheap powder from a recyclable bucket that has many uses. I am 100% pleased with the results. When I have used the top-loaders and brought the items home to dry, I would shake them to remove wrinkles (no ironing ever needed) and all kinds of threads, etc. would fly off. This is fabric being destroyed. This has never happened when I used the front-loaders.

-- Sandy Davis (, December 14, 2000.

Glynis there are also front loaders that are both a washer and dryer. I have not used them but am looking into it. Take up less room and cost abt what one of those frigidare washer/dryers pairs do. Let me find the website. I have it bookmarked somewhere.That James Dulley fellow who writes articles for the paper on energy efficiency,all over the place, recommended them.He claimed they cleaned very well and spun clothes drier than top loaders.

Of course,I also like the wringers.I'll hunt up the site.

-- sharon wt (, December 14, 2000.

I believe the clothes dryer is the most useless appliance ever invented and a total waste of non-renewable energy, not to mention $$. And it takes up so much space. I'd rather store 50# sacks of oatmeal in the allotted area. Hooray for the clothesline and clothes racks--inside or out! Check out

-- Sandy Davis (, December 14, 2000.

Glynnis, we bought a Maytag Neptune front loader two years ago, and we love it. It was expensive, but it will do all they claim and more. We power it from the solar system, and it runs fine. It ran on an old Trace 2512 inverter until the Trace gave up the ghost about six months ago. The old Trace would run the Maytag Neptune, its companion gas dryer, and the 1/2 horse deep-well pump all at the same time.

The Neptune is a good washer, and we expect it to be the last one we will ever buy.

-- Jim (, December 14, 2000.

Here's website on all in one front loader.. Look for the Staber unit

-- sharon wt (, December 14, 2000.

Sorry-I meant the Equator

-- sharon wt (, December 14, 2000.

I also have the Maytag Neptune front loader, and agree with Jim's assessment of it (except the solar energy part -- I don't have that yet). And it spins the clothes VERY dry, especially if you use the "Max Extract" button. I like it very much. I managed to get mine on sale, so it was a bit less than usual.

-- Joy Froelich (, December 14, 2000.

But is a front loading washer at double to triple the price cost effective? Repairs? You can pick up a used toploader for one to two hundred dollars that will last anouther 15 years.

-- charles (, December 14, 2000.

I have owned the Fridigere (sorry about the spelling here)front loader stacking model with matching dryer for about 2 1/2 years. I would buy them again in a minute,even though they were expensive. I am on a spetic system so the water use was my concern. They use less water than top loaders-but more than 5 gallons-at least mine does- it uses about 20 per FULL load. A full load is a queen size comforter or a full comforter and blanket-- you get the idea. They spin drier than my old top loader did IF they are loaded evenly and on the correct cycle for the weight of clothing in them. I need to be careful not to overload or to combine weights of vast difference- the same as any other machine. For those of you with time to do your laundry by hand or to go to the laundromat-more power to you.. I found that working full time, single parenting and taking classes to further my career (thus allowing me to make more money and get out of debt and into my dream) leaves me with little time for more work. My pair takes up a square 27" by 27" (stacked) and can also be installed under a counter top if you have that much floor space. The Maytag and other full size machines may work better for you if you have the room- I don't. As for cleaning, MUCH improvement and towels last longer too!!I don't get as much lint so I know the clothes are being cleaned gently as well. They appear to last as long as other machines and I like saving water and the energy it takes to heat it, not filling up my septic system and the compactness of the pair. Go for what you need-betty

-- betty modin (, December 14, 2000.

Charles, I have also purchased used top loaders for 75 bucks. The Neptune will never be cost effective compared to those, but 1950's technology top loading energy hogs were not an option for us to run on our solar powered electrical system. In addition, the wife is sensitive to soaps. The Neptune will rinse clothes four times, getting out every trace of soap residue, and do it using one third of the water a top loader uses.

You can do this test. Wash your clothes in a top loader using your regular detergent, then take the clothes to a laundromat and wash them in a front loader. You won't need any soap in the front loader. There will be so much residue left in the clothes that the machine will fill with soap foam.

Also, people have made the argument that a large family can pay for an expensive front loader rather quickly if they are paying outrageous prices for city water and electricity. The machine uses about one third the electricity, water, and detergent of top loaders. It would add up fast if you washed ten loads a week.

-- Jim (, December 14, 2000.

We, also, have a 2 year old Maytag Neptune,,I love it! It cleans the clothes with less soap and spins without getting out of balance--even when I "stuff it to the gills"! This is the first front load washer I have ever had but when the time comes to purchase another it will be a front load!

good luck Debbie

-- Debbie T in N.C. (, December 15, 2000.

I had a top loader and it finally gave up after several atempts to repair it. I am on a private water company which has higher rates than in town. Due to the water savings, energy savings and the fact that it doesn't tear up your clothes as a top loader does, I opted for a front loader about three years back. I shopped and got a Gibson, made by Frigidare. It was lots cheaper than the Maytag and has worked great. Plus I can use the top for folding and stacking the clothes after they dry. Would do it again.

-- Steve Barth (, December 15, 2000.

I have a front loader and I hate it!! Unfortunately top loaders are just not found here (or at least I haven't found one!). You can only put in about 1.5 peices of clothing - if you forget a sock you can't just open it and chuck it in -

-- kelly (, December 15, 2000.

Thanks everbody, for all your help. Looks like I need to do more homework on this before we buy. Kelly - I'm just curious. Where are you that top-loaders aren't available? Are you in Europe? I thought they all loved their front loaders.

-- glynnis in KY (, December 15, 2000.

Yes I am in Europe - Italy. I guess they do love their front loaders as the alternative would be to go down to the village fountain and start a scrubbin'!! I wouldn't care so much if it was bigger - it is just way too small!!

-- kelly (, December 19, 2000.

Ditto the folks with a Neptune. I love mine for all the same reasons, have the dryer too (propane powered), but rarely use it because I like to hang my stuff outside. But it's nice for when you want something to come out fluffy instead of stiff. The washer takes a big load of clothes, probably as much or more than a top-loader. We should send this whole string to Maytag and demand a kick-back for the free advertising, no?

-- Jorja Hernandez (, December 19, 2000.

Okay, Jorja, I am for that! I also have the Neptune dryer, on natural gas at present. I like to hang things to dry also. My trick for energy saving and still having fluffy, soft items (especially towels). Hang until ALMOST dry, then do a very short run in the dryer on low heat. Takes more paying attention to the dryness of the clothes, of course. If you miss the slightly damp stage, you can either do a quick run in the dryer with no heat, tumble only, or as I frequently do, bunch the things up, and shake them, etc., until they're fluffed. In this staticky weather, I tend to line dry the knit items anyway -- cuts down on the static.

-- Joy Froelich (, December 19, 2000.

In ALL fairness, if you own a European front loader (I have also lived in Italy) the size is no comparison to ALL the American models. The Europeans are paying MUCH more for their power, be it electric OR gas. AND, when I lived there, I also got into stretching the clothseline around the house--made to attach over the balcony guard. Thought it was "tacky" 'til I chucked the ugly American syndrome. When I lived all around Europe, they couldn't get auto gas for under $3/gallon--and that was before the '70's oil crisis. Buying in liters was very misleading to the Americans living there. There's a reason their cars and appliances are small. We should learn from them. Also, I owned a fourth generation American washer (no dryer) and washed my Italian neighbors' bed linens and large loads for them. In exchange, they taught me TRUE Italian cooking and many wonderful things about their culture. My washer was made for 60 cycle current so it just ran differently on the European 50 cycle current. Never burned up and I gave it to my Italian neighbor when I left. It lasted 18 more years. I still (25 years later) have the balcony apparatus and plan to use it when our retirement home is finished.

-- traveler (, December 20, 2000.

When we lived in England we used a front load combination washer- dryer. These are the types of machines used in Europe. The load capacity was small but I'm not sure how many gallons. I found it took ages to dry a load, so it really didn't save any energy or time.


-- Amy (, December 20, 2000.

I don't have an answer...I'm about to buy a washing machine, and my question is that the Neptune is only holds eighteen pounds of clothes, where the top-loading machine holds the amount of clothes that makes up three loads in a Neptune equals only two loads in a how do things measure up??? any ideas? Thanks... Vicky

-- Vicky (, June 21, 2001.

I'm about to buy a washing machine, and my question is that the Neptune is only holds eighteen pounds of clothes, where the top- loading machine holds the amount of clothes that makes up three loads in a Neptune equals only two loads in a top- how do things measure up??? any ideas? Thanks... Vicky

-- Vicky (, June 21, 2001.

Only two bad things about top-loaders: 1. You can't properly soak things completely. 2. It is very easy to oversoap.

-- GT (, June 25, 2001.

One other thing to consider. If you have the space, DO NOT stack the washer and dryer. If anything ever goes wrong with them, they will need to send out an extra person to help with lifting off/replacing. That will cost YOU extra money. The Sears repairman told me this when I had to have the water pump replaced (under warranty, thank goodness) on my Frigidaire front loader. I happened to mention that it would be nice if they were stacked, and he said NOT! GT

-- GT (, June 25, 2001.

Try a Staber 2000. It is built and operates like a front loader but it is a top loader. Very energy efficient and uses very little water. We have had ours for a couple of years and really like it.

-- Doug in KY (, June 26, 2001.

10 years ago we bought a Whirlpool washer & dryer set. My mother's Whirlpools lasted 25 years. In April the transmission on the washer blew out. After lots of research we decided to look into a front loader. Bought a Gibson (Frigidaire) and absolutely love it! It's more than's silent! The spin cycle is so fast that the clothes come out practically dry. My top loader never worked this well. I haven't noticed a difference in capacity and i'm using less detergent. Got $175 worth of rebates so the higher price was cut considerably. We are already noticing a drop in our electricity useage. I tell anyone looking into getting a new washer: GET A TOP LOADER!

-- alicia mercier (, August 10, 2001.

Consumer Reports did an article on washing machines and dryers in their August 2000 issue (ask at your local library).

We bought the Kenmore (sears) front-loader. The only test where it scored less than the Maytag and Frigidaire was water efficiency. It uses 31 gal. of water compared to Frigidaires 28 gal. and Maytags 27 gal. It cost considerably less, and we got it on sale!

-- Lynn (, August 10, 2001.

We have had an Asko washer (swedish, front loader) for about a year and cannot believe we ever lived without it. We only use 1/8 to 1/4 cup detergent to wash everything including very soiled Diapers! It is expensive but we have found it very worth it. It also only draws cold water, it heats the water to the proper temp. for each load, up to 205 deg. There is no need for bleach or alternatives. And it spins the clothes at 1600rpm, almost no need for a dryer at all.

-- veganmamma (, August 10, 2001.

i have had the kenmore versions of the fridgedair (sp) front loaders...and would not trade them at the 2 yrs i have owned it ihas paid for itself........

-- john hicks (, September 20, 2001.

We sell kitchen appliances and the frontloaders are leading the pack. Customers rave over how they like them. Our service man says Asko is the best, Frigidaire next and then Maytag of the brands we sell, maintenance wise. The Maytag Neptunes had a few reliability problems when they first came out but I believe they have solved them. We owned a Maytag Neptune a few years back and loved it. Had to sell when we moved. In a month we are getting a Frigidaire front loader. $300 cheaper than the Maytag. Wish I lived in Oregon. The state tax credits range up to $230 on the Asko

-- jz (, September 22, 2001.

We had an Italian frontloader while living in Kenya and now I am kicking myself that we didn't ship it home. We were in drought conditions and considered ourselves lucky if we got a TRICLE of water once a week! They use little water, I could use a hose to fill it, I could turn up the internal heater and my husbands clothes would look new (he is a mechanic) the kids socks looked new (we had red clay that would stain), it would spin my clothes almost dry - especially good since we lined dried them and it was tough to get things dry in the rainy season. (We also had continuous blackouts) Now I am trying to find one for about the same price we paid in Kenya, about 600$US. I am singing the blues cuz I didn't bring it home with me. Any other suggestions other than the Maytag Neptune.

-- Judy Vander Ploeg (, January 28, 2002.

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